Grammy Award–winning country music star, actress and busy mom, Jennifer Nettles, 44, shares her strategies for staying healthy, happy, and openhearted.
As half of the country music duo Sugarland, a hit solo artist, an actress, a wife and the mom of a feisty 6-year-old son, Jennifer Nettles, 44, knows firsthand how tricky it can be to keep all the plates in life spinning at once. “As women, we’re often taught we have be perfect at everything,” Jennifer muses. “And if things fall short, we feel we’re doing it wrong.” So embracing imperfection has become her secret to protecting her peace and ushering in joy.
“I’ve also learned that life isn’t all good or all bad,” Jennifer adds. “As moms, we’re often made to feel that if we don’t love every second of motherhood, we don’t love our kids — and that’s not true! I love my son immensely, but I’ve lost the lightness I had as a girl. We’re built to handle the hard things and still be full of joy!” Here, learn how Jennifer turns stress into strength.
Quality girl time.
“These days, there are so many things to distract us from one another — from technology to work and everything in between,” says Jennifer. “For me, getting to actually talk to my girlfriends is so important. Whether it’s over a nice dinner or a bottle of wine, being able to catch up face-to-face in a true, womanly fashion is the best thing. True connection is just sitting beside one another, laughing, sharing, and spending quality time together. That’s just my favorite thing!”
“The beauty product that works for me, and always has, is good ol’ Neutrogena! I use their Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 55 sunscreen ($7.58, Amazon) on my face, then I’ll apply a NARS tinted moisturizer with SPF over it. It really protects my skin!”
“I take a probiotic every day, and I feel amazing!” Jennifer enthuses. “It’s called Fem-Dophilus, and it helps regulate the flora in your body, starting in your gut.” And research proves Jennifer is right: Studies show that taking a broad-spectrum probiotic or eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt daily, boosts the immune system, aids digestion and even lifts mood by 33 percent. “I also take my son’s children’s chewable vitamins,” Jennifer admits with a chuckle. “I know it sounds funny, but they work so much better for me than a regular multivitamin, which can give me a headache. Plus, they’re delicious!”
A Walk and a Glass of Wine
“Whenever I’m feeling stressed, it always helps to move my body in some way,” says Jennifer. “If I can, I’ll get outside for a walk, and afterward, I feel so much clearer in both my mind and heart. Of course, we already know that exercise makes us feel better, but gosh, it’s so hard to get motivated sometimes! I will say, a glass of wine also never hurt a gal either! That, and a wonderful community of loved ones that I can sit and vent to helps me find peace whenever I need it.”
Doing What You Love
“Finding out what makes you happy is so important in life,” Jennifer says. “I’m so lucky to have so many things that bring me joy, from simple everyday things like the sunshine in summer to spending time with my son, friends and family. I’m also blessed that making music is my joy-maker — and that I’m lucky enough that it’s how I get to make my living. Music is not only a powerful place for me but one that I can really just lose myself in in the most beautiful way. There’s so much else that I love, but the important thing is to find what you enjoy and make sure to do it as much as you can!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.