Recently, Kate Hudson had a revelation.
Gesturing furiously over Zoom, she tells me that she realized she didn’t know how to intentionally carve out moments of joy in her schedule. As someone whose work and life revolve around optimism and wellness, she certainly wasn’t blind to the irony. But flooded as she was with back-to-back meetings for her three brands and nonstop production on a new TV show—all while taking care of three kids during a pandemic—it’s not surprising that the actress and lifestyle mogul struggled to prioritize her own fulfillment.
“Whenever I had nothing to do, I felt like I should be doing a million different things,” she says. “My brain just literally couldn’t stop.” Anxiety surrounding her businesses and the future of her employees plagued her. “The beginning of the pandemic was very stressful for me and the teams, and I didn’t have any time to reflect on anything. I just wanted to try to save the companies.” Once Kate was finally able to adjust to and manage the “new normal” of the business world, she began to feel some sense of calm. And for the first time in a while, the idea of sitting down to enjoy a meal with her kids without being distracted, or of watching TV sans multitasking, started to become a real and regular priority for her. Though the nonstop schedule persisted, she became more intentional about finding moments of stillness—and relishing them. Because that’s also what gave her a new perspective on balance. She knows that work, particularly work she loves, revs her up. She doesn’t want to step back to give herself more downtime.
On that recent Friday—her only day off—Kate, perched at a desk, had just come off a busy week. Still, she remained as fresh-faced as ever, her messy bun and skin aglow from a spark of sunlight coming through the window of her Pacific Palisades home office. The 41-year-old tells me she feels fortunate—for more reasons than one, but specifically because she already had a wellness framework in place (regular workouts, an eating routine that works for her) that helped her manage challenges when the pandemic arrived. “I’ve always felt that wellness is about your quality of life,” she says of her personal philosophy. “You need to know what makes you feel good. It’s about doing the things you love, eating the things you want to, exercising and not feeling like you need to [push yourself] for two hours in a hot room. You can just take a nice walk and still be healthy.”
Already grounded in the habits that light her up, Kate hasn’t changed her routines too much. But she has become a proponent of intermittent fasting—not for weight loss, she stresses, but for energy. “It’s not for everyone,” she says. When she wakes up, she’ll down a glass of celery juice, then opt for black coffee or tea. Sometime after breakfast but before her kids’ Zooms and her daughter’s nap time, she squeezes in a sweat sesh. For her mental health, she likes to mix exercise with meditation.
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While Kate maintains she isn’t a “crazy workout person,” the multi-hyphenate is always active, whether that means going on a bike ride or taking walks with her mother, actress Goldie Hawn. Often, she chooses Pilates or one of Tracy Anderson’s classes. After having three kids, she’s found that Anderson’s workouts have helped “my skin attach back to my muscle.” (Okay, not quite anatomically correct, but a very real description of that feeling when it all clicks!)
Around 11:00 or 11:30 a.m., she’ll break her fast and start eating. Central to Kate’s regimen is cooking as many of her own meals as possible. She uses recipes from her cookbook collection, yet acknowledges that having a balanced diet can be hard. If you don’t love cooking, she says, “being healthy is a pain in the ass.” But it helps her stick to the WW point system, for which she is an ambassador. “I make beautiful meals that have no points, then I can indulge,” she says. “I’ll do a whole day eating amazing ZeroPoint foods [like chicken and leafy greens], then I have wine and ice cream.” That sense of equilibrium makes her happy, and it has extended to other aspects of her life.
Coparenting, which could have easily been upended during the pandemic, has been successful with a little strategizing. Kate shares her children—sons Ryder, 16, and Bingham, 9, and daughter Rani Rose, 2—with three different dads, and for her, communication has been key. “I’m really lucky,” she says. “I’ve got lots of dads. I trust them.” Ryder, her oldest, is with her while his father, The Black Crowes lead singer Chris Robinson, is in a different state. It’s made things easier, since the family hasn’t had to travel during the pandemic.
Kate shares son Bingham with Muse front man Matt Bellamy, and the two made a parenting pact long ago. “One thing that Matt said to me, which I loved, is, ‘I just want to make sure that Bing feels like he’s gaining something, not losing something,’ ” says Kate. During the past year, they’ve clung to that credo. “I think it’s even bonded us closer—me, Matt, Elle [Evans, Bellamy’s wife], and Danny [Fujikawa, Kate’s partner]—because we have to trust that we’re protecting each other.” With all of the moving pieces in her life, she’s grateful she’s been able to be with her family and work at all during this time.
In the mid ’90s, following in her mother’s footsteps, Kate made the leap into acting. But it wasn’t until the early 2000s that she’d have her breakout roles as Band Aid Penny Lane in Almost Famous and ambitious magazine writer Andie Anderson in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Soon, she’d emerge as the rom-com queen of the mid-aughts.
But she also branched out and staked her claim in the business world: first, with her wildly successful athleisure line Fabletics, then with craft vodka brand King St. Vodka. And now she’s primed her play into the supplement space with InBloom, a line of holistic, plant-based powders. “I wanted to make something that I use and I want, and that I feel really good about putting out there,” says Kate. Also inspiring her was a distaste for pills. “I’m like, ‘Can someone just give me a magic powder that I can put in my water and walk out the door?’ ”
While the pandemic hasn’t been kind to all of her businesses (HappyxNature, the eco-friendly fashion line she launched in 2019, had to shut its doors), the entrepreneur has made time to draw deeper from her well and brainstorm dreams for the future. “For innately creative people, when we get the space to daydream, it’s a gift,” she says. “Then you come out and hopefully have all these ideas.” (We’ll get to those shortly!)
Also fueling her imagination: a few acting roles, which she’s taken on after a break from the screen. Juggling this career with the demands of InBloom has been a roller coaster—especially given the impact of COVID-19, on- and off-set, but she’s committed to it.
Most recently she’s been in the midst of shooting the second season of Apple TV+’s anthology series Truth Be Told, alongside Octavia Spencer, in which she takes on the character of lifestyle guru Micah Keith. “The role is like if you put Tony Robbins and the Eat, Pray, Love author [Elizabeth Gilbert] together in one,” she says. On paper that doesn’t seem too far off from who she actually is, but the difference, to her, is this: Kate doesn’t want to be preachy. Instead, she wants to provide suggestions based on what’s worked for her and ultimately make wellness more accessible for everyone.
And while Kate has taken a breather from the rom-coms that once garnered her fame, she’s not done with them quite yet. “I will definitely do rom-coms again,” she says. “But I haven’t been happy with the way people try to convince me a rom-com should be.”
She often found herself frustrated, navigating situations where she “begged and pleaded” to be heard, yet was ignored by the men who were literally running the show. Now, she’s calling the shots with rom-coms—and her career—and making sure she’s working on the development end, where she has a voice. Currently, she’s producing a comedy about new love for Netflix. “Hopefully we’ll be able to shoot it next year,” she says.
When asked about what she wants for her future, Kate doesn’t hesitate. In addition to running her businesses, she plans to direct. “I will act when I want, but I want to tell stories,” she says. “I’ll be the woman with all those crazy, big bracelets, jewelry, and caftans, directing.” She’ll also be making music—something she’s about to do after our interview. “It’s my great passion, to make music and to sing,” she says. “I get to do that with Music [the Sia movie that Kate stars in], and I think people will hear my voice differently.”
Kate has no intention to stop being busy, ever. And with an abundance of work, relationships, and love on her plate, she can’t stress enough how thankful she is for it all. That’s why her key to contentedness is not slowing down, but leaning into the projects that spark passion. And that, for her, is the very definition of wellness.
Photographed by Beau Grealy Fashion editor: Kristen Saladino Hair: Nikki Lee at 901 Artists for In Common Makeup: Debra Ferullo at traceymattingly.com. Manicure: Thang Nguyen for Chanel Le Vernis at Nailing Hollywood.