Singer, author and Radio 2 presenter talks about quitting alcohol and her new book Happy Healthy Sober.
Janey Lee Grace recently spoke with Miles Salter on The Arts Show about her journey to sobriety and why she decided to quit drinking alcohol. After various attempts to stop drinking, she quit for good in 2018 and in the few years since she has become a champion for sobriety.
“In the UK, alcohol is a societal drug that we all have to take…It’s the social glue that sticks everything together from commiserations and celebrations and everything in between,” she said.
Janey makes clear how she never hit rock bottom with her drinking, but she still felt its negative effects. “I was waking up every day at 3am and absolutely hating myself. I was thinking, ‘What the hell is this about?’ And yes, I was fine to go to work and do what I had to do. And nobody would have known there was any issue. But I knew.”
Janey is also a health and wellbeing coach and said, “Most people fall somewhere on the spectrum. They aren’t at rock bottom, but they aren’t fine either…I would say that everyone should ask themselves a question, ‘Would my life be better physically and emotionally without booze?’ And if the little voice, you know, in your unconscious mind shouts ‘Hell yes!’ then you owe it to yourself to give [sobriety] a shot.”
According to Janey, “Alcohol is the most harmful drug when you take into account everything, not just harm to the individual but harm to the economy, harm to others, relationships…The way it is in this country is that it’s the only drug that you have to justify not taking.”
Janey describes her new book, Happy Health Sober, as part how-to guide and part lifestyle guide. The book explains how to “ditch the booze, and how to get through those early weeks, which undoubtedly are the most tough.” It also has contributions from over 20 experts covering topics such as nutrition, personal mindset, spirituality and creativity.
When it comes to alcohol and show business, Janey agrees that there is a history between the two but also says that it’s an issue in every industry. She has, however, noticed a change toward sober lifestyles. “We all know a whole bunch of very cool celebs who have chosen to be sober. And that’s where the sober shamers are not going to be able to cut it for much longer because there are plenty of people who have found that actually, choosing to be alcohol free is really beneficial for them.”
When asked if she has benefitted from not drinking and whether she feels more present in her life, she responded, “Oh 100%! Absolutely 100%. The differences are just incredible. On every level, everything changes. There isn’t anything that not drinking doesn’t make better…physically and emotionally.”
In addition to her new book, Janey also helps people on their sobriety journey by running The Sober Club, a community dedicated to those who want to live a sober lifestyle. She has found that being alcohol free allows people to uncover the real problems that are hidden behind the alcohol.
“Ditching the booze helps you to actually look at what’s really going on. Otherwise, whatever else you have going on in your life physically and emotionally is just being masked by the booze.
“When it comes to drinking, it’s never really about the drinking, is it? It’s always something else…So, actually it’s about uncovering what’s really going on.”
Janey Lee Grace’s new book Happy Healthy Sober is out now. For signed copies, you can visit her website at thesoberclub.com.
You can listen to the full interview on the 17th March episode of The Arts Show at listenagain.jorvikradio.com/arts.
Written by: Rebecca Mendoza