Kelly Clarkson says now that she’s left LA and moved to New York, “a weight has lifted”

Weiss Eubanks/NBC

On October 16, Kelly Clarkson launched the fifth season of her talk show from a new location: New York City. Deciding to relocate there was a big decision, but Kelly tells USA Today, “I feel like a weight has lifted.”

“I’ll be real honest: I thought I was making a horrible decision,” Kelly says of her move. “I knew I needed a fresh start and couldn’t be in LA. I really wanted to be in Montana, but you can’t really do a show from there quite yet. So I was like, ‘The only other option would probably be New York.'”

Now, after a few weeks, Kelly and her kids, River and Remington, are confirmed fans of the Big Apple. “I genuinely love it, and I love that my kids love it,” she says, adding, “That move was very needed.”

In fact, Kelly says she’s the happiest she’s been in a long time. In LA, she realized she’d been spreading herself too thin by doing the talk show and being a coach on The Voice.

“Full disclosure, I put on a smile a lot of those times because I was struggling a lot in my personal life,” Kelly says of the first four seasons of her show. “I’ve learned a lot about what I’m capable of handling, and also what you should not handle. That was me saying ‘bye’ to The Voice and having this big move. I love that family, but I was like, ‘I’m struggling. I can’t smile anymore. I don’t feel like smiling.'”

“I think the thing I’m most excited about with Season 5, on a selfish level, is just showing up to work smiling and actually meaning it,” she notes. “That’s a beautiful gift that you don’t realize until you’re out of it.”

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