Chris Butsch

To conquer depression, Chris studied happiness in 31 countries, interviewing hundreds of psychologists, CEOs, monks, millionaires, and millennials. Using humor, psychology, and stories from around the world, Chris helps students increase member engagement, build meaningful relationships, and improve mental health for a happier life.


▪First Year Experience ▪Fraternity & Sorority Life ▪Leadership ▪Organizational Development ▪Mental Health ▪Stress Management


▪Magnetic Leadership: Transforming Apathy into Engagement
▪Unfollow: Using Social Media to IMPROVE your Mental Health
▪Making Happiness: Kickstart a Productive and Fulfilling College Life
▪“I’m Fine, Man”: Helping College Men Overcome Depression

Chris’ Bio

To conquer depression, in 2014, Chris Butsch quit his job and traveled the world, studying happiness and the human condition. Visiting over 30 countries and counting, Chris has interviewed hundreds of psychologists, swamis, monks, billionaires, and millennials. He’s made snow angels with CEOs in Sweden, sang karaoke with Chinese business moguls, and studied mindfulness with Buddhist monks in rural Mississippi.

Chris is the author of The Millennial’s Guide to Making and has been featured in Forbes and Huffington Post, Chris’s high-energy, no-nonsense, and BS-free approach to the delicate subject of “organizational happiness”. Chris wants to help you improve your mental health, make meaningful connections, and accelerate your path to happiness.


Magnetic Leadership: Transforming Apathy Into Engagement

As a student leader, are you growing concerned over members “checking out”? Are you tired of promoting events and opportunities only to have the same handful of people show up? Are you worried that your least engaged members are going to cause others to disengage, too? When even just a few of your members have checked out, it can affect the overall success and happiness of your organization. However, chasing them down can lead to feelings of frustration and burnout. Luckily, there’s a better solution.

In a fresh take blending leadership with positive psychology, Chris helps student leaders understand the root causes of member apathy, giving them clear strategies for increasing “organizational magnetism”: boosting involvement while naturally attracting new members.

Student leaders will laugh, learn, and take away The Magnetic Leadership Toolkit for slashing apathy, renewing commitment, and helping members get the most out of their membership experience.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • The true definition of “member engagement” and why it matters
  • 3 simple leadership engagement strategies for addressing apathy and increasing involvement
  • How to identify your unique value proposition and “Tie Your Why” to member goals and motivations
  • Common reasons why members “check out” in their third and fourth years, and how to address them
  • How to facilitate a sense of connection and belonging by building meaningful relationships
  • How to help your members get the most out of their membership experience
Making Happiness: Kickstart a Productive and Fulfilling College Life

You’ve made it! You’re officially a “college kid” now. Unlike in high school, you now have incredible amounts of time and freedom on your hands. How should you spend it to have the best possible college experience?

The movies told us to party, drink, and go wild. But globetrotting happiness expert Chris Butsch has a better solution. Using humor, science, and interactive activities, Chris walks back misconceptions about college and arms students with critical and memorable tools for building a truly happy college life.

First-year students will learn to construct a Happiness Action Plan for staying healthy, building meaningful relationships, connecting with student organizations, avoiding loneliness, and constructively combating stress, anxiety, and depression.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • The 3 most common pitfalls leading to loneliness and depression, and how to avoid them
  • How to take care of your mind and body using MESH: Mindfulness, Exercise, Sleep, and Hydration
  • How to distinguish short-term pleasure from true, lasting happiness
  • How to find a sense of connection and belonging by building meaningful relationships and engaging with student organizations
  • Tools to communicate efficiently with academic advisors, professors, and the financial aid office (woah), to build a happy college career
Unfollow: Using Social Media to IMPROVE Your Mental Health

Social Media is extremely valuable in today’s society! From engaging with friends and family to sharing photos of life experiences, social media is a huge component of the everyday lives of college students.

However, have you ever felt like social media was aiding in your unhappiness? Do you find yourself comparing your posts to others’ “highlight reels?” Research shows that social media makes us 41% less happy, increasing the likelihood of stress, anxiety, and depression to develop in college students. But have you ever tried to go on a “social media” cleanse, but it’s too hard? FOMO is real!

Happiness expert Chris Butsch has a better solution; don’t quit social media, just change how you use it! Using humor, science, and real-time activities, Chris helps students understand how social media affects their brain, relationships, and self-esteem, so that they can make better decisions on how they choose to use each platform.

In this interactive keynote, students are challenged to dive deep into their values and adjust their social media setting accordingly. Students will gain the tools to develop a healthier relationship with social media.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • The psychology behind how social media affects the brain, and why it’s so addictive
  • The 3 NEVERs of social media that are harming mental health
  • How to moderate your usage of social media
  • The steps to curate your News Feeds on multiple platforms to produce healthy content
  • Actionable items to facilitate and improve meaningful relationships using social media
“I’m Fine, Man”: Helping College Men Overcome Depression

More than half of male-identifying college students report symptoms of depression, including sadness, helplessness, and addiction. With plenty of resources available, why are men half as likely to seek help than women on college campuses?

In this interactive program, Chris candidly shares REAL details about his decade-long struggle with depression, helping male students understand and recognize the symptoms of “the silent killer.” Chris shares his journey to freedom from his own thoughts, revealing the addictive forms of escapism and toxic masculinity that barred him from seeking help earlier. Challenging the male audience to confront their own limiting beliefs, Chris normalizes the idea that expressing feelings of depression and anxiety are masculine, that maintaining our brains is as important as maintaining our bodies, and that showing compassion and empathy a missing, meaningful part of true brotherhood.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • How to recognize symptoms of depression in themselves and others
  • Common ways men “escape” depression through addiction, alcoholism, video games, sex, and other temporary pleasures
  • To identify and challenge stigmas surrounding male depression, and the role of toxic masculinity
  • How to seek help from friends, family, and on-campus resources