It’s okay to feel spiritually ashy.

But will you do about it? Get tools for The War on Spiritual Ashiness in The Exetra Gravy Report.

Selected publications by Alexander Hardy on joy, wellness, the War on Spiritual Ashiness, and such

Shoutout to living.

“Washing dishes is my meditation” []

“Cleaning the last of yesterday from the sink during my quiet morning routine gives me a cue to go ahead and feed myself and take my meds, and BAM! Nutrition, ho.”

“Deeply rooted: What plant fatherhood taught me about caring for myself” []

“When I moved into my new home this past July, it quickly became clear that not even the deepest Steak-umm-stuffed deep freezer or flyest plastic-covered couch could bring joy to a greenery-free residence.”

Have Your Heaven Now: What Lupus Taught Me About Life [Very Smart Brothas]

“Lupus was part of my life story long before I gained firsthand experience as a young tenderoni.”

Creating a Sanctuary in the Age of the Rona [Medium]

“The sneaky thing about houseplants is that they don’t tell you you have to stay alive to care for them.”

I Didn’t Go Home for Christmas Because I Was Ashamed About Being Suicidal [Very Smart Brothas]

“I occasionally debated at length with myself about which method of ending my life would be the least traumatizing for everyone else.”

So I Just Became a Mental Health First Aid Instructor And Here Is What I Learned [Very Smart Brothas]

“If you know people, work with people, birthed people, are friends with people, fuck or ride the subway or elevator with people, encounter people down at the Piggly Wiggly, or married a people, there is something useful in this course for you.”

Empanadas, Rice, and a Dream Built My Family [Food & Wine]

“Grandma began baking and selling them in her early twenties, after watching women in her community in Colón, Panama prepare and profit from the crescent-shaped beef-patty-adjacent delights.”

The Male Faces of Lupus [VICE]

“Lupus is especially dastardly because it's an autoimmune disease that causes one's overactive immune system to attack your skin, body, and organs the same way it would normally fight bacteria and viruses.”

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A weekly serving of Joy-flavored stories, recipes, activities, and tools to help you thrive in the War on Spiritual Ashiness. Boom shaka laka.

Dancing The Blues Away: How Ballet Became My Therapy [Very Smart Brothas]

“Everything hurts so good.”

Things To Consider When Starting Therapy [Very Smart Brothas]

“Your therapist is providing a service, not working to be the Pam to your Gina.”

How I Got Over Myself and Learned to Make Rice [Food & Wine]

“When I think back to my earliest childhood memories, three things stand out: Anita Baker, "The Electric Slide," and rice.”

finding joy in the little things. [the colored boy]

“Easing out of the eye doctor’s parking lot, Mom and I agreed they make the best bourbon chicken in town and that the version served at my niece’s old job was a second-rate diva who couldn’t sustain.”

Hey, Therapy [Abernathy Magazine]

“The day I met you, in my eagerness, I uncorked and rambled for an hour, terrified and thrilled and proud to be in your presence. I admitted things I had never said to anyone. I verbalized things I had never verbalized to my self.”

On Depression: To Anyone Else Living in a Fog [Gawker]

“In reality, this fog felt like a pain somewhere on my body that I couldn't exactly put my finger on. Some days, it was a dull pain that allowed me to function. Other days, it was debilitating. Putting on pants was a victory worth celebrating.”

Mental Health Monday #1 - #64 [The Extraordinary Negroes]

Welcome to another round of Mental Health Monday, your weekly dose of stories, resources, and motivation for your everyday life.

So I Just Started Leading Mental Health First Aid Trainings in Spanish [The Extraordinary Negroes]

“Among my goals for the year, in addition to getting life insurance, seeing Anderson .Paak and Solange live, taking lots of ballet, and not killing myself, was becoming comfortable sharing my story and facilitating conversations and classes around mental and emotional wellness in Spanish.”

I Went To A Screening Of 'Underground' In Memphis And Here Is What I Ate [Very Smart Brothas]

“I take my role as the Calorie Whisperer quite seriously. I don’t fuck around when it’s time to eat.”

Supporting a Team Member Through a Personal Crisis [Fair Kitchens]

“There are times when bad reviews and dreadful appetizers aren’t the worst part of a chef’s week. Spouses and parents get sick. Homes flood and catch fire. Even award winners lose relatives and face struggles.”

Here are a few situations from the past or whatever

a sampler of my adventures on Janet Jackson’s Internet

a purple  flyer for Mental Health Monday

Have you moisturized your spirit today?

I’ll send some joy-flavored stories, recipes, and tools to help you thrive in the War on Spiritual Ashiness.

oh, hey.

Alexander Hardy is a rice-powered mental health advocate, dancer, educator, lupus survivor, food enthusiast, host of The War on Spiritual Ashiness. He will probably ask what (or if) you ate today.

Alexander battles spiritual ashiness as CoFounder of GetSomeJoy, a creative wellness agency promoting mental and emotional wellness to marginalized, underserved communities via soulful storytelling, joy-flavored programming, live events, and accessible resources. He has written for platforms such as Ebony,, Esquire, Food & Wine, Courvoisier, The Root, Saint Heron, and Very Smart Brothas, and supports communities and organizations with English and Spanish Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid trainings and other wellness-infused experiences and resource development.

Alexander does not believe in snow or Delaware.

go-go gadget: writerly portfolio

Interviews & media mentions

Chances are, I talked about feelings, so…

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“If you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.” (sister mary clarence)

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