'Bridgerton' Star Charithra Chandran Wants You to Take Yourself on a Date

She swears by this wellness hack to ditch the dating apps.

Charithra Chandran on a pink and purple ombré background with the text "Doing Well"
(Image credit: Future)

There’s no right way to “do” wellness, but Marie Claire’s Doing Well offers a glimpse into the self-care mantras, therapies, and affirmations practiced by industry trailblazers.

In season two of Bridgerton, Charithra Chandran's character, Edwina Sharma—a student of classic literature, modern languages, and several musical instruments—epitomizes effortless intelligence and femininity. It's tempting to believe that Chandran has it all figured out off-screen, too. In addition to being an actress, she is fluent in two languages (English and Tamil), an accomplished athlete, and has a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics.

Charithra Chandran attends the London screening of "How To Date Billy Walsh" at Conway Hall on April 2, 2024 in London, England.

Charithra Chandran embodies minimalist glamour at the London screening of "How To Date Billy Walsh" in April 2024.

(Image credit: Simon Ackerman/WireImage)

However, the 27-year-old insists that she struggles to find balance in wellness—particularly now, as she's gearing up for Instructions for a Teenage Armageddon, her one-woman West End show. "Any wellness advice I have comes from an utter space of hypocrisy and self-awareness," she notes. I hope it doesn't come across as me on Mount Olympus, casting criticisms of human beings. It's very much me saying all these things to and about myself."

Ahead, Chandran shares how to stay balanced, stay positive, and take a step back from the noise—all advice she's doing her best to follow.

The wellness trend I haven't tried yet but want to:

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A woman on social media came up with the term Cozy Cardio. It's a low-impact exercise. You are working out and you are getting your steps in, but it's very relaxing and comfortable. I think sometimes I put a lot of pressure on myself and my body to do intense workouts and be super exhausted at the end of it, otherwise I haven't worked out. But the idea of cozy cardio is just so sweet and feels like something you can do with your friends. It's just going for more walks and things like that.

A wellness practice you swear by that some might find "woo woo"

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I journal every morning, and it's not journaling as in just writing my thoughts. It's really structured journaling. You write out your morning routine, what you want to achieve that day, and your nighttime routine. The most important things are your affirmations of the day and the things that you're grateful for. Taking five minutes of your day to actively practice that gratitude saves you so much time and improves your well-being tenfold.

No matter how hard you try, you just can't get into:

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My family practices yoga every day. It's part of our religion and spiritual practice, but I don't do it. They wake up at 5:00a.m. and do an hour of yoga every morning, and I'd really love to do that. I can see the benefits so clearly, but I guess I don't have the discipline to do that yet. But I'll keep trying.

Cast member Charithra Chandran bows at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Instructions For A Teenage Armageddon" at The Garrick Theatre on March 17, 2024 in London, England.

Charithra Chandran stars in the one-woman-show "Instructions For A Teenage Armageddon" in London's West End.

(Image credit: Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Your ideal wellness routine:

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The first thing I do is drink a glass of water, then go brush my teeth. My mum always says, "You're always on the go. You are always going somewhere. You're always doing something." One of the things that I really want to improve is taking the time to make my hot drink in the morning, whether it's a coffee, a tea, or a matcha latte. I'm constantly on the go, and I want to take more time to sit, be by myself, and collect my thoughts.

I'd love to be off my phone more. I just got one of those devices where you can lock away your phone, and it literally won't let you in until the timer is up.

Low-brow feel-good hack:

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I think coconut oil is good for everything. It's good for your food; it's good for your hair, it's good for your skin, and it's a great makeup remover. I like multi-purpose products.

High-brow feel-good splurge:

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Oh my God, I love massages and facials, which are very luxurious. Trust me, I do not get them often, but I just think it's such a decadent and worthwhile activity every once in a while.

The best way to describe your wellness vibe:

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Being more present in my body. Acting is all about being present and listening to the world around you at that moment. So, I would say my wellness practices are about living in the moment.

Charithra Chandran attends Prime Video's star-studded immersive experience 'Prime Video Presents: Next Gen' at Old Sessions House on February 29, 2024 in London, England.

Chandran exudes glamor on the red carpet, but she loves to indulge in a more laid-back, offline lifestyle when she's feeling overwhelmed.

(Image credit: Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Who you look to for advice:

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I don't think I have a specific person, but I have wise friends. I'll often look at how they live their lives, and it's inspiring to me. I look at the people I love and what I love about them, and I try to embrace the healthy practices that I admire.

The wellness apps we'd find on your phone:

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My journaling is on my iPad. It's a PDF that I bought off Etsy. That is the only wellness thing I have, screen-wise.

When you need to reset:

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This is obviously a position of luxury, but I go to India. I'll just get on a flight to be with my family. We live a super hippie-dippie, disconnected life in India, and I'm surrounded by my family, who are the most important people in my life. It reminds me that everything else is bulls—t, and I feel better immediately. The speed at which my mood improves is insane.

Your current state of mind:

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My current state of mind is one of gratitude and striving. I know that feels like an oxymoron. It is the practice of starting at a place of gratitude, knowing how lucky I am, and then working hard to achieve all the other dreams I have. So right now, my state of mind is very, very positive.

Your mental health focus right now:

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Right now, it's about not placing all my attention and all my value on one aspect of my life, career, or dating. It is about having a more well-rounded perspective of things. Dating for everyone sucks, and maybe for me, right now, it's just staying hopeful and being really grateful and positive about all the wonderful things in my life.

When and where you feel the happiest:

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I really feel happy being on stage. You're so focused on one thing; you are so present. The play I'm doing is a one-woman show; my mind literally can't be on anything else, and it's so freeing to be entirely focused and present in that moment.

I also really love eating out. I love food, I love the restaurant experience, and I love taking myself on dates. Sometimes I'll pick a book, go to a restaurant, and eat by myself. I love it. I would recommend everybody try it. If you think people are judging you, that's a little narcissistic. I don't think anybody cares about you, and I say that about myself—I don't think anybody gives a sh—t about what I'm doing. I've never noticed someone sitting by themselves at a restaurant and reading a book.

Charithra Chandran attends the UK Special Screening of "Monkey Man" at Picturehouse Central on March 25, 2024 in London, England.

Chandran attends a London screening of "Monkey Man" in March 2024.

(Image credit: Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/WireImage)

A funny little wellness story about you:

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What is funny to me is when people try various TikTok hacks. I really respect those people, because there's some random person online saying, "Do this for hair growth. Do that to get over your illness in one hour." And I rate the people who actually try them and report back. They are God's favorite soldiers because they are actually going out there and doing the hard work.

Wellness advice you've received that...isn't great:

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I think a lot of the things around food and diet culture. A truly healthy relationship to food is when you don't really think about it that much and you can enjoy it when it's in front of you. A lot of it's about food trends and overanalyzing your food. People talking about macros and micros and whatever to kids and teenagers is just so not helpful.

The thing you'd tell your younger self about wellness

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I'd say focus much less on your outer wellness and focus much more on your inner wellness. I really want people to unpack why they do the "wellness" things that they do in their lives. Is it truly to make their lives better? Or is it truly for society, so you can say you do it, or show off that it aesthetically fits in their lives? Focus on the internal wellness practices over the external ones.

Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, gabrielleulubay.medium.com. Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at @suburban.graffiti.art