Amy Poehler may be considered one of the funniest women in Hollywood, but she can be serious, too.
The Golden Globe winner covers the March 2014 issue of Ladies' Home Journal, in which she shares life lessons and explains the importance of cultivating meaningful female friendships. "Most of the women in your life will outlast the men in your life," Poehler says. "The SNL ladies—Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Tina [Fey]—and I text pictures of our kids back and forth all the time. It keeps us connected. As my nanny used to say, the older you get the more important it is to know people that knew you when."
Poehler pays it forward via her web series, Smart Girls at the Party, which empowers young girls.
"I connect to that age. I've learned a lot about myself by talking to young girls," the Parks and Recreation star explains. "Young girls feel passionate about things. They remind me that it's OK to really care—and that cynicism and sarcasm are an easy choice."
Fortunately, the TV star had an idyllic upbringing in Boston. "My family was very witty and quick and you kind of had to keep up. My dad will tell you I got all of my comedy from him," Poehler laughs.
What else has the 42-year-old mother of two learned over the years? "I think the hardest thing is to know what you want, ask for it and then to stop talking," Poehler says. Because she's older, she's more confident. "You realize no one can make you feel bad about your choices without your permission."
When all else fails, the Saturday Night Live alum goes to her favorite exercise class to find inner peace.
"The teacher gives us all a hug and goes, 'You did it! You showed up! Let's lie down,'" Poehler tells Ladies' Home Journal. "We all lie down and she's like, 'How is everybody feeling?' We're like, 'Great!' And the teacher's like, 'Great!' Then we all get to leave 20 minutes early." Glad she's not always serious!