GMA’s Ginger Zee and Frozen’s Patti Murin Have a No-Judgement Chat About Their Mental Health Struggles

Two of Hollywood’s outspoken and passionate advocates about mental health are coming together to talk about their experiences and how they work to remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

PEOPLE has the exclusive premiere of a candid conversation between Good Morning America’s meteorologist Ginger Zee and Broadway’s Frozen star Patti Murin — staged in support of Philosophy’s hope & grace initiative, which donates a portion of all of the beauty brand’s proceeds go to women’s mental health organizations.

Back in December, Zee, 37, opened up about her battle with depression in her book Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One — revealing that she checked herself into a mental health institution just 10 days before starting her job at ABC News.

Murin, 37, has also long been transparent about her depression and anxiety, making headlines back in April when she revealed she had to call out of a Frozen performance due to a “massive anxiety attack.”

Both stars have been able to connect with millions of fans who are tackling similar mental health hurdles.

“Social media, it’s the best way to get the word out,” Murin says. “I feel like some sort of barrier was broken. I don’t know exactly when or how, but all of the big stars that people see on their favorite TV shows or movies are coming out and talking about it — like Kristen Bell and Mark Ruffalo. Look at what these people are doing, but also know that they feel like you.”

“That’s the point! It’s that it doesn’t discriminate,” adds Zee. “It’s not just for us that are on a more public scene. It’s the high schooler or the middle schooler …  That’s part of our job as humans: to sit down and to have a conversation and learn about somebody’s story. That’s going to make everybody’s mental health better.”

Zee says one of her struggles is feeling like she is “multiple people at one time.”

“That is a big hallmark of many people’s mental health challenges. For me, there was Ginger Zee, who was on television, and there was Ginger Zuidgeest, which is my really long Dutch name. And those people were very different people. It almost makes it easier because you’re able to for longer, hide from it.”

“I have the opportunity to step into somebody else’s shoes and I think that hindered some of my progress in my early acting years, before I went on medication and did research and realized this was a bigger thing I could not do on my own and handle myself,” Murin admits.

RELATED VIDEO: Ginger Zee on Battling Depression: ‘I Don’t Think Anybody’s Forever Cured’

And while both Zee and Murin have made major strides in their mental health, each admits to still be learning every day — and even from each other.

“The number of people that sent me your story because they wanted me to not feel alone was actually really special,” Zee tells Murin.

“It’s really nice to sit down and talk to somebody that, whatever you say, it’s going to be understood or at least not judged,” says Murin of Zee.

Learn more about philosophy’s hope and grace initiative here.


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Chip and Joanna Gaines Feared Marriage Struggles If They Kept ‘Pushing This Envelope’

Chip and Joanna Gains shocked fans when they announced that the upcoming fifth season of their popular HGTV show Fixer Upper would be their last.

It was a decision motivated by the couple’s desire to spend more time with their four children (Drake, 12, Ella, 11, Duke, 9, and Emmie Kay, 7) and not by the unfounded rumors of marital problems and divorce that have followed — though during an appearance on Today Tuesday, Chip admitted he was nervous their relationship could go that way if they show continued.

“I give them a little credence,” the 42-year-old reality star said of the doubters. “For us, the most important thing in the world is Jo and I’s relationship followed very quickly by these four beautiful kids. We didn’t want to push it, redline it for so long that we woke up and realized we are at a point of no return. We wanted to take a step back and focus on the thing that was absolutely the most important thing to us in the world.”

“People in our inner circle, I tell them we’re as healthy as we’ve ever been, I just didn’t want to keep pushing this envelope to the fullest extent,” he continued. “We’re really thankful that we had the opportunity to step back and take a break.”

RELATED: Fixer Upper Is Ending: What to Expect from Chip and Joanna’s Final Season

For the last five years, the Gaineses have been working nonstop to build their home improvement empire.

Since Fixer Upper premiered in 2013, it quickly became the highest-rated show on HGTV, turning the couple into household names. The series also helped to launch their booming Waco, Texas-based Magnolia businesses, which includes a real estate company, the Silos (a retail store that draws 40,000 visitors a week), wallpaper and furniture lines, a quarterly magazine, luxury vacation rentals, an upcoming restaurant and a product line for Target.

They’ve also written a bestseller, The Magnolia Story, together and pursued solo book projects (Chip’s new book Capital Gaines is in stores now while Joanna has a design book in the works).

RELATED: Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Empire: Every Product Line, TV Show and Side Hustle That Has Made Them Wildly Successful

But with all that success comes more work, responsibility and stress. Filming 11 months out of the year while juggling Magnolia and its 500 employees began to wear on them.

“Nobody knows when you get into something like this,” Chip told Today, looking back. “I’m an idiot, I thought this was like a get rich quick scheme. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that easy. The emotional and the amount of energy it takes to pour something like this together. Every day we showed up to work we wanted this to be the real deal. We wanted it to be authentic, sincere.”

RELATED VIDEO: Chip & Joanna Gaines Most Lovable Outtakes!

Joanna, 39, agreed and thanked the fans for standing by them throughout the years even during the news that the show would be ending.

“We’ve kind of all grown together,” she said. “With the audience, they’ve come alongside with us. On the other side, there’s so much encouragement. Even though it was sad, they get it. We have this young, growing family and I just think that was one of the biggest reasons why we wanted to end the show.”

As for whether they’d return to reality TV, the couple played coy.

“Who knows?” Chip said. “We’re so excited about this break. But would we go back and do this again? Absolutely. It was a joy it was a pleasure. All the things you know about. It introduced us to Kansas.”

The final season of Fixer Upper premieres in November.


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Leah Remini Still Struggles with Guilt for Going to Therapy — Because She Says Scientology Opposes It

Four years after abruptly leaving the controversial church of Scientology, Leah Remini says she’s still adjusting.

“You rebuild slowly. It doesn’t happen overnight,” the actress, 47, says in the new issue of PEOPLE. “It’s a learning process; it’s changing the way you think.”

Indeed, Remini was in the church for more than 30 years before she walked away in 2013 with husband Angelo Pagán, 59, daughter Sofia, 13, and mother Vicki. And her post-Scientology life has been challenging.

The star has been seeing a therapist now for two years, which she says is difficult because of how her former church views psychiatry.

“I have that guilty conscience,” Remini says. “If I make the most minor transgression” of a Scientology rule, like being rude or losing her temper, “I call my therapist and go, ‘I should be punished for this; I need you to reprimand me.’ She’s like, ‘No, that’s not what therapy is.’ ”

“We really have no debate with a psychologist. We do have issues with psychiatrists who subject patients, especially children, to dangerous procedures and drugs,” a Scientology spokesperson wrote in a statement to PEOPLE.

Last year, Remini launched the Emmy-nominated A&E docu-series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Now in its second season, the show follows Remini as she shares fellow ex-Scientologists’ stories, including allegations of abuse within the church.

“It is Remini who is the attacker,” the Scientology spokesperson wrote. “Her whole anti-Scientology shtick was scripted and choreographed by her, casting herself in her drama as the ‘victim’ so she could cash in on her false narrative while savaging her friends and those who helped her most of her life.” (The Church’s full response is at leahreminiaftermath.com.)

For more on Leah Remini and her battle against Scientology, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

In addition to the A&E show, Remini will return to comedy this fall, reuniting with her King of Queens costar Kevin James in Kevin Can Wait on CBS Sept. 25. While she’s filming the show in her native New York City, her husband and daughter will stay in L.A. but make frequent visits to the east coast.

“If I didn’t have my family,” says Remini, “I don’t know what I would do.”


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Why Sharing Your Struggles Actually Makes You Stronger: A Lesson From Terry Crews

I was coming home after dropping off my daughter at school and heard Terry Crews being interviewed on the radio. I knew he was an actor on Brooklyn Nine Nine, (I have never watched but my hubby and son love it). I knew he was a comedian and the cool Old Spice guy. Other than that I didn’t know much about him.The DJ introduced Terry by listing all of the projects Terry is involved with these days. The DJ asked how he had time to be involved with so many projects.

Terry said, “I am going to be completely honest, I used to be addicted to porn. Addiction takes a lot of time.” He explained that now that he’s not addicted to porn, he has time to do productive and fulfilling things. He went on to talk about all of his failures. He said no one had failed more than him, and that is why he succeeds now. Terry said that people are living way to safe and you can’t be scared of being you. Take risks.

He was so authentic and real. He talked about his addiction to porn almost cost him his marriage. All of this at 8:00 0.a.m on a morning radio station! They kept trying to make jokes about porn addiction and he kept being real. He did not let them make light of it, regardless how hard they tried.

One minute into his interview, I wanted to know everything about him.I was not expecting to hear this kind of raw truth during a morning radio show interview, with a comedian of all people. It was so refreshing! I was instantly drawn to him. I felt better about myself. I have been feeling like a bit of a failure lately. Somehow his truth let me know I was going to be OK, because he was.

You don’t hear many celebrities being honest about their failures, daily challenges or addictions. Reality is a bit skewed these days. Facebook and social media have become a place of posting about your kids amazing accomplishments, your perfectly cooked risotto at the hottest restaurant in town or your latest vacation to a tropical island. It focuses on mostly our accomplishments and how great our lives are. Those things are all great, and there is another side of real life that is not always so shiny and glittery.

On the other hand we can have really hard days, most of us struggle with something. Yet we don’t talk about our struggles or challenges. We don’t share our hardships. That would make us weak. That might push people away. We question — would my friends still love me if they new my inner struggles and weaknesses? You generally don’t see people post, “Just got back from marriage counseling, it was a hard but productive session”. You don’t see mom post a picture of her baby screaming it’s head off a with the caption, “Today I hate being a mom”. We don’t tell the mom at the park, “I screamed at my 3 year old today and I scared myself”.

Even though these are realities, people prefer to only show the happy shiny facade.
We are afraid to share our failures. Why? It seems like we feel if we post about our amazing lives people will be drawn to us and like us more. We will feel validated that we are important and people will love us. Ironically I have found the exact opposite to be true. We need to be real, raw, authentic. People want to connect and we all have baggage, struggles, weaknesses.

I have made a conscious decision over the past year to live and share my authentic life, warts, failures and all. Maybe that feels gutsy but the payoff is worth it to me. I am who I am. Sure I can glamorize the good stuff and brush the bad stuff under the rug, but that’s not real life. Ironically, I have found that when I share my hardships with raising a daughter with bipolar disorder, or how I have been in marriage counseling for 1 ½ years, people lean in. They open up to me about their lives.

I am blown away by how many friends/clients I have that also have bipolar disorder and have never told anyone. They talk to me about their original struggles with it and how they are living awesome productive lives now. They tell me not give up and it will get better. They check in on me. If I didn’t share, I would feel so alone, so isolated. I am supported because I share. I am not alone because I share. It is so freeing when you share your truth and your friends and family still love you. You don’t have to feel like a liar or a failure. You can’t fail when you are you.

I encourage everyone to embrace who you are. Learn from Terry Crews. We don’t need to feel guilt or shame from our failures, we need to embrace them, share them and move on from them. Celebrate the good stuff and don’t be afraid to share your struggles. You will be amazed at the doors it opens and the support it brings.

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New Nina Simone Documentary Recalls Past Struggles While Echoing Present

While watching “What Happened, Miss Simone?” — a new documentary about the legendary singer-songwriter Nina Simone — it’s almost impossible not to think about two attacks on black churches that happened 52 years apart.

The first attack, in Birmingham, Alabama, inspired Simone to join the burgeoning civil rights movement of the 1960s. The latter, in Charleston, South Carolina, happened just last week.

In the wake of the latest attack, the Netflix documentary may help shed light on how art like Simone’s can channel anger, fear and frustration about social ills like racism and oppression.

Houses of worship were crucial to Simone’s development as an artist and an activist. As a child in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone played the piano at her local church. During one of her performances, her parents were told to move to the back of the church hall; she said she wouldn’t play until her parents were allowed to move back to the front. But decades later, Simone would say she had “stopped believing in prayer” after racist acts kept being committed against those fighting for civil rights.

Simone’s transformation as an artist came in the wake of the bombing in Birmingham that killed four black girls. “That did it,” Simone says in the film, much of which is narrated in her own voice. While she had made a name for herself with renditions of tunes like “I Loves You, Porgy,” her career changed profoundly after she started to sing about what was happening around her.

“How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?” Simone asked.

Following the Birmingham bombing and the assassination of black civil rights activist Medgar Evers in Mississippi, Simone wrote the song “Mississippi Goddam.” In a recording of a concert she gave at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Simone calls the song a “show tune, but the show hasn’t been written for it yet.” What was subversive about her performance was that she lulled the the majority-white audience at the concert hall into thinking the song would be jaunty and non-political. But her audience went silent as she told them: “You’re all gonna die and die like flies.” She meant every word of it, she told them.

“Lord have mercy on this land of mine / We all gonna get it in due time / I don’t belong here / I don’t belong there / I’ve even stopped believing in prayer,” she sang. “You keep on saying, ‘Go slow!’ / But that’s just the trouble / ‘Do it slow’ / Desegregation / ‘Do it slow’ / Mass participation / ‘Do it slow’ / Reunification / ‘Do it slow’ / Do things gradually / ‘Do it slow’ / But bring more tragedy / ‘Do it slow.'”

Fifty years ago, Simone performed “Mississippi Goddam” for the thousands of civil rights marchers who walked from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery. That march was marked by violent state troopers blocking the participants’ progress at the Edmund Pettus bridge, illustrating one of Simone’s arguments in her song: Gradually trying to bring about equality only concedes to the demands of the oppressors.

And yet, as the film shows, there was a danger for Simone in being perceived as too controversial. She attributed a stall in her career to “Mississippi Goddam,” which was boycotted by a number of Southern states.

Despite the backlash to her more confrontational music, Simone still “thought we should get our rights by any means possible,” as she explains in the film. She was in favor of direct action and became affiliated with the black power movement, defiantly telling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when she met him at the Selma march that she wasn’t non-violent.

Simone says she felt free on stage. But she also said that to her, freedom meant living without fear. (“I think every day’s gonna be my last,” she sang.) What’s devastating about the documentary in light of the Charleston shooting is its reminder that African Americans have yet to realize that freedom from fear, decades after Simone voiced a desire for it.

“We can’t afford any more losses,” Simone says in the film. “They’re killing us one by one.”

At the Sundance film festival in January, the film’s director, Liz Garbus, acknowledged the resonance of the documentary in comments referring to mass protests across the nation over police killings of unarmed African Americans.

“If we had voices like Nina Simone’s today, speaking the pain and the passion of the movement that’s been building, I think, on the streets in the past six months…” Garbus said, “I think we can all see the place of these songs today.”

“What Happened, Miss Simone?” will be available on Netflix Friday. Watch a trailer for the documentary here.

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This Video Game Perfectly Depicts The Struggles Of Every Cat Owner

“We piss you off, but you love us anyway.” — the motto of cats everywhere.

Which is why Will Herring‘s video game, “My Garbage Cat Wakes Me Up at 3 a.m. Every Day,” is so great. The game, which can be played on your desktop, allows you to fulfill the role of Herring’s cat. The objective is to knock everything over and wake up your poor, sleeping human.

Because that’s just what our feline friends do.

In addition to knocking everything over, you can “meow and cry all the time” and “knead with your dumb little paws,” the instructions announce. As you destroy your human’s apartment, you will deplete his sleep meter. When the meter runs out, the human begrudgingly admits defeat and says exactly what cat owners are all quietly wondering to themselves — “Why are you this way.”

Of course, cat owners love their furry friends, and would probably follow them to the ends of the Earth. But sometimes it’s just nice to turn the tables and experience a feline’s glorious, needy life.

To play “My Garbage Cat Wakes Me Up at 3 a.m. Every Day,” visit the game’s website here.

H/T Mashable

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