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Why Kristen Bell says she’s ‘obsessive about food’

LA TimesKristen Bell doesn’t just buy groceries and shove them into her refrigerator. Instead, she hits up Google and does what she describes as a “deep dive” into every brand she’s purchased, every ingredient listed on each box.

Food — that’s my jam,” said “The Good Place” and “Frozen” actress. “I want to know what’s in everything. I’m obsessive about food. I want to know who made it and where it came from.

Bell was chatting before a party in West Hollywood to celebrate her other business — This Bar Saves Lives — a line of snack bars co-founded by Bell and fellow actors Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell and Ravi Patel. On this night, a couple of new flavors were being launched (dark chocolate and coconut, peanut butter and jelly) to add to the gluten-free, non-GMO and kosher products.

I’d always been struck by this feeling that charity is wonderful, but businesses could do better,” said Bell, 37. “There is a lack of giving back in the food space.

The solution, according to Bell and her co-founders? With every bar they sell, a nutrition packet will be given to a malnourished child via Plumpy’Nut — a peanut butter, powdered milk and vitamin parcel that can take “a skeletal baby at death’s door to a healthy, thriving child,” she said.

Nutritious convenience foods, prized berries from the farmers market and clever swaps — cauliflower crust pizza instead of regular — are all part of meal planning for Bell, who is married to actor Dax Shepherd, with whom she has two children. Here she shares her tips for clean eating, being ingredient-savvy, and why baby steps are better than nothing.

Stock up on go-tos

I’m really into pasta made with chickpeas. It’s got a ton of protein. It’s a little more chewy than regular pasta, but not in the way that gluten-free pasta is. And my whole household is on ghee instead of butter. There’s a California garlic one which I like to open and just smell. And a Madagascar vanilla, which I put on my kids’ waffles instead of syrup. I get a farm box that sometimes has Harry’s Berries. They’re incredible. You can maybe find them at the farmers market. … In the summer, we’ll go through six containers a week.

Listen to your body

I was vegan and am now vegetarian. I’m all about eating clean and ethically, but I also believe that it’s important to listen to your body. Some people’s bodies tell them to eat meat. There’s a better way to do it because factory farming is a nightmare. I give my children meat; the chicken they get has been raised in, basically, a spa. They get all but manicures.

Seek out the healthier option

For protein, I’m obsessed with the Beyond Burger. When I’m working out, I’ll eat two a day. When I want to do fast food, I’ll make a cauliflower crust pizza with a Beyond Burger in the middle, and I’ve got a pizza burger.

Inconsistency isn’t all bad

My workout habits aren’t as good as my eating habits. For me, 70% of feeling good is the food I eat. Working out for me is very random. L.A. has great hikes so sometimes I’ll do that. Lately it’s been Pilates. I have problems with my posture and Pilates mat and reformer help a ton with that. I use a site called Pilates Anytime where you can follow any Pilates class. I’ve taken some TRX classes at Yogaworks, which is resistance work using bands on the walls. It feels horrifying 48 hours later, but the good kind of horrifying.

Start small

This is what I tell people; you don’t have to shoot for the moon. If all you can do is 100 sit-ups on the floor while the kids are watching TV, then do that. You don’t have to commit to something for the rest of your life. Maybe try something like Whole30. You buy a book, follow the recipes and after 30 days hopefully you will notice enough of a change to make it last. But for now, just think about today.

Hit the keyboard

There is more information out there than you know. Food feels confusing, but it’s not. If you have the inkling to better your life and health, there are resources out there and a little understanding goes a long way.

Kristen Bell on why she opened up about anxiety and depression

Kristen Bell on why she opened up about anxiety and depression

Today – Kristen Bell knows people love how real she and husband Dax Shepard are, on social media and in real life.

But she has a confession: “That is choreographed,” she told TODAY Parents in an exclusive digital interview.

Bell cares deeply about protecting the privacy of their children; she does not share their photos and she stands up to paparazzo who try to sneak photos of them. So, some things about her family life she’ll share and others she definitely won’t.

“As open as we are, we’ve agreed to a certain amount of openness. And the rest is ours. And it will stay ours,” Bell told the TODAY Parenting Team’s Meredith Sinclair in an interview at the Mom 2.0 Summit. “We are fiercely territorial about our family.”

In other areas of her life, Bell is totally transparent — the mother of two and star of “Frozen,” “Bad Moms” and “The Good Place” speaks candidly about her struggles with depression and anxiety.

“I like hearing that it helped somebody. And that will always drive me to continue to overshare,” Bell said. It was her husband who first inspired her to talk about her mental health, when she asked him what she should discuss on an upcoming talk show appearance.

“It occurred to me that I was showing this very bubbly, bright persona, and that it was inauthentic. Because it wasn’t telling the whole story,” Bell told TODAY Parents. “I had a pit in my stomach for almost feeling ashamed that I had hidden it for so long, because it could’ve helped people before if I had talked about it.”

“I’m grateful to my husband for saying, ‘No, you should just talk about it.’ Like he talks about the fact that he’s sober, and that helps people,” Bell said. “And I now have not stopped talking about it, mainly because I want people to hear that it’s not a big deal and that you can be happy and healthy.”

Bell, who said her goal in life is to promote happiness and reduce suffering, is also co-founder of “This Bar Saves Lives,” a company that donates a life-saving nutrition package to a child in need for every snack bar it sells.

As for anyone who judges her, or another mom, or any person dealing with mental health issues?

“It’s a joke if you think everybody’s not hiding some secret shame about being anxiety-riddled or depressed at some point,” Bell said with a laugh. “We’re all there, OK? ‘Everybody’s crazy. It’s not a competition.”

Kristen Bell and other comedy stars on unlikable characters and the rise of nostalgia

Kristen Bell and other comedy stars on unlikable characters and the rise of nostalgia

LA Times – Editor’s note: This interview took place before Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet caused ABC to cancel “Roseanne” on Tuesday.

In tumultuous times such as these, comedy is more essential than ever. It offers some common ground, some (mostly) safe space and, best of all, a good time. “Everybody is dying for a little bit of comic relief,” says Eric McCormack whose “Will & Grace” recently relaunched after 10 years away. McCormack was one of six comedic actors from shows both new and familiar to join the Envelope for a free-flowing conversation that at one point threatened to make a left-turn into an intervention for “Glow’s” Marc Maron.

Along with McCormack (whose “Will & Grace” regathers its original cast) and Maron (whose series is about the launch of women’s wrestling and the cocaine-sniffing director behind it), were Kristen Bell (“The Good Place,” an examination of morality set in the afterlife), Bill Hader (“Barry,” a hitman who wants to be an actor), Sara Gilbert (“Roseanne,” the family we know and love some 20 years later) and Justina Machado (“One Day at a Time,” a family similar to the one we know and love some 30 years later). Between the giggles, the group touched on such topics as diversity, nostalgia, bad dye jobs and the Fonz.

Here are excerpts from that conversation, edited for length and clarity.

The characters that most of you play, how do I say this, they’re not warm, fuzzy and likable.

Sara Gilbert: How dare you?

Eric McCormack: I like to think of myself as fuzzy.

For instance, there’s a self-centeredness to Will, to Eleanor. You are—

Bill Hader: I murder people, so I think I take the cake pretty much in unlikable.

McCormack: But I think that actually speaks to the sophistication of the audience that’s grown over the years. There was a time when a network executive would say, “They’re not likable enough! We have to love them!”

Hader: Yeah, actually it’s the opposite now, we went in to pitch the show [to HBO], and it was like, “I’m gonna be a hit man who wants to be an actor, but it’s going to be very grounded; the violence is very real.” And they were the ones that said, “Oh, and he takes an acting class so that he can get in touch with his emotions.” And we were like, “Yes. You’re right! That’s what we thought.” Like they’re telling you, “We don’t want a thing that’s safe,” because there’s so much of it now.

Gilbert: I said this when I was a kid — it might speak to my character in a bad way — but I said, “Nice isn’t funny.” You know? So if your character is too nice, unless they’re a doormat, it’s really not that funny.

Kristen Bell: There’s nothing funny about perfection, for sure. And then the archetypes that you used to have to have when there were only five movies out a year and it was really just like playing with Barbie and Ken — people want the complexity of characters. And they also want to have some sort of catharsis where you can sort of picture yourself on the screen. And we are messy and complex and have bad character defects and so when you see that represented, it just makes the whole thing more interesting, more unpredictable.

Marc Maron: Someone came up to me and said about Sam Sylvia from “Glow,” “Everyone knew that asshole.” And I’m like, “Thank you. Yeah, a familiar asshole”

So for people who might not know, how would you describe him?

Maron: He’s a guy that doesn’t know he’s washed up and he’s got a little bit of a cocaine problem and he thinks he’s on top of stuff and he’s running the show. I would say he’s mildly sexist, but also, he’s incredibly vulnerable to one or two people. … And whose dad wasn’t that guy?

There will be a therapy session after.

Hader: This is actually a thing for you, Marc, where we’ve met here today to talk to you about—

Justina Machado: An intervention.

Maron: Do you mind if I conference my dad in?

With “Roseanne” and “One Day at a Time,” the idea of working-class, you don’t often see it on TV.

Machado: It went away, the middle-class hero went away, and then everything started to be very slick, and I kind of understand that because you want to escape. But still these stories are so relatable and representation matters. I cannot say that enough. We have a show that is relatable, but we’re just telling it through a Latino lens, and we’re showing everybody that we’re more alike than we are different, you know? So we’re going through the same things. Everyday things, we take them and they’re funny. We’re just telling American stories.

Speak a little bit about “Roseanne” and “Will & Grace” coming back now.

McCormack: At first, there was a fear of like, “Are we just going to try to be the same thing and we can’t be because we’re older?” Then it was, “Oh wait, we’re older, maybe that’s the key. Maybe tapping into the fact that they’ve been alive for 10 years in this country and they’re living in this nightmare right now, and let’s make that into something. Let’s allow that to inform the show and the characters and it becomes deeper.”

Gilbert: Yeah, for me, the aim of the show is to tell these people’s stories and do them justice, and I want people to relate to their joys and to their struggles, and as long as you’re doing that honestly, I don’t really think it matters which time period you’re in, as long as you’re true to these people.

With so much more programming, there are more roles for women, for people of color, for gay, gender fluid, whatever it is. And I had read something that you had said about working on “Glow” that was interesting because you were surrounded by women.

Maron: Well, that’s not the best way to phrase it but yeah.

Bell: Underwater with women.

Maron: They’re just all over the place. Everywhere I turn, there’s a woman —

Hader: I open up my door, and it’s 1960s Beatles.

Maron: I’ve never been around this many women in my life, and I say that in a nice way. The entire set and people behind the camera, the showrunners, to me I was just happy that I’m playing a part where I can watch them all. Because they have to learn to wrestle, and they’re going through this stuff; it’s insane. There were times where [co-stars] Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin would wrestle, and it was like watching theater. Like, I’d get choked up. It was sort of amazing to be one of the only men in the cast, because they were all sort of becoming this team and they’re becoming close on and off screen. It’s had a positive effect on me is what I’m trying to say.

Kristen, for you doing lots of film, lots of television, have you noticed the change in terms of not just the roles that are available but the premises of shows?

Bell: Yeah, it’s an interesting conversation because you say, “It’s just the girlfriend role,” and then people react like, “That’s such a tired conversation,” and you’re like, ‘Yeah, because it hasn’t been fixed!” But I feel like over the last five years, I’ve been reading roles that were better, seeing shows and movies that have a ton more female representation and diversity. There are more female showrunners. There are more female directors. There are more female leads, and they’re all sort of taking charge, and they’re writing the complexities of our side of it. We’re not going to do away with you guys…

Machado: Maybe. [laughs]

Bell: It’s not that we want you gone, just a 50/50 thing would be totally cool.

The premise of “Barry” is such a left-field idea….

Hader: Well, it came from my time at “SNL” because I had really bad anxiety and I was telling [co-creator with Hader, Alec Berg] about this and I said, “It’s this weird thing where I can do voices and impressions and things, but I don’t like being in front of an audience. I get very nervous.” And I was having massive panic attacks and bad anxiety and I was like, “Yeah, so maybe a show.” It was kind of like what we were talking about, it’s finding what is that universal emotion and letting that drive a show. [What if] the thing you’re good at and kind of maybe born to do is destroying you? And then it was, conversely, what if the thing you really wanted to do and put all your heart and soul into, you were terrible at? So we said, let’s give it stakes, life and death — what if a hitman wanted to be an actor? So that’s how that came out of my own nervousness.

McCormack: I’ve had success as an actor, but I really want to be a hitman.

Those scenes in the acting classes are hysterical and they’re so painful. Henry Winkler is so abusive.

Hader: We saw a guy in an acting class yelling at this actress, and he just broke her down and she started crying. Then she did the scene and afterwards, she went, “Thank you so much. Oh my God, thank you!” And I was like, “I’ve been in a lot of movies and TV. No one has ever done that to me.” Like, Judd Apatow is not beating me up to get me to a place. I thought it was really strange.

Besides how many great new shows there are now, there’s also this gravitation toward things we’re familiar with — “Roseanne,” “Will and Grace,” “One Day at a Time,” even beloved actors such as Ted Danson in “The Good Place” and Henry Winkler. It seems like people really want something that they know.

Machado: My show is more of a reimagining. It was more Norman Lear, I think maybe that was the familiarity that people came back for.

McCormack: Our show was in discussions about coming back before the election because we’d done a video for Hillary as the characters and it sort of sparked the reunion. But it was sort of discussed, I could hear people discussing it outside the circle as, “Oh, well that will be comfort food. I mean, it’s a throwback.”

Bell: Comfort food is delicious.

McCormack: Not only that, we didn’t need it as much a year-and-a-half ago. Right now, nobody says comfort food in a sarcastic way. Everybody is dying for a little bit of relief, comic relief, just the relief of nostalgia, the relief of characters that we can rely on because they’ve been around for a while. Because not only is everything changing politically, it’s as we say, there’s 500 shows, so if one of them is something that is a bit familiar and a bit — like you used to watch with your mom. When I think of watching “M*A*S*H” with my dad or watching “All in the Family” with my dad, it was tremendously influential on me, but it’s also a huge emotional impact. So when people say, “I’m watching ‘Will & Grace’ now but with my kids,” or “I didn’t ever watch “Will & Grace,” I was too young, but I watch it now with my grandmother,” I mean, there’s something to that.

Gilbert: I also think nostalgia was just a huge untapped market. It’s this big emotion we all have. We go to our high school reunions. We think back fondly to our grade-school friends. And it had never been used in television to the full extent and I think now people are realizing— especially because we’re cutting the pie so small with so many shows — if they go back to shows that were on the air when the pie was bigger, you can reach those people plus new people.

Hader: I was showing my kids “Back to the Future,” and when it goes into the ‘50s I was like, “That was your grandfather’s comfort food,” and then when it’s present day I’m like, “Well, this is my comfort food.” You know what I mean? It was like the two levels of it.

Maron: Did you show them Fonzie?

Hader: Yeah, I did. And I go, “That’s Henry at work,” and they were like, “Wow, so he was cool?” And I go, “He was the coolest guy in the world.”

McCormack: He was the coolest guy.

Hader: He did Fonzie once [for] me and Alec Berg. He was just telling a story and he went into the voice and he was like, “I told these people, [in Fonzie voice] ‘Part like the Red Sea.’” That’s what he said to a bunch of fans, and I mean, I got chills. When I was a kid, that’s what television was, him hitting a jukebox and everything.”

I wanted to ask you about Eleanor on “The Good Place” because she has one of the most interesting character arcs just even in one season.

Bell: I am incredibly interested in someone who is inherently unlikable on the page and then figuring out how to get you to root for them. That’s such a stimulating challenge for me because you read it and you’re like, “Oh, this girl is kind of a jerk,” but then I’m like, “OK, what can I do and where can I layer little bits of humanity into her but still keep the comedy of the jerk?” It was also not just about her, it was all layered in with everyone else’s arc, to get us to end of the first season’s reveal. Spoiler alert, there’s a big change. It’s hell. It’s not heaven, I’m so sorry.

Hader: Well, that was a waste of a download.

[laughter]

Gilbert: I didn’t feel like there was enough space between “spoiler alert” and the spoil.

McCormack: Yes, you needed to stretch that one out a little bit.

Bell: I’m still working on my timing. Spoiler alert, I’m still working on my timing. But yeah, I just saw someone who wasn’t maybe great at reading a room and genuinely was just concerned with how she was feeling at all times. It’s just all about Eleanor. And that’s a really, really fun thing to play. To disregard all other humans is a very fun place to be because I’m paranoid in my real life about disregarding people.

Gilbert: And I think it’s like if you’re funny, people are going to like your character. No matter how evil it is or twisted, it’s like you confuse them with the emotion of pleasure watching you and they start liking you.

McCormack: Larry Linville on “M*A*S*H” as Frank Burns. I don’t think he had a moment where you actually liked the man he was. But you couldn’t stop loving him on your screen.

[To Machado] Was there a great sort of pressure in that “One Day at a Time” is a show that people loved back in the day. They expect a certain thing?

Machado: Not because of that. The trepidation was only to make a great show with this amazing Latino cast. That was the pressure, not to be a stereotype. So many times, we’re the butt of the joke. So the pressure was on to make a show that represents us.

McCormack: Did you at least try the Bonnie Franklin haircut? I mean, please tell me that you tried it.

Machado: [laughs] I have it! We did this whole promo where I was being Bonnie Franklin, but, oh wow, that was not good. I looked like…it was terrible. There’s a color hair that Latinas always get if they go cheap and it’s like the red hair.

Gilbert: I think there is pressure if you’re representing an underrepresented group that networks and all the people who make the decisions are going to decide if they can do it again. Nobody is ever like, “Oh, we tried that white guy show; we can’t make another.”

Machado: I don’t know, white people don’t seem to like it.

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A forkin’ awesome conversation with the cast of ‘The Good Place’

A forkin’ awesome conversation with the cast of ‘The Good Place’

LA Times – “The Good Place” ended its first season with an astonishing, ground-shifting bombshell — Eleanor (Kristen Bell), a human trying to save her soul by becoming a better person after death, figured out that the Good Place was, in fact, the Bad Place, which should have been obvious all along what with those ubiquitous frozen yogurt stores in the neighborhood.

Ted Danson’s afterlife architect, Michael, confirmed this delicious disclosure with a maniacal laugh that became an instant moment of classic television, also revealing himself to be an immortal demon, and the episode itself firmly established the show’s bona fides. If series creator Michael Schur possessed the confidence to play that kind of a long game, what might he do for a follow-up?

The 13-episode, second season answer proved every bit as satisfying. While premises were still made to be broken, Schur and the show’s writers leaned into the idea of community, exploring the idea that people define themselves by the strength of their tribes. For “The Good Place,” that includes four humans striving to avoid eternal damnation, a demon learning to love flawed mortals and an all-knowing Siri-like being named Janet who appears to be turning into a human herself.

The actors playing the members of this makeshift family — Danson, Kristen Bell, D’Arcy Carden, William Jackson Harper, Manny Jacinto and Jameela Jamil — have quickly become one of the most appealing ensembles on television. The day before they were to begin shooting the third season premiere, we sat down with the cast on the Universal Studios backlot to talk about the show’s radical optimism.

I want to get just a taste of the upcoming season, and I have it on good authority that one of you has trouble keeping secrets.

Bell: Loose Lips Danson!

Danson: That’s absolutely true. I’m impossible. So let me guess: You probably want to know about what’s in store for our group of humans, who, last we saw them, were down on Earth pursuing their second chances. And Michael and Janet are monitoring them …

Bell: I think we can reveal that, metaphorically, this next season is about how you can play chess with people who don’t know you’re playing with them and doing so in a way that doesn’t affect the greater universe.

Danson: What she said. [Laughs]

Bell: Because our characters don’t know there’s a greater mission. We’re meandering on Earth. What I loved about that whole last episode from Season 2 was that it summed up everyone’s yearly existence from Jan. 1 to March 1. You make resolutions. You’re going to be a better person. You’re going to work out more. You’re going to eat broccoli. And by March, none of that is happening. You saw it with Eleanor. She vows to change, and then she gets bored.

So now we are all left on Earth separately. And what we learned from the first two seasons is that our strengths come when we’re together. But can Michael and Janet tamper with us without affecting the universe?

Jamil: I will also add that the scripts we’ve read so far are even funnier. And slightly filthier.

Filthier how? Asking for all those fans writing “Good Place” erotic fan fiction.

Danson: Wait a minute. Where do you see this erotic fan fiction?

Jamil: On your blog, Ted. No … there’s volumes of it, mostly about me and Kristen.

Bell: It’s no secret that Eleanor’s very fluid in her sexuality. So people have been stimulated by that thought.

Jamil: The stories always start the same way. We’re just laughing and having a great time. And then one of our fingers touches the other one’s hair and then one thing leads to another.

And a hot-diggity-dog moment ensues …

Carden: You get it!

Jamil: It’s genuinely very sweet. Our fans are so passionate. They’ve made so many amazing paintings and even some statues.

Carden: I’d like to buy some of it. Is that dorky?

Danson: Well, it’d be like going to someone’s house and they have a baby picture of themselves out.

Carden: What if I buy it and make my parents put it up in their house? That’s cool, right?

Harper: No. But I have a framed baby picture of myself, so who am I to say?

Going back to that idea of Michael and Janet tampering with the humans, we saw that in the last episode where Michael shows up as a bartender on Earth, offering Eleanor guidance. Ted, did you enjoy that “Cheers” callback?

Danson: No. I’m literally traumatized if I have to get behind a bar. For some bizarre reason, I break into a sweat.

Bell: You’re so weird. Is it too much pressure?

Danson: No. It’s really like … I don’t know …

Bell: Well, dig deep!

Danson: It blindsides me every time. And if I have to be attractively coming on to a woman in a scene, it just devastatingly paralyzes me. I just hope they can get back to the Good Place without Michael having to do that.

Do you think there is a Good Place?

Jamil: I don’t know. But I do know I think about my motivations a lot more since doing this show.

Danson: Making sure the waitress sees how large a tip you left. Everybody does that.

Bell: Will just whispered that he tries to hide it.

Harper: I don’t want to be that cheesy guy who looks them in the eye and says, “Hey, that’s for you.”

Bell: Mike developed this point system, this little game with himself where if he’s driving and someone cuts him off, it’s minus 20 points. He tallies people all day for a fun game for himself.

And what he figured out for the show was … [Section omitted because it involves a huge spoiler for Season Three.]

Carden: That was a bit that got taken out of Season Two.

Harper: Yeah. But it will come back.

Danson: Who’s “Loose Lips” now? [Laughs]

Will I have points deducted if I put that information in the story?

Bell: You will go straight to the Bad Place.

If you went through life in a Mike Schur way, what kind of behavior loses points?

Bell: I judge everything by: Does it lean toward happiness or does it lean toward suffering? Like cutting someone off in traffic or all the seven sins … because cutting people off in traffic is one of them, right?

Harper: In L.A. Also: Selfies.

Jamil: Selfies definitely. And anyone who designs any sort of G-string. I’m more about minutiae.

Carden: I think about the point system a lot because my husband and I have a different moral compass. He’s a very good person, but he can justify just about anything if it helps his family or people he loves.

Bell: That’s tribal and, to be stereotypical, it’s more male. It’s more female to see the world a little more maternally. But look, if there was a lion in my backyard, my whole family would be dead. I’d be wondering if he needed water or had a thorn in his paw.

Jamil: Manny, what would your bad place things be?

Jacinto: I grew up in a very religious household and was fortunate to be given those principles as a kid. But who knows if they’re right or wrong. I think all I know is that I know nothing.

Danson: He’s just going for being the smartest person in the room. Because it’s true, what he said. I remember watching my mother die. Up until then, I had read this philosophy, that religion, meditating, Zen and felt a kind of spiritual pride about who I was. And watching her die, I was like, “Oh, I know nothing. She may be about to know. But I don’t have a clue.”

Which brings us back to wondering if there’s a Good Place — both on the show and the afterlife.

Bell: Maybe the Good Place is right here, finding those people who challenge you and help you grow. And you do the same for them.

Carden: And no mobile phones. There are no mobile phones in the Good Place.

Jamil: Because we have Janet. But think about it: If the characters had mobile phones, they never would have bonded. Too many distractions — the breaking news alerts, the social media, the apps. Also Chidi would have ghosted the hell out of Eleanor every time she got in his face about his neuroses.

Danson: Now what does “ghosted” mean again?

Carden: It means when you don’t reply to a text. Ted, you should know. You’re a big ghoster!

Harper: I think we see groups of people doing bad things so often in the media that, with our show, it’s heartening to see a bunch of people come together and look out for each other without it being cheesy. In life, I’ve been part of groups of friends with really great people, and I’m a better person because of that. I think it’s a pretty common experience, so it’s nice to reflect that.

Bell: I think this show helps us digest the negative things around us and transcend them. Because if you look at the statistics and start from a place of logic, things have never been better. It’s like Steven Pinker said in a lecture a couple of weeks ago: Every newspaper could have printed for the last 30 years that “Today, 138,000 less people died of starvation.” The world is not getting worse. I mean, the Crusades aren’t going on. Little things like that.

Jamil: Absolutely. You know, there are moral philosophy lecturers discussing this show in their classes.

Danson: [Feigning pomposity] Oh, we’re fabulous. You know the trouble with these conversations is you always walk out and step into a big pile of karmic poop. We’re all going to have to tread carefully the rest of the day.

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Kristen Bell Shares Struggles With Depression and Anxiety

Kristen Bell Shares Struggles With Depression and Anxiety

Kristen Bell has once again spoken candidly about her struggles with anxiety and depression in an effort to diminish the taboo and encourage others to seek help.

The star has joined the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign, a celebrity-driven initiative to educate people about mental health issues and mental illness.

In a new video she recorded for the nonprofit organization, Kristen shares the words of wisdom she’d like to bestow upon her younger self, all the while reminding viewers that everyone has problems and help is available.

I have suffered from anxiety and/or depression since I was 18,‘ the star began the short clip.

What I would say to my younger self is: Don’t be fooled by this game of perfection that humans play because Instagram and magazines and TV shows. They strive for a certain aesthetic and everything looks so beautiful and people seem like they don’t have any problems.

But everyone’s human. Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes.’

And you deserve to feel just as beautiful on the days you wear no makeup and the days you don’t shower and the days you feel like you’re depressed. And you have an obligation to take care of yourself from the inside out, because that’s how you can truly feel beautiful.

She notes that there are resources for people struggling with depression, including doctors who can offer real solutions.

You are not alone. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about who you are. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed,’ she went on.’

There are plenty of things to feel embarrassed or ashamed about — if you forget your mom’s birthday, feel embarrassed about that. If you are prone to gossiping, feel ashamed about that. ‘

But never feel embarrassed or ashamed about the uniqueness that is you, because there are people out there to help. And we are all just human,‘ she concluded.

Both the Child Mind Institute and Kristen have shared part of the clip on social media, with the star adding a caption to say how ‘grateful’ she is to be working with the organization.

Kristen is just one of several celebrities to join the #MyYoungerSelf campaign and speak on camera about experiences of growing up with a mental health or learning disorder.

This is hardly the first time that Kristen has openly discussed her mental health and history of depression, either, as the star has made a point to speak out to destigmatize mental health issues.

In May of 2016, she wrote an essay for Time magazine in which she explained why she was ‘over staying silent‘ about depression, opening up about her first experience with depression in college at New York University.

I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade. I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself,‘ she wrote.

Though she kept quiet about her struggles for the first 15 years of her career, she is now fighting the taboo against them and talking about it.

Here’s the thing: For me, depression is not sadness. It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness,‘ she explained. ‘Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure.’

There is such an extreme stigma about mental health issues, and I can’t make heads or tails of why it exists,’ she went on. ‘Anyone can be affected, despite their level of success or their place on the food chain.’

There’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness. You’re just having a harder time living in your brain than other people,‘ she added.

The star also has a family history of anxiety and depression, which both her mother and grandmother struggled with. In fact, her grandma was subjected to electroshock therapy.

Speaking to interviewer Sam Jones for the series Off Camera, she explained that no one should take her happy-go-lucky demeanor to mean she doesn’t have problems.

I present this very cheery, bubbly person, but I also do a lot of work. I do a lot of introspective work and I check in with myself when I need to exercise and I got on a prescription when I was very young to deal with my anxiety and depression and I still take it today,’ she said. ‘I have no shame in that.

She added: ‘I shatter a little bit when I think people don’t like me. It really hurts my feelings when I’m not liked. And I know that’s not very healthy and I fight it all the time.

Discussing the unfairness in how mental illness is regarded, she went on: ‘You would never deny a diabetic his insulin ever but for some reason when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy or something. It’s a very interesting double standard.