HEALTH

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Grammy Award–winning songstress and humanitarian extraordinaire Sheryl Crow is famous for her fab pop music. But Crow’s celebrity status has entered a new dimension: poster child for breast-cancer awareness. Since her well-documented battle with the disease in 2006, the singer has empowered women worldwide to take charge of their health and dive into their emotions.

How has surviving breast cancer impacted your life?
I had a complete shift in awareness. I reassessed my lifestyle and [began] approach[ing] everything with a fresh perspective and a new sense of urgency.

What type of lifestyle changes did you make?
I learned how to put myself first and say no to people. I also focused on improving my overall wellness. I worked with a nutritionist to improve my intake of omegas and antioxidants and to eliminate soy and tofu. I essentially follow what I call the Eskimo diet: an all-organic diet filled with salmon and omega-3 and omega-6; green, leafy vegetables; and fruit. I also run and exercise regularly.

What insights do you have for women with breast cancer?
Our culture tells us to repress emotions. I encourage women going through treatment to experience the range of feelings involved with the disease: grief, fear, anger, and pain. Instead of pushing the emotions away, embrace them so that you can grow as a person.

How did your breast-cancer experience impact your music?
Having fought for my life, I became focused upon writing from a place of true honesty. I don’t mask the depth of my emotions in the lyrics.

Are there any breast-cancer organizations that you feel strongly about?
I am personally committed to organizations that support breast-cancer research. I am a fan of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer. Even in a down economy, these organizations fight tirelessly for the funds critical to keep scientists working on [finding] a cure.

How do you feel about brands that donate proceeds to breast-cancer organizations?
People are feeling the urgency of this disease. … [The American Cancer Society predicts that 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed by the end of 2009.] The pink campaign works because consumers make a conscious choice to purchase items related to an important cause like breast cancer.

*This November, Universal Music Enterprises will be reissuing Crow’s seven-time-platinum debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club, with B-sides and rarities.