Lea Michele's positive attitude always shines through, so it's no surprise that the star is on a mission to empower other women to fulfill their potential. She's been working with the Step Up Women's Network to help girls from under-resourced communities get ready for college and future careers. Step Up recently partnered with SunChips on its Waves of Laughter campaign. Every time a person tries SunChips' Laughalizer, which analyzes what kind of laugh you have, the company will donate $1 to Step Up. Needless to say, Lea was excited at the opportunity to be involved.
We spoke to the actress and singer about what makes her laugh, her tropical vacations with friends, and how all women can empower each other. Reading about Lea's enthusiastic outlook on life will leave you feeling happier than ever.
POPSUGAR: What do you find special about the Waves of Laughter campaign with SunChips?
Lea Michele: For me, I have always prided myself on embracing my uniqueness. What I find so fun about this campaign is you can go online and try the Laughalizer. I did it; it was such a cute, fun thing to do. You can find out about the uniqueness of your laughter. I know from being on a comedy television series for seven years that laughter is such an important thing. By getting involved, it's an easy way to contribute to Step Up that is so near and dear to my heart.
PS: What are some little things that make you smile?
LM: That's so easy! My cat, who is the greatest. I love my morning cup of coffee; the minute I have that mug in my hand I am so happy. Also, I love the combination of eating an amazing meal with my family.
PS: What was the last thing that made you laugh so hard you cried?
LM: Last night I was watching old reruns of Saturday Night Live from the early 2000s. There was such an amazing cast during that time on the show. There was one skit when I was just rolling over laughing.
PS: We love seeing your fun vacations with friends. Is that something that keeps you fulfilled during your busy schedule?
LM: It is always important to take time to have fun and relax. I find that's what always makes me go back to my job and work even harder. It's important to give yourself and your body what it needs — some good sun, some fresh air, and saltwater.
PS: What are some things women can do in their everyday lives to make other women feel empowered?
LM: You can never go wrong with a really good compliment. A lot of times women will look at other women and think "oh wow, I really like that purse" or "she looks really pretty." I think it's important to stop for a second and actually tell them they look really great or happy. Instead of saying "you look so thin," you can say "you look really healthy and beautiful today." I know when anyone says something like that to me, it makes me so happy and feel really good about myself.
PS: Do you have any advice for girls breaking into competitive industries like your own?
LM: I think that for me, it's having the support of my family. They raised me to have a pretty strong backbone. Their support had helped me so much. Personally, they are my rock both in life and in being in this industry.
PS: What's a good habit that improves your well-being that others can easily try to do too?
LM: For me, to feel good, I don't have to do anything too crazy. I work out, I eat well, I laugh a lot, I spend time with good friends and family, I drink a ton of water, and I get a ton of sleep. My mother always told me when I was growing up you get one body and you have to treat it right.
PS: Can you tell us about any exciting project you have coming up?
LM: I'm finishing up my second album, which will hopefully come out at the end of the year or early next year. I'm also going to be starting Scream Queens in July, which I'm so excited about. So I'm just focused on wrapping up my album so I can focus on the production of the show.