Introducing: Girls Thrive Lab – an Interview with Mabel Castro

Whether you’re a longtime reader of GenTwenty or a new visitor (welcome!) you can easily tell how passionate we are about helping people navigate their 20s. I met Mabel Castro and immediately connected with her mission—to help young women really thrive.

After learning about Girls Thrive Lab and Mabel’s work, I knew I had to introduce her to our GenTwenty audience because Girls Thrive Lab is the kind of program I wish I had access to when I was in my early 20s. It sure would have made the first half of that decade a lot easier, smoother, and happier!

Introducing: Girls Thrive Lab – An Interview with Mabel Castro

First things first, Mabel, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, I’m Mabel!

I’m a certified Positive Psychology Coach and the creator of Girls Thrive Lab. I translate cutting-edge research from positive psychology and neuroscience into action to help young women thrive from the inside out. 

My purpose is to empower young women to make long-lasting, sustainable, positive change in their lives. 

When I am not working, I love to spend time in nature, play beach volleyball, and dance to Latin music!

I live in Oakland, California, with my husband and daughter. My biggest dream is to model to Annalie (my daughter) how to live from the inside out. 

What is Girls Thrive Lab?

Girls Thrive Lab is a practical science-based coaching program for young women. Our program integrates positive psychology, neuroscience and mindfulness to empower young women to drive positive change and increase their well-being.

Who is Girls Thrive Lab for?

Girls Thrive Lab is for young women who are ready to make a positive change in their lives. 

This is for young women who are feeling confused or uncertain about their current life situation, perhaps stuck, and they’re not sure what’s the next “right” step. But they know they want to change something, and are willing to commit and work to make that change to increase their well-being and life satisfaction. 

We offer practical science-based coaching to help them find their north star and build the skills, mindset and habits to achieve their goals and design a life that’s meaningful to them.

How did you get interested in Positive Psychology? 

In 2014, I had the opportunity to attend a workshop at Stanford called “Choosing Happiness.” The course was based on the field of Positive Psychology (the science of well-being). This was a life-changing experience and it empowered me.

I realized I spent many years of my life in survival mode. This class gave me the north star, the path to a world where people can aspire to thrive. I realized I can learn those skills and have a direct impact on my own well-being. It was a powerful aha moment! 

This moment inspired me to study and share this science with young women who want to move from surviving to thriving. I have my BS in Business Administration and MS in Marketing. After the “Choosing Happiness” course I went on to study Positive Psychology with The Flourishing Center and became a certified Positive Psychology Coach from Wholebeing Institute.

Why can positive psychology help us make lasting change?

Positive psychology is the science of well-being. This new field of psychology offers the building blocks that enable individuals and communities to thrive. In other words, it provides the tools to live a happier and more fulfilling life. Positive Psychology researchers study topics such as optimism, gratitude, creativity, character strengths, values, hope, engagement, resiliency and much more. 

The great news is that learning to thrive is a skill that can be learned! Like math, history and any subject we have the capacity to build a thriving mindset and develop your best self. 

Positive Psychology provides the practical and tangible tools to take micro steps towards your desired future.  

What’s one thing you wished you had known in your 20s?

I wish I would have known how to coach my brain, listen to my inner mentor and treat myself with more compassion when I made mistakes. 

Also, I wish I had practiced the power of choice and reframing challenging situations when I was younger. It’s not what happens to us, but how we respond to life circumstances. This is so essential. It takes conscious effort to create lasting happiness, but if we know our north star, who we are and we stay aligned with what matters to us, then it’s easier to make decisions that are aligned with our priorities. 

What difference can Girls Thrive Lab make in a woman’s life?

The Girls Thrive Lab is about empowering young women to make positive change in their lives and lead their lives from the inside out with self-awareness, authenticity, compassion, vision and resilience. 

Through exercises, self-reflection, and experiments they learn to become their own well-being scientist to see what works best for them and achieve optimal functioning.  

We have created a safe and playful space for young women to feel supported, heard and understood. 

How long does it take to make lasting changes?

It’s different for every person. It’s a learning process, a process of discovery and self-growth. 

The more in tune we are with our core desires, and highest goals the easier it becomes to drive positive change. 

If we nurture the skills and mindsets that support the change, we can make this process creative, fun and enjoyable. 

How can people work with you?

I am taking new clients for individual coaching! The easiest way is to book a free 20 min discovery call through the Girls Thrive Lab. This conversation focuses on what the you want to accomplish and your current needs. I will share more details about my coaching practice and ensure we cover all questions. If we both think we’re a good fit, we’ll discuss the next steps.


Your 20s are hard. Your brain is still developing, you’re going through a lot of transition and change, perhaps without the support system or tools to help you do it smoothly, and all this can cause you to feel isolated, alone, and stuck. The good news is that there are resources out there to help. More than when I was in my early 20s, it seems! The Girls Thrive Lab in partnership with Willsey Connections is a great way to start your journey of choosing happiness and building yourself up for positive change.

About the Author

Marina Crouse

Marina is the Managing Editor here at GenTwenty. With a B.A. in French and an MFA in Creative Writing, she is a Writing Coach helping creatives bring their ideas to the page. Learn more about how to work with her at In her free time, you’ll find her reading, cooking, traveling, or binge-watching sitcoms on Netflix.