From mantras to meditation, mindfulness to manifestation,Well Intentionedoffers an intimate look at how to make space for self-care in meaningful ways, big and small.
“I was the worst offender you could ever meet,” Drew Barrymore tells me over the phone on a recent spring evening. She is in between filming segments of her hit TV program, The Drew Barrymore Show, and she is later than she’d like to be when we finally get on our call. But time-management is not the specific transgression we’re discussing. “I used to be the guy that traveled with styrofoam cups because I like cold beverages,” she says, detailing a sordid past rife with non-biodegradable goods, running taps, and lights left on overnight. But in 2019, she had an awakening. “I was doing the pilot of the talk show and my best friend—not to name drop, Cameron Diaz—came on to support me and to try to get this show sold,” Barrymore explains, adding that Diaz, who she describes as “the green one” in her friend group, had stepped away from the spotlight at the time, but still flew in from France to be there for her. “I was like, What can I do for her to show her how much I appreciated that?” So Barrymore got down on one knee, and essentially proposed to Diaz by making a commitment to think and live more sustainably in honor of the drum Diaz has been beating for decades. “That’s really where this journey begins.”
Barrymore’s journey to living better was eye-opening at first. “Once you put on those lenses, the amount of plastic is shocking,” she says of the waste created by everyday products—takeout containers, personal care items, cleaning supplies. “Everything was screaming at me,” she continues of a realization that led her to Grove Collaborative, a marketplace for over 150 sustainable brands that span categories including home, beauty, health, and even pet supplies. The certified B Corp will be completely plastic-free by 2025. Barrymore had begun buying everything from laundry detergent to toilet paper on the site under an undisclosed alias, so when Grove Collaborative called her to discuss a potential partnership, they had no idea she was already a loyal customer. Earlier this month, Barrymore invested in the San Francisco-based company, becoming its first ever global brand and sustainability advocate.
A mother of two young girls with her ex-husband, Will Koppelman, Barrymore has plenty of things to keep her busy without yet another role. There’s the show and its tangential magazine, a homewares line, not to mention Flower Beauty, the popular cosmetics juggernaut she launched with Walmart in 2013. So the 47-year-old is choosy when it comes to collaborations. “I don’t ever want to be this person who is attached to so many things, because I feel like it’s name-slapping, so I’ve been really careful,” she says, detailing a philosophy that is more about participation than simply endorsing something with an airbrushed photograph. “I’m a good partner, but I’m a bad spokesmodel,” Barrymore says, insisting that she is similarly flawed when it comes to “getting it right” in life. “Don’t look to me as an example!” she cautions. But much like the approachable appeal of her talk show, you can’t help but gravitate to her realistic outlook. Barrymore accepts that she’s a work in progress, and is trying her best to go through life with grace—and less waste. Here, the ’90s moodboard mainstay details the pluses and pitfalls of living with burnout and the carnal pleasure of watching “Top Chef” while eating.
1. Consume Mindfully
Being part of a circular approach to shopping keeps a lot of amazing stuff out of the dump. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, as they say! I’ve always loved a flea market or a thrift store off the beaten path, and now the Internet has made it even easier to find one-of-a-kind gems not just around the country but around the world. I still buy a lot of furniture, lamps, and art at the thrift store—I recently bought a really beautiful vintage butcher block on Chairish that I ended up using in the den as an end table. Chairish is one of my favorite places on earth! But I’d say predominantly what I buy is vintage clothes and I’ve started buying a lot of my kids’ clothes on ThredUp, too. I was shocked when I saw a lot of the fast fashion stories, about where those clothes go. You can see companies responding to the outcry, which is good, because all of these things contribute to less carbon footprint, less waste. I have also given up my styrofoam cup habit and made the switch to cool, reusable metal drinking cups—with a silicone straw! I do have a favorite cup, too, that I found on Amazon. I ordered a bunch and they keep my ice way more intact, for way longer than styrofoam. We’re making our own for Beautiful, the line I created and designed, that started in the kitchen. I call it the No Drippy-Drippy. You can literally turn it upside down and nothing comes out. I have all the prototypes at home so that’s what I’ve been using recently.
Vintage maple butcher block
Bonpoint long-sleeve blouse
Strata Cups skinny tumblers, 4-pack
Grove Co. silicone straws
2. Clean Consciously
I am a big cleaner. I love cleaning. It’s so spiritual. I’ve been living on my own since I was 14 and you learn very quickly that if you don’t clean up after yourself it’s a disaster. I love taking out the trash, too. I can’t get into vacuuming; I don’t know why. It’s just not a go-to in my chain of therapeutic cleaning moments. But I’m very passionate about my cleaning supply collection and my stain removers. The hardest thing in trying to give up plastic for me was actually giving up my bottles of liquid fabric softener. That one really killed me. Dryer sheets are not the answer you think they are. They’re still made of plastic. So dryer balls are my new passion. They’re these big white, wooly balls. They’re very happy. I think you’re only supposed to put, like, one in per load but I put in, like, five. I don’t care. I want those clothes to be as soft as possible! We do a lot of laundry in my house so we were going through plastic jug after jug of detergent so these handy little detergent sheets in their recycle paper box are also genius. The cold hard truth is that only 9% of plastic that can be recycled is actually recycled. Nine percent. Making the switch from cleaning supplies in plastic bottles to refillable glass spray bottles and 1 oz. cleaning concentrates has cut down my plastic consumption like crazy, too, and I’m never going back.
I cook a lot, but I also order take-out a lot. I was raised vegetarian and I didn’t eat meat until I was 26 years old. My mom did raise me eating fish so I guess you could say I’m a pescatarian flexitarian. But every once in a while, I love a steak or a cheeseburger. So I dabble. I like being a flexitarian because it’s not limiting, and it’s probably where most people are at. I started this thing called “Cookbook Club” on our show because when I was pregnant with my daughters I realized that I didn’t know how to cook, and I was like, ‘I can’t be that person. I have to be able to whip up food for them.’ I’m not a great multitasker in the kitchen—I need to focus otherwise I get intimidated. So I became an avid cookbook collector, and I learned from them. I have hundreds of cookbooks. I love Kate Cohen’s new book. Indian-ish is amazing. I love Molly Ye’s book. Where I actually started was with a Williams-Sonoma 365 recipes book that is one for every day. You open it up to a day and there is a recipe for that day so it takes all the thinking out of it for someone like me, who is really the dysfunctional, humble home cook. You really learn a lot about food combinations and technique from reading these books—and watching cooking shows. I love Jamie Oliver, I loved The Next Iron Chef. I miss that show, I wish they would bring it back. I live for Top Chef—oh, and I love The Best Thing I Ever Ate. That is where I want takeout food and The Best Thing I Ever Ate marathons. I love eating while watching a cooking show—I love that meta moment.
Jew-ish: A Cookbook: Reinvented Recipes From a Modern Mensch by Jake Cohen
Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics From a Modern American Family by Priya Krishna
Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories From An Unlikely Life on a Farm: A Cookbook by Molly Yeh
One Pot of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year by Kate McMilla
4. Go With Grace
I have no boundaries. I’m all about burnout. My time management sucks. And I’m a total overachiever, so it’s a hot mess! I am just trying to stay afloat, and I’m never going to tell anyone that I’ve got my shit together. I am a work in progress, and I am desperately trying to get it right. My joy comes from if that day, I acted and behaved with grace—if I was emotionally rational, and I handled situations to the best of my ability. Don’t look to me for tips on how to live your life and get it right—I don’t have them! I am still trying to figure it out myself. Did I not freak out, did I handle myself well, did I manage to keep the stuff I’m going through to myself and not put it on other people? Those are my daily goals.
5. Don’t Take Anything For Granted
I haven’t worked out in months—I’m seriously terrified for myself! But I’m taking Kimberly Snyder’s Solluna digestive enzymes, and I do notice a real difference when I take them. And she has magnesium pills that kind of help clean you out so I take those at night before bed. Also: I live for this brand Irwin Naturals Immuno-Shield. It kicks all other wellness crap’s butt. I’ve never used anything more effective. It will change your life. I take it at the first sign of feeling crappy and it seems to speed up my immune response to colds and flus. It’s miracle stuff. I haven’t found anything that compares to it. You know what’s also really great? Scarlett Johansson’s new skin-care line. Scarlett is not anyone who is going to name-slap. I trust her with anything and she spent like five years working on these products. But really, truly I just marvel at the ability to keep going. I feel so lucky to have had all of the opportunities I’ve had that I’m basically operating out of stress and fear that I might lose anything. So I work really hard to keep them because they mean so much to me.
The Outset nourishing squalane daily moisturizer
Solluna Feel Good digestive enzymes
Solluna Feel Good detoxy 2.0
Irwin Naturals Immuno-Shield all-season wellness for body’s natural defense system