Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook

Ask Lauren and she will tell you, happiness isn’t something to strive for, it’s something to practice each and every day.

Lauren Cook

Lauren’s natural positivity shines with any audience. She is easily relatable and is sure to make audiences laugh and cry throughout her program. Lauren mixes professionalism with emotional intelligence to leave students with a profound message of taking control of their own happiness – now. Lauren’s journey into understanding and spreading happiness began when she read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, which left her motivated and invigorated. She wrote to Gretchen and asked if she wanted to write a teen edition of The Happiness Project with Lauren. It wasn’t long before she heard back from Gretchen and she politely declined the offer. So Lauren thought, “That’s okay. I’ll write my own book; just because she told me “no” doesn’t mean that I had to tell myself that.”

Lauren Cook

She began her journey interviewing hundreds of middle school, high school, and college students asking them, “What is it that actually makes you happy?” a question she so rarely heard asked. What she found was enlightening. The Millennial Generation is more optimistic, philanthropically minded, and internationally focused than any other generation. Unfortunately, we’re also guilty of wishing our lives away. If you think you’ll be happy when your life is finally perfect—when you get into your dream school, you’re making a six-figure salary and you have the golden retriever to match, you’ll likely go a whole lifetime looking for something that doesn’t exist. Happiness is about loving an imperfect life for all of its little splendors and failures. Lauren’s goal is to help you get there—so that you can find gratitude in the good and bad days and find the blessings in between.

Rise to Shine: How to Live a Happier Life Today

Happiness looks different for each person, but there are a few universal tactics you can use to make your life a happy one. Lauren Cook shows students how they can cultivate their happiness through goal setting, gratitude and giving back. She shares tips on how they can take ownership of their lives and see a bright plan for their future.

Lauren’s approach begins with accountability, visualization, and mentors. She also focuses on the role of gratitude in creating happiness and challenges students to make a habit of formally acknowledging five things they are thankful for every day. Lauren gives students a scientific lens with which to view the power and importance of serving others in building happiness.

In this keynote, Lauren walks students through the concept of neuroplasticity and explains how our brains are constantly evolving and growing. She teaches students how to rewire their own brains towards happiness. Audience members are sure to leave feeling inspired, motivated and excited to take back their happiness.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • the neurological underpinnings of happiness by delving into the concept of neuroplasticity,
  • how to effectively set goals and utilize mentorships to achieve them,
  • develop a daily sense of gratitude that fosters an appreciation for the little wonders in every day life, and
  • the importance of curiosity and passion to serve the greater community.

Say It: Voicing the Truth about Mental Health

With a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy from USC, Lauren Cook is equipped to tackle nearly any conversation about mental health. Terrifyingly, 6% of college students considered suicide this past year. Few people are aware of this reality, which makes sense seeing as at least half of them do not reach out to anyone. In fact, 12 people ages 15-24 will commit suicide today. That’s one person every two hours. In the time it would take to meet for a keynote workshop, a student will have taken their life. Knowing this, Lauren helps students to look around, listen up and step in when help is needed.

In this keynote, Lauren covers the signs of depression and anxiety, and emphasizes mindfulness and self-care. We must put on our oxygen mask first before we can help someone else. By teaching students how they can value themselves and make their own well-being a priority, Lauren helps students take preventative measures for their mental health. Part of this self-care regimen includes knowing that we are enough just as we are—we are not valuable based on our accomplishments or shortcomings. Lauren reminds students that they have self-worth in their inherent being and takes the opportunity to help students prioritize themselves.

Talking about mental health isn’t always an easy conversation but it needs to be had. Students are greatly relieved to have an intentional space to talk about a subject that is permeating among dorm floors and classroom hallways. Let’s amplify the whispers and give a voice to the questions and concerns so that we can have a real conversation about this vital subject.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to educate others about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety,
  • how to encourage others to name their experience and voice their truth when they feel sadness, distress, and disappointment,
  • how to prioritize self-care through mindfulness and body awareness, and
  • how to harness multiple resources of help through counseling, family and friends, exercise and more.

Letters that Last a Lifetime

Graduation comes and we’re often asked: “Have you been a part of Greek Life?” or “Were you in a sorority or fraternity?” Unfortunately, the answer is always the same, even though the letters change. “Oh yes, I was in…” We are selling ourselves short by only identifying with our Fraternity & Sorority Life affiliation during our time in college. It’s time to shift our response. Next time someone asks us, let’s say, “I AM a…”

Our Fraternity & Sorority membership is for life. Our collegiate years are just the start of an amazing membership experience that we can all have. In this keynote, Lauren talks about how we can maximize our time as actives in order to propel ourselves as successful Fraternity & Sorority individuals for the future. Lauren shares with students how to effectively network and connect with alumni throughout college. Millennials often struggle to reach further than their phones, but Lauren shows how everyone can make a connection, in whatever way they communicate best.

Lauren shows chapter members that they are not only tied to their chapter or their organization, but to the Fraternity & Sorority system as a whole. Once we can see that Fraternity & Sorority members have the highest GPAs, the most philanthropic service, and greatest campus involvement—not just locally, but nationally—we can begin to see that we are a part of something that connects us coast to coast.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to build a lifetime appreciation for being a Fraternity & Sorority member beyond college graduation,
  • how to engage the power of mentorship by inspiring students to seek mentors and be mentors themselves, and
  • to find pride within the Fraternity & Sorority Life community and understand why Fraternity & Sorority members have the highest GPAs, most campus involvement and greatest philanthropic service.

“Lauren’s presentation was the favorite so far this year. She made us laugh and cry. She has a rare gift as a great communicator and is wise beyond her years.

– Mia Kettmann, National Charity League

“Lauren has an energy and brightness about her that can transfix people, whether through her speaking or her writing.”

– Whitney Plumpton, Chi Omega

“Lauren is an outstanding example of youth today; she is poised, polished and positive and she has the skill to engage listeners of all ages. Our group of nearly 200 was captivated from the instant Lauren reached the stage, her enthusiasm for her message is infectious.”

– Laura Colgan, National Charity League

Laurens’ Bio

Lauren Cook, also known as The Sunny Girl, is a graduate from UCLA with a double major in Communication Studies and Psychology. As the author of The Sunny Side Up and now with her latest publication, Name Your Story, she travels around the country speaking about happiness, mental health, and wellbeing. Lauren has worked at NBC Network News, E! News, and Disney during her time in college and she is a proud member of Chi Omega sorority. Lauren graduated from USC with her Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy and is now working towards her doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University. She is currently a Professor at Mount Saint Mary’s University and works at UCLA with her adolescent clients and their families. She currently lives in Los Angeles and loves spending time in the California sunshine!


Promotional Resources



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