Oprah Winfrey Reveals She’s Never Been To Therapy

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Oprah Winfrey with George Stephanopoulos and Arthur C. Brooks discuss "Build The Life You Want" at The 92nd Street Y, New York on September 12, 2023 in New York City.
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

For a quarter of a century, Oprah Winfrey graced television screens with her profound insights. She has guided viewers through life’s complexities on her iconic talk show. Yet, while she offered wisdom to countless others, Winfrey’s own path to self-help took an unconventional route.

In an exclusive interview for PEOPLE’s 50th anniversary special issue, Winfrey divulges that despite her years of counseling guests on her show, she has never sought therapy herself. Instead, she found solace in a nightly ritual of candid conversation with her lifelong confidante, Gayle King.

Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King’s Therapeutic Friendship

“The real therapy came from downloading whatever was happening in the day with Gayle every night,” Winfrey shares, highlighting the profound impact of their daily exchanges on her well-being.

The bond between Winfrey and King, forged over nearly five decades, served as Winfrey’s primary source of support and reflection. Reflecting on their daily exchanges, Winfrey reminisces about their early days at WJZ-TV in Baltimore, where their friendship first took root amidst the hustle of television production.

“The nightly check-in was my therapy, my release,” Winfrey reflects, acknowledging the profound impact of their enduring connection on her well-being.

At 70, Winfrey remains profoundly grateful for King’s unwavering support, emphasizing the rarity of their bond and the depth of their mutual investment in each other’s lives. “I’ve had one of the best friendships anybody could have,” she says. “And you can only do that when somebody cares as much about your success, your sadnesses, your triumphs as you do.”