Living in the White House sounds miserable at times! Michelle Obama candidly talked about her time as First Lady in a discussion with poet Elizabeth Alexander at the Obama Foundation summit in Chicago on Nov. 1, and we were surprised to hear Michelle admit the White House was often a lonely place. Luckily, her friends kept her in good spirits!

“I love my husband [Barack Obama], and he is my rock, but my girlfriends are my sanity,” she explained, according to People. “And when you live eight years in the White House, where you can’t even open a window, you can’t walk out on your balcony without notifying three people so that they can shut down security, your walk outside is a walk around the same loop on the South Lawn over and over and over again because the thought of you leaving those gates requires 50 people’s attention and work and inconvenience… when you live like that for eight years, you need your girlfriends.”

Michelle stressed the importance of friendship and how it “kept her whole” while she was insulated from the rest of the world. “I think women, we do it better than men,” she mused. “Y’all should get you some friends! Get you some friends and talk to each other ’cause that’s the other thing we do, we straighten each other out on some things, our girlfriends.”

The former FLOTUS thinks that even her husband would benefit from having closer friendships with men. “I just wish sometimes Barack, it’s like, ‘Who are you talking to?’ I see a lot of men laughing, but y’all need to go talk to each other about your stuff, because there’s so much of it, it’s so messy! Just talk about why you all are the way you are.”

We’re sure she teaches her daughters Sasha Obama and Malia Obama about fostering these caring friendships too. In fact, Michelle said the girls are her BFFs! “They have brought me so much happiness and pride, how they have carried themselves and responded to the pressures that they didn’t ask for, living a life they didn’t want but coming out on the other end as good, solid people,” she explained.

The “pressure” she mentioned includes “living in a bubble, that every misstep for them would be on YouTube or that they had to drive around in their teenage years with men with guns… that they didn’t have access to their father in a way.” However, Michelle decided early on that “we can’t apologize for the life they have because a whole lot of it is good.” Clearly, it all worked out perfectly! Now if only the former president could get some bros to hang out with.