Holly Whitaker on Drinking, Getting Sober, and Breaking The Stigma of Addiction

Holly Whitaker is the founder of Hip Sobriety, which aims to provide a modern, holistic, accessible and desirable path to sobriety, and to remove the stigma associated with addiction. It's her belief that recovery is a privilege, not a consequence, and that sobriety is a proud and empowering life choice.

She is also the co-host of the HOME Podcast, a podcast dedicated to the raw, real and necessary discussions we must have in order to not only recover from addiction, but recover our best selves in a world that is increasingly in need of each of us to wake up to what we are.

In this episode, Holly and I share stories about our history with drinking, and about the emotional process of finally quitting. We talk about the most common fears we've heard from others who want to quit drinking, and Holly shares practical tips and strategies that can help. She discuss the causes of addition, what to gain from sobriety, and why you don't need to hit rock bottom in order to make a change. I really enjoyed this conversation, especially after having released the special edition podcast episode on May 1 celebrating and reflecting on my own five-year soberversary. That was just one episode, and it has always been my goal to continue this conversation about addiction and recovery, so I'm grateful to Holly for helping to make that happen!

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Music & Audio Editing by ADAM DAY

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply to Nicole Antoinette Cancel reply

  1. Marcie

    Many Thanks!

  2. Emily

    This conversation spoke to me so much! I was listening and kept thinking “Yes! Yes! This too!” I was drawn to your podcast from Running on Om, specifically from your conversation with Julia about your 5 year soberversary (congratulations!). I could relate to your experience of having a problematic relationship with alcohol but not being a person who others might identify as “an alcoholic.” (Whatever exactly that is.) I had been having the nagging feeling that I should give up alcohol for an indefinite period of time — maybe a very long time, maybe a relatively short time of a month or a few) but many of the things that you discuss here held me back — the feeling that I didn’t have enough of a problem, that it would brand me as an “alcoholic,” etc. Finally one evening, after drinking more than I intended, I made the decision to stop, and I told my husband about it. (He was supportive.) The next morning I woke up and remembered my decision and I felt so good. It was a new day. I completely agree with your thoughts that if alcohol isn’t working for you, or if it’s impeding progress in other areas, which I think it was for me, there should be more social acceptance of quitting or dramatically cutting back. No other aspect of life is considered so essential that stopping or cutting back wouldn’t be considered reasonable in similar circumstances — if you seem to have a sensitivity to gluten, you stop eating it; if running isn’t an exercise that agrees with you, you try something else; etc. It may be partly because of my age (late 30s), so I and my friends are well out of our bar/party/club years, but if anyone has noticed I’m not drinking, it’s met with a shrug. We’re good friends with our without alcohol, which is reassuring. Thank you so much for this conversation; it expanded on and reinforced things that I was already thinking about.

  3. Matthew Soroko

    Hi Holly,

    My issue is that I have hit rock bottom and can’t seem to completely quit drinking. I’ve had alcohol around me for my entire life. I’ve dealt with peer pressure and alcohol has caused me to do extremely regrettable things. I would like to quit completely. I would like to change my diet and daily routines in order to combat any type of cravings or emotional state. I can connect with your website.


    Matthew Soroko

  4. Sharron

    I will be a patreon for as long as you continue to make these real talk podcasts. This particular episode alone is worth my contribution. Holly’s story spoke to me in ways I didn’t even realise I needed. Now I’m looking forward to my first #hellosundaymorning picture and I’ve got a toolkit I can relate to

    Thank you both ❤