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‘I’m Kind Of Spinning’: An Emotional Taraji P. Henson Says She Will Not Work for a Month and Instead Take a ‘Spiritual’ Trip Alone to Find Her ‘Happiness’

Taraji P. Henson is figuring out what makes her happy just like everyone else.

From the outside looking in, it is easy to assume that her fruitful acting career and success translate into her feeling her best, but that currently is not the case for Henson. In a revealing interview with radio personality Angie Martinez, the actress opened up about fighting for her happiness as life becomes more challenging by the day.

Angie Martinez, Taraji P. Henson
Angie Martinez and Taraji P. Henson appear on the “IRL” podcast. Photo: Youtube/Angie Martinez IRL Podcast

“My joy is something that I have to fight for every day. I have to fight for it,” said the “Hidden Figures” actress as she appeared on Martinez’s podcast, “IRL.” When asked how happy she was, the actress said she really did not know. Henson explained, “I thought I was happy, but the things that I thought — I’mma get emotional. I don’t want to — the things that I thought was making me happy they don’t, they don’t cut it anymore. And so, I’m in a place where, ‘Well, what does that look like?’ And I’m kind of spinning because I don’t know.”

The Oscar-nominated actress even referenced her past relationship with former NFL pro player Kelvin Hayden. The duo was engaged and planning a wedding — which had been pushed back twice — when their split was announced in October 2020. Henson said she thought the road to marriage was one of those things that brought her happiness, but now knows that is not the case.

It’s not marriage; it’s not a man. It’s for me to tap in and find my happiness. And to be honest with you, Angie, I haven’t been happy, like purely happy, in a long time,” she continued. But Henson is not wallowing in pity. “I’m still here; I’m still living, so that means I still have time to find it, and it’s work, and it’s okay because it’s for the benefit of me. It ain’t got noting to do with anybody else … I’m excited about this next chapter and finding this happiness,” said the “Empire” star.

Elsewhere in the interview, the two women emphasized the importance of mental health and taking care of yourself. Henson has publicly advocated for mental health causes and spoken about her struggles with anxiety and depression. In 2019, she told PEOPLE, “For me, there was no shame when I started to recognize it. It was like, that I have to get some help because I’m the life of the party and when I go dark I go dark.” She added, “I felt such a relief when I finally said it publicly … I was drowning, and once I spoke my truth, I started to float back.”

Henson also founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation — in honor of her late father, whom she believes suffered from undiagnosed bipolar disorder — to destigmatize mental health issues and provide resources to the Black community, especially children. The Emmy Award-nominated actress also hosted two seasons of “Peace of Mind with Taraji” on Facebook Watch. The series was on par with her passion for delving deeper into conversations about mental health, overcoming adversity, and providing community to those who, in their darkest hour, feel there is no one who can relate to them. “We have a platform, where people are watching this all over the globe. And what I love about it is, you’re talking to a community of people, Black and brown, who can’t afford therapy. But guess what? Our show is free,” said Henson in 2021.

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