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Sophie Grégoire Trudeau

Advocate & Author

In her debut book, Closer Together: Knowing Ourselves, Loving Each Other, available April 23, 2024, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau provides readers with an intimate look at the events that have shaped her life—for better or worse. And, in turn, she invites them to examine their own. 

As the spouse to the Prime Minister of Canada, Trudeau’s work has already found itself on some of the biggest platforms in the world. Now, with over 20 years of experience in the mental health, emotional literacy, and gender equality advocacy space, she takes a communal approach to her book. The former TV and radio host creates a proverbial table for some of the brightest minds in the mental health space to gather and share their expertise. Dr. Gabor Maté, Terry Real, Catherine Price, and Liz Plank are just a few of the voices that appear in the pages of the book that’s part biography—Trudeau speaks to her experiences suffering from an eating disorder and being a fixture of the public eye—and part wellbeing resource. 

While Trudeau may be a first-time author, the release of Closer Together is not an entirely new endeavor in her career, but deepens her work and commitment to connecting individuals with the tools to live their healthiest, most fulfilling lives. 

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"I want to lead the movement and invite people to join and feel welcome wherever they come from."


It's tough to be a young person, and today, we put even more pressure on kids to find their sense of purpose. I think that's quite unfair. I will tell you that, although I studied commerce and communications at two different universities, it wasn't clear to me at all what I wanted to do. I worked in public relations, sales, advertising, and fashion, and at some point when I went to radio and television school, it confirmed my passion. 

I tried so many different things in the TV and radio world, and nothing replaced trying and experimenting. In a society of comparison, constant competition, and isolation, our interdependence has been proven to matter much more than we thought it ever would. We have to be a self-made man or a self-made woman. And that is not true. We live in connection, and every person that you meet in your past—whether it's a positive or negative connection—adds to your thread of experiences that make up who you are and directs you on your path.


Emotional literacy, mental health, psychological stability, an open mindset—it’s all about self-awareness. It’s all about knowing your own emotional posture. 

Think about all the world leaders. If these adults had the capacity and the chance to be more aware of their own wiring, how they function, and their own insecurities, we might have a more peaceful world. Because when you have more self-awareness, you have the capacity to face your truth, to become more compassionate, and to have a curiosity towards others. The problem is that our brain is 200,000 years old and our hard wiring is universal. Our programming differs—your experiences in life will determine how you are programmed—and if we're not aware of that programming, we’re living unconsciously. 

Can you imagine for a second if we taught this to kids at a younger age—while also teaching math, geography, and history? We would make for a more emotionally resilient, educated, open-minded, open-hearted community. Which holds democracy and justice together, by the way.


I will not pinpoint one moment where I said, “Oh, I'm now an advocate.” But I'll tell you what led to it: The moment I started sharing my story [of struggling with an eating disorder] in my twenties [when I was a radio host]. I didn't know what was going to happen next because I was taking a risk and I wasn't far in my career. 

That leap made the net appear. I started volunteering with an organization that was focused on helping people who suffered with eating disorders. I created connections and admired the work of the experts who were helping young women and young men. And I saw through the years that we started to talk more about eating disorders—not as a popular topic 20 years ago when I started talking about it. I would say that my volunteer work changed the course of what would be my career. I didn't know just yet what it would be. I never even knew my partner would go into politics. So my life took a turn that was unexpected.


What I learned while writing Closer Together—and what makes me so hungry to better understand the neurobiological processes behind our emotions, actions, and reactions—is that too many of us are stuck in our sympathetic nervous system, or what we refer to as fight-flight-freeze. This system is very useful to detect danger, take quick action, and keep alert, but when our body reverts to it for too long and/or for too frequent periods of time, it becomes a chronic state in which you can get overwhelmed by stress and anxiety. Feeling isolated during pandemic times could have exacerbated that, as well. When we are in alert mode constantly, it's very difficult to feel safe. It's also more challenging to connect with yourself, with others, and to feel deep compassion and empathy.

It is paramount that we equip ourselves to better self-regulate, to have more agency over our nervous system, and, therefore, have a better understanding of the roots of our emotions and our personality patterns. It’s fascinating to know that our vagus nerve, the longest cranial nerve in our body, regulates so many of our bodily functions: cardiac rhythm, pupil dilation, salivation, heartbeat, digestion, adrenals, and more. We can use simple exercises to affect the tone of our vagus nerve and bring ourselves into more relaxed states of being (or parasympathetic nervous system also known as “rest and digest”). As a woman, a friend, a mother, a yoga teacher, and a curious student of life, I want to share my access to life-changing knowledge and experts with as many people as possible. I want us to come closer to ourselves, so we can become closer together. The peaceful future of our world depends on it. The road to more emotional literacy won’t be boring with me…I promise! 


I chose to collaborate with Canadian and American experts on women and men, and I wanted the LGBTQ community and the American-African Diaspora to be represented because it is a book about getting closer together. It's important to have a diversity of voices, and it meant so much to my heart and mind to be able to collaborate with these people. 

I conducted all of the interviews myself and had to edit a lot because all of these experts were so interesting and had so much to share. And then we had to pick and choose and go to the core of everything, and that's what writing is about, as well. It was a great experience for me. I wanted to share part of my story because you can't teach without experience. My experience is part of why I'm a mental health advocate and why I want to lead the movement and invite people to join and feel welcome wherever they come from.


I don't try to be somebody that I'm not, but at the same time, I'm a very creative person. And I worked in fashion on the different sides of the camera—with the consumer shopper, as an assistant stylist.. I'm very much in admiration of women who have a sense of freedom when they dress, whether in a style that I like or not. They exude a sense of freedom, a sense of not having worked so hard, just having this elegance of spirit. 

I would love to continue to collaborate with companies, like Argent, who like to empower women because I think that we've been taught how to act, how to look. And it is for us to push the boundaries of how we want to adorn our bodies. We all have this program for belonging—we were raised in that type of society and it still weighed on us whether we want to admit it or not. So I think that we should acknowledge that. We're taught at a very young age to hate ourselves the way we are. We are taught to change our bodies and to adapt to the best version of what a woman should look like according to the patriarchy. And we've bought into so much of it. So I think that style can also bring everybody together to be more effective, rebellious, and to push the boundaries.


First, it’s my intuition: Going back to my deepest intuition as a woman, that is not flawed or influenced by conflict. I try to practice—whether it's in nature, whether it's yoga, meditation, or reading exercises—to be able to use discipline enough to go back there as many times as possible. The other thing, [that informs] my North Star, is the connection to students. Being disciplined and creating and nourishing connections is a North Star for me. Intuition and human connection. And nature, too.

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"I think that style can also bring everybody together to be more effective, rebellious, and to push the boundaries."

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Find Sophie on Instagram.