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How Julianne Hough Cuts Loose

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Julianne Hough talks about what makes her happy, the "Footloose" remake, and more in the latest issue of Self . …

Julianne Hough, 23, has one test for whether or not she's truly feeling fulfilled.

"A couple years ago, my dad asked me if, when I'm on the road by myself, no boyfriend, no family, no dogs to comfort me, I am happy with who I am. That stuck with me," the former "Dancing With the Stars" pro tells Self magazine. "If you don't know yourself, you can't really love anybody. Today, I am really happy with who I am and feel like I'm in the right place."

The star of the new "Footloose" remake reveals that even her relationship with longtime boyfriend, "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, is going well.

"I'd met Ryan many times over the years, but we got together at the right time," she says.

Julianne might owe some of her happiness to exercise and indulging in her creative side. "There is something so rewarding about dancing. It's almost spiritual -- you let loose, you feel free, you get endorphins from the exercise," she notes. "[And] acting is like free therapy! Trying to make people laugh or cry can be inspiring. Dancing and acting satisfy me in different ways."

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Still, the singer admits that she does have problems. No, really! A big one is setting boundaries. "If I'm not busy, I feel like I'm not doing enough. And I'm a pleaser. It's my Julianne syndrome," she confesses. "I'm trying now to learn how to say no to certain things."

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Another problem is making sure her fit physique is in tip-top shape before donning a barely-there swimsuit for one of her many photo shoots. She has a special move for just such a situation. "My go-to prebikini flat-ab move is the plank, all different types," she says.

Of course, it helps if you've got a body like Julianne to start!

Check out the new "Footloose" video featuring Julianne:

 

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