Bethenny Frankel Feels 'A Responsibility to Be Honest' On Social Media

Plus, the reality TV star shares her "relaxed" approach to building healthy habits.

Bethenny Frankel
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Bethenny Frankel isn't interested in having separate private and public personas. Whether she's at home with her family, sharing important messages on social media, or promoting her many business ventures, the Real Housewives of New York City alum is who she is — take it or leave it.

"Years ago, on reality TV, I actually had a debate with somebody about that, because they said, 'You have your personal life, and then you have your public life,' and I never thought they were that different," Frankel tells Shape while promoting season two of her CNBC show, Money Court. "So it's just the road that you choose. I mean, sometimes I envy people that can just play perfect to their fans and then be an entirely different person. They're just so protected by that wall, but it's just not my personality."

Since the Real Housewives of New York City aired 14 years ago, the entrepreneur has built a real relationship with her fans, she says. "Listen, I've been connecting with the audience and growing it and meeting new people for a decade and a half," says Frankel. "I now feel a responsibility to be honest, in many different ways. I mean, I always have, but now [I strive] to proactively talk about something sometimes if it's bothering me, because I feel like [my fans and I] have a relationship."

Case in point, she has been known to share unfiltered "no-hair, no-makeup" selfies on Instagram. She's also called out the widespread use of filters, which she finds "deceptive" on social media.

But her willingness to be honest and open doesn't mean she shares every last detail of her life: By now, Frankel has learned to strike a balance between keeping it real and saving things for herself to protect her well-being. "I don't overshare," she says. "I do have a private life. And sometimes you have to [remember] that not everything needs to be said, and not everything needs to be shared. Just because you think it, doesn't mean you have to say it. So that's a good lesson for myself [and] for my daughter [12-year-old Bryn Hoppy]. It's just a good thing to practice in life."

Balance is crucial for the celeb when it comes to health and wellness too. Frankel doesn't follow a strict fitness regimen or deprive herself of any particular foods, she previously explained in one of her signature candid Instagram posts. "The way that I do things is I try to tackle one thing at a time," she shares now. "So, I've been dealing with some health issues and stopped drinking hard alcohol, for example. [I'm] really only drinking some wine in moderation, but really not drinking a lot."

Building one healthy habit that feels sustainable allows Frankel to feel ready to take on others, she explains. However, she's warns against trying to completely reform your lifestyle in one fell swoop. "Don't quit smoking, drinking, and focus on your sleep and exercising at the same time, for example," she advises. "So next, [after cutting down on drinking], I just found myself wanting to exercise when I could," says Frankel. Lately, she's been getting on what she calls a "faux elliptical" for 30 minutes a couples times a week.

Self-compassion is also key to building lasting healthy habits, whether that's working out, eating healthy, or sleeping well, says Frankel. "So, just trying to not be overwhelmed about things and have a bad relationship with it, because you're just like, 'I'm bad, I have to do this, I didn't do this,'" she explains. "Just being really loving [to] yourself about what you can do, and you end up doing more if you're more relaxed about it."

Beyond the usual suspects — sleep, diet, and exercise — Frankel is keenly aware that having your finances in order is central to overall well-being, specifically when it comes to mental health. That's why Money Court, which she co-hosts with entrepreneur Kevin O'Leary, has been such a great fit for her.

On each episode of the show, the reality TV stars help business partners resolve financial disputes. Think Judge Judy meets Shark Tank. "The stakes are really high," says Frankel. "You cannot have a financially sound business if you have a not emotionally sound relationship with your partners, so there's a lot of that. We deal with finances and emotions and dynamic."

Her best advice to set you up for success for financial success (and in turn, overall well-being)? Ask all the questions. "What's your real estate strategy, renting or buying?" says Frankel. "What's your home improvement strategy? I mean, they're just all these things that have to have budgets and conversations, and you have to be mindful in every single area."

It seems as though Frankel's mindful approach to finances coupled with her self-compassionate outlook on fitness and nutrition are pillars of the TV personality's well-being. Here's hoping she continues to share more of her unfiltered takes on health and wellness on Instagram for everyone to follow along.

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