Oprah Lets Go Of Depression, Embraces Spiritual 60s

By Victoria Kim 08/16/17

The iconic media mogul recently opened up about depression and learning to live life on her own terms.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey will return to television this fall as a special contributor on 60 Minutes. The media mogul is in a much different place at age 63, mentally and spiritually, than she was early in her career. 

In a new interview with Vogue magazine, Oprah talks about letting go of old hang-ups like box office stats and weight loss. “By the time you hit 60, there are just no…damn…apologies,” she said. “The weight thing—that was always such a physical, spiritual, emotional burden for me—no apologies for that either.”

Oprah recalled a time during the ‘90s when the box office results of her 1998 film adaptation of Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved revealed that it fell behind Bride of Chucky.

“I shall never forget Saturday morning, October 17,” she said. The disappointing news triggered a period of depression that lasted about a month and a half. “And so began my long plunge into food and depression and suppressing all my feelings.”

She went on, “I actually started to think, maybe I really am depressed. Because it’s more than ‘I feel bad about this.’ I felt like I was behind a veil. I felt like what many people had described over the years on my show, and I could never imagine it. What’s depression? Why don’t you just pick yourself up?”

The veteran TV talk show host of the long-running The Oprah Winfrey Show, who says she has interviewed more than 37,000 people through her career, was affected by the experience of seeing the box office numbers of her passion project—which she both starred in and produced—fall short of her expectations.

“That’s when the gratitude practice became really strong for me, because it’s hard to remain sad if you’re focused on what you have instead of what you don’t have,” she said. “It taught me to never again—never again, ever—put all of your hopes, expectations, eggs in the basket of box office. Do the work as an offering, and then whatever happens, happens.”

These days, when she’s not tending to her impressive garden on her 65-acre California estate (called the Promised Land), Oprah is busy building her multimedia empire, from O Magazine to the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), to producing and acting in films The Butler (2013) and Selma (2014).

In addition to joining 60 Minutes, the Academy Award-nominated actress (for her role in 1985’s The Color Purple) will also appear in next year’s film A Wrinkle in Time alongside Mindy Kaling and Reese Witherspoon.

Oprah is living life on her own terms, and exudes spiritual growth and fulfillment. “I’ve tried to talk to other people about this thing: I have no angst. No…nothing. No regret, no fear. I mean…just absolute joyful contentment.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr