Broadway Legend Sutton Foster’s Favorite Way to Decompress

Updated: Nov. 17, 2022

A high-pressure job calls for a soothing hobby—and for Sutton Foster, this one's more than just a way to unwind.

We all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by our day-to-day. For some people, it’s a night curled up in front of the TV or with a good book. For others, it means a long run at the end of the day to blow off some steam. For Tony Award winning actress Sutton Foster? It’s crafting.

Foster, who is currently starring in The Music Man on Broadway alongside Hugh Jackman, is no stranger to being booked. When all that go, go, go takes a toll, she says crafting projects like crocheting and cross-stitching (she even crocheted the top she’s wearing in the photo above!) are her favorite ways to stay cool and collected. Foster spoke with The Healthy @Reader’s Digest about why this hobby is so important to her, and her other self-care secrets.

And, it turns out, data suggest there’s plenty of support for why this hobby helps—read The Most Relaxing Hobby You Can Do, According to a Survey.

Sutton Foster on crafting

The Healthy: Why do you think it’s important to have a hobby? What do you enjoy about crafting in particular?

Sutton Foster: Hobbies are so important because they provide a healthy outlet to channel your emotions and keep you busy. Finding time in your day to do something you love and enjoy can reduce stress and promote a healthy mind. I love crafting in particular because it helps me cope with stress and career-related pressures.

“I Left My Career in the City to Open a Plant Shop—and I’ve Never Been Happier”

The Healthy: Why do you like cross-stitching, and what made you interested in it? 

Sutton Foster: I am a true crafter at heart. I started with cross-stitch and crochet as a young child and found solace in the calming rhythm of a needle and thread. My mom passed on cross-stitching to me, and from there my love of crafting grew. Cross-stitching and crocheting has helped me keep my hands busy and keeps me grounded so I can face the day with a clear mind. Everyone needs an outlet, and for me it’s crafting.

One of the reasons I’ve partnered with JOANN is to help shed light on the ways that crafting can improve mental health and offer resources at a time when it is needed the most. JOANN is inviting people of all crafting skill levels to visit, where you can access free, quick guides to nearly 100 crafting activities designed to improve mental well-being.

Singer-Songwriter Jewel’s Intriguing Secret on How She Overcame Her Painful Past

The Healthy: Is there a crafting project you’ve made you’re proudest of, or that means the most to you? We would love to hear about it!

Sutton Foster: There are many crafting activities I enjoy that help me boost mental wellbeing. … Right now I’m crocheting over glass jars and recycled bottles … repurposing them as gifts, candle holders, vases. A great way to upcycle.

One of my favorite things I’ve ever made is cross-stitch gift I made for my mother. A design of baskets, in shades of blue and browns. She had it in her home and now it hangs in mine. I find all of my crafting supplies at JOANN for crocheting, cross-stitching and collaging. These projects really help keep me grounded and focused.

7 Essentials Fellow Shoppers Say You Need For a Cozy Mental Health Night at Home

Sutton Foster’s favorite self-care practices

The Healthy: What other daily practices do you use to protect your mental health (i.e., yoga, meditations, taking a morning walk, etc.)

Sutton Foster: I LOVE being outside. In all types of weather. I love to hike and I take daily walks. I even love walking in the city. And I meditate twice a day, a real game changer for me. Once in the morning and once before dinner or in between shows.

The Healthy: What’s your go-to self-care routine when you’re feeling down?

Sutton Foster: Every night I take a bath—it’s a part of my routine to wind down after I come home from the theater. I love to light candles and use bath salts. It’s one of the things I’ll even do in the middle of the day if I feel like I need a reset.

For more wellness updates, follow The Healthy on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Keep reading: