Madelaine Petsch on Meditation, Birth Control, and the One Book That’s Really Worth Reading in Quarantine

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Photo: Lo Loestrin Fe; Graphics: Well+Good
Madelaine Petsch, who stars on Riverdale as Cheryl Blossom, hasn't been on set since COVID-19 quarantine measures kicked off in the spring of this year—and she's growing more and more impatient by the day.

"Everything's kind of up in the air right now," Petsch tells Well+Good. "We're still figuring out Riverdale and there's a couple of movies that I'd like to be doing—so we're kind of just waiting to see what happens next. I'm practicing my patience, which I don't have a lot of." Like so many of us, Petsch now finds herself in a holding pattern. So we sat down with her to hear about how she's stoking her creative flames with acting off the table, why she's getting vocal about birth control, and the one book she thinks everyone should read.

Madeleine Petsch on your birth control options, her morning routine, and the books every young climate activist should read

1. Well+Good: How do you start your day?

Madeleine Petsch: "I usually start my day with an hour and a half at the gym. I run a lot and we're also doing toning and weight training. To be honest, the best part of the gym is that I don't have to think about it. Someone else tells me what to do. It's the one hour of the day when I don't have to think about anything."

2. What book would you recommend to anyone who wants to learn about environmentalism?

"There's a great book by Susie Cameron that's called One Meal a Day for the Planet and it's fantastic. It explains the environmental impact of going vegan for just one meal a day—and also the health impact."

3. You recently partnered with Lo Loestrin Fe—the birth control pill with the lowest daily dose of estrogen available—to help women prioritize talking to their doctors about their birth control options. Why is that so important to you?

"It was a little scary for me [to work with Lo Loestrin Fe], because I don't see a lot of people being ambassadors of birth control options, but I think it's so important to have these conversations and to just kickstart the thought process in your head to even just go and research. Like 'Oh, let me research my other options. Let go talk to my OB/GYN.' I want to empower women to take control of their reproductive health and I want women to make the right decisions for their body, their mind, and their soul."


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4. You recently started a meditation practice, right? How's that going?

"During this time I've learned that meditating is so incredibly important to my mental health. I have a meditation because I can't really focus otherwise, so I work with [my meditation coach] three days a week and then the other four days I use Headspace or I love Insight Timer. That's a really great one that has guided meditations and also just music if you like that. The problem with music though is that sometimes you just fall asleep."

5. What's one word you'd use to describe working on the Riverdale? 

"Chaotic—in a positive way. I never know what I'm gonna get. I miss the spontaneity. I miss the excitement."

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