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Laughter: The Best Medicine for Chelsea Handler

The comedian, author, and talk-show host talks love, laughter, loss, and her new book 'Uganda Be Kidding Me.'

The World According to Chelsea Handler

Real friends are there for you.

"I think it's important to show up. Period. Physically, emotionally, any way, over and again. Not once, and not just when people are in crisis. You know, actually be there on a consistent basis. That's what a friend is."

Sarcasm can be good.

Handler grew up in a family where the kids ran wild and sarcasm was the spoken language. "We all have a dry sense of humor. We get along pretty well. We bonded together because of our [inattentive] parents. We were basically six orphans in an orphanage."

Travel as much as possible.

"I love going on great vacations with my friends," says the star, who's been known to make jaunts to Mexico with her pal Jennifer Aniston. "My book Uganda Be Kidding Me is about the safari in Africa I took two summers ago with five of my friends, my sister, and my cousins. We went to South Africa and Botswana. Every story is embarrassing. It's why everyone thinks Americans are idiots, basically."

Go with your gut.

"I don't have a lot of people advising me," says Handler, who calls all the shots on her show. "I find it empowering to say: 'This is how we're going to do it.' I don't like to negotiate over things I have a gut feeling about. If you want to be in business and work with me, this is the way it's going to be. Now, if you want to take advice from people you have respect for, that's one thing. But when you know what you're doing and you have a lot of confidence in it, you should trust your gut."

The Healthy Way to Handle Grief and Loss

"Grief is a personal process, and everyone goes through it in an individual way without set responses," Doka says.

But, he says, "there are five tasks involved with grief: accepting reality, dealing with emotions about the death, relocating the person in relation to your life, readjusting without that person, and grappling with any lingering philosophical or religious issues that may arise."

Many people struggle with mourning, Doka says. But unhealthy patterns reveal themselves when a mourner "becomes self-destructive or can't function, or can't ever envision life without the person who has passed."

If this happens, Doka says, consider your available resources. "First, look inside at your strengths and what has helped you with loss before. How did you cope? Next, look for external strengths. Who are the people you can count on? Are there organizations you belong to? Does your faith offer support? Finally, there are many support groups with counselors trained in grief to help you recognize you're not alone."

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of "WebMD Magazine." 

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Reviewed on January 15, 2014

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