Well Intentioned: How Angry Gardening—And a Little Whitney Houston—Soothes Tiffany Haddish’s Soul

From mantras to meditation, mindfulness to manifestation, Well Intentioned offers an intimate look at how to make space for self-care in meaningful ways, big and small.

Tiffany Haddish is a very good multitasker. “Currently I am washing clothes—and I took out the trash before I signed onto this call!” she says with a laugh on a recent cross-country Zoom. With the kind of schedule the 42-year-old actor currently has, excellent time management is all but essential. Following a star turn in this spring’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent opposite Nicholas Cage, and on the back of the release of her first children’s book, Layla, the Last Black Unicorn, Haddish is currently filming the second season of The Afterparty, AppleTV+’s hit comedy murder mystery. She’s also actively editing her second essay collection, I Curse You With Joy (HarperCollins), which is due out later this fall. There’s not much time for “Little TT,” as Haddish refers to her inner self. But she is similarly regimented about finding moments for self-care whenever—and wherever—she can.

“I’ve been taking vitamins my whole life. It’s something my mom and grandmother were particular about,” she says of a routine that now includes a range of gummies from the brand Vitafusion, which she partnered with earlier this year as a spokesperson. Her mother and grandmother were also avid gardeners, something that was passed on to Haddish, who grows, cooks, dehydrates, and juices a lot of her own food. “I like being out there when I’m a little angry,” she admits of the soil-to-soul catharsis. “I’ll find all the weeds I don’t like, and when I rip them out, it makes me feel good.” Other things that make Haddish feel good? YouTube videos of babies laughing (“Babies’ laughs are magic!”), and a positive affirmation ripped from the pop charts. Here, the all-around funny lady shares an all-natural seasoning tip, and a specific recitation she believes “we all need to know.”

1. Get in the Garden

I’ve always been big into what’s growing around me. I didn’t grow up on nobody’s farm. I wish I had! But I didn’t. I grew up in South Central LA and most of the people I knew had their own gardens. My mom always had her own garden, and so did my grandmother. She had fruit trees—pomegranate trees, lemon trees, orange trees, peach trees. We would eat all that. I used to run around and say, “I’m strong like a plum tree!” I had a big imagination. So I take my 2-in-1 Multi+ Immune Support, my Beauty Support, but on top of that, I love some dark green veggies. I like to make sure I eat something dark and green every day. I grow collard greens and kale, and artichokes, and okra, and onions, and my cilantro, and parsley. The other day I made a big ol’ pot of kidney beans then I added some horse weed that kind of acts as an onion-y, peppery flavor. Then I used cayenne pepper from my garden, which is delicious. It was red beans and rice, but I didn’t use white rice, I used wild rice, because that kind of rice is easier for your body to break down. A lot of what is going on with me I know is happening from the inside, right? So if my skin is feeling super dry, or depending how I’m feeling, I’ll up my water intake and take a spoonful of olive oil.

Vitafusion Multi + Beauty Gummies

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Vitafusion Multi + Immune Support gummies

2. Sleep is Sacred

Making sure I get my sleep is key for my mental wellness and physical health. The sleep is the key! I’ve noticed every time I haven’t gotten enough sleep during the pandemic, I’ve gotten Covid. I have to stay on top of my rest, because my brain just goes, goes, goes—it’s always thinking of something. To calm it down at night, I take my Melatonin, and I will write. I just write down my thoughts. I was trying to read what I wrote the other day and I guess I was so angry I wasn’t spelling anything correctly. But I was just getting it out. Sometimes I’ll write down things I need to do the next day, or how to solve a problem that happened that day to get that off my chest. Sometimes I will recite what I have to do tomorrow and put it on my subconscious to make it go well. I’ll be like, “OK tomorrow I have 14 interviews, then you gotta go to the passport office so come on, Little TT. You gotta make sure it all works out great. That’s your job! My job is to get the body together. Good night!” Then I’ll be so tired, I’m out. But when my brain is still going, I turn on YouTube videos of babies laughing. And that changes my vibration to be in a happier tone.
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Vitafusion Max-Strength Melatonin gummy supplements

3. Speak Your Truth

I like to speak positive affirmations, not just think them but actually speak them out loud, like, “Tiffany Haddish, I love and approve of you.” I’ll do that for like five minutes if I’m feeling low, or if I read a negative social media comment. Because that stuff gets in your head. So the idea is to affirm that even if the world doesn’t approve of you, I approve of you. You’ve gotta give that to yourself. I have another one I like to say when there is a lot of chaos and everything is a mess:

My affairs are in keeping with infinite wisdom.

I am guided by divine intelligence.

That Tiffany of spirit inspires my mind and flows through my actions.

Life flies open to me, rich, full, and abundant.

I say that when everything is chaotic. I read it somewhere and memorized it. I also chant Whitney Houston’s The Greatest Love of All every single day. I don’t sing it, I say it. Out loud. I’m a Whitney Houston fan but I’m more a fan of those words. I don’t know who wrote it, but whoever wrote it is a genius! It’s something we all need to know:

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

Everybody searching for a hero

People need someone to look up to

I never found anyone who fulfill my needs

A lonely place to be

And so I learned to depend on me.

I decided long ago

Never to walk in anyone’s shadows

If I fail, if I succeed

At least I’ll live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can’t take away my dignity.

Because the greatest love of all

Is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all

Inside of me

The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself.

It is the greatest love of all.

Powerful words! It just puts me in the mindset of, you know, the future is always watching you. They’re paying attention. So I try my best not to oppress them but to lift them up. That’s why I wrote layla, No matter how different you are, or where you’re from. It doesn’t matter. You’re special just the way you are.

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Whitney Houston Greatest Love Of All vinyl

Layla, the Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

4. Set Social Media Limits

Sometimes I get caught up in the Instagram and the Twitter of it all and I’ll be online for like four hours. And that’s too many hours. I don’t have that many hours of the day! I won’t finish things because I’m looking at everyone else’s business—and I’m not even that nosy! TikTok will suck you in. And then I don’t get enough sleep. So I’m not allowed to be on social media for more than an hour everyday, and I’ll set an alarm. You can use the time whenever—it’s cumulative—you just pause the timer. But this way, when I want to look at social media before I go to sleep—you know, when you open up a negative comment, and then you need to open up your fake account so you can go comment on their page—I might only have five minutes left on my time. And once that timer goes off, that’s it. Put it to the side.

5. Learn to Let Go

I don’t hold onto stuff too much, and that’s for me. When I was a kid I held onto all of the feelings—I was an emotional hoarder. So now, to do things for me, I like to express how I feel—and I like playing with my gadgets. I’ve got my grown-up toys. I’ve got my food dehydrator, and my juicer—I love my juicer. I juiced my aloe vera plant the other day and it was so cool! It tastes disgusting. But it’s great on your skin and on your body. I’ve got the Oura Ring to monitor my sleep and my heart rate, and I’ve got this red light thing I’ve been putting on my face, too. The SolaWave. It feels good. I put it on my pimples. I don’t even know if I’m doing it right, but it feels good. I like to use it while I watch YouTube videos.

SolaWave 4-in-1 red light therapy facial wand

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Breville BJE430SIL Juice Fountain Cold Centrifugal Juicer

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Tribest SDE-S6780-B Sedona Express digital food dehydrator

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