Chill Chat

Christina Milian Shares Her Hack For Staying Motivated While Running

The star reveals her self-care practices and wellness routine.

Christina Milian on her wellness routine and hack for staying motivated on the treadmill.
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their workout playlists to their most reliable self-care hacks. Here, Christina Milian talks about her running motivation hack and how she winds down for a good night’s sleep.

For over two decades, Christina Milian has been singing bops — millennials all remember the wildly catchy “Dip It Low” — and starring in everything from rom-coms to TV series. Now, the 40-year-old mother of three runs a beignet food truck brand, a jewelry line, and a tech brand on top of numerous collaborations and ambassadorships (including one with Savage x Fenty). Rather than cower in a corner to hide from the stress of being so busy, Milian credits her parents with instilling a wellness savvy in her.

“Growing up, my dad was always in the gym working out, and my mom always knew what was right when it came to health and wellness,” Milian tells me over Zoom. “So I became interested in fitness when I was in my early teens, and in drinking enough water, and the types of foods I was putting in my body. It’s made a difference in my life.”

Oral health is also big for the star, so her current partnership with Crest and Oral-B’s “Close the Smile Gap” campaign — which aims to help end oral health inequity for children across the country — makes perfect sense. “My parents were always adamant about us taking care of our teeth because they dealt with a lot of [dental] issues growing up as immigrants,” Milian says. “Being first-generation American, they wanted a better life for us and to avoid some of the things they went through, like root canals and cavities.”

Here, Milian tells Bustle about her self-care practices, her unconventional workout playlist, and the best wellness advice she’s received.

What’s your morning routine like?

Usually, everybody gets up one at a time. So my husband usually gets up with one of the kids, Isaiah, 1, and I’m usually with the baby [Keena], and I wake up my daughter Violet, 11. First, we like to eat breakfast. Somebody gets a milk, somebody gets baby food. My husband is probably feeding my son chocolate cookies. [Laughs.] Then we brush our teeth. After all of that, I like to take the kids to the park.

What’s your favorite way to work out?

I just love going on the treadmill. I like to run. My goal is always 3 miles. Whether it takes 30 minutes, 25 minutes, or 40 minutes to do it, that’s my goal. I do that maybe three times a week. Fitness helps bring peace of mind to me.

What’s on your running playlist?

OK, so when I’m running, I actually play Candy Crush. I have a huge iPad I put it on. I’m almost at level 2,000 at this point. [Laughs.]

I’ve never heard of anyone doing this during a workout before.

I play maybe seven games, and it’ll have been about 30 minutes. And I’m totally distracted. It’s great — you should try it.

What’s the spa treatment you’ll always get?

I like to get a nice steam facial. I’ve gotten some really good ones that really just clean out any toxins that are in my skin. I’m living in a city [Los Angeles] right now, so I like to purify my skin and relax at the same time. If there’s a little bit of massage included, I love it.

Are there any other beauty rituals you follow?

I just bought a big leaf of aloe and I’m rubbing it on the sides of my hair. Post-baby, I’ve had some hair loss in those areas. I also heard things like garlic oil work, but I dare not put garlic in my hair. My husband would kill me.

How do you wind down after a long day?

I like to light candles in the house and make sure everything’s clean. I know it sounds funny, but it’s a wind-down thing for me because everyone’s asleep and they’re out of my way. And... does watching reality TV count? [Laughs.]

Absolutely.

That’s something that belongs to me and nobody else in the house. I have my moment where I watch a good reality show — one of the Housewives shows. That’s wellness for me.

How do you get a good night of sleep?

My day has to be just active enough for me to settle down. And every night, I have tea. I’ll have a cup of chamomile tea for digestion and to calm down. I’ve been doing that for the past two months and I make my husband drink it, too.

What’s the best wellness advice you’ve ever received?

The importance of water. I do find that there’s a huge difference when I’m not drinking enough water and I’m not hydrated. I get headaches, I have an attitude, and I’m tired. When I’m dehydrated, it’s not a good thing.

So it’s like getting hangry but from dehydration?

Totally, yeah. It happens to me. Watch, you’re going to notice it — one day you’re going to be like, “Why am I on edge right now?” and then you’re going to realize you need to drink some water.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.