Brooke Shields Exclusive: Her 4 Wellness Must-Haves and the “Extraordinary” Privilege of Aging

Icon Shields, 56, opens up about focusing on what really matters these days.

Brooke Shields was just 11 months old when she landed her first modeling job, but the actor-model-entrepreneur says she “just started to really live” only after she’d turned 40. We got that—and we wanted to hear more.

Last week Shields, now 56, sat down with The Healthy @Reader’s Digest to discuss several of her recent projects. Among them is her partnership with Clos du Bois Wine & Vineyards for their new “Long Live” campaign, which highlights the spirited sophistication in loving Chardonnay.

Brooke Shields attends the "Impractical Jokers: The Movie" New York Screening at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on February 18, 2020 in New York City.Cindy Ord/Getty Images

All her current initiatives share the same goal: to fight ageism in popular culture and change how older generations have been forgotten in advertising—especially, she said, by many brands that sell the experiences of fun and adventure. “We’re a large demo. We have lived lives, and we appreciate quality,” Shields told us. However, “When I looked to the marketing, whether it was marketing for alcohol or anything, we weren’t represented.”

With the Clos collab and more in the mix, it sounds like a consuming undertaking…but she said it’s about time. “By the time I was in my fifties, I just took things differently,” she said. “I felt different about myself—I didn’t beat myself up so much. There was so much I felt excited about in the future.”

And she wasn’t alone. Shields credits pal Courteney Cox, who directed the Clos du Bois campaign, for how Cox “really focused on this age bracket, doing things with vitality and activities and being outside and things that make us happy.” She said the concept around their joint initiative is “the celebration of life and friendships and how far we’ve come, and that’s what a great glass of wine is: what has gone into it, and then what comes out of it. That’s where we are as people—as women for sure.”

Shields said that joie de vivre is a classic part of the way she’s lived. “I look forward to the ritual of sharing an evening with friends and allowing myself time to relax, not punish myself, not do everything in such an aggressive way.” This eye toward a gentler pace is a shift from what she called her “goal-oriented” nature. “And you know?” she said. “The world doesn’t fall apart if I’m not organizing something.”

Brooke Shields attends the 2021 Hampton Classic Grand Prix on September 05, 2021 in Bridgehampton, New York.Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

But it doesn’t sound like she’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Now that her daughters are independent (Rowan, 18, is a college freshman; and Grier, 16, recently appeared with Shields in a new Mother’s Day campaign for Victoria’s Secret), Shields said she feels inspired to pay her blessings forward, and to keep learning. “Community is actually good for your health. I want to keep giving out towards wherever I can.”

In particular, she said her recent work with some of these brands, like Clos du Bois and as the new chief brand officer for Prospect Farms (a wellness company offering benefit-focused botanical products for people and their pets) has deepened her connection with “that vitality, that rejuvenation you see” in the natural world. Shields said she’s been inspired by “learning about cycles, and the importance of water, and time spent tending.”

Her own wellness practices include making sure she exercises every day—”I make sure I move in some capacity . . . to get my adrenaline and my heart going,” she said—along with staying hydrated (“It’s a fight, I forget all the time”) and focusing on sleep. That in particular was what led her to work with Prospect Farms. “Because of sleep and the lack thereof, and the importance of it and how much I struggle with it, that’s where our initial conversation kind of happened.” And finally? Healthy eating—she said if her body doesn’t get enough greens, she craves a good salad.

It’s not just about looking good—it’s about feeling good. The day after she spoke with us, Shields teamed with her trainer Ngo Okafor to host a live virtual fitness class to raise funds for Ukrainians in need of housing. “When you look at everything happening in the world that’s so tragic,” she said, “you sort of think: Oh really? Am I gonna really focus on those five pounds? It’s like, come on. Instead of picking the thing that I’m just obsessing over, I’m sort of saying, You’ve come this far. You’ve really done a lot. You’re so thankful, you know?”

And these days, she insisted, perspective is everything. “It’s such an easy thing to overlook and forget—but your body is extraordinary in how it wants to heal, and how much it can do that’s miraculous. Instead, we do what I did, which is just pounded the heck out of it for decades onstage” (referencing her years on Broadway in Grease, Chicago, Cabaret, and others). “The injuries that I’ve had, it’s amazing to see what your body is capable of. There’s health, and wellbeing. Look at the whole. . . what it means to really live in your body and in your life to your best. And what makes you happy, not in comparison to somebody else.”

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Kristine Gasbarre
Krissy is the senior editor leading content for TheHealthy.com and “The Healthy” section of Reader’s Digest magazine. For two decades she has worked in digital media, books, and magazines and is a #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling ghostwriter. Her work has been featured in Reader’s Digest, People, the New York Times, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Sirius/XM Oprah Radio, and more. With degrees in psychology and cultural media studies, she assisted with a clinical research project at the Cleveland Clinic and is a certified group fitness instructor, the owner of two irresistible rescued dogs, and the partner of a physician leader in healthcare quality who is also a stage IV lymphoma survivor.