For decades, Emmy-nominated actress Jane Leeves, 60, has made generations of audiences laugh in roles like Daphne Moon on Frasier and Joy Scroggs on Hot in Cleveland. But laughter is also a fixture in the beloved English actress’ daily life with her husband, Marshall, and their two grown children. “Just seeing their faces fills me with joy,” Jane shares with FIRST. “There’s nothing like sharing a smile with them. It reminds me of what’s most important: love.”
This past Valentine’s Day — and every day — Jane celebrates the love in her life. “It’s important to have someone who is the first person to call when something bad — or good — happens,” she says. For Jane, that’s her husband of 25 years, who was the first person she reached out to when her Frasier co-star and friend John Mahoney passed away in 2018. “Those times can be so tough, but with my family by my side, my heart if so full!” Here, Jane’s keys to keeping love at the forefront of your life, beating stress and looking — and feeling — radiantly happy.
Eating like this improves your health.
“Recently, my husband and I decided to go vegan,” Jane shares. “Marshall has an autoimmune disorder, and within a few weeks, not only was he feeling amazing, but I was surprised at how much better I felt! My hair was shinier, my skin looked better, and I had more energy. It was a challenge at first, but I learned to play with it. I make dishes like lentil soup and tofu scramble. The secret is in the sauces, which make all the difference in a plant-based diet!”
Hydration is the key to youthful skin.
“I keep a glass of water on hand to remind me to drink more,” Jane shares. “Good hydration is a must as we get older to keep skin looking great.” Indeed, drinking just two cups a day boosts blood flow for greater skin elasticity and plumpness.
Nostalgia jump-starts joy.
“I love looking at old pictures,” Jane says fondly. “I was just looking at old photos of family and castmates and was instantly reminded of how blessed I am to have shared these moments together. I try to live with an attitude of gratitude and focus on what I have instead of what’s not right. Every day, I wake up and say, ‘I’m blessed beyond belief.’ Gratitude for small things can make you feel warm and cozy all day long!” In fact, scientists from New Jersey’s Rutgers University report that simply recalling a happy memory helps your body produce 85 percent less cortisol, the stress hormone.
Laughter is the best medicine.
“I am blessed to have amazing friends, including those I work with every day,” Jane says about past costars like David Hyde Pierce, and Bruce Greenwood, her current costar in The Resident. “Bruce always gets me out of my head. We are the most childish people on set and are always doing silly things and making each other laugh, which is so fun. I like being around people who put a smile on my face, and I try to do that for them as well. Laughter truly is the best medicine!”
Connecting with nature is invigorating.
“One of my absolute favorite ways to stay active is walking,” Jane reveals. “I love it when it’s overcast and foggy because you feel like you’re somewhere else trudging along. The other day, my castmate Kaley Ronayne and I set out on a walk, and as we were taking in the scenery, we didn’t realize we’d walked 10 miles. No matter the weather, I like to try to get outdoors because connecting to nature is so invigorating, even for just a few minutes.” And studies show that even a 15-minute meditative walk can triple feelings of joy, boost memory, and dial down feelings of pain.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.