You Won't Find Gabrielle Union at Hot Yoga, But Try Looking in Her At-Home Hyperbaric Chamber

You won't find her at hot yoga, but try checking her at-home hyperbaric chamber.

gabrielle union
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She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Bring It On—all iconic ‘90s movies with one star in common: Gabrielle Union. The actress made a name for herself in teen movies, proceeding to expand her thespian purview to equally as iconic romantic comedies. Read: Think Like a Man. She starred in crime series LA’s Finest and BET’s drama series Being Mary Jane, for which she won an NAACP Award. 

In more recent years, her resume has grown. She dipped her toe into the beauty world, launching her namesake haircare brand, Flawless by GU, in 2017. She became a children’s book author with "Welcome to the Party" (2020) and "Shady Baby" (2021). And, she’s become an outspoken voice in destigmatizing menopause via her new partnership with ClearBlue’s Menopause Stage Indicator. 

Through it all, she’s made a point to prioritize herself, her family (she shares daughter Kaavia James with husband Dwyane Wade), and quiet time—when she can get it. On the phone from her home in California, the multi-hyphenate details how she gets wellness done. 

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

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I'm not really big on fad trends. I really trust my doctor and I’ll tell her, Oh I saw this thing on TikTok and she’ll tell me it’s a scam.

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

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Therapy. I didn’t realize therapy was controversial, but I guess a lot of people feel like they’re going to a head shrinker or that they'll plant things in your mind. I don't know how that is because I'm talking most of the time.

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

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I don't love hot yoga. I’ve actually done it I-don’t-know-how-many times. Every time, I say, Ok, this is my last time. I don’t think I’m built for it. But something always brings me back and I go, Why am I here? It’s just not for me. My husband swears by it though. He has a whole crew. They go daily. I’ll be at pilates—in the air conditioning.

Your ideal wellness routine:

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It would definitely center around silence. I’m sure all the moms can relate. Silence would be so awesome. Maybe I’d be at a beach location, which would also be awesome. I’d like a minimum two hour massage. I’d have the Andre 3000 album on. I don't know what magic that man sprinkled in there, but he immediately calmed my nervous system. I would probably eat an acai bowl. It's literally my favorite thing. I could eat them for every meal. I’d have the perfect Rocket Salad, with the perfect ratio of hard Parmesan cheese. I'm talking about Europe somewhere, because the cheese over there doesn’t trigger my diary issues. I’d maybe have another massage and then an intensive therapy session where they just give me a long, good cry. I’d have Mexican food for dinner that’s somehow gluten free and dairy free—that’s my fantasy. And then fireworks and an amazing amount of sleep.

Low-brow feel-good hack:

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This is free and we do it every night with our daughter Kaavia at bedtime. We do daily affirmations. We used to use cards, but now we all make up our own. There’s one Kaavia wrote herself that says: I am blessed. She makes us hold it together and say it in unison, while she holds the three of our hands together. I don't know where my kid came from, but that's her thing. We just remind ourselves of our own strengths in various ways. Sometimes at the end of the night when you haven't had the best day, these affirmations make me cry. Getting to do it with my daughter, my husband, and usually my sister just gives me that little oomph to recenter.

High-brow feel-good splurge:

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I am a devotee of hyperbaric chamber therapy for inflammation. If you have autoimmune challenges or  hormonally anything that causes inflammation, it’s going to be your friend. So much so that I got one in my house. It’s not the cutest thing and it’s large, but it’s worth it. It’s dramatically helped with my inflammation, my memory, my mental focus, and brain fog.

The best way to describe your wellness vibe:

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I'm pretty open to things. I'll try things that are legal. I’ll try anything once. I’m not going to say never and then cut to: sitting a womb-like hammock in the middle of a sound bowl. I’ve tried that and I do enjoy that very much. So yes, I’m pretty open.

Who you look to for advice:

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I’ve had a lot of luck with my girlfriend Ashley Margolis. She owns this company called The A List in LA. She has been incredibly helpful. My girlfriend Hannah Bronfman has been incredibly helpful. And, Sanaa Lathan has been incredibly helpful. Those are my three gurus.

The wellness apps we'd find on your phone:

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You would find FitOn.

When you need to reset:

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Go to therapy. Thank god for Zoom therapy. That has been my saving grace, especially during the pandemic. My therapist is on the older side and I wasn’t sure how online therapy was going to work for her. It has been a challenge, but once she got the hang of Zoom and FaceTime? It literally saved my life.  

Your current state of mind:

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In this moment, I’m mildly frazzled.

Your mental health focus right now:

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I’m really working on meditation or self-help. Tia Mowry sends me almost daily meditations and reminds me to practice my breath work. Even if it’s short—don't start me off with a 45 minute one. She’ll send me a five minute meditation and it has been incredibly helpful.

When and where you feel the happiest:

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When I’m in my backyard with my husband and my kids. That is my joy.

A funny little wellness story about you:

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Someone had told me about this hip opening class. They said that you hold all your emotions in your hips and to not be alarmed if you burst out crying. I’m not a crier. Not even when it’s part of my job. I tell them to just bring the menthol. I was so alarmed when the instructor put me in this position. I’m not flexible to save my life, so to get in this position was a challenge. But like clockwork, it was like I sprung a leak. I was heaving and sobbing like I was at a funeral. I was so embarrassed. It unlocked something that I was not ready to deal with. I was like, let me just put it back in my hip.

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

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I think a lot of people believe in sucking it up and faking it until you make it. But when it comes to mental health and self-help, it's not good to deny yourself what you're feeling and your reality. I think that is counterproductive.

The thing you'd tell your younger self about wellness

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Health and wellness is your birthright. You deserve to feel peace. You deserve to feel happy and you deserve good things. It’s not how well you perform that dictates the level of what you deserve. You are born to know peace and joy and love and community.

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and keeps up with the latest trends in the beauty space. She has previously written for Us Weekly, Popsugar,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Follow her on Instagram @samholender.