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Mandy Moore shares the secrets to her upbeat attitude, gives advice to younger self

For TODAY's One Small Thing series, Moore revealed how she manages to maintain her positive outlook.
/ Source: TODAY

Mandy Moore makes us cry regularly on "This Is Us" — but in real life, the actress has plenty of reasons to smile.

For TODAY's One Small Thing series, Moore revealed how she maintains her positive outlook.

"My morning motivation is coffee," she said. "I’m going to be honest. I go to bed every night excited to wake up in the morning just to make coffee. But I’m also a morning person and I feel like I’m sort of at my best in the morning, like I’m at my most creative. I really am able to accomplish things better in the beginning half of the day."

And the 33-year-old is quite busy these days. In addition to filming the hit NBC series' second season, she's also encouraging women to get educated about family planning as part of a sponsored campaign, "Her Life. Her Adventures."

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

In fact, Moore has no time for negative thoughts.

"Something that I just heard that I really like is acknowledging the negative thought, recognizing that it won’t service your day, and compartmentalizing and literally visualizing yourself putting it on a shelf, putting it away, outside of your consciousness," she said. "So I'm going to try doing that next time a negative thought enters my brain."

Moore, who found fame as a teen pop star in the late '90s, also shared the advice she'd give her younger self.

"The advice I would give to my younger self would probably be along the lines of saying yes more often," she said. "I was so focused on having this fantastic opportunity to do what I was so passionate about at such a young age that I was just hyperfocused on getting the job done and not really enjoying being a young person. I feel like I passed up opportunities to go on trips and go out to dinner and hang out with my friends because I was so focused on the task at hand. So I would tell my younger self to take a breath, enjoy the world around you a little bit more."

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Of course, today's teens have a new set of pressures in the age of social media.

"I think I need young people to give me advice on how to avoid the potential toxicity of social media," she said. "I mean, it’s out there. My goodness. Step away from the computer. Step away from the handheld device every now and then. I think having an honest line of communication, acknowledging the world around you and your friends and the real life people who exist. So much of what we present to people is a curated version of our lives, and I think keeping that positive perspective could be helpful."

In fact, she says all women should "allow yourself a down day."

"We’re all going to have things we don’t love about ourselves, but embrace the positive attributes and aspects of who you are," she said. "That'll get you going a lot further."

And the one time we can all use a pep talk? Getting over heartbreak.

"Speaking from personal experience, I really lean on my friends, on my girlfriends," Moore said. "I love to talk it out with them. I’m a big believer in therapy as well. Just acknowledging all the positive, successful, loving, supportive relationships that you have in your life."