Naomi Watts Is Raising Money for Pandemic Aid with Her Favorite Workout Class: It’s ‘Uplifting’


Naomi Watts, like most of America, is quarantining at home with her family these days and has both "good and bad days."

"There's this unbelievable sadness and anxiety that is caused by the knowledge of what's going on around the world," she tells PEOPLE. "It’s just so upsetting and it creeps into your psyche all day long."

To keep those thoughts at bay, the award-winning actress, 51, opts for various methods of self-care, like dancing with her kids, videochatting with friends and eating red velvet cake by the handful — all of which she's documented on her Instagram. And it means relying on streams of her favorite workout class, The Class by Taryn Toomey, for a major mood boost.

“I’ve been kind of obsessively taking her class, more than I would ordinarily,” she says. “It’s been kind of my savior during these times. We know that old adage that if you exercise you get endorphins, and it's a great way to move you out of anxiety or depression, but I feel like I've never known that in such a clear way since this experience. Taryn’s class is mood-altering for me in that way.”

And Watts and Toomey, a longtime friend, have been trying to brainstorm ways to help out over the last few weeks. They eventually decided to co-host a special edition of The Class to benefit COVID-19 relief. Called The Class x Healthy at Home, it’s now available worldwide for a minimum donation of $10, with all proceeds going to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

“This was something that Taryn really wanted to do, and she asked for my support, and it just felt like the perfect fit,” Watts says. “And to give support to the World Health Organization just felt like the most important and meaningful match.”

Watts says that the workout will not just benefit the Response Fund, but also anyone who takes the class.

“I love The Class for so many reasons. It’s not just about fitness, that’s just one component of it, but there’s another important component which is unpacking the dark thoughts that you carry with you — the tension, the sadness, the heartache, the loneliness, the anger, the rage — whatever it is. And turning that and chipping it and altering the mindset while physically moving to incredible music,” she says. “It’s so beautifully put together and brings you to this point of catharsis. You're able to shift your dark thoughts and turn them into joy just for having gone through that experience.”

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