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Mandy Moore on Advice She Wishes She Could Give Her Younger Self

Golden Globe-nominated actress and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Mandy Moore opens up about life, health, friends, and happiness. As she prepares for another season of her TV show, This Is Us, she talks to Reader's Digest about what she's looking forward to and what she's learned.

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Slow down

At age 9, Moore’s career started to flourish. While her parents initially thought she’d outgrow her ‘acting and singing’ phase, Moore only became more passionate about her pursuits. If she could go back, she says, she would take time to enjoy “the crazy ride a little more. I think when I was younger I was hyper-focused on every opportunity in front of me. Although I enjoyed a lot of the perks of being young,” she says, “I feel like I missed out on certain aspects because I was working.” Check out this advice on setting priorities and letting go of guilt.

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Take charge of reproductive rights

Moore recently joined on with Her Life, Her Adventures, a site sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Merck to help promote a new form of long-term birth control called Nexplanon. The site helps women understand their options for birth control in general, and assists them in setting priorities for family planning based on their own timeline. “It’s a personal decision that I don’t take lightly. I made a consultation with my doctor, and that’s what we’re urging women to do as a big component of this campaign—knowing what your options are and knowing that you should talk to your doctor about what’s right for you,” she explained.

The campaign also hopes to teach women about their reproductive options without resorting to stereotypes or judgement. “There needs to be more transparency with this conversation. I think women should feel comfortable having this conversation with their friends and family, and most importantly with their doctor,” she adds. Here’s what you need to know about the birth control pill.

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Value friendship

No matter how many popular songs or television shows Moore is part of, it’s her loved ones that keep her going, help her feel loved and inspired, and support her through the ups and downs. Luckily, Moore has a number of friends that have stayed close through the years. “I think we all look for counsel and solace at all the different stages of our lives. I feel incredibly lucky to have a really supportive, encouraging tribe of women around me. We’re all there for each other in those critical moments, whether it’s a crisis in our love life or questions about our careers or where we’re going. I’ve leaned on my friends so heavily in so many of those moments—during the highest highs and the lowest lows,” she says. Thank your best friend with these amazing quotes.

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Embrace therapy

For the past 10 years, Moore says she has been going to talk therapy on and off, and she’s found it to be an “incredibly helpful habit” she plans to continue whenever she might need it. “There are different junctures of my life where I’m like, ‘I think I’m okay right now.’ But then there are moments where I need to find my way back to therapy,” she shares. “I understand that there’s a lot of stigma around it still. It’s pretty heartbreaking to me because I think everyone should be in therapy in some form. It’s so cathartic. It’s so helpful.” Considering therapy? Here are some signs you could benefit.

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Stay open-minded about alternatives

Alternative medicine isn’t so alternative anymore—just check out these alternative therapies that doctors recommend. In the past, Moore has been open about her willingness to explore new modalities—she has had her aura read, for example. Now she’s intrigued by crystals: “I don’t understand the power, and I can’t delineate if this crystal is good for healing, and I don’t know how to charge them,” she says. Intrigued by new age, Eastern-medicine approaches, Moore says she also believe in harmony: “I think a healthy dose of Western and Eastern philosophy in medicine is what I personally prefer—a good, healthy balance of both. I’m super open to learning about new things. I’m endlessly fascinated,” she said. Here are 13 reasons you should give healing crystals a try.

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Health ebbs and flows

Much like therapy, Moore finds herself going through stages where she experiments with new health methods. “I have ebbs and flows in my life where I’m really good about getting on a certain routine with acupuncture or getting massages. When I’m working out really hard, I make sure to get a massage every couple of weeks or once a month. Then other times, I completely forget everything and just live my life. I’ve had points in my life where acupuncture has been so beneficial, from a mental perspective and with period cramps,” she shared. “I love acupuncture. I feel like it’s something I need to get back into.”

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Be ready for the bad days

Moore tries to maintain a glass half-full perspective: ” I’m pretty good about… finding a way to be appreciative about the opportunities that are in front of me. I try not to get down on myself. I have to understand that I’m only human and I’m allowed to have a bad day or feel bad about myself. I’m allowed to be tired and not necessarily want to go to work,” she says. Having a bad day yourself? Here are 28 tiny pick-me-ups that really work!