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    Taylor Swift's Rules for Healthy Living

    The chart-topping singer-songwriter talks about how diet, exercise, and writing help her stay happy and balanced.

    Swift's Secrets to Happiness

    As far as she's concerned, Swift is already living her ideal life. She's made forays into acting, appearing on a CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode on CBS and in the movie Valentine's Day. She is celebrated for her style and beauty in fashion magazines. But she insists that her driving passion is and always will be songwriting. 

    "If I go more than nine days without writing a song, I get really antsy," she says. "But I think the stress causes me to search my mind and helps me write. It starts with an idea that hits me at the most inconvenient time, like in the middle of a conversation or in the middle of the night, and my friends have gotten used to a glazed look coming into my eyes. Then I need to grab my phone and record a voice memo or a melody and lyrics. You never know what it will be!" 

    (As it turns out, writing is actually good for your mental health. Want to learn more? Read our sidebar on The Benefits of Journal Writing below.)

    The element of surprise is something Swift embraces, as long as the result is songs that move her and her fans and she can continue to retreat to the security of close friends and family to reconnect with herself. 

    "I always try to see what makes me most comfortable and happy," she says. "Because right now, to have happiness, that's the main priority."

    Taylor's Tips for Healthy Living On the Road

    "Health is a big part of being happy," says Swift, who is committed to keeping herself in great shape physically and mentally even when she's touring. Here are her rules of the road: 

    Reward yourself. Work for your indulgences, and then enjoy. "I have a need to feel like I've earned things, so when I have a week of working really hard, I get to have a day or two off -- whether it's from exercise or watching what I eat," says Swift. 

    Skip the judgment. When it comes to dieting and working out, Swift is watchful rather than self-chastising. "I keep an internal gauge of whether it's been a healthy week or not," says Swift. Then she makes adjustments instead of beating herself up. 

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