Jennifer Aniston's Happiness Plan
By Cristy Lytal
She's cracked the code for putting joy in everyday life. Learn her secrets here.
Jennifer Aniston owns a gold necklace — a gift from friends — with a charm blending good-luck symbols from around the world: an elephant, a horseshoe, and an owl.
But lately, it looks as if that necklace can stay in Aniston's jewelry box. She doesn't need any talismans in her corner. America's favorite Friend is looking happier than ever before, and it's all thanks to her own hard work. She's bounced back from tough times and blossomed in a new and wonderful way, say those close to her. "Jennifer has done some rebuilding, restructuring, realigning — and she came out this beautiful woman who is standing up tall and happy and full," actress Andrea Bendewald, a close friend of Aniston since they attended high school together in New York City, has observed. "I look at her and say, 'Slow down! You're gonna start levitating soon, you're so happy.'"
At 39, Aniston has put the pieces to her personal happiness puzzle in place: Her film career is firing on all cylinders with roles in December's Marley & Me with Owen Wilson and next year's romantic comedy He's Just Not That Into You. She's taking on new creative challenges — producing, directing, even singing. And she's opened herself up to love again, with paparazzi shots capturing her canoodling from Miami to Mexico. Add to this the fact that she's building her dream home by the water in her beloved Malibu, and it's clear that she's embracing life with a new kind of gusto.
How did she get to this enviable place? Here's a closer look at her stealable secrets.
1. Transform your home into your personal sanctuary.
Unlike many Hollywood stars who flit from one late-night party to another, Aniston revels in being at home. "If I don't have a home base, I can't ground myself," she's said. "It's a good springboard, having a solid home."
But Aniston has found that "solid" is only part of the story. A home also has to speak to the senses. When her fairy-tale marriage to Brad Pitt ended, she retreated to a cottage by the water, surrounding herself with cushy white sofas, white flowers, and white candles — as if wiping the slate clean — while she healed. More recently, she's been experimenting with different moods and influences. She's described the decor of the Hollywood Hills home that she bought in late 2006 as having "an Indonesian feel. I want it to be peaceful, warm, and inviting. I want to give people an experience when they come in." And she works to create that experience: She shares her good friend Courteney Cox's love of decorating, and the two have spent afternoons rearranging furniture.
Recently, Aniston has delved a little deeper and realized that she feels most at home on the beach — "I'm an Aquarian" is how she once explained the lure of the water. So she's begun building an eco-friendly house in Malibu, where the sand and the water will glitter just outside her windows. While not many can afford to pick up and move to such a prime piece of waterfront real estate, Aniston's example teaches a lesson few people would argue with: Your home should be a place that reflects your taste, feeds all of your senses, and soothes your soul.