Think You'll Be Happy

Moving Through Grief with Grit, Grace, and Gratitude



“Nicole Avant gives a raw and courageous look into how she found the light in her darkest moment. She reminds us that grief is different for everyone, and we have the power to move through it in our own unique way.” —Cleo Wade, New York Times Bestselling Author

“A love song to a great woman told through the eyes of the great woman she created.”—Tyler Perry

The USA Today bestseller, a spirit-lifting memoir on how to turn pain into purpose, how to live always in gratitude, and how to face down tragedy and turn it into love.

Nicole Avant—diplomat, philanthropist, filmmaker—grew up surrounded by some of the most extraordinary artists of our time: Bill Withers, Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier. Her parents—entertainment mogul, Clarence Avant, and legendary philanthropist, Jacqueline Avant—turned their home into a place of refuge and inspiration for a generation of geniuses. Nicole drew on that magical upbringing to create a stellar career in the music business, become the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas, and produce critically acclaimed award-winning films and documentaries. Then, an unthinkable tragedy struck: her mother was fatally shot in December 2021.

In this searing and inspiring memoir, Nicole turns the pain of her family’s loss into the fuel that pushes her forward into an even more committed life of love and activism: “We can’t banish evil,” she writes. “We have to learn to swim through trauma and live for all of those who can’t.” Turning tragedy into inspiration, Think You’ll Be Happy—her mom’s last words to Nicole—provides a roadmap for anyone working to remain positive and anchored in hope. 

About the author(s)

Nicole Avant is a philanthropist and filmmaker, as well as a former diplomat. After a career in entertainment and political fundraising, she served as the United States Ambassador to the Bahamas under President Obama. In 2019, she produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning documentary The Black Godfather, and in 2022, she produced Trees of Peace, a film about the Rwandan genocide. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Ted; father, Clarence; and their dogs.


“At some point in every life, we are faced with a challenge that we think we can’t overcome. This book should be required reading for anyone wanting to understand how to trust in the light even at the darkest times. Drawing on her own grit, grace and gratitude - not to mention a deep and abiding faith - Nicole Avant has gifted us a roadmap out of the darkness of her own profound loss and into a life filled with meaning, purpose and service." — Jay Shetty, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of Think Like A Monk

"Magnanimous, inspiring, and relentlessly optimistic." — Kirkus Reviews

“Nicole Avant gives a raw and courageous look into how she found the light in her darkest moment. She reminds us that that grief is different for everyone, and we have the power to move through it in our own unique way.” — Cleo Wade, New York Times Bestselling author

In Think You'll Be Happy: Living with Grit, Grace and Gratitude, Nicole Avant brilliantly weaves through her family's story and her mother's tragic death, some of the most important cultural themes at this moment in our history — faith, forgiveness, resilience, service and redemption — and she does it all with grace and with the gift of a born storyteller.” — Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global 

"Prepare to be profoundly moved by this powerful exploration of faith, love, grief, grace, and grit. Nicole Avant’s words weave a tapestry of hope and redemption, reminding us that even in our darkest moments, grace and resilience can guide us towards healing and renewal. An extraordinary and deeply inspiring book."  — Bishop T.D. Jakes, New York Times bestselling author

“In this inspirational, Christian-centric memoir, the daughter of Clarence Avant, a music and entertainment entrepreneur who worked with such celebrities as Freda Payne, Don Cornelius, Babyface, and Muhammad Ali, shares how she managed to keep going after the family matriarch, Jacqueline, was gunned down by a home intruder in 2021...Thanks to help from trusted friends (including Oprah Winfrey and Barack and Michelle Obama) and fueled by her mother's final text to her (“Think you'll be happy”), Nicole Avant upholds her mother's legacy with strength, positivity, and pride.”  — Booklist

“This remarkable account of moving through grief will resonate with readers who’ve been touched by tragedy. “ — Publishers Weekly

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