Ludacris: Managing Mental Health—OFF THE CUFF

This week we go off the cuff with entrepreneur, rapper, and actor Ludacris. He reveals how the COVID-19 environment has impacted him and what he and his family are doing to maintain their physical, emotional, and mental health during these challenging times. Specifically, Luda shares his thoughts on the importance of sleep, his spirituality, and much more in true off the cuff fashion.

Watch The Full Interview on YouTube

Ludacris Interview Key Points

In this interview, Ludacris discusses the following issues:

  • The importance of taking care of ourselves before we can help others.
  • What he does to keep his mind, body spirit, and soul happy and healthy.
  • How healthy eating and exercise translates to your mental well-being.
  • Why we should all try to get out in nature during these trying times.
  • The mental routine that he follows to keep his balance and remain locked in on the task at hand.
  • The value of meditation to help you not to dwell on future problems.
  • The importance of quality sleep to productivity.
  • The need to make small daily, progressive steps toward your goals
  • How important music is to children and his new passion project: Kid Nation.

About Ludacris

Christopher Bridges, more commonly known as “Ludacris” is an entreprenuer, rapper and actor who formed his own record label, Disturbing tha Peace, in the 1990s. He then went on to sign with the Def Jam South label, becoming one of the first artists from that label to achieve mainstream, nationwide success. Over the course of his music career, he truly cemented himself as a legend in the game, winning an MTV Music Video Award and 3 Grammy Awards among numerous other accolades.

Ludacris’ movie career began in 2001, with a minor role in the film The Wash. However, it really took off two years later, when he was cast for the role of Tej Parker in The Fast & the Furious. Other notable movies include 2004’s Crash, 2009’s Gamer, and 2011’s New Year’s Eve. Indeed, Ludacris has been awarded a Screen Actor’s Guild Award along with a Critic’s Choice Award for his on-screen brilliance.

Ludacris is married and has three beautiful children. On December 26th, 2014, he married his current life partner Eudoxie Mbouguiengue in Costa Rica. Then in June of 2015, Ludacris announced that the couple were welcoming a baby girl. Now he is the father to three beautiful daughters, making him tried and true #girldad.

Ludacris wearing a black Kid Nation T-Shirt with black and white photographs in the background.
Ludacris and Kid Nation

Ludacris heavily involves himself in philanthropy. In 2002, he started the Ludacris Foundation, which has the objective of inspiring youth through education, with an emphasis on what he called the 3 L’s:

  • Leadership and Education
  • Living Healthy Lifestyles
  • LudaCares

In 2011, Ludacris became involved in a drive to restock library shelves in New Orleans libraries. He is also involved in a number of business ventures. He is the founder of the record label ‘Disturbing tha Peace’, the owner of Conjure Cognac Liquor, and, in 2011, released his own line of headphones called ‘Soul by Ludacris.’ Additionally, in 2016, Ludacris opened a restaurant in Atlanta called ‘Chicken N Beer,’ named after his 2003 album.

Find Ludacris Online:

Watch The Full Interview on YouTube

  • I am in a complete place of gratitude. I’m in a really cool place man. I’m very, very excited to welcome, I mean, he’s a legend in every sense of the word. His name is Chris Bridges. You may know him by Ludacris. One of the most influential, inspirational African American individuals period on this planet and he decided to take the time to sit down and chop it up with a young brother like me on ‘Off The Cuff one and one life’ man, so Luda,
  • Yes sir
  • I appreciate you so much taking the time out your day to do this. I think this is going to be an amazing conversation because I, for someone like you, and especially right now, I think it’s so imperative because, everyone, not only the whole country, but us as African American men. It’s kind of like, we wanna talk about the pandemic that’s going on but, to be honest it’s really like, a mental health pandemic of sorts as well, because there’s so many things that are going on that can potentially impact our psyche. You know, like I said, we’re going through a pandemic, we’re going through, you know, what’s essentially the greatest civil rights movement all time and our platform being a platform that, you know, our goal is to make wellness of the body, mind, spiritual, emotional, mental, make that information accessible to people. And I think that being able to hear from someone like you, on you know, how you been coping with things how important holistic wellness and mental health is to you not only as an entrepreneur, but as a human being. I’m really excited to hear , you know, your insight on stuff like this. But again, thank you for sitting down with me man.
  • Now for sure everything he said is 100% man and I feel like we have to take care of ourselves before we can take care of anyone else. So you know, being healthy, mentally healthy, physically healthy, spiritually healthy, all of those things are extremely important. You know, especially at a time right now and there are numerous things that I do to keep my mind body spirit so happy and to keep it healthy, especially at times right now. You know, and I mean we’ve heard a lot of the same ones in terms of making sure you exercise a certain amount at least every day and make sure you eating healthy cause that all translates to your thoughts and how efficient you’re gonna be as well and drinking water and making sure you get enough vitamin D and sunshine and being outside. You know, some people have a little bit more of a luxury of being outside than others depending on where you live in at, but even in opening the window or just, you know, whatever you can do to be a part of nature. And I think we’re noticing nature more than we’ve ever noticed it ever before and how beautiful it is because we don’t have any choice but to.
  • Right. When you think about how you’ve evolved, just yourself, let’s say over the past, like three to five years of your life, how have you seen just the way that you approach your day as far as habits and just like your, mental fortitude and like your mental routine? Has that stuff changed a lot? because you look at what you do. I mean, you do everything man like it’s one of those things where in order to perform at a high level, you know, people, they think about like, you know, athletes and entertainers and entrepreneurs they perform but in order to perform on that level, you gotta be able to center yourself and perform mentally. Is there like anything that you do to keep yourself locked in and like from a mental, you know, point of view?
  • Man, you know that I think we all believe in a higher power for the most part and making sure that I thank that higher power and stay grounded, you know, I’m not the most, I’m not the best at meditation, but I try to do meditation every now and then definitely try to get enough sleep. That’s extremely important. And meditation can help with the sleep if you having sleeping problems. So sometimes you gotta think to yourself and realize I’ve made it this far, I’ve got through all the obstacles. And I think a lot of people are locked up in a situation in a mindset of just worrying about the future. And you know, we have the choice and the gift to be present. And I think that’s what meditation is all about and just thanking the higher power for all the things that we have at this moment. You know, including water and air, I mean some of the things we take advantage each and every day. And also just making sure that you are thankful for those things and that you have this time which makes you can be peaceful. There are people that are in way worse situations than we are. Just know that.
  • Oh, way worse. When you say sleep cause, even like when you, if you were to ask anybody on the street, someone like you and they’re like, well, how did how did Luda get to the place that he got as far as being, you know, on top of essentially all of his professions? A lot of people will probably be like, well, you know, hustle hard, blah blah blah, no sleep, don’t sleep at all like blah blah blah and to me, I think it’s more so about output and productivity than it is feeling like you know, you always gotta be on, so with the sleep thing was it a moment where you just realize like, I’m just better when I’m rested? And I don’t operate at a level when I’m not getting sleep or what was the, what made you be like, okay, like, I need to value sleep cause I feel like a lot of people need to hear something like this cause this is something that people don’t really believe in if they believe in productivity.
  • Well, man, I think a lot of people are in a kind of a bad spiral. And I’m not judging anybody, when I say a bad spiral. If you are having too much heaviness on your mind and worrying about a lot of things, that’s obviously going to cause you maybe not to exercise and then you won’t get, you know, as much good sleep. So I mean, everybody’s circumstances are different. Some of us have nine to five, you got to get up at a certain time. I just feel like you have to, you have to prioritize certain things and you have to realize that if you wanna make positive changes in your life, you gotta do something different. You gotta get uncomfortable. I guarantee you if you start meditating or if you start attempting to exercise even if it’s for 15-20 minutes a day, just doing jumping jacks at your own home, cause not everybody can afford to go to the gym especially right now, you’ll slowly start to see that your rest and your sleep becomes better. And then that’s only going to encourage you to continue on and do even better so that you sleep even harder you get even better rest so it’s one thing leads to another and I feel like we all have this is a wake up call for us all to make some minor adjustments and major adjustments. It just depends on how quick you can make these adjustments. But man, small baby steps will always be forward in terms of progression. And that’s something I feel everybody needs to hear.
  • Yeah, especially from someone like you I think when you say that, when you say progression, and you touched on progression and doing things that to get you out of your comfort zone and into new habit, thinking back on your own experience, when was the time where you did something that got you to that progression where you’re able to look back at it now and be like wow like this has really benefited me physically spiritually just as a man.
  • Man I mean something I just started that I’ve been working on for over a decade, man. It’s called kid nation and basically, if people go to kid, I have these videos and this music that’s basically for kids and by kids that’s teaching them a lot of positive things going on right now. One being washing your hands and hygiene because of the COVID situation, another one being called Get along, which is from an innocent child’s mind. They’re looking at what’s going on. Why is it that everybody can’t get along? So if you ask that how that benefits me, I always started this particular platform because I wanted to show parents and to show kids to, you know, have a music which obviously music is very influential for children by itself but give them another option, as opposed to some of the things that are out there and make it current and make it catchy and make it the beats banging the way kids really want to listen to music. So that benefits me because I know I feel like I’m making a difference in being some of the answer to the problems that are going on today to ensure for the next generation.
  • That’s amazing, man. That’s amazing. What was the impetus behind starting something like that? Is it just from you know,
  • Inspiration, inspiration from my own kids and just
  • Yeah
  • wanting to make a better world for them then the world we live in so that when they grow up, they don’t have to go through some of the things we’ve gone through today.
  • That’s incredible. That’s incredible. Are your kids as interested in music as you are? Do they like…
  • Man, I have not met a kid in my entire life that is not into certain types of music and good music, not one. I don’t know one kid that’s like I don’t like music. They go find what they love. They gone find certain things that they like better than others. But they all love music.
  • Right. The reason why I love conversations like this and conversations that are just like, real and like, I think as far as wellness and just with with black people and black men in general, I think there’s really this stigma around the fact that it is not normal or not good to spend time and be aware of how you feel mentally and expressing more and being vulnerable. Like a lot of what I found when you see athletes like Ron and Kevin Love, like, they’re really vocal about mental health, and how it really has started to move the needle for them professionally. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on what you think about men’s mental health and stigmatization, and what you think about, you know, the power of men being vulnerable and talking about that type of stuff just as it alludes to just growth in general and being spiritual and being one with yourself.
  • I think that I think is great. I think we should encourage being able to be vulnerable as men and speak out about certain things cause, you know, we all taught to be tough and to keep it in. And obviously, it is good to be tough in certain situations, but when dealing with things that you’re holding on to that a lot of people don’t even realize you may be reacting or, you know, your actions may be influenced by subconscious thoughts that you don’t even realize are damaging certain things that you’re doing. And it’s always good to explore what’s going on in your mind and try to free yourself of mental lock holes and things of that nature. So the reason I say that I feel like it’s a great idea is because a lot of us don’t realize that we have issues that are causing us to act and speak and do, you know, do certain things. So I would encourage it, man, I think it’s a great idea, you can still be tough you can still be strong. I feel like you’re at your strongest when you are your most vulnerable, especially when you are around someone or people that you trust. So I would definitely say man encourage that, understand yourself. Some of us might even be pre-genetically disposed to certain issues because, you know, we come from slavery, and there’s no telling what has been passed down in terms of mental health, because of the things that we had to go through and how strong we had to be and our ancestors had to be, and how traumatized some of them were. I mean, this is something we don’t know we have no idea, but that’s why I encourage everybody to have a conversation with someone, because you never know what you may unlock in your own mind and you don’t even realize then.
  • Right. That’s an amazing point man. Well look, this has been super insightful to me. Coming from a legend in his own right. And I’m excited for people to just see and hear these tidbits cause I think it’s gonna mean the world for a lot of people, you know, during a time like this man. So again, thank you for joining me man. Thank you for joining us. Thank you, sir. Taking the time out of your day. And I hope you have an amazing month of June my brother.
  • Thank you man. All love to you. I hope to see you again soon man.
  • Tell your homies I said waddup.