HGTV’s Tarek El Moussa on wife Christina Hall leaving him

Tarek El Moussa can vividly recall the moment he hit rock bottom.

It was a few weeks before his wife, Christina Hall, finally left him for good. The beloved “Flip or Flop” TV personality, who battled testicular and thyroid cancer, was suffering from rapid-fire mood swings, depression and anxiety.

The real estate guru took a good look in the mirror. He didn’t recognize himself. He needed help. He no longer felt like a good father or husband.


Tarek El Moussa struggled with an addiction to steroids after he battled testicular and thyroid cancer. (Noel Vasquez)

The 42-year-old has written a new book, “Flip Your Life: How to Find Opportunities in Distress – In Real Estate, Business and Life,” which details his triumphs and struggles.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” El Moussa admitted to Fox News Digital. “I was planning on going to see a different doctor and start figuring out what was going on with me. But, unfortunately, I had done so much damage. It was a little bit too late.”

El Moussa had no idea he was experiencing a crippling steroid addiction. In an attempt to get his testosterone levels back on track, he turned to hormone injections recommended by an “anti-aging specialist.”

Book cover for Flip Your Life

Tarek El Moussa detailed his downfalls and triumphs in “Flip Your Life: How to Find Opportunity in Distress―in Real Estate, Business, and Life.” (Hachette)

The side effects took a toll on his health and marriage. In 2016, El Moussa and Hall, 40, ended their seven-year marriage.

“The misconception is, ‘Just change your mindset,’ or ‘Just think positive,’” said El Moussa. “If someone is struggling with mental health, it’s out of your hands. There’s nothing you can do. It’s a feeling of hopelessness, sadness and being alone and lost. You can have the most amazing life around you, but inside you can’t escape those feelings.


“I used to beg myself, ‘Be happy. Feel better. Be positive,’” El Moussa reflected. “But, inside, I was dying. … It takes a lot of hard work to get out of a bad spot when it comes to your mental health. But the good news is that you can. It just takes a lot of hard work. … You have to get to the root of addiction. What causes the addiction? The underlying thing is typically mental health. You’re using that addiction as a Band-Aid. Then, unfortunately, you become addicted to that addiction. It creates a whole new set of problems.”

Tarek El Moussa and Christina smile while attempting to flip a home

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall starred in “Flip or Flop” from 2013 to 2022. (Aaron Rapoport/Corbis)

According to the star, he was already grappling with his mental health before the steroid shots started.

“I was going through cancer. … I wasn’t healthy. I was sick,” he explained. “When you’re sick, when your hormones are all over the place, when you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, you’re just not the same person. And looking back … I couldn’t believe I was like that. It was a very, very challenging time.”

Following his public split from his wife, the father of three chose to live in a halfway house.

Christina Hall looking sternly at Tarek El Moussa as he talks to a mic

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall in 2016, the year they separated. (Alexander Tamargo)

“I didn’t know where to go,” said El Moussa. “I was completely lost. I was alone. I quit testosterone cold turkey. My hormones were all over the place. I was mentally and physically ill. I needed someone to take care of me. I was unable to take care of myself. Through some friends, I ended up at a halfway house, which turned out to be the best thing I could have done because it was the support I needed.”

El Moussa and Hall co-hosted “Flip or Flop” for 10 seasons. They filmed their series post-split before the show came to an end in 2022. El Moussa said it was difficult putting on a brave face on set as his breakup played out on the world’s stage.

“The pain I went through in those years … I don’t even know how I survived it,” said El Moussa. “It was awful. At the end of the day, I’m just a human. I’m just like everybody else on this planet. I just happen to do something where cameras follow me and people follow. … But I survived it.”


Christina Hall leaning onto Tarek El Moussa as they both smile

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall’s divorce was finalized in 2018. (Aaron Rapoport/Corbis)

But one day during filming, El Moussa said he finally accepted that “life wasn’t fair.”

“I said, ‘It’s time for me to start working on my new life,’” he recalled. “I knew it was going to be challenging. I knew it was going to take a long time. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew I had no other options. So, I got to work.”

Today, El Moussa said he’s “healthier and happier” than he’s ever been. And he even found love again. In 2021, he said “I do” to Heather Rae Young, the “Selling Sunset” star and former Playboy model. They welcomed their first child in 2023.

Heather Rae El Moussa cradling Tarek El Moussas face

Heather Rae El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa welcomed a baby boy in 2023. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

“After the first date, I [thought], ‘I can marry this girl,’” he chuckled. “I really liked Heather. But there was a point, I think it was like nine months into our relationship, it was me and Heather on the boat with the kids. She had [my daughter] Taylor on one side of her chest and [my son] Brayden on the other. She was cuddling them, and they were all napping. It was at that moment when I thought, ‘She’s the one.’”

El Moussa learned plenty of lessons from his first union, he insisted.

“The biggest lesson is you get what you put in,” he shared. “That’s it. Just like anything else in life. … Pretty simple, huh?”


Tarek El Moussa speaking in front of a podium

Over the years, Tarek El Moussa has spoken out about his battles with cancer. (Michael Bezjian/Getty Images for The American Cancer Society)

The one role El Moussa cherishes most? Being a father.

“Hands down,” he said. “It’s the best thing in the world. It’s my favorite part of my life. I’m obsessed with my kids. … We play chess, we play video games, we play basketball, we run around the house. I love watching them play sports. … I love being a dad. I would say the most exciting part of my life is my family. I love my family. I feel so lucky, and I’m just so grateful for the life I have.”

El Moussa wants his book to give readers the courage to flip their lives, no matter how tough things are for them.

Tarek El Moussa smiling and wearing a dark suit

Today, Tarek El Moussa said he’s healthier and happier than ever. (Frazer Harrison/WireImage)

“Most people don’t believe it until they see someone else do it,” he said. “The four-minute mile was impossible until someone did it. Now a lot of people are doing it. So, I think that by reading my story, it’s going to give people hope.”

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