Tina Turner On How She Overcame All Her Struggles And Ultimately Found Happiness


Tina Turner’s life was marked by an array of struggles that shaped her into the legendary figure she became. From a very young age, she faced adversity, growing up in poverty-stricken circumstances in Nutbush, Tennessee. Her difficulties extended beyond her upbringing; the most well-known struggle she endured was her abusive relationship with her ex-husband, Ike Turner, and for years, the late singer suffered physical and emotional abuse before summoning the courage to leave him in 1976.

Also, despite her success as part of the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, Tina encountered career setbacks after their separation as she had to rebuild her musical journey from scratch, and she battled financial troubles, which later led to her going bankrupt in the 1990s. However, the late singer eventually triumphed over all of her struggles, and she revealed how she was able to cope with the challenges.


Tina Turner gives details of how she survived her trying period

TINA TURNER, during a performance, circa 1971.

During an insightful discussion with Harvard Business Review, Turner opened up about the profound impact that adopting the spiritual principles of Buddhism has had on her personal journey. “I used to be baffled about why I had to endure so much abuse because I hadn’t done anything to deserve it,” she confessed to the outlet. “After I began practicing Buddhism, I realized that my hardships could give me a mission—a purpose.”


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She further stated that the spiritual experience helped her live above the hurt. “I saw that by overcoming my obstacles, I could build indestructible happiness and inspire others to do the same,” Turner added. “Then I could see everything that came my way, both the highs and the lows, as an opportunity for self-improvement and for sparking hope in others.”

TINA TURNER, performing

The singer reflects on how Buddhism helped her career

The singer, who was born into a Christian family before taking up Buddhism, stated that her chosen faith had a profound influence in shaping her personal and professional life. “Of everything I’ve done to succeed as an artist, spirituality has had the greatest influence,” Turner told HBR. “The Buddhist teachings of compassion and kindness, which have much in common with the principles of ‘Love thy neighbor’ and ‘Do unto others’ that I learned from the Baptist influences in my childhood, have always been guiding forces for me.”

Tina Turner, 1984

Turner explained that her life became better after she became a Buddhist. “After I began studying Buddhism and chanting ‘Nam-myōhō-renge-kyō,’ I felt as if a different person emerged. My true self came out, and I became cheerful, confident, and resilient. My approach to life and work became calmer and more thoughtful, and my reactions were more tempered. I used to get angry first and ask questions later,” she admitted. “But after I embraced Buddhism, it flipped. I could easily stay calm and figure out the details instead of jumping to conclusions. I came to understand that any achievement stems from inner change. The more I studied Buddhist principles, the deeper I dug within myself and cleaned up whatever attitudes or habits were standing in my way.”

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