It's been 25 years since the multiplatinum singer/songwriter Jewel released her debut, "Pieces of You," breaking out from San Diego's coffeehouse scene to national and international arenas. It was on a trip to Mexico with then-fellow San Diegan Steve Poltz that they collaboratively penned “You Were Meant for Me,” one of the hit tracks on the record, but it was “Who Will Save Your Soul?” that garnered her an MTV music award and launched a career spanning the charts that has seen the release of a dozen studio records, numerous award nominations and a lucrative career in television and film.
Like many artists, Jewel has stepped up during the current pandemic by launching a livestream, in her case called “Live From San Quarantine,” and has also performed online for organizations like #Gratitunes, Global Citizen and the World Health Organization's #TogetherAtHome series and Billboard's #LiveAtHome series, all raising funds for coronavirus-related charities.
While still crafting her 13th studio record, Jewel decided to release one of the tracks, “Grateful,” early.
"Anxiety has been a teacher to me," Jewel posted on Instagram. "It has caused me to learn there are only two basic states of being: dilated and contracted -- and that every thought, feeling and action led to one of those two states. Fear, anxiety, jealousy, anger, greed all led to contraction. Joy, curiosity, observation, love, gratitude all led to dilation. I learned that if I was headed into a panic attack, I could hack my way into a dilated state by focusing very hard on a different feeling. I chose gratitude. It’s amazing how profound such a single thing can be if you feel it deeply enough. It’s a practice I still use today. I’m pleased to release this new song inspired by the transformative capability of a simple feeling."
The inspirational tone of "Grateful" kicks off immediately, with Jewel singing:
When everything's wrong
When I can't find my song
When darkness is all I see
There is a remedy
It's all the things that make the world go 'round
“Once this crisis hit, I really felt like this was the song I needed to share with people," Jewel told People magazine earlier this week. "I wasn’t going to be releasing anything yet. I had zero plan. I’m just now mixing the record. but these are the times I feel like my music’s built for. I’m built to help create connection, and I want to help give these tools to people.”
While Jewel has spent her career entertaining, she's also used her music and her brand as a platform for the foundation Inspiring Children, her website NeverBroken, which encourages fans to “Learn to Make Happiness A Habit,” and to focus on mental health and wellness. She is also an executive producer of “The Mindfulness Movement,” a film which drops on Friday, April 10.