In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are proud to award Sad Girls Club with a $50k Signature Grant from the Aerie Real Foundation™. To celebrate this change-making nonprofit, we caught up with its founder, Elyse Fox. Sad Girls Club was created to provide access, resources and community within the mental wellness space to Black women and the BIPOC community. Elyse’s mission is to connect communities, spread awareness and access to resources through vulnerability, gathering and storytelling.

Aerie: Why did you choose the name “Sad Girls” Club?

Elyse: I chose the name Sad Girls Club in 2016 with the intention to connect with communities who may not have  knowledge of the clinical language that defines mental health issues. I wanted those who found us to know that we’re a community where you can accept your sadness and grow with like minded girls.

Aerie: Why was Aerie a brand you wanted to partner with?

Elyse: Aerie is a brand we all know and love that’s been committed to giving back long before it was a trend on social media. We focus on going beyond the surface to have real conversations with our programs. Aerie Real feels like another version of that where women and young girls can be their true selves. A partnership felt like an obvious way to bring that to our community.

Aerie: Why is it important to keep it REAL about mental health?

Elyse: I believe in ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ to trick your brain into feeling better, Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t and that’s okay. When it doesn’t it’s important to be honest with yourself and pour back into your mental health through activities, rest, hanging out with friends, whatever makes you feel true to how you’re feeling.

Aerie: You use the word REAL a lot as you tell the story of how Sad Girls Club makes a difference. “Real talk not small talk” for example. What does the word REAL mean to you?

Elyse: We’re so used to pretending everything is okay, but keeping it real means admitting that it’s not. Social media makes you believe that everyone but you is having a great time. Real means being honest and not just showing the highlight reel for the world to see.

Aerie: Tips for keeping it REAL?

Elyse: 1. Find a hobby that lets you be your true self. I just started a tufting course that’s helped me feel creative again. 2. Build your community and lean on them when you’re going through a rough time. You can still have a strong community even if you don’t live in the same city. FaceTime and quick flights make it so easy to see your friends whenever they’re far away. 3. Set boundaries around social media so you don’t get caught up in the rat race and comparison with others. Everyone is on their own journey.

Aerie: Thank you for chatting with us! We learned so much!


Hey, Aerie Fam! Want to learn more?

You can head to SGC here!

To learn more about ARF & how you can contribute, we’ll meet you over here

See more

Aerie Real Foundation


We are excited to announce that non-profits based in Canada are now eligible for Aerie…

Aerie Real Foundation

Happy Pride Month! The Aerie Real Foundation Supports It Gets Better

Happy Pride Month, Aerie fam! We’re happy to announce that we are supporting It Gets…

Aerie Real Foundation

Honoring Earth Month! Aerie Awards $50k to the Student Conservation Association

This Earth Month, we’re partnering with The Student Conservation Association. Thanks to the generosity of…

Share your comments

Thanks for sharing! Your comment will post soon. We double check first to make sure #AerieREAL Life is always a safe, positive space.