With ‘Sober October’ fast approaching, many will be considering stopping drinking. Giving up alcohol whether short-term or long-term can feel like swimming against the tide in an alcohol-centric society.
I gave up drinking a couple of years ago for mental health reasons and whilst it’s mostly been a hugely positive experience for me, I’ve found sober podcasts to be a useful source of encouragement whenever it all starts to feel a little too difficult.
I’ve pulled together this list of podcasts that celebrate being alcohol-free and highlighted episodes that tell stories that are often missing from the mainstream media. Whether you’re ditching the booze for the month, are tee-total long-term or simply sober curious, these five podcasts are great for motivation:
This Naked Mind
This podcast is hosted by Annie Grace – author, podcaster and creator of ‘The Alcohol Experiment’ (a 30-day alcohol-free challenge). It has a variety of episode formats including questions from readers of Annie’s books, personal stories from people who have changed their drinking habits and interviews with experts on the effects of alcohol. It’s worth scrolling through the back catalogue to find answers to more commonly asked questions from the newly sober curious.
Ep 306: Reader Question – How can I live without ‘The Alcohol Buzz?’
It’s often the accessible scientific explanations that make this podcast so interesting. That’s certainly the case for this episode in which Annie answers the question how can I live without the ‘alcohol buzz’? She explores how our brains react to alcohol in order to understand what the buzz is and the consequences that occur from it. Listen now >>
Alcohol-Free Life with Janey Lee Grace
BBC Radio 2 presenter, author and well-being advocate Janey Lee Grace quit drinking for ‘Dry January’ in 2018 and decided to continue her alcohol-free life for good. Her podcast is interview-based and lots of the episodes cover mental health issues and the role alcohol can play in these.
103: With Meg Matthews – Alcohol v Menopause
This episode with Meg Matthews on alcohol nearly wasn’t released as Janey was worried it wouldn’t have a wide enough appeal. Fortunately, she was persuaded to put the episode out as it’s precisely the lack of information available on the subject that makes it such a necessary conversation to have. Listen now >>
Love Sober Podcast
Kate and Mandy are two sober mums who present this podcast for the sober and sober curious. It features a combination of discussions about their own personal experiences of parenting through a sober lens as well as guest interviews on a wide variety of topics.
Love Sober Podcast 75 Guest: The Gay Sober 17/04/20
This episode features an interview with Lee Mengo aka ‘The Gay Sober’. He discusses being held back from addressing his problematic relationship with alcohol by limiting beliefs surrounding sobriety and the label ‘alcoholic’. Listen now >>
Love Sober Podcast 80 Neurodiversity 22/05/20
This interview with Kit Messenger shines a light on the link between neurodiversity and addiction. It also covers the need for society to reframe the way it views the behaviour of people with neurodiverse profiles and put support in place to address their needs. Listen now >>
The Sober Curious podcast is hosted by Ruby Warrington, author of the book by the same name, and is a collection of interviews with guests about their relationship with alcohol and sobriety. Ruby asks thought-provoking questions about serious topics whilst maintaining a breezy, light-hearted tone to her discussions.
Intoxicated Masculinity with Mishka Shubaly
This episode with Mishka Shubaly focuses on wounded masculinity, uncovering unprocessed emotions in sobriety and the merits of having a good cry. Listen now >>
The Only One In The Room
Whilst this podcast is not solely about being alcohol-free, it is created by sober presenters and features several episodes telling personal stories of addiction and sobriety. The Only One in the Room was started by Laura Cathcart Robbins after finding she was the only black woman in the room at a famed writers’ retreat. She began the podcast with her partner Scott Slaughter as a way of sharing the experiences of people who have, at some point in their lives, felt ‘othered’.
Holly Whitaker Is The Only One Who Quit Without AA
In this episode, writer and founder of The Tempest recovery programme, Holly Whitaker shares her experience of creating her own addiction recovery method at a time when AA was seen as the only option. Listen now >>
Sunday Edition: Patti Linsky Is The Only Cantor In Rehab
This episode with Patti Linsky is a fascinating discussion about her experience battling a drug addiction whilst working as a religious figure. It brings to the surface the expectations that are put on people in such positions and how this can affect them mentally. Listen now >>
Emma Worthington is a freelance writer, crafter and podcast enthusiast.
We hope you enjoy these podcasts about sobriety! Did we miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.