How Drew Barrymore Makes Time for 'Mental Wellness' without Actually Having Time

The multi-hyphenate opens up about how she practices self care despite years of putting herself on 'the back burner' and juggling a non-stop schedule.

Drew Barrymore at the Variety's 2022 Power Of Women wearing a green dress against a teal background
Photo: Getty Images

Drew Barrymore's an actress, director, producer, talk show host, author, beauty entrepreneur, and mom of two young daughters. So while she recognizes the importance of self care, the multi-hyphenate star has a lot on her plate that makes finding "me" time rather difficult.

"I pretty much feel like I'm burning the candle at both ends all the time," Barrymore tells Shape. "With work and kids on my front burners, I'm on the back burner of my life, and that's just how I've chosen my priorities." (

Managing a busy lifestyle isn't new to Barrymore, 47, as she's been in the entertainment industry since she was "literally in diapers — not even a euphemism," she says. (ICYDK, the actress starred in a dog food commercial when she was just 11 months old, made her film debut at 4 years old, and officially achieved fame with her role in E.T. at 6 years old, according to E!.)

drew barrymore on her current wellness routine

I'm really trying hard to focus on mental wellness, spiritual growth, higher-road thinking, and higher-road reactions.

— drew barrymore on her current wellness routine

But just because Barrymore's schedule has been seemingly jam-packed since an early age, doesn't mean she's waved the white flag when it comes to making time for wellness. In fact, the talk show host is currently working on adopting more positive thinking — something that doesn't require carving physical time out of her day but also be seriously beneficial.

"I'm really trying hard to focus on mental wellness, spiritual growth, higher-road thinking, and higher-road reactions," she says. "I'm not blowing things out of proportion, and I'm not beating the shit out of myself, so that's my wellness routine right now."

The power of positive thinking is a very real thing with very real perks, largely because it's based in realism. Cultivating an optimist outlook is not simply about thinking things will be okay; it's about proactively working to make positive things happen and planning around the "potential pitfalls so things can go right," Hilary Tindle, M.D., author of Up: How a Positive Outlook Can Transform Our Health and Aging, previously told Shape. And in doing, folks with a positive mindset are able to reap the rewards: less stress, lower risk of depression, reduced chances of chronic disease, and more.

While shifting your thoughts to be positive is easier said than done, Barrymore says she's "scared" of the alternative. "I'm not nice to myself and I've been that way my whole life, and I'm scared to be on this planet any longer and not stop the critical voice," she explains. (See also: Your Negative Self-Talk Could Be Harming Your Health — Here's How to Stop)

Drew Barrymore sitting on a director's chair that reads Chief Mom Officer in her kitchen preparing a Quorn meal
Courtesy of Quorn

In addition to prioritizing her mental health, the award-winning actress also focuses on her overall well-being by maintaining a balanced diet and eating foods she enjoys. Last year, Barrymore became the chief mom officer of Quorn, a company that utilizes mycoprotein — a soy-free protein made from the fermentation of a fungus, according to the brand's website — to create meat substitute foods for vegans and vegetarians.

"I haven't eaten chicken in 13 years," she says. "I was raised vegetarian and then I dabbled and then I read a book called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and I never ate another piece of chicken. But I love it as a basic protein." Since mycroprotein has a similar texture and taste to meat and is equally as versatile, Barrymore's now able to enjoy chicken-containing meals without, well, chicken — while still getting enough protein.

At the end of the day, Barrymore's transparency about her current wellness routine is refreshing and real. Many can likely relate to the fact that life is full of responsibilities that can make prioritizing mental and physical well-being challenging. And while she may not have chunks of time to devote to self care, Barrymore admits what she's currently doing for herself has made all the difference.

"My butt [has] gotten a little bigger, but my heart has gotten a lot cleaner and clearer, and my head is in a really good space," she says.

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