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Kathie Lee Gifford recalls 'crippling' loneliness on 'Today'

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Kathie Lee Gifford is looking back on the "crippling" loneliness she experienced before her move to Nashville, Tenn.

The former Today host said on the show Thursday that she's doing much better since moving to the city in 2019.

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"I'm so good, you guys," Gifford told hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager. "I miss you, but I'm so good. Just happy, happy down there. Happy in South, happy in Nashville. It's a culture of kindness."

Gifford said her move to Nashville had "been in the making for many, many years." She shared how her previous home in Connecticut felt lonely following the death of her husband, Frank Gifford, in 2015.

"This home of mine in Connecticut where Frank and I raised our beautiful children and we had so many happy years, when I was living there alone ... It came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone," Gifford said.

"I said, 'I need to make a new life for myself, or this one's going to kill me.' The loneliness was crippling. It was crippling," she shared. "I said, 'Where is there life in abundance?' Nashville."

Gifford moved to Nashville after leaving Today in April. She said on Today in November that she feels loved and respected in her new city.

"It's a place of joy for me," Gifford said. "I felt loved here and received and respected."

Gifford previously said on Today that she has gone on a couple of dates since her move.

"It was fun because I hadn't been on a date in 33 years," she said. "It's surreal, you know, it's surreal 'cause the world's changed so much."

Gifford has two children, son Cody, 29, and daughter Erin, 26, with her late husband. Cody and Erin are both engaged, and Gifford shared her excitement on Today.

"My daughter's getting married in June. Cassidy's marrying a wonderful family friend," Gifford said. "Cody is getting married, I think in September ... He is so happy."

Gifford hosted Today for 11 years and is also known for hosting Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.

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