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People choose to stop drinking for a number of reasons (a decision made a whole lot easier by all the great alcohol-free drink options on offer nowadays), from wanting to improve their mental health to certain medical conditions. Over the years, many celebrities have chosen to speak out about their choice to ditch booze too – from Kit Harrington to Jennifer Lopez to Lily Allen.
Deciding whether or not to go teetotal is a really personal decision, and given that so many social occasions revolve around drinking, it can be challenging too – which is why it can also be really helpful to hear from others who've made it work for them. Listening in on the reasons why these famous faces chose to go sober may also be comforting and serve as a source of inspiration, too.
So with that in mind, here are 24 celebrity quotes on living an alcohol-free life.
Rapper Nicki Minaj has opened up about her newfound sobriety, telling fans on Twitter that she is "loving life".
Responding to a follower who asked, "Are you high?", the musician and mum-of-one said: "No I’m sober and loving life." In a second tweet, she went on to add, "I used to b[e] happy when I was high. Now I’m happy when I’m sober. No judgement to anyone. Be gentle with yourself."
Recently, the 39-year-old opened up about how becoming a mother has changed her outlook on life, telling James Cordon on The Late Late Show that she "sees more good in people" and "more good in the universe."
I used to b happy when I was high. Now I’m happy when I’m sober. No judgement to anyone. Be gentle with yourself. 🎀
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) April 22, 2022
She continued: "When I look at my son, I’m reminded that I am so blessed."
Model Bella Hadid, who has previously been super candid about her mental health struggles with anxiety online, has also opened up about how going sober has helped her feel more in control (she's currently at the six-month no booze mark).
During an interview promoting her role as co-founder of the soft drinks brand, Kin Euphorics, which feature nootropics designed to calm the mind, Bella said of her alcohol-free journey, "I have done my fair share of drinking. I loved alcohol and it got to the point where even I started to, you know, cancel nights out that I felt like I wouldn't be able to control myself on... I [now] drink [Kin Spritz] when I have crippling anxiety and I can't leave my house, or when I'm not gonna drink alcohol but still want to loosen up and be able to speak to people and socialise."
She continued, "I don't feel the need [to drink alcohol now] because I know how it will affect me at 3 in the morning when I wake up with horrible anxiety, thinking about that one thing I said five years ago when I graduated high school. There's just this never-ending effect of, essentially, you know, pain and stress over those few drinks that didn't really do much, you know?"
The actor initially kept her choice to abstain from alcohol a secret, only choosing to share it with the world after she'd been sober for two years (despite having previously been open about the substance abuse issues she faced as a teenager) – which is absolutely fair enough.
Speaking to TV host Gayle King, Drew recently admitted that she was previously stuck in a bad cycle, "When you are stuck in a pattern, or if you are going through things and you not only admit them out loud, but you force yourself to say, 'I'm willing to make big changes'... I think we all think we're very weak when we don't make those changes [but when we do, that's where the empowerment comes in]."
She added that she kept her sober journey a secret until it was one she'd built enough confidence in on on a personal level. "I just want to figure this out and go about this with no profession, no public anything, and now it's been long enough where I'm in a lifestyle that I know is really working on a high road for my little journey, and there's so much peace finally being had where there were demons."
Drew, we have nothing but respect for your honesty!
Former reality TV star, Jessica Simpson, took to social media recently to reflect on her four years of sobriety. Speaking to her 5.6 million Instagram followers, the 41-year-old said: "This person in the early morning of Nov 1, 2017 is an unrecognisable version of myself. I had so much self discovery to unlock and explore."
She went on to explain how alcohol had kept her "mind and heart circling in the same direction" revealing that she was "exhausted." Four years on from her decision to stop drinking alcohol, Jessica said, "I didn’t love myself. I didn’t respect my own power. Today I do... I own my personal power with soulful courage. I am wildly honest and comfortably open. I am free."
The TV personality also pointed out how society's attitude towards alcohol addiction needs to change. "There is so much stigma around the word alcoholism or the label of an alcoholic. The real work that needed to be done in my life was to actually accept failure, pain, brokenness and self sabotage."
In a new interview with The Sunday Times, The Game of Thrones star candidly discussed his issues with alcohol and addiction, while both filming the TV show and after it wrapped. "I went through some pretty horrible stuff," Kit explained, referencing his very intense periods of depression. "Things that have happened to me since Thrones ended, and that were happening during Thrones, were of a pretty traumatic nature and they did include alcohol. You get to a place where you feel like you are a bad person, you feel like you are a shameful person. And you feel that there’s no way out, that’s just who you are."
However, he added, that alongside going to rehab, changing his thoughts surrounding the expression 'a leopard never changes its spots' was a helpful turning point. "Getting sober is the process of going, 'No, I can change'," Kit said. "One of my favourite things I learnt recently is that the expression 'a leopard doesn’t change its spots' is completely false: a leopard actually does change its spots. It really helped. That was something I kind of clung to; the idea that I could make this huge fundamental change in who I was and how I went about my life."
He has now been sober for two-and-a-half years, saying, "I have a child and my relationship is brilliant… I’m a very, very happy, content, sober man."
To celebrate a year of sobriety, the singer shared a series of glowing photographs on Instagram (and one less flattering 'before' shot), writing, "1 year completely sober! So grateful for my health and happiness." Back in 2018, she told GQ that at her worst she drank a bottle of Grey Goose vodka a day. Now, she's been alcohol-free for two years. Go, Lily!
The super model told Vogue UK that in the past, she struggled to control her drinking. "The time between 1998 and 2005 was especially bad. During that time I avoided looking in the mirror, because I didn't like the person who was looking back at me. To be honest, there were times I thought I wouldn't survive. I used to have a lot of problems... amongst others I drank too much, so I joined Alcoholics Anonymous to get and stay sober." Naomi also checked into rehab for a cocaine addiction back in 1999 and continues to talk about her experiences with both drugs and alcohol to help others.
Sharing that there's a history of addiction in her family, Miley said in June 2020 that she's been 'sober, sober' for six months – also prompted in part by needing to have vocal surgery. "I’ve been sober sober for the past six months. At the beginning, it was just about this vocal surgery... It’s really hard, especially being [sober and] young, there’s that stigma of 'you’re no fun' [but] it’s like, 'Honey, you can call me a lot of things, but I know that I’m fun'." She added that she doesn't miss hangovers either. "I don’t want to wake up feeling groggy. I want to wake up feeling ready."
Jada Pinkett Smith
Now sober from both drugs and alcohol for over 22 years, a report by Contact Music said Jada's wake up call came when she was regularly drinking two bottles of wine. "I found myself drinking two bottles of wine on the couch and I said, 'Jada, I think we've got a problem here.' I had problems with alcohol and I really had to get in contact with the pain, whatever that is, and then I had to get some other tools in how to deal with the pain. From that day on I went cold turkey."
The Harry Potter star explained this his drinking problem stemmed from feeling lost in life. "I definitely think a lot of the drinking that happened towards the end of Potter, and for a little bit after it finished, it was panic and not knowing what to do next, and not being comfortable enough in who I was to remain sober." Speaking about his decision to go sober, he said it felt "weird" to give up alcohol at such a young age, but that he was "very, very happy" about it. "But I will always be fascinated and frustrated by the question of, 'is this something that would have happened anyway or was this to do with Potter?’"
She opened up about her experience in rehab during a chat with Interview, saying that choosing to go teetotal is a decision that should be garner more support in Hollywood. "The other day I was reading an article. I don’t even remember who the actress was, but she’s been around for a long time. She said something like, 'I’m proud that I’ve had a whole career without making it to rehab.' That’s such a negative twist on it. I’m proud of people who have the determination and the fearlessness to actually go and face their demons and get better. This is a life or death situation. I’m not a spokesperson, but I want to support people for their decisions when they do go in and get help."
For the Sex and the City star, ditching booze came about after she realised it was interfering with her acting. She told Marie Claire UK, "I realised it was not going to end well. I got into the acting program, it was very challenging, I was hungover and I wasn't doing so well in my classes. I thought, 'Do you know what? It's going to be one or the other. I can't really have both.'"
During a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Bradley said his reasons for going sober were about wanting to achieve as much as he could from life. "I don't drink or do drugs anymore. I realised I wasn't going to live up to my potential, and that scared the hell out of me. I thought, 'Wow, I'm actually gonna ruin my life. I'm really gonna ruin it.'"
For The X Factor winner, it's the taste of booze that's the most unappealing. "I don't drink - I hate the taste of alcohol," she told When my debut single [Bleeding Love] went to No.1, I celebrated with non-alcoholic champagne."
The presenter-turned-wellness-guru often speaks candidly about her experience of anxiety and poor self-esteem, which can be exasperated by drinking. "I haven’t been drunk for nearly two years... My husband doesn’t drink so it’s not like we’re cracking open bottles of Pinot Grigio at home, we don’t have alcohol in the house," she said in an interview with The Mirror back in 2016.
During an appearance on the Chelsea Lately show, Jennifer said she's never been interested in alcohol – but that nobody ever believes her when she tells them that. "I’ve never had a drink in my life. I’m sober. Normally as an actor, you have things to pull from. [But when playing a heroin addict] I was like, ‘I don’t know what it’s like to feel any of that.” I’ve never been interested [in alcohol]. Nobody ever believes it…"
Kat Von D
Recently celebrating her 13th year of sobriety with an Instagram post, tattoo artist Kat told The Fix, "One of the biggest reasons for me to stop drinking was to preserve and protect my art… More than just having the chemical addiction, I was addicted to dysfunction. A lot of musicians and writers and poets from back in the day until now have used dysfunction as a muse. I don’t want to be that person anymore.” She added that life looks a lot differently nowadays. "I never imagined I would be excited about being sober. When you're on the other side of things, you have such a profoundly different perspective on life… Personally, being sober means that I operate better and I function better; I believe I'm meant to be this way."
For Blake, it wasn't so much that she gave up drinking, more that she never started. The Gossip Girl icon told Allure magazine in 2012, "I don't drink. I've never tried a drug... it's not like I decided on these strict lifestyle choices and I'm enforcing them. It's just something that I genuinely don't have a desire for."
"My decision to become sober wasn’t out of a need necessarily, it was more just that I did ‘sober January’ and I just decided to keep going," she told People back in 2017. Fair play to you, Rumer! Sometimes taking a break allows people to realise they don't miss alcohol so much after all.
Okay, so while not 100% teetotal, J-Lo (who is known for her love of all things health and fitness) says she very rarely drinks alcohol – as she doesn't like the idea of it damaging her skin. "I think it ruins your skin," she said in an InStyle interview. Of course, during celebratory toasts, everybody's like, 'You can't toast with water!' So I'll toast with alcohol and just take a sip."
Last year the actress announced she was giving up drinking for a very specific eighteen years, after becoming a mother. "I quit drinking back in October, for 18 years," she said. "I'm going to stop drinking while my son is in my house just because I don’t totally love the way I do it and he's getting to an age where he really does need me all the time in the mornings."
While chatting on the Lorraine show, she added, "The time I have with him is really precious. And I do leave a lot for work and I found my time with him was getting impacted, not necessarily by the drinking, as I never went out of control around him. But I hate to say it – as you get older, the hangovers get really bad... I had to make a choice and I chose mornings. Isn't that annoying? Isn't that horrible? I'm really irritated by how well it's going."
Not drinking alcohol has long been a part of the rapper and designers life – he told PAPER magazine, "Everybody else can do what they want, but that stuff isn't for me. I've been drunk nine times in my life, and I ate some weed brownies once."
Tyler, the Creator
Known as much for his hilarious social media antics (let us never forget his Vine videos – R.I.P) as he is his music, fans of Tyler are likely already familiar with the artist's wild side. But getting crazy drunk isn't something that appeals, he said during an interview with Fantastic Man magazine, "I just don’t want to drink. I know that I don’t want to be that drunk guy. But I do know I want to hit a jump on a dirt-bike. I can look at that and say: ‘I want to do that.’ I’ve never seen anyone drunk, like, ‘Damn, I want to be that.’ So, I guess I just naturally got it pushed into my head that I have no reason to go over there and get f**king drunk."
Once famous for her love of a good party (buckets of champagne included), one of the world's most famous super models now avoids drinking entirely. That's not to say Kate now spends her evenings sat at home working on her knitting though – she's still regularly spotted at events, mocktail in hand. Speaking about her newfound sobriety, Kate's close friend DJ Fat Tony (who is also sober) said, "Kate's been clean for over two years. Me and my sober mates now have a better time than we ever did when we used to drink and take drugs."
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