How does a life coach help me?

In her book, “What to Do when You’re Not Smiling,” actress-singer Rachael Leigh Cook tells the story of an experience she had during a summer vacation. Cook had already finished the fourth season of “The Voice” when she got together with a friend in her hotel.

“She had an issue, and she was trying to talk about it but the words never came out for some reason,” Cook tells The Huffington Post. “I sat down and I told her, ‘Listen, I’m so sorry but I can’t think of anything else to do besides just tell you how I know you are telling the truth.’ ”

So Cook spoke to the friend’s mother and was told, “Oh God, that’s not what you said. Tell me what that means.”

Cook’s friend’s mother, who said Cook’s story was very similar to her own life, had another idea: “Hey, you’ve got to try this,” she recalls the woman telling her daughter.

“She was really upset, but she took a deep breath,” Cook says.

When Cook began to share her story, the mother called her back to talk about some details, before abruptly ending the call and throwing the phone on the floor.

“It was an incredibly difficult situation to go through.”

Cook says the same thing was going on in her own life as she learned this story, but she wasn’t ready to talk about it publicly.

“When you’ve done that to somebody, you don’t tell them to just shut up,” Cook says. “It kind of gives you the space to find out who you are.”

Now that she has, Cook is still open to the idea of counseling with a life coach.

“The point is not to make them happy,” she says. “It’s to make them realize, ‘OK, you are human, you are here, you are important, and you are alive and you deserve to be happy.'”

Click here for more information about Rachael Leigh Cook’s book.

It started with a tweet. A Tweet from @DNC, an open source Democratic campaign organization: “What do you want #DNCstaff to wear? Go vote!” With the hashtag in big red letters, she tagged photos of what she wrote: black-and-white snapshots of her family, a “tomboy” and other little images.

The #DNCstaff photo series