“Saying no to alcohol has allowed me to be present in my life”

Lucy Donoughue
By Lucy Donoughue,
updated on Feb 16, 2023

“Saying no to alcohol has allowed me to be present in my life”

Kate Baily, co-founder of Love Sober joins Happiful's podcast to discuss the journey to alcohol-free living and the benefits it brings

“For me, drinking was very much tied in with the cultural narrative of my twenties and my own narrative about feminism and being empowered,” Kate Baily shares on Happiful’s podcast. “Then I had my children and a massive identity shift. I had lots of hormones and my mental health wasn’t great. So wine became more and more part of my life. When I first heard the phrase ‘wine o’clock’, I laughed my head off. I thought, thank god it’s not just me!”

Kate soon realised that she was not alone in feeling this way about alcohol and there were many other women for whom alcohol played a major role in their daily lives. However, Kate notes, she was in the ‘grey area’ of drinking, not alcohol dependent but not experiencing a healthy relationship with it either, and she wanted that to change.

Fast forward to today and Kate is now the co-founder of Love Sober, co-host of the Love Sober podcast and has written two books with LS partner Mandy Manners, most recently the beautiful Love Your Sober Year: A Seasonal Guide to Alcohol-Free Living.

Kate’s also a sobriety & life coach specialising in holistic well-being for women in midlife, perimenopause transition, sobriety, and stress management. Her first-hand experience makes her extremely relatable, her honesty is refreshing and she’s ultimately very realistic about the role alcohol plays for so many of us, in what we perceive to be ‘stress relief’.

“I managed my stress with lots of different things,” she says, reflecting back. “I had my hobbies, I had this kind of toolkit. Drinking was part of it but there was this disconnect between how I was feeling, what my new role is (as a parent) and how it was all fitting, that became impossible to ignore. This created quite a lot of shame, which can lead to a downward spiral.”

Kate came across Soberistas while searching for questionnaires about alcoholism in the early hours of one morning. She began to get curious about living an alcohol free life, after finding support on the site’s forum. Although not easy, and she chose to drink again after a year before stopping for good, this experience inspired Kate to learn more about positive psychology, the role of the vagus nerve and the unmet needs we can often ‘treat’ by drinking.

Today, she shares this experience widely and champions the choice to be sober as well as celebrating the changes she’s made personally. “Alcohol-free life is the foundational piece of self-love that allows all others. For me, saying no to alcohol has allowed me to be present in my life.

“Quite simply, it’s given me this high-definition experience of my own life. It’s just such a gift.”

Curious about alcohol-free living? Visit Love Sober
Love Your Sober Year: A Seasonal Guide to Alcohol-Free Living is available now.

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