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The Healing Cocoon Podcast

Redefining Life After Brain Trauma with Mobot Founder Lani Cooper


And wearing a ball gown to coffee.


Posted by:
Jacobie Gray

What would you do if something happened that made you forget who you are? How would you redefine yourself if you were suddenly existing without the limitations created from your childhood memories and experiences—if all the filters through which you saw the world were no longer there?

 Lani Cooper, a renowned industry-leading expert in health, fitness and recovery, shares her inspiring but heart-wrenching journey of recovery and the process of recreating her reality after a traumatic brain injury that left her with no memory of who she was or how to exist in the world for the better part of two years. Best known as the CEO and Founder of MOBOT, the world’s first water bottle and foam roller in one, she is passionate about prevention and having a positive impact.

After the Rugby Game

About five years ago during a friendly game of touch rugby on a beach in Venice, where she had recently relocated from Australia, Lani sustained a serious brain injury when she landed on her head after a player tackled and flipped her. Initially she suffered a concussion, but over the next couple of months it became clear that it was a much more serious head trauma. She experienced loss of cognitive and physical function, couldn’t understand voice tone, facial recognition and would lose clarity constantly. She lost her hearing and her sight, had no sense of taste or smell, not even remembering what food she liked. She lost all social filters, often offending people when she spoke, and all of her memory—short, mid, and long—and had to use sticky notes and alarms to help her get through her days. Her recovery involved intense rehabilitation, a hyperbaric chamber, meditation, listening to music with specific hertz frequencies, acupuncture, oils, and many other modalities. Her journey has been one of resilience, aptitude, and determination, showcasing the power of community.

Care and Recovery

Lani was fortunate to have a community rally around her to provide full-time care, as she had virtually no concept of how to function doing day to day tasks, let alone in society. Her ex-husband, also her business partner, and best friend flew over from Australia. Local doctors offered support, knowing that Lani didn’t have insurance. She has very little recall of those two years of her life but her background in sports rehab, and a whole host of other healing modalities, helped guide her through the process.

She spent several hours a day in the hyperbaric chamber she had installed in her room, to which she credits about a 30% return in her memory over three to four months. Her memory loss was so severe that her caretakers would have to put notes at the top of the chamber to remind her why she was in there because she would forget and try to escape. 

Later, she was told that she and her ex-husband, her best friend, plus the hyperbaric chamber all shared her studio apartment in Venice during this time…one memory she is glad not having!

The Held Effects of Trauma

Though she had trouble recalling visual memories from the past, she could still feel the memories of her past experiences in her body. Having knowledge of the way the body stores trauma, referencing the book The Body Keeps the Score, she would become aware of the physical signs that she was being triggered, even though it wouldn’t register in her mind. She recalls once seeing the guy that caused her injury, although in the moment she did not realize who it was. But her body did. She began to feel nauseated, which made sense when someone later told her who he was. Whether accidental or malicious, it was still a trauma that was living in her body.

Losing and Recreating Identity

The way the injury changed Lani’s personality, causing her to lose her filter when speaking to people and even becoming more aggressive at times, were not changes accepted by society. She had no sense of self or control over who she had become. Looking back, she can see the massive influences that the personality changes had on her. Most of what we do—what we eat, how we go into the world, our music and humor—is based on memories and whether something good or bad has happened within those memories. 

Making reference to how a good memory surrounding an experience can become a mental reinforcement to make the same choice in the future, she said, “I wore that before and I got compliments on that so I’m going to wear more of that.” This was a context she no longer had within herself. Instead, she says (with maybe even small delight in her voice), “I was wearing ball gowns and cowboy boots and a denim jacket to go get coffee. I would say, ‘But it is so pretty, why wouldn’t I wear it?’ Luckily, I lived in Venice and just fit in.” 

When asked about the rebuilding process, she can look back and know she didn’t have the awareness to see that she had the opportunity to recreate herself and her life. She spent many years during her recovery holding tightly to the glimpses she would have of who she was before, and had a desperation to get back to that. Accepting that she wouldn’t be that person again was a type of death she had to confront. But this loss didn’t stay a death, it became a rebirth. She realized she could be something different, something even better. And as she began to emerge on the brighter side of her journey, she leaned into ways of helping others walking through their own pain, too.

Learn more about Lani at and find her on social media at @lani_cooper.

For the full interview with Lani, listen via the link on this page,, or find us on Instagram @thehealingcocoonpodcast.