Lauren Cook Helps Young Adults Choose Happiness

Author and motivational speaker Lauren Cook encourages everyone to enjoy time on the sunny side and keep shining. Through her books and speaking events, she focuses on helping teens and young adults understand and manage their mental wellness.

Cook published her first self-help book, The Sunny Side Up!, with iUniverse at the recommendation of her mentor, a fellow young adult author. She enjoyed the process so much, that she returned to iUniverse and published her second book, Name Your Story.

iUniverse author Lauren Cook sitting on a sofa in front of a plant in a yellow dress.
iUniverse Logo

The Journey to the Sunny Side

When eighteen-year-old Cook read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, she was inspired. She asked Rubin to co-author a teen edition, but Rubin politely declined.

"So I thought, 'That’s okay. I’ll write my own book.' Just because she told me 'no' didn’t mean that I had to tell myself that. And so began my journey interviewing hundreds of middle school, high school, and college students asking them, 'What is it that actually makes you happy?' This question was so crucial for me, because I felt like no one was asking it," Cook said.

She found that young people are more optimistic, philanthropically minded, and internationally focused than previous generations. But they were also guilty of wishing their lives away.

Cook made it her mission to bring positivity into the present and help young people learn to love an imperfect life.

Author Lauren Cook shares how she decided to self-publish her books, The Sunny Side Up! and Name Your Story, with iUniverse and describes how she felt holding her published books for the first time.

Self-Publishing with iUniverse...Twice

To learn more about Cook's experience publishing with iUniverse, watch her interview here.

Name Your Story by Lauren Cook

"I've been able to speak with over 50,000 kids at this point, and seeing that look in their eyes when it really relates to them in some way, that is beyond rewarding, and that's what motivates me to keep writing in the future, too."

Lauren Cook

About the Book

Name Your Story provides an intentional space for young adults to learn the signs of depression, anxiety, and other conditions, and reminds them how to proactively prioritize their well-being.

The Sunny Side Up! aims to help you find joy even on your most challenging days, so that happiness isn’t just for Friday nights, the first day of summer, or the holiday season. This self-help book emphasizes that happiness is a habit and not just something to hope for later on.

Book Reviews

"Choose happiness! I was smiling and nodding my head at this book’s fresh and honest wisdom from the very first page. Lauren’s thoroughly researched take on how young people can get out of their own way and live a life with grace, gratitude, acceptance—and a heck of a lot of fun! —is required reading for a new generation. Lauren Cook is a welcome new voice to shake us out of our doldrums."

– Lisa Bloom, New York Times bestselling author of Think and Swagger

"Do you ever find yourself saying, 'I’ll be happy when...' or 'I can’t wait until (this or that) is over?' Most of us are caught red-handed wishing our time away or thinking we will be happy only after we have either achieved our dream job, bought our perfect home, or married, 'the one.' But hold on… happiness is not something to hope for in the future, it is something to have right now."

– Today!

iUniverse author Susan Norris in front of a white background holding her published book Rescuing Hope.

Susan Norris

Read Susan's Story

iUniverse author Jennifer Gabou with her arms crossed outside with an unfocused background.

Jennifer Gabou

Read Jennifer's Story

iUniverse author Joe Courtney in front of a red car in a black suit.

Joe Courtney

Read Joe's Story

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