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GetSomeJoy brings a Self-Care Check-In Experience to Sylvia’s 56th Community Soul Food Breakfast

This week, Team GetSomeJoy took to the streets to spread joy via a Self-Care Check-In Experience at Sylvia’s 56th Community Soul Food Breakfast.

To celebrate their 56th anniversary and show gratitude to the folks who’ve helped them remain a global landmark, Sylvia’s Restaurant continued the tradition of offering free breakfast, fellowship, and live music to the beloved residents of Harlem World.


Madame Sylvia Woods made the rain stop so the people could enjoy majestic smothered chicken, creamy grits, cranberry biscuits, and orange juice, and get more joy with the help of:

While greeting folks pon the sidewalk, we had them pause to take a pause for the cause with our Self-Care Check-In:

  1. How would you rate your self-care right now on a scale of 1-10?
  2. What are you doing well for you?
  3. What could you be doing  better or differently?

Shoutout to this woman, who gave rated her current self-care situation at a 10 because she’s been in the gym every morning for years:

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‘Twas a beautiful morning. Photos by Mario Starks.


But that smothered chicken, though.


Janice Marie and Friends helped get the party started…


…and helped bring more hungry souls to the yard.



The Swagga Jumpers came to show us that double dutching is not dead.



Zero games being played, folks.



Radical Revolution Clothing Co. “provides you with stylish fashions of our ancestors, adds cultural substance to your character and empowers you to spread the knowledge learned, therefore, making you a Revolutionary!”



Young Maxtin (and his mom, Nikea) helped us do Self-Care Check-Ins with folks on the street, distribute Self-Care Check-In Wallet Cards, and explain how to bring a Self-Care Check-In Experience to their workplace or school.


Meet Maxtin, the youngest member of Team GetSomeJoy



More photos from the morning available on the Sylvia’s Restaurant Facebook Page.

We also had an insightful conversation with Sylvia’s Director of Operations Taniedra McFadden about her self-care, how Sylvia’s Restaurants has remained “the world’s kitchen” for five decades, the importance of the 56th Community Soul Food Breakfast, and what she’s doing to get some joy. Taniedra’s gem-filled interview is coming soon to


How about you? How would you rate your self-care right now on a scale of 1-10? Check in and join the conversation on our Community Check-In page.

Learn how to bring a Self-Care Check-In Experience to your school or workplace here.

Alex to speak on lupus, self-care, & joy in healing at the Peninsula Lupus & Fibro Support Group in September

On Saturday, September 22nd, Alex is returning to the hospital where he was diagnosed and hospitalized with lupus as the featured speaker at Social Butterflies Peninsula Lupus Support Group‘s monthly meeting. He will be discussing his family’s lupus journey, self-care & mental/emotional wellness for folks with lupus and their communities, and the importance of joy in healing. Aaaaand he’ll talk about how all of that lead to GetSomeJoy.

Good times.

If you’re Hampton Roads, join Alex, other folks living with autoimmune diseases, and their communities at Sentara Careplex Hospital at 3000 Coliseum Drive, Conference Room D, in Hampton, VA 23666.

For more information, head to My Social Butterflies or contact

Alex’s previous words on lupus:

Have Your Heaven Now: What Lupus Taught Me About Life (Very Smart Brothas)

The Male Faces of Lupus (Tonic)

8 facts you need to know about lupus — and how you can help (Mashable)

nine years alive: on beating lupus (The Colored Boy)

GetSomeJoy Launches SELFCARECHECKIN.COM with Wellness Resources to be Great(er) at Home, Work & School

Creative Wellness Agency GetSomeJoy asks, “how the hell are ya?” with the launch of, a wellness resource fostering personal accountability and community engagement around managing mental and emotional wellness. The three-question prompt is a conversation starter, provoking reflection among self, colleagues, friends, and family.  

By answering, “How would you rate your self-care today?”, “What are you doing well for yourself right now?”, And “What could you be doing better?” users communicate where they are doing well or need support in, making them accountable to prioritize their own spiritual moisturization while mobilizing the support of those who can pass the proverbial shea butter.

For challenges that are beyond peer support, Self-Care Check-In partners with Crisis Text Line to provide a 24/7 direct support line for anyone in crisis. Texting “JOY” to 741741 will connect you to a trained crisis counselor available to listen, support, and provide you with follow-up resources related to your specific concerns.

“Get Some Joy is such an awesome platform. They are bringing culture, fun, and hard conversations to a topic that is taboo to marginalized communities,” says Ricky Neal, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Crisis Text Line. “It’s exactly what the Black and Brown community needs for several reasons: 1) They are destigmatizing mental health, 2) The have resources and tools for Black & Brown folks which are hard to find, and 3) It reminds us to keep joy at the center of everything we do.”

Bolstering personal accountability with social and community support is essential to healing, particularly in disadvantaged communities, where people of color are 20% more likely to deal with major depression, PTSD, anxiety, and suicide than the rest of the U.S. population. This growing database of resources and tools provides mental and emotional wellness support to these otherwise underserved communities.

Out in These Streets shares free wellness guides and ebooks, a wellness directory, a live events calendar, and rewards sponsored by wellness-focused community partners. Considering the recent conversations and controversies around online privacy and the impact of social media on mental wellness, GetSomeJoy is cultivating opportunities to foster genuine face-to-face interactions that facilitate mutual support, accountability, and improved communication among friends, families, classmates, and colleagues.

This summer GetSomeJoy will produce and distribute over 25,000 Self-Care Check-In wallet cards in New York City metro area, partnering with brands and organizations involved in the community to promote organic, but intentional, community wellness. In addition to providing GetSomeJoy’s Crisis Text Line keyword and number, the cards remind us to reflect on the Self-Care Check-In prompts alone or with someone else. Ask, “How can I help you be greater today?” when doing this exercise with a friend or colleague can highlight simple ways you can offer and receive support.


GetSomeJoy founder Alex Hardy shares his vision for the wallet cards: “We wanted to create a resource that people could use to take the Self-Care Check-In with them and have that reminder wherever they go. It started from me posting Self-Care Check-In prompts on Facebook. I recognized the importance and need of a wellness community through social media. It’s a very tech and social media driven movement, a simple way to engage the community in your wellness.”


SELFCARECHECKIN.COM launched May 23, 2018 during Mental Health Awareness Month. The official kick-off call featured Ricky Neale, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Crisis Text Line, and Andrew Shade, Editorial Director of Broadway Black, who highlighted the mental health challenges faced by people of color in the arts.

GetSomeJoy will host its next community check-in on Wednesday, July 11 at 12 pm EST. Visit to register.

Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7 support for people in crisis, via text. Text JOY to 741741.


Self-Care Check-In was built by GetSomeJoy, a creative wellness agency promoting mental and emotional wellness through live interactive experiences, powerful storytelling, and accessible wellness resources. GetSomeJoy was co-founded by writer, mental health advocate, and cohost of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast Alex Hardy, marketing and partnerships executive, Enesha Stringer, and technical wizard and SoulSenseBox creator, Mario Starks.


For more information, please contact:

Alex Hardy

Phone: 347-927-1094


Alex Talks to New York Post About Depression, Therapy, Suicide, & GetSomeJoy

Photo Credit: Brian Zak / New York Post 

Following Janet Jackson’s joy-themed ESSENCE cover story, Alex spoke to reporter Rebecca Santiago from NY Post about his wellness journey. He explored depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations, how therapy has helped him, and what inspired GetSomeJoy.

“In the beginning, I didn’t even know what it was,” Hardy, now 33, tells The Post. “I would lie on the floor, hyperventilating, just trying to calm myself down. I was crying a lot and not functioning. I couldn’t get through things without going down this whole rabbit hole of, ‘You’re a piece of s–t.’”

Check it out here.

Alex leads a Youth Mental Health First Aid Training for the NYC Mayor’s Office

Last month, Alex was selected by the New York City Mayor’s Office to join a team of trainers from the Department of Health and Human Hygiene to train over 2,000 Department of Education employees. While courses were led across the city, Alex and his DOHMH co-facilitator Esther trained a diverse group of administrators, teachers, and support staff at The High School of Fashion Industries in Manhattan.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addiction-related challenge or is in crisis.

Alex became certified as a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor earlier this year, after becoming a nationally certified Adult MHFA Instructor last year. He wrote about that transformative experience for Very Smart Brothas.

Previously, he led courses for members of the Adhikaar Community Center in Queens and for research and outreach staff from the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

Alex leading an Adult MHFA course at Adhikaar for members of the Nepali-speaking community.

GetSomeJoy Joins The WeWork Harlem Community

As one of our aims is to work with other folks making making and spreading joy, we decided to become members of WeWork Harlem community to connect, work, and grow with other creators, businesses, and organizations looking to do dope things.

This new direction follows our successful “Wine & Words” event in November 2017, where we brought folks together for an intimate mixer situation exploring mental and emotional wellness through candid conversation, merriment, and readings.

Here’s the piece Alex read at “Wine & Words”: “On Trying To GetSomeJoy While Trying Not To Die

Team GetSomeJoy is hyped about establishing our presence in WeWork Harlem to have space to build GetSomeJoy to its highest potential, host events, and connect with other dreamers.

GetSomeJoy joined the Greater Harlem & Greater NY Chambers of Commerce

We want to partner with businesses, schools, and organizations to spread joy in unexpected places and promote wellness out in the NYC community and beyond. To make more magic and have some deeper connections with folks across the city and state who can help us spread more joy, we joined the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce & the Greater New York Chambers of Commerce.

We even went to our first Greater NY Chamber of Commerce networking breakfast and met and shared the GetSomeJoy gospel with folks from all over the place.

GetSomeJoy will be popping up at events for both Chambers of Commerce this summer and fall.

Stay tuned.

Our 1st Twitter Chat on Self-Care & Suicide

Given the outpouring of stories and reflections following the deaths of Anthony Bourdain & Kate Spade and the anniversary of Kalief Browder’s death by suicide, we hosted a Twitter chat about self-care and suicide.

We wanted to give folks a space to talk about how they’re taking care of themselves, their experiences with suicide, ways to engage their friends/families/partners/peers in their wellness situations, and how they get some joy and stay hopeful in unjiggy times.


See all the goodness that went down right here.

Follow us on Twitter at @GoGetSomeJoy to join the the next one.

Oh, hey. Behind the scenes, we’re in the midst of pulling together this entire self-care check-in situation. We’re building a database of resources to help you facilitate wellness at home, school and work. We’re also working with community partners to create Self-Care Check-In™ Experiences in unexpected places.

We’re excited. We look forward to involving you in this initiative and to lead with a new posture that highlights expressions of compassion and love for ourselves and for our communities.

Team GetSomeJoy.

Let’s season the conversation.

Stories prompt reflection of our individual identities and thrust us unto foreign landscapes of new worlds and perspectives. 

Let’s traverse these new worlds together, exchanging more of our authentic stories with the intention of broadening our understanding of one another, and becoming dangerously unselfish within our beloved communities. 

SELFCARECHECKIN.COM is a safe and secure place to tell it like it is, and to inspire your creativity.

More to come…

Text ‘Hey’ to 741741

GetSomeJoy has partnered with Crisis Text Line so that our community can text to 741741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.

More resources coming soon:


A community who cares together, deserves to be rewarded together.

Stay tuned as we introduce GetSomeJoy Rewards featuring deals and discounts from amazing vendors who support self-care and our conscious care movement. These rewards are exclusively offered to members of GetSomeJoy.

Self-Care Check-Inis produced by GetSomeJoy.

Coming soon.

Sponsor Self-Care Check-In Experiences in unexpected spaces.


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