Jyothika was born to Chander Sadanah and Seema Sadanah. She holds degree in psychology at Mithibai College of Arts, Bombay. She has a brother and two sisters. She married actor Suriya on 11 September 2006, with whom she was paired in seven films; Poovellam Kettuppar, Uyirile Kalanthathu, Kaakha Kaakha, Perazhagan, Maayavi, June R and Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. The couple has two children, daughter Diya and son Dev.
She made her acting debut in the Hindi film Doli Saja Ke Rakhna directed by Priyadarshan, but it did not do well commercially. Her first role was a cameo appearance in Vaali in 1999. Later that year, she starred in Poovellam Kettuppar. The success of the movie Kushi became a turning point in her career. A string of successful films followed between 2000 and 2002, among them Mugavaree, Dum Dum Dum and Snegithiye. She also acted with Kamal Haasan during this period, in the comedy film Thenali. Her role in Rhythm though small, has been widely appreciated. She collaborated with Mani Ratnam for the first time by appearing in his production house, Madras Talkies' romantic comedy Dumm Dumm Dumm alongside Madhavan. The film won positive acclaim and became a success not only in Tamil Nadu but also in Andhra with its dubbed version. She also made an appearance in Kannada film industry opposite Upendra. In 2003, she starred in Dhool, Kaakha Kaakha, Thirumalai , these were amongst the top 10 films of the year. She also performed the lead female role in Telugu film Tagore,Opposite to Chiranjeevi, which was screened at the International Indian Film Academy Awards, and was a commercial success. Her most successful film till date is the Rajinikanth starrer Chandramukhi 2005 in which she played the title role. Her films in 2006 include Vettaiyadu Villaiyadu directed by Gautham Menon was dubbed into Hindi as The Smart Hunt. Her last films were Gautham Menon's Pachaikili Muthucharam and the critically acclaimed Mozhi. Her Malayalam films Raakilipattu and Seetha Kalyanam were released in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Jyothika later made a comeback through Television ads. In 2008, she appeared in a short film Herova? Zerova?. The film was written and produced by her father–in–law Sivakumar and also starred Vijay, R. Madhavan and Suriya. Jyothika made her comeback to Tamil Cinema with 36 Vayadhinile, she received critical acclaim for her performance. The movie went on to become a commercial success at the box office as well. Jyothika has endorsed several brands like Idhayam oil and Paragon footwear in the past. She was also the brand ambassador for RmKV silk sarees and Wardrobe Hub in Chennai. Later she appeared in ads forAircel and Nescafe along with her husband Suriya. She also appeared in commercials of Comfort (fabric softener) and Santoor Soap.