Jennifer Aniston Joked About Starting a 'New Chapter' After 'Friends': 'I Got a Divorce and Went Into Therapy'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Close Up of Jennifer Aniston
Close Up of Jennifer Aniston

Getty Images

It's only fitting that Jennifer Aniston, the very first guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2003, served as the final guest to close out Ellen DeGeneres' 19-year run on daytime TV. After sharing a snippet from that first-ever appearance in September 2003 — from the start of the final season of Friends, which ended in 2004 — the talk show host asked Aniston how she "dealt with" the ending of such a major moment in her life.

"Well, I got a divorce and went into therapy," Aniston joked, referencing her split with Brad Pitt with a laugh. "And then I did a movie called The Break-Up. I just kind of leaned in to the end. I was like, 'You know what guys, let's just make this a completely new chapter. Let's just end everything and start new.'"

"It worked out," DeGeneres noted, to which the Morning Show star responded enthusiastically, "It worked great."

Of course, while Aniston seems to have a sense of humor about it all, opting for therapy — especially during big life changes, such as closing a chapter on a relationship or a job à la Aniston, or moving or starting a family — can help you wade through uncharted waters with the support you might not even realize you need. (Related: Why Everyone Should Try Therapy at Least Once)

"Therapy works by digging into certain patterns to give you a better understanding of unhelpful behaviors — for example, self-sabotaging or reacting defensively in certain situations — which in turn fosters self-compassion and helps you create new patterns that actually serve you and your growth," psychotherapist Rebecca Hendrix, L.M.F.T., previously told Shape.

The beautiful thing about therapy is that you can talk about anything you like, whether it's a mental health issue such as anxiety and/or depression or something you experienced earlier in the day. "Discussing recent events, interactions, and the feelings associated with them often leads to the discovery of patterns," as Hendrix previously told Shape. Once these show up, you can work on these deeper patterns, beliefs, or hurts that are causing you to be upset." (Related: How to Find a Therapist You Actually Like)

As for Aniston, she's revealed that she's a longtime fan of therapy. After her divorce from Justin Theroux in 2018, she responded to reports that she'd begun seeking therapy to heal after her breakup, telling Extra, "I've been in therapy for years."

In 2021, she spoke with InStyle about how therapy has helped her grow as an individual and in her relationships. When asked how she stays "open to new things" after marriage and divorce, she shared that therapy has provided "a wonderful amount of trying to understand" things. "My level of anxiety has gone down by eliminating the unnecessary sort of fat in life that I had thought was necessary," she added. "Also realizing that you can't please everybody. And what good does that do if you're just little bits of yourself?" It sounds like looking after her mental health has allowed Aniston to grow throughout each chapter of her life.