What Beyoncé Learned When She Stopped Being 'Overly Conscious' of Her Body

The singer, who will celebrate her 40th birthday next month, spoke candidly to Harper's Bazaar about her wellness journey.

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Beyoncé may be "flawless," but that doesn't mean it comes without effort.

In a new interview with Harper's Bazaar, Beyoncé — the multi-hyphenate icon who is a singer, actress, and Ivy Park clothing designer — revealed that building an empire can come at a physical and emotional price.

"I think like many women, I have felt the pressure of being the backbone of my family and my company and didn't realize how much that takes a toll on my mental and physical well-being. I have not always made myself a priority," said Beyoncé in the September 2021 issue of Harper's Bazaar. "I've personally struggled with insomnia from touring for more than half of my life. Years of wear and tear on my muscles from dancing in heels. The stress on my hair and skin, from sprays and dyes to the heat of a curling iron and wearing heavy makeup while sweating on stage. I've picked up many secrets and techniques over the years to look my best for every show. But I know that to give the best of me, I have to take care of myself and listen to my body."

One of the tools Beyoncé is embracing to heal her insomnia is cannabidiol (also known as "CBD," a compound found in cannabis plants) which she said also helps her with "soreness and inflammation" that comes from dancing for hours on end in heels. Although CBD is known to alleviate anxiety and inflammation, "CBD is not a pain reliever," as Jordan Tishler, M.D., a cannabis specialist Harvard-trained physician, and founder of InhaleMD, previously told Shape. (

Beyond CBD, Beyoncé has looked to other outlets to preserve her well-being. "I found healing properties in honey that benefit me and my children. And now I'm building a hemp and a honey farm. I've even got hives on my roof! And I'm so happy that my daughters will have the example of those rituals from me," said Beyoncé, who is a mom to daughter Blue Ivy, 9, and 4-year-old twins, daughter Rumi and son Sir. "One of my most satisfying moments as a mom is when I found Blue one day soaking in the bath with her eyes closed, using blends I created and taking time for herself to decompress and be at peace." (

Indeed, honey has been shown to be useful for a variety of treatments, including skin ailments such as burns and scrapes (due in part to hydrogen peroxide that exists in honey), and mosquito bite relief (thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties). But it's not just sweet topicals and treatments that Beyoncé has embraced to feel good. The mother of three, who previously endorsed a 22-day vegan challenge, also shared with Harper's Bazaar that focusing on her psyche is just as important as taking care of her physical body.

"In the past, I spent too much time on diets, with the misconception that self-care meant exercising and being overly conscious of my body. My health, the way I feel when I wake up in the morning, my peace of mind, the number of times I smile, what I'm feeding my mind and my body—those are the things that I've been focusing on," she said. "Mental health is self-care too. I'm learning to break the cycle of poor health and neglect, focusing my energy on my body and taking note of the subtle signs that it gives me. Your body tells you everything you need to know, but I've had to learn to listen."

With a new decade ahead (Bey turns 40 on Saturday, September 4), Beyoncé told Harper's Bazaar that she feels "a renaissance emerging" in regard to new music (ring the alarm!). She also hopes to slow down to enjoy her success while surrounded by her close circle. "Before I started, I decided that I'd only pursue this career if my self-worth was dependent on more than celebrity success. I've surrounded myself with honest people who I admire, who have their own lives and dreams and are not dependent on me. People I can grow and learn from and vice versa," said Beyoncé in her interview.

"In this business, so much of your life does not belong to you unless you fight for it. I've fought to protect my sanity and my privacy because the quality of my life depended on it. A lot of who I am is reserved for the people I love and trust. Those who don't know me and have never met me might interpret that as being closed off. Trust, the reason those folks don't see certain things about me is because my Virgo ass does not want them to see it.... It's not because it doesn't exist!" she continued.

New decade, new Bey-naissance? Odds are the Beyhive is here for it.

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