As an actress, comedian, author, NAACP Image Award podcaster, and single mother, Sherri Shepherd is no stranger to wearing many hats. But as the former co-host of The View shares, she’s also no stranger to the stress that it brings, and the art of dusting herself off after a loss. Looking back at her first talk show pilot in 2008, Sherri says she has learned a lot of lessons— many that informed her new daytime TV talk show, Sherri, which premiered September 12 on FOX TV. “I wasn’t ready in 2008, even though I thought I was,” she reflects. “But I know I wouldn’t appreciate it as much now if I hadn’t tried.”
What does she want viewers to walk away from her show knowing? “I just want people to feel good when they watch!” she says with a smile. “There’s so much doom and gloom and negativity now in the world that I really want people to be able just to sit, be informed, laugh and breathe.
“I want to inspire women and help them to know that you can reinvent yourself. I want to challenge viewers as I challenge myself, and for people to see that the foundation for me is just laughter. So if I can bring that to others, I’d like to do that.”
Rallying all her strength and resilience, Sherri picked herself up, and it has paid off in spades. “My mantra is breathe, believe and do! Run toward the thing you fear: There are so many blessings waiting.” Here, more of Sherri’s secrets to a life of abundance — mind, body, and soul.
Travel-happy workout melts a menopot.
“I challenge myself to exercise even on the road,” says Sherri, sharing her countdown routine: “I start with 20 jumping jacks, 20 squats, then 19 jumping jacks and 19 squats…counting down to one.” When at the gym or on the treadmill or elliptical, Sherri challenges herself with another countdown. “I always bring my music and have figured out six songs is 30 minutes, four songs is about 20 minutes. That’s how I get through: I just listen to my songs.” Smart strategy: Listening to music while working out can boost endurance by 15 percent.
Centering prayer is a stress RX.
Sherri says the pillars of her faith practice — and her favorite way to redirect negative thoughts—are prayer and meditation. “Prayer is when I talk to God and meditation is when I listen,” she explains. “I take 10 minutes, and that’s enough to where I just feel centered. I thank God for three things, ask him for three things and pray for three people.” Another way Sherri feeds her soul is to enjoy the outdoors. “I go outside in the morning and sit with my dog, look up at the sky and take a moment to just breathe and feel centered.”
Snacks with a crunch kick-starts energy.
Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2007, Sherri says the right snack swaps are the key to staying healthy. “I do celery stuffed with tuna made with vegan mayonnaise or apples with almond butter,” she shares. Dinner is usually done in her air fryer. “Salmon and Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil, Mrs. Dash or garlic powder sprinkled on. I also love thyme and basil — nothing with high sodium.” Sherri also makes kale and mustard greens on a regular basis. “I put smoked turkey in to give it flavor — so delicious!”
Learning to say no is a joy booster.
“I was talking to my girlfriend one night and she said something that stuck with me,” Sherri shares. “She said, ‘You’re so busy, but you want to create a life — not just make a living. You have to do little things to create a life.’” For Sherri, that process started with a reset. “I went back to basics: saying no and focusing on my joy. My greatest joy is when I see my son, Jeffrey, conquer things and seeing him be more independent.” Sherri’s son has developmental delays, so “seeing him make a step as simple as going to McDonald’s by himself brings me joy.”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.