By Patrick Gomez
April 05, 2018 at 03:47 PM EDT
Teri Hatcher

If you see a 1978 VW camper parked alongside a California road anytime soon, hop on in: Teri Hatcher just may be inside ready to give you some real talk.

“The past year has been a tough year. It’s been a year filled with a lot of anxiety and frustrations and I guess this was my little way of having some control and maybe create some small space where people felt they could talk and connect and not be invisible,” the former Desperate Housewives star tells EW of why she’s launched Van Therapy, a new series on her YouTube channel “Hatching Change.”

In her new series, Hatcher invites passersby into her van — which she says she’s owned for “at least 15 years” — to discuss everything from how to take a compliment to the nuances and politics of coming out.

“They can be really little subjects or really big subjects, but I feel so lucky that I’m able to connect with these people whom I might otherwise never have come into contact with,” says Hatcher, who will do over a dozens of interviews in one day of shooting for the series. “What do I, a 53-year-old actress, have in common with two 22-year-old hippie guys smoking pot? And the answer might be nothing but I think more often than not there’s something that connects us. We’re much more alike than we think we are.”

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Hatcher says she loves the “immediacy” of being able to produce content and quickly share it with her YouTube channel’s subscribers, but the actress also admits she initially resisted joining social media.

“I’m really late to the social media party. I resisted it for a long time. It’s just not my comfort zone. I don’t like just posting about my day,” she explains. “But it’s important to be able to reach people and that’s what I hope I’m doing now.”

In addition to Van Therapy, Hatcher hosts a cooking show that encourages people to eat cleaner.

“Years ago, I was watching the documentary Fed Up, which tries to expose hidden sugars. There’s this scene where this teenager was dealing with obesity and he truly was trying to lose weight but there he was at breakfast with a giant glass of orange juice and a peanut-butter-out-of-a-jar sandwich and sugary cereal and there I was sitting there on the couch on a Saturday night screaming at the TV, ‘Just don’t eat s–t out of a box!’ ” Hatcher says of what inspired her series Don’t Eat “It” Out of a Box.

“I love cooking fancy food and traveling all over the world, but there’s a place for that but when I’m home alone cooking dinner, I’m trying to do things that are economically accessible and easy to make and don’t feel overwhelming,” she says. “I’m trying to provide some fun while trying to convince people to eat less processed food.”

The key to making her new shows, says Hatcher, is simplicity. “I’m trying to just put out even the smallest amount of positivity out there,” she says.