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When Ashley Tisdale embarked on what she calls her “mental health journey” a few years ago, she started with small steps. Think daily meditation practices, lighting candles and drawing an evening bath. Then she noticed that certain fragrances triggered specific moods. “Citrus, for example, made me feel more optimistic and energized,” she says. “It made me really curious, so I looked into the ‘why’ of it.”

After the singer and “High School Musical” actress got her answer — a scent sends signals to the sector of the brain that controls memory and emotion — she went to work and created her own wellness line. Enter Being Frenshe, a collection of perfumer-crafted products such as candles, creams, oils and body washes with soothing aromas specifically designed for stress-free daily rituals.

“Most people are too busy to add another step to their routines or start a new practice,” she explains. “So I wanted people to feel a little more optimistic, more comforted just by, say, taking a shower with our body wash. The fragrances really do smell good!”

Tisdale adds that there is no correct way to take on the day. She loves to get in “Zen mode” by turning off her phone, clearing her schedule and being “fully present” for her husband (composer Christopher French) and 2-year-old daughter; she also thrives on tackling big, creatively fulfilling projects. “It’s all about balance and trying to make choices that support overall well-being,” she adds. “I just try to be open to possibilities.”

During a break in her routine, Tisdale detailed her daily musts for CNN Underscored.

“My bath time ritual is a self-care staple — and these bombs are one of my favorite tools for de-stressing,” Tisdale says. On the scent side, these bath bombs boast notes of fresh lavender, milky sandalwood and sweet cardamom. They’re also infused with oat and coconut extracts “so they leave your skin feeling so soft.”

Tisdale admits her essential daily beauty product isn’t “the most exciting answer,” but any dermatologist would happily approve of it. The smooth, zinc oxide-enhanced moisturizing sunscreen was developed for moderate to dry skin and can be worn alone or under makeup. “It’s the easiest way to keep your skin healthy in the long run,” she says.

Related: The best sunscreens in 2023, tested by editors

Tisdale can’t contain her excitement when talking about her calming ritual. “I really like a sound bowl or a singing bowl,” she says. “When my mind is moving at a million miles an hour, the sound helps me slow my thoughts down to a more manageable and peaceful place.” While Tisdale listens via YouTube videos, for the real deal, try this travel-size handcrafted meditation set, which includes a striker and cushion.

For a quick snack, Tisdale likes to eat potassium- and magnesium-packed roasted almonds. “I don’t like to be hangry — who does? — so I always have a few packets of nuts in my car,” she explains. The actress washes 'em down with homemade nutrient-dense smoothies, which she quickly whips up at home and then sips on the go.

Nothing fancy here! When it comes to her wardrobe, comfort is top priority. “My favorite clothing item would have to be my sweatpants,” she says. “I can’t live without them!” Made from a mix of lightweight cotton and modal blend, her beloved loose-fitting loungewear features a soft elastic waistband and wide leg. It’s also available in seven colors.

Related: Free People vs. Amazon lounge sets

A true force of nature, Tisdale says she’s learned to love putting on her hiking boots and experiencing the great outdoors. “I’ve been going on some solo hikes lately just to feel healthy and let my mind wander,” she says. “It’s so beneficial because I get fresh air and return feeling better than I did before I left. The solo time helps me be a better person, partner and parent.” This durable waterproof shoe has a cushioned, compression-molded midsole and Vibram Megagrip rubber outsoles for traction on uneven terrain.

Related: The 24 best hiking boots of 2023

Her reading rituals: The New York Times, CNN (yup!) and the guide book from this popular cognitive behavioral therapy-based program. Developed by self-help author and motivational speaker Lucinda Bassett, the self-guided holistic treatment kit — which includes the guide book, audio lessons on CDs and carry-along cards — is geared to anyone struggling with anxiety, depression and stress. “I read the book years ago and it changed my life,” Tisdale says. “I revisit it often.”