The Thousand Oaks, California, native, 30, recently sat down for her first interview in nearly four years, where she revealed that she is sober and dedicated to living a more wholesome lifestyle.
“I hike, I go spinning — take spinning classes — and I feed the homeless,” she told Hollyscoop’s Diana Madison in an interview previewed by Good Morning America.
She also expressed her desire to return to her acting roots.
“I do miss acting and I actually have something surprising to tell you, I’m going to start acting again,” she said. ““I want to do TV, maybe a few guest spots on some shows that I’m a fan of and maybe another TV show that I’m the star of it.”
And those closest to Bynes are optimistic about her future.
“She is doing great. She is happy and healthy and excited about the future,” Bynes family attorney Tamar Arminak told PEOPLE ahead of her 30th birthday.
Bynes is currently taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, and a source close to the star also said the actress is committed to school and planning for a career in fashion.
“She is working on her own designs, which are incredible thus far. She hopes to launch her line soon,” the source said.
Bynes’ lawyer, David Esquibias, told PEOPLE that the star is hitting a good stride both personally and with her studies.
“Amanda is doing great, enjoying school and thriving creatively,” he said.
It’s a happier chapter for the former child star, who began her professional acting career at the tender age of 7, appearing in a Buncha Crunch commercial.
She later gained notoriety on Nickelodeon’s All That and Figure It Out before landing her own show on the kid-oriented cable channel – The Amanda Show – at just 13.
Her career continued to blossom with a number of film roles – including She’s the Man, Hairspray, and Easy A – before personal issues put any potential projects on hold.
In 2012 she faced DUI and hit-and-run charges. A year later, in July of 2013, she was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold after she was seen near a gas can and small fire in a driveway of a Thousand Oaks home.
Family, friends and fans feared for Bynes’ well-being during her struggles, but lately she appears to be doing much better.
In February she was spotted looking healthy as she took a sunny stroll in Los Angeles.
By the Numbers: Amanda Bynes
As for social media, her posts have been less frequent – and less controversial. In February she shared her new haircut with fans, her only post since she wished fans “happy holidays!” in December while sharing a snap with her “bestie,” makeup artist Troy Jensen.
Bynes continues to see life coach Joy Stevens, PEOPLE confirms, and the pair were spotted enjoying a low-key shopping trip in Venice on March 8.
“Amanda looked great,” said a witness. “She seemed to like the outing.”
Bynes and Stevens also shared a meal at West Hollywood hot spot Craig’s last year, around the same time Bynes’ lawyer told PEOPLE that the star was heartened by the support she’d been receiving.
“She appreciates all of the love and support she receives from family, friends and fans,” Esquibias said.
• With reporting by ELIZABETH LEONARD and MELODY CHIU