Chelsea Handler's comfort zone has always been a place of laughter. But while working on her latest book Life Will Be The Death of Me...and you too!, the comedian found herself in tears. Often. And in front of an audience of sorts, too. "I would sit in so many airports, because that’s where I like to write: in lounges. I would sit, and I would just be bawling," Chelsea tells Refinery29's co-founder and global editor-in-chief Christene Barberich on the season 4 premiere episode of UnStyled. "I was like, oh God, this is a wreck, but I was at a place where I could actually deal with crying in public, not giving a shit [if] anybody saw me crying. Just being really present with what I was writing."
In Life Will Be the Death of Me, the former Chelsea Lately host confronts, among other things, the deaths of both her mother and a beloved brother, and the related discoveries made with her psychiatrist. It wasn't just an emotional breakthrough but a creative one, too. "I understand now why people write books," she says. "I finally feel like I've written something for the first time, in my life, of merit. I've made this entire career [out of] oversharing, and here's something … that could actually help other people who are locked or trapped or stuck in their pain."
As Chelsea tells it, becoming that vulnerable, that in touch with her own pain— even deciding to seek the help of a therapist at all — was hard as hell. As fans know, hers is a powerful, no-fucks-given brand of fearlessness. "I looked at therapy like I look at a lot of things in Los Angeles — as gratitude-universe area that I didn’t want to be part of," she admits. "I felt like those people who talk about kale all day are fucking idiots, and they annoy me. And I didn’t want to become that — going into therapy, writing this all down, starting to meditate, changing my life."
To hear everything Chelsea had to tell Christene — about why she's finally ready for a relationship, white privilege, her family, her grief, and whether she'll return to comedy — listen to UnStyled, and subscribe via Apple Podcasts.