From a tumultuous run on "The Bachelorette" to an epic victory on "Dancing with the Stars," Hannah Brown had a big year, and her time in the spotlight has made her appreciate small moments when vulnerability and honesty take center stage.
Earlier this year, the Meghan Markle thanked ITV News at Ten anchor Tom Bradby for asking her how she was doing as a newlywed and new mom having stepped into life as a royal.
"Especially as a woman it's really -- it's a lot," Meghan said in the documentary by ITN Productions "Harry & Meghan: An African Journey."
"And also thank you for asking, because not many people will have asked if I'm OK," Meghan added.
Brown said she found the duchess' answer incredibly "relatable."
"I'm not a royal or anything, but I kind of understood that, because when people watch you and are enamored and so obsessed, and think that they know you, but don't really ask how you are, it feels really good when somebody does," Brown told ABC News. "And that you're able to have that conversation."
"The Year: 2019" airs on Sunday, Dec. 22 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
She continued, "Whether it's with a microphone in your face or if it's just a friend having coffee with you. It's really nice for somebody to ask, 'How are you? Are you OK?'"
"Even though she got criticism, which I think is ridiculous, people have to remember that she's human and it's OK to have human emotion and to express that," Brown said. "It doesn't mean she's ungrateful, it's just being a real human and saying that sometimes life's hard."
Brown also spoke to her rise to fame on reality TV and compared herself to others who make a "packaged version" of themselves.
"I just don't work that way. I can't do it. I can't pretend that I'm happy or pretend to get emotional when I'm not," she said candidly. "When I started this whole journey, that this year has been, I realized very quickly it's either all or nothing, with me. I chose all and sometimes I'm like, 'Gosh dang it, why are you like that?'"
The 25-year-old Alabama native said she has had moments this year where fans interacted with her and say they feel like they know her due to the public spotlight of her personal life.
"A lot of people truly, if they've watched me, and been on this ride with me, this year: You do know me," she said. "I haven't tried to hold anything back."
Brown added that it has at times made things difficult for her.
"I wish I would have protected my heart a little more," she said. "But, being able to have that human connection is so worth it and yeah, I'm really proud of that."