Laura Harrier covered a lot of ground in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan. She shared what her new home looks like (think 1920s Paris), her must-see reality TV show (90 day fiance), and details of his friendship with Spider-Man: Homecoming co-starring Zendaya. But the 32-year-old actor also spoke candidly about how she prioritizes her mental health. When asked how she takes care of herself, Harrier said therapy gave her the tools she needed to feel good.
« I’m really a huge advocate for therapy and mental health care, especially in the black community, » Harrier said. « It’s something that has really improved my life and really helped me significantly, especially with my anxiety and panic attacks. »
Harrier added that mental health should be a priority just as much as physical health — and destigmatization therapy can play an important role in that. “There’s been such a long history of ignoring mental health issues, of saying, ‘Oh, just swallow it’ or ‘I’m a strong black woman. It doesn’t happen to me, » she said, noting that she believes these tropes have been « taught over generations » and fueled by trauma. That’s why Harrier is passionate about working with the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (SHINE), which aims to help marginalized communities access the mental health care they need by connecting them to therapists and other healing resources.
As for her personal well-being, Harrier said she turns to many tools outside of therapy. “I try to meditate. I can’t say I’m the best with my track record of doing it every day, but I at least try to take a deep breath,” she said. « I noticed that I was literally forgetting to breathe, which sounds crazy, but sometimes I’m like, ‘Wait, I haven’t really breathed all day,’ and take 30 seconds to sit down and do a deep abdominal breathing is a game changer.
She also doesn’t subscribe to the idea that you have follow a daily training course to stay healthy; instead, she figures out what she needs at any given time (which isn’t *always* an intense meditation session) and prioritizes that.
« I think it’s so common to only talk about self-care like mediation, yoga and training, all of which are important, but sometimes self-care is having a glass of wine. with your best friend, laugh and watch shitty reality TV,” Harrier said. « Sometimes it’s the self-care you need. »
Harrier also shared her thoughts on issues like colorism in Hollywood (noting that she frequently goes by the name « Zendaya » on the Spider Man together) and the critical need for abortion access in America — and no, she’s not worried about a possible backlash about speaking out. “I approach these topics as Laura, as a woman of childbearing age affected by Roe vs. Wade. I’m affected by Black Lives Matter problems because I’m a black person in America, because it’s my family, because it’s my little brother walking down the street that worries me,” she said. “It’s not because of my work that I care about these issues. It is because of my humanity that I do this.