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Laugh It Up!: Embrace Freedom and Experience Defiant Joy

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The world knows Candace Payne as “Chewbacca Mom,” the wife and mother of two from Dallas who captured the hearts of nearly 200 million people around the world with nothing but a toy Chewbacca mask, a smart phone, and infectious laughter.

Candace’s viral moment of simple joy became Facebook Live’s top video. But what the video doesn’t show is Candace’s storied journey of daunting obstacles on the way to the joy-filled life—extreme poverty, past trauma, and struggles with self-worth.

Laugh It Up! tells the rest of the story behind the woman in the mask. Like most of us, Candace has often felt overlooked, undervalued, and insignificant. But she has also discovered the secrets to unshakable joy that no circumstance can take away, and Laugh It Up! will help you discover and experience the same.

Join Candace to discover the gift God has given us all to experience life to the fullest. All you need to do is answer “yes” when joy, whom Candace personifies as a friend, calls you to come and play.

  • Do you feel tempted to give up on your dreams? Joy stays the course.
  • Do your knees knock when thinking about the future? Joy hopes for what can be.
  • Do you feel unseen and unnoticed? Joy is content whether backstage or center stage.
  • Do you feel crushed under the weight of regret? Joy loves you enough to weep with you, but also enough to help you move on.

When life punches you in the gut, it can be difficult to muster a smile—much less a laugh. But with humor and power, wit and wisdom, Candace lights the way forward to a life that is free indeed.

Additional Information

  • Contributor(s)Candace Payne
  • About the Contributor(s) Candace Payne is a viral sensation and one of the biggest media stories of 2016. Her infectious laugh and joy-filled spirit have...

    Candace Payne is a viral sensation and one of the biggest media stories of 2016. Her infectious laugh and joy-filled spirit have gained her positive attention from press, brands and fans around the globe. After a Facebook Live video of Candace trying on a Chewbacca mask became the most-viewed Facebook Live video in history (165+million views), celebrities and everyday people alike became rabid fans of Candace, who is often referred to as the “Chewbacca mom.”  

    Candace has appeared on major media such as "Good Morning America,” "Entertainment Tonight," and "The Late Late Show with James Corden," where she participated in a sketch with Corden and “The Force Awakens” director JJ Abrams. Candace was also invited to the headquarters of Lucasfilm for a personal tour; to Facebook where Mark Zuckerberg arranged for a photoshoot for Candace and "Chewbacca", the photos of which he posted on his personal Facebook page; and to Hasbro, where she was presented with a “Chewbacca Mom" action figure in front of the entire company. Many of the videos from these appearances also went viral. All in all, Candace has been featured in more than 3000 media outlets. 

    Additionally, Candace was featured in the opening monologue of the CMT Music Awards, performed the National Anthem for the Houston Astros, threw the “first pitch” for the Tampa Bay Rays, appeared at the Grand Ole Opry, and has been invited to numerous red carpet events.  

    After the Dallas police shootings in July 2016, Candace performed her own arrangement of Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World” via Facebook Live - a video which quickly went viral and created another wave of media buzz and chatter about Candace’s stunning vocals. She later recorded the song, which charted in the top 30 on iTunes within the first few hours of release; all proceeds were donated to the faith–based charity, Convoy of Hope. 

    Candace continues to spread a message of joy through her active social media platform (830k Facebook followers/50+k on Instagram), her lively video series on TLCme, and in speaking engagements around the country. Candace released her first book in November 2017 from Zondervan. 

    She and her husband, Chris, live in Dallas with their two children and their pug, Opal. Connect with her online at

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  • ISBN-139780310350569
  • Publish Date11/07/2017
  • PublisherZondervan
  • Format Softcover
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Weight (lbs)0.41 lb
  • Case Weight (lbs)17.95 lb
  • Dimensions 8.3(h) x 5.4(w) x 0.58(d) inches
  • Pages208
  • Price $13.49