Robin Roberts Shares Her 5 Daily Rituals to Stay Healthy and Optimistic: 'It's a Habit I've Formed'

The Good Morning America anchor has a new book and a new perspective, as her partner, Amber Laign, receives treatment for breast cancer

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Robin Roberts. Photo: Danny Weiss/ABC

Robin Roberts wants you to know she's not always happy.

"Please let people know I don't wake up every day and go, 'Boy, this is gonna be a great day!'" she tells PEOPLE. "But, hey, a majority of them are."

The Good Morning America anchor and author of the new book, Brighter by the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams, certainly has her bad days, especially while Amber Laign, her partner of nearly 17 years, is in treatment for breast cancer.

"Lately, if Amber's having a good day, I'm having a great day," says Roberts. "If she's not, then I'm not having such a great day."

But after overcoming several health challenges, including breast cancer and MDS, a rare blood disorder, Roberts, 61, says choosing happiness each day has become her norm.

"It's a habit I've formed," she explains. "If I want stronger biceps, I do curls. If I want to be more optimistic, I look for the ways optimism presents itself in my life every day."

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Robin Roberts. James Devaney/GC Images

Among the things which give her a smile? A good workout, her rescue dog, Lil' Man Lukas, and her prayer warriors, who meet in her dressing room.

"My Glam Fam are really my spiritual team," Roberts says of her hair, makeup, styling and social media crew who gather daily for affirmations, which she shares on social media.

Here, Roberts shares more about her daily spiritual workout and the things that bring her joy.

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Robin Roberts with her dog. Robin Roberts Instagram

I start my day in quiet.

I'm up at 3:30 a.m., and I have what my Grandma Sally called "quiet time." I don't turn on the TV, I don't reach for my phone. Someone told me recently that when you reach for your phone first thing in the morning, it's like having 100 people in your bedroom screaming at you.

I meditate twice a day — and pray too.

When I start working every day on the air, it's like being shot out of a cannon. So I now meditate after the show too. It's a way to really settle myself: being mindful of my emotions, my feelings. I'm only recently willing to acknowledge fear and doubt. I say, "Okay, fear and doubt, you're in my body. You're visiting me. What is it? Why are you trying to get my attention?" I acknowledge it and then move on.

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Robin Roberts' new book.

I do something just for me.

It's not something that comes naturally, but self-care is not being selfish. It's imperative that we take care of ourselves. I have started to play tennis. I read a book by Missy Buchanan, and she asked, "What brought you joy as a child? " So now I'm on the court as much as I can be.

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I share the messages that move me.

Before the pandemic, we used to pray in my dressing room for "Thankful Thursday", which I'd post. Then we went home, and it became something just for me, Amber and our rescue dog, Lil Man Lukas — and the response was tremendous. People wanted me to keep it going when I went back to the studio, so it became an act of service.

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Robin Roberts and Amber Laign. Robin Roberts Instagram

I allow myself to be vulnerable.

I tell people to "make your mess your message." I have been more emotional about Amber than I was my two times [facing serious illness]. This is so odd for us. She's so used to me being the patient, and I'm so used to her being the caregiver. To swap roles like we have, as much as I'm teaching her, she's teaching me and encouraging me to take care of myself as I encourage her back.

Roberts' book, Brighter by the Day: Waking Up to New Hopes and Dreams is available now and can be purchased here.

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