Inside HER World: 5 Lessons from Mary J. Blige’s “My Life” Documentary

“Mary reps for us, and she still reps for us,” Latasha Gillespie, head of global diversity, equity, and inclusion for Amazon Studios, told Variety at the premiere. “We all see ourselves in her. We’re constantly rooting for her because she’s constantly rooting for us.”

Article: Mary J. Blige Celebrates 25 Years of ‘My Life’ at NYC Documentary Premiere

Let’s start off by saying, this is not a review.

Mary J. Blige celebrates 25 years of her 2nd album, My Life, by releasing her documentary on Amazon Prime. One Word: Powerful. One thing we, here are Strut, pride ourselves on is a good overcoming story. Mary’s story is just that. Many of you, like myself, may be avid followers of her music and career but know very little about her story – besides what’s in her music, of course!

From battling mental health, settling in relationships, to learning to unapologetically be yourself inside and out, MJB bared it all. And in true Strut fashion, we find lessons in everything, and as I watched MJB’s My Life documentary that was no different.

Check out the lessons, I gathered in my notes.

How MJB Turned Her Pain Into Her Power Shown In the My Life Documentary

Find Your Escape

To escape means to break free from confinement or control. It’s not uncommon for our environments, relationships, or circumstances to have a weird hold on us. That hold can cause us to visit some dark places and allow some dark thoughts to overtake us. Let me be the first to say, that’s not good.

So, I ask you, What’s your escape from those things? Singing was Mary’s escape. In the midst of, you… we… need something to help us feel free, even if it’s just for a short second.

Find Your People

Early in her career, Mary knew she wanted to sing, but she wasn’t able to see it for herself. She didn’t see how far her career could go, or how deep her impact could be especially because she was different than the Whitney’s and Diana Ross’s. It was her tribe, her team that believed in her. That pushed her to be herself and to pour that into her music.

I can’t say it enough, but your tribe matters.

There’s no space for people who do not believe in you. Who do not push you towards greatness. Who talk about you behind your back and smile in your face. Release yourself from that toxicity. Yes, it may hurt. But like Mary, that pain will become your power.

Mary J. Blige | My Life Documentary
Photo Credit: Yahoo Article (Click Photo For Link)

Find Your Inner Truth

You Should Never Fake It. Imagine traveling, being in a relationship, having name recognition, being able to take care of your family, having money, waking up and doing what you love, but not feeling successful or happy. This was Mary. Those are things we look at as success; we often categorize them as “goals.” Yet Mary said, “Success comes from when you are successful inside.” It wasn’t until she believed she was great and was confident in her greatness she saw herself as successful.

What’s Your Truth?

What things are you hiding behind that on the outside makes look like you a role model, but internally you’re filled with self-doubt, unhappiness, and unfulfillment?

Find it and Fix it.

Find Your Voice

My Life album resonates with everyone in many different ways, but one thing we can all agree on is we can feel Mary’s pain. Mary channeled all the pain she was feeling from her childhood until then.

She wrote it. She sung it. She shared it.

She found her voice in that pain. Believe it or not, your voice is embedded in the pain you’re harboring. It’s time to let it out, and say what’s on your mind. Let this serve as a sign, that your story needs to be told. In a song. In a book. In a blog. On a podcast. Whatever, your medium of choice is, find your voice and tell your story – for your healing and for the young girl and woman strutting behind you.

Needless, to say, this documentary was everything. If you haven’t already – watch it now on Amazon Prime and come back and share the gems you got from iT with us.

In the words of Mary…

Take your time.

One day at a time.

It’s all on you…

What you gonna do.


Here’s a playlist our favorite MJB songs. We hope you enjoy!