The Unwind is Yahoo Life’s well-being series in which experts, influencers and celebrities share their approaches to wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.
After working in the entertainment industry for six decades, Marie Osmond knows a thing or two not only about performing with legends, but also about being one. But recently, it’s the passing of iconic actress and her Maybe This Time co-star Betty White that has the 62-year-old singer, actress and author thinking about her own place in the world.
Osmond tells Yahoo Life that White, who passed away in December 2021 weeks before her 100th birthday, “was like a second mom” to her. During one of their last conversations, Osmond says she and White spoke about getting nervous before a performance and how to use those feelings for good.
“She always had those nerves behind her,” Osmond says. “And both of us said that when people lose that, then [they] lose [their] passion, right? You have to want — you have to have that energy behind you to make you go out and do a good job. She always had that, and we both had said when you lose that you should retire and try something new.
Osmond, who spoke with Yahoo Life as part of her work as a Nutrisystem ambassador, says her key to not losing her passion for performing comes from finding a good work-life balance.
“I’ve been very blessed to see my work as work and my life as life,” she says. “I think that’s where in show business a lot of people get lost. Maybe their self-worth is invested only in their work. But I love life and I don’t have to be on stage to be happy. I can always be happy.”
Osmond hasn’t always felt happy, though. The former talk show host wrote openly about her struggle with postpartum depression in Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression and says that when her then 18-year-old son, Michael Blosil, died by suicide in 2010, she found fulfillment in serving others. She’s learned to share her stories with the world and has heard first-hand how her candor has helped others.
“I felt sharing might help people,” she says. “And you know, it was really touching to me when I did my book signings: I would close down Barnes and Noble — I would stay there for hours because I really wanted to help people sincerely.”
During an emotional encounter with two of her readers, Osmond received confirmation that she was right.
“They had me sign a book and she said, ‘Can I hug you?’ And I said, ‘Of course you can hug me,'” Osmond recalls. “She said, ‘I wish you would’ve written this a year ago because maybe be our daughter would still be alive. She took her life because she had terrible severe postpartum depression and nobody knew anything about it then.”
“When we can [speak] of those kinds of things and maybe just help one person, it’s worth it,” she adds. “So that’s why I have shared things in my life — whether it’s the loss of my son or whatever — because I feel if it can help one person, then that’s what we’re supposed to do. As women we’re supposed to complete each other, not compete with each other.”