Actress, musician, and feminist icon Queen Latifah has accomplished a ton—but her road to success and health—both mental and physical—has not always been easy.
Latifah tells Health that she used to struggle with self-love. “I came to love myself when I decided hating myself felt like crap, and I was tired of hating myself, so I had to make a choice to love myself,” she says.
The star’s mother passed away last year after a 14-year battle with heart failure, a diagnosis that motivated Latifah and other relatives to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle, she previously told Health.
Despite her hardships, the Queen says her power actually comes from her happiness. Her mantra? “The joy of the Lord is your strength,” she says.
“To me, I think it’s pretty cool that joy is actually the strength, not just the power or some big thunder,” she says. “Just being happy is actually my strength, so I try to be joyful.”
Latifah recently teamed up with Cigna to get the word out about how your physical and mental health are connected. “It’s important to me because they are looking at the whole body, not just the physical part, but also the emotional and mental health,” she says.
“Everything is connected, so if you are stressed out physically, you can be stressed out mentally and emotionally,” she adds. “It’s something to talk to your doctor about because they might be able to help you.”