“Be Sad; Keep Going” is a New Milwaukee Brand that is Breaking Down the Stigma Behind Mental Health

It’s Okay to Cry

When was the last time you allowed yourself to cry? To feel all of your sadness and not beat yourself up about it? As a society, we are taught to avoid our emotions, which can make us burnt out, anxious, and stressed. Yet, Milwaukee native Marina Murphy understands the power of emotions and has created her brand, “Be Sad; Keep Going” to encourage others to be okay with being sad while having healthy ways to keep going.

For years Murphy dealt with the pain of losing her mom from suicide privately, but she always had the idea to start her own apparel brand. She met with business advisors to get things started but it was all too much for her at the time. Just a few years later, in December of 2022, Murphy won an apparel giveaway competition. Thanks to a local print shop, Murphy received free starts to print whatever design she wanted thus her brand was born.

Marina Murphy.
Marina Murphy. (Picture by Tyrone Moore Jr.)

Before her passing, Murphy’s mother left her with the message that Murphy can be sad but she has to keep going.

“I really want people to know that you have everything you need to endure life’s challenges…to help heal yourself.”

– Marina Murphy

The goal of Be Sad; Keep Going is to talk about mental health and suicide and to make these conversations more digestable, so we as a society can get to real solutions.

Murphy said it’s important we give ourselves the grace to feel what we feel and to release it. She added that releasing is also a part of the healing process. For her, it’s about taking things moment by moment.

Although trauma is an unfortunate part of the life journey, Murphy said to remember to “see the light for another day.”

“Black women specifically, we don’t give ourselves permission to feel what we feel…while it’s important to know how to keep going, it’s equally important to know how to be sad,” said Murphy.

Toolkit for Spirals

Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes we can find ourselves on a downward spiral with no way out. To avoid this spiral, Murphy suggests that everyone create their own toolkit of tricks and resources.

“I’m extremely mindful. When I feel myself about to further complain…I know I’m going to manifest more of that,” said Murphy so she instead looks for solutions. “As long as I got a solution it’s fine.”

For the moments when she can’t always come up with a solution she then reaches into her toolkit. Murphy’s toolkit consists of

  • Naps
  • Crying
  • Watching her favorite TV shows
  • Taking walks
  • Organizing her day so it’s not too much downtime
  • Rollerskating
  • Dancing
  • Journaling
  • Yoga
  • Being out in the sun

She also has a strong support system.

“I got a hell of a community. I don’t have to figure stuff out on my own,” she said.

Expanding the Brand

Be Sad; Keep Going isn’t just an apparel brand. Murphy has plans to create a curriculum surrounding the topic of mental health and suicide. She also wants to do speaking engagements at local schools and organizations.

She’s been on a few podcasts to spread the word but she’s looking to partner to expand the impact and message.

Murphy has dealt with her own mental health issues, including being suicidal and she wants to help others overcome whatever they may be facing.

One of her life goals is to keep people here on earth in a positive way.

“I’m where I’m supposed to be,” said Murphy.

A Message to Mom

It was in 2017 when Murphy lost her mother to suicide. When asked if she could tell her mother anything, this is what Murphy would say.

“You’re important…what you’re going through doesn’t make you less than a mother, a wife, a sister…you don’t have to be a superhero. You can be a human sometimes…I love you.”

– Marina Murphy
Marina Murphy and her late mother.
Marina Murphy and her late mother. (Picture provided by Marina Murphy)

Support the Message

Be Sad; Keep Going released a new t-shirt design. To order your apparel, click here.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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