In this series, we dive into one busy day of a dynamic individual to understand the rituals and routines that foster their success (plus the small, unplanned moments that keep life interesting).
Here, television personality and mental health advocate Zuri Hall shares how she navigates a day on the road for work, attending an Ohio State event (her alma mater) and taking some time to spend with her beloved dog, Lola, and her girls.
8:00 a.m. — I woke up. Truthfully, I am not a morning person. I usually wait until the very last possible moment to wake up. I love my sleep. This morning, 8 a.m. was a good start for me, it gave me about an hour before I had therapy.
9:00 a.m. — I had virtual therapy.
I think a lot of people have realized that you can do therapy virtually—you don’t have to drive across the city to talk to someone. I’ve stuck with virtual therapy since the pandemic; I’ve been working with my therapist for just over a year and a half now. Mental health is very important to me, and advocating for it is a big part of how I use my platform, including via my podcast, Hot Happy Mess.
My podcast has been a labor of love. I’m the executive producer, and from the content creation to booking ideas, it’s a really hands-on, intense process. And it was important for me to have these conversations. For so much of my life, especially my 20s, I was so go, go, go non-stop. And then I think many of us got burnt out, we just got really tired. I only know now that everyone else was also tired, but in those moments, I felt sort of isolated because no one was talking about it yet, not publicly at least. Everything always came second—relationships, vacations with friends, my mental health, my peace and my wellness. And I looked up and realized I created this life that looked incredible, but didn’t feel good at all. Actually, I was a little bit miserable. And so I said, “something’s gotta give,” because it’s not worth it to be putting in all of this effort if I’m not genuinely enjoying the fruits of this labor. I’ve gotten really intentional.
10:30 a.m. — I dropped off my dog Lola at daycare just down the hill from where I live. She just turned two, and she’s my first dog ever. She’s a sweetie; she’s my bestie, you know? I live alone. I just bought my first home. My house and Lola are the same age—I was crazy enough to get them at the same time. I was house breaking this puppy while the new (off-white) carpets were being installed. She’s my little road dog, we do all the things together. I work a lot, my hours are sporadic, and so I appreciate the support network that I have for the dog. You don’t think about it until you have to think about it.
11:00 a.m. — I headed to the Access Hollywood studio for glam. Every day is different with Access, which is probably the most important thing to know about my job and my career in general. It’s also the fun of it—no two days are the same. I sit in glam for 45 minutes or so. We’re normally rolling (starting the show) around, I would say, 12:30/12:45, and then I can normally get out of there by about 1:30. Then I skedaddle and it depends on what assignments I have that day: Can I just go do me? Can I take meetings? Or do I have a movie junket or red carpet premiere later that night? On this day, I had a sit-down, an exclusive with the two leads of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, India Ria Amarteifio and Corey Mylchreest. We love Shonda Rhimes, and we love a Bridgerton story!
1:00 p.m. — Headed to the Bridgerton interview. When I’m in the field, it’s a little more guerrilla style—you got to just make it work. A common misconception is that I have this black car just chauffeuring me around LA. I’m in my car in bumper-to-bumper traffic like everybody else. Except during awards season. For awards season, I do get a driver. I’m not going to accidentally miss the Oscars because I took a wrong turn.
Zuri Hall with the leads of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
2:00 p.m. — Arrived at the The Langham Huntington in Pasadena for the Queen Charlotte interview. They were super sweet and we set up a proper afternoon tea. We have an incredible crew, and I’m pretty hands on with my field shoots and with giving my perspective. I put on my producer hat. I come from local news, where you had to be a one-woman show because there wasn’t budget for anything else.
4:30 p.m. — Headed over to a meeting with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for Ohio State (my alma mater). Fun fact: I majored in strategic communication with a focus on communicating to mass external audiences. My minor was theater.
I’m really a proud Buckeye. I got the The Young Alumni Achievement Award last year, which was really nice. They recently asked me to sit on the Dean’s board. We reach out and help young alumni or future alumni and carve pathways for those students to get to where people like me are in the industry. We had a quick little meet and greet, we talked for about an hour or so, tossing ideas around about how I can continue to support the university.
When I was younger, the idea of emailing someone or asking them to help me or give me advice gave me anxiety. Because of that—and wishing that I’d had it—I really try to be proactive and very open about sending the energy that, “yes, please come to me, please ask me questions.” And now that I’m more extroverted, I’ve pushed myself out of that shell. I am starting to foster really meaningful connections with people whose careers I admire. I am starting to get more intentional about finding mentors. And I can feel it moving the needle for me. As many times as I have an opportunity to do that for someone else, I’m always going to do it.
6:00 p.m. — I picked up Lola and headed home to prep to host panels for NBCU FYC events—one is with the EP/showrunners of our biggest competition shows, including my new fave, Jimmy Fallon’s That’s My Jam. Another is the DEI presentation for NBCU’s new Launch program, an initiative to amplify and support paths and systems for diverse talent, not just on camera, but behind the scenes.
8:00 p.m. — Girls night at my house! I love to host. Usually I cook but after the long day, I was exhausted. So I ordered Postmates: Mediterranean Panini Kabob for the win! We had the movie Beaches playing in the background.
10:00 p.m. — Once the girls went on home, Lola and I cuddled on the couch. I took my shower and finally took the makeup off. I have a bad habit of falling asleep in my makeup—but I didn’t tonight. Then I called it a night!
This as-told-to piece has been edited and condensed for clarity and was conducted in May 2023.