Jordin Sparks Breaks Down Her Top Self-Care Routines

“Inhale the positive, exhale the negative.”

by Bianca Lambert

Self-care, by definition, is caring for oneself. For some, that means a full Sunday body-care routine with head-to-toe scrub and lotion. For others, it's making a pot of tea after a long day. For singer-songwriter Jordin Sparks, it's about balance. “There are always going to be things going on, appointments to get to, music to make,” she says, “and now with [my son] DJ, we have another love tank to fill. I have to give myself rest and me time to balance things out, so I can give what I need not only to my family but to myself.” In partnership with European Wax Center, Sparks and I get into exactly how she resets and keeps her body cared for to maintain happiness and self-confidence.

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“I was introduced to taking care of the physical body at a very young age,” says Sparks, who tells me she learned this from her former NFL-player father. “My dad always said, ‘If your foundation ain’t right, the rest of you ain’t right.’” And that starts from within. “Emotionally what you hold onto and the things that you’re constantly thinking about or feeling, it starts to manifest in your body,” says Sparks. So last year, when she started to notice her body breaking down on her, she turned to self-care as a therapy tool: massage, exfoliation, and using products that are gentle and nourishing to her skin. “I love body oils; I do love to give myself a little slather,” she says. “I want my self-care and skin regimen to not only be good to me but also to the planet.”


Speaking of, Earth connection — and being a plant mom, in particular — is another of one Sparks’s keys to feeling her best. Back in 2016, “I was going through a lot, and I was like, ‘I really want to garden,’” she says. “There’s something about growing something from a seed and taking the time to give it tender love and care… you see it blossom, and it’s just beautiful.” At the time, she also saw the process as a representation of her own journey from feeling buried to flourishing: “The garden really did blossom, and I did simultaneously.” Like plants, Sparks thinks people are at their best when they have the essentials. “When we have the right things for our growth — enough sunlight and enough water — we thrive,” she says.


Add air to that list of must-haves. Sparks notes that mindful breathing offers a way for her to actively care for herself at any point, no matter where her day takes her, and she translates the techniques learned in hot yoga to the rest of her life. “Truly, the only thing that we can control is our own breathing, our own bodies, our attitude, and our response to things,” she says with conviction. “So taking a second to breathe first before I speak or make a decision helps calm [and give me] clarity.”

She even extends this teaching to her three-year-old son, DJ. “Since he was little, I've been teaching him deep breaths. When I see him start to get turnt up, I say, ‘Can we take some deep breaths? Do it with Mommy. Pretend like we're blowing a balloon.’ It really does help. Not saying that he doesn't ever throw a full-blown tantrum, but there are a lot of times when I can be like, ‘Deep breaths,’ and he understands.”

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As we close our conversation, I ask her about any other ways she feeds her body and soul, and she gets into one more literal approach: baking. “Banana muffins have been the request of quarantine for my husband and my son,” she says with an infectious laugh. “Baking for me is really calming, which I don't understand, because math was my worst subject in school. Yet, I know how to put these dang fractions together to make a cake.”

Like gardening, baking offers Sparks a chance to nurture and grow something from scratch. “I like the idea that you can take sugar, butter, flour, and potentially eggs, and you can make so many different things just from those ingredients.” And like her truest pleasure, singing, baking gives her fulfillment as a way to connect and bring happiness to others. “There are very few things on this planet that bring me joy like that,” she says. “When someone takes a bite of something I've baked, I get the same feeling — like I'm giving them something I put my love into.” And really, isn’t that at the core of all self-care: pouring love into yourself so you can share it with others?

Photographer: Chris Ozer; Makeup Artist: Grace Pae; Hair Stylist: Jared Henderson; Wardrobe Stylist: Allison Lewis; Prop Stylist: Bette Adams; Art Director: Molly Kugelmann; Senior Video Producer: Irena Zofchak; Director of Photography: Jacob Ritley; Executive Producer: Darcy Diamond; Production Lead: Kelsey Dimitruk; Creative Lead: Lexi Novak