The 2 Hobbies That Help Joanna Gaines Unwind After a Long Day

May  4, 2018

Are you a fan of Fixer Upper? I, for one, can happily spend an entire evening binge-watching the HGTV show starring home renovation pros, Chip and Joanna Gaines. I mean, I'm not alone; even celebrities like Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds have professed their love for the talented duo. It seems we all live for the big reveal at the end of each episode where, time and time again, the couple manages to deliver jaw-dropping results.

The series finale might be behind us (the final episode aired last month, RIP), but the Gaines family is keeping busy. Joanna (or "Jo" as she's known to fans) just released a new cookbook, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, a collection of favorites, culled from family archives and hits from their restaurant of the same name. I recently had a chance to chat with Jo about the book, family life, and what she does to keep herself grounded in her limited spare time.

As a busy entrepreneur and a mother of four (with a fifth on the way!), Jo probably doesn't have all that much extra time to pursue hobbies—but it was turning her attention to gardening and cooking that gave her the inspiration and mind-clearing she needed to get through the craziness of the last handful of years.

Shop the Story

"The garden is a big deal for me, just getting my hands dirty, tending to the garden," Jo tells me. As for cooking, it was a mindful attitude change on her part that got her to love it more. "It used to be something where I said, 'I'm tired, I don't want to cook,'" she admits. "I've tweaked my mind a little bit to really think of it as something to help me unwind after a long day. So I'd say gardening, being in the kitchen, just being creative, and not feeling like it's got to be this perfect meal."

Taking the pressure off of yourself, and then reveling in the ensuing joy it brings? Sounds like the ultimate win to us.

What do you do to unwind? (Browse through our site, we hope!) Let us know in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • BerryBaby
  • Hana Asbrink
    Hana Asbrink
Hana is a food writer/editor based in New York.


BerryBaby May 5, 2018
To unwind I hug my puppies, work in the garden and do deep breathing exercises to the sounds of phone, TV, music.....nothing.
Hana A. May 5, 2018
Puppies *and* a garden?? BerryBaby, I'm convinced you have the perfect life. ;) Thanks always for sharing, have a wonderful weekend!