Kelly Clarkson is embarking on a new chapter in her life, complete with a fresh perspective and a revamped image, all within the vibrant backdrop of New York City. The 41-year-old singer and talk show host, who is a single mom to 9-year-old daughter River Rose and 7-year-old son Remington Alexander, has made the bustling metropolis her new home after finding discontent in Los Angeles for several years.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE for this week’s cover story, Clarkson candidly shares, “I was very unhappy in L.A. and had been for several years. I needed a fresh start.” The decision to relocate her popular talk show from L.A. to N.Y.C. was driven by a sincere concern for her mental health and that of her children. She conveyed to NBC, “I’m not trying to sound ungrateful. I just can’t stay here anymore for my mental health, for me and my kids.” The move was a necessary step as the previous environment was taking a toll on them, and Clarkson felt the need for a genuine change.
The transition to the Big Apple has brought about a shift in Clarkson’s daily routine, with typical non-working days now revolving around exploring the city with her kids. Shared with ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, 47, River Rose and Remington are the focus of these activities, including walks in the park with the dogs, indulging in ice cream, creating slime, and visiting museums.
Clarkson attributes her newfound physical well-being to their on-the-go lifestyle, acknowledging, “Walking in the city is quite the workout.” Additionally, she has embraced practices like infrared saunas and cold plunges. When it comes to her diet, she follows a healthy mix, giving credit to her doctor’s advice. She humorously adds, “I’m a Texas girl, so I like meat — sorry, vegetarians in the world!”
The move to New York City has not only revitalized Clarkson’s personal life but has also allowed her to fully engage with her talk show, recently nominated for a Critics Choice Award for best talk show—the sole daytime show and female host in the category. Reflecting on the challenges of the past few years, she shares, “I was going through a really rough few years, and even in the first season, it was rough behind closed doors.” Now, entering the fifth season, she expresses genuine joy, stating, “Season 5 is my first season to actually enjoy every minute of it.”
Offering advice to her younger self, Clarkson reassures, “It’s going to get easier.” Acknowledging her tendency to be hard on herself, she adds, “Around 41, you’re really going to get your s— together.” As her journey unfolds, viewers can catch The Kelly Clarkson Show on weekdays, with local listings providing station and time details.