Kate's Blog

3 Things You Can Learn From Adele’s Sober Journey

Did you see the singer Adele talking about her sobriety last week? 

Her comments were widely reported because she described herself as a “borderline alcoholic” and said she really missed drinking.

There’s so much I’d love to say directly to Adele about alcohol-free living…

But as I’m pretty sure Adele doesn’t follow The Sober School 😉 I thought I’d share a few key takeaways with you instead!


Key points:

1. If your sober journey has been up and down… you’re not alone

This isn’t the first time Adele’s spoken about ditching alcohol. In 2021 she told Oprah that she’d quit completely after drinking a lot during lockdown and getting divorced. And now, two years later, we’re hearing she’s three and a half months sober. 

I often see people being really hard on themselves when they don’t do this “perfectly” and stop for good the first time they try. For me personally, I also crashed and burned a few times before things clicked for good – it was hard to stop without the right help and support. 

2. You don’t need to be an alcoholic to quit drinking

Adele described herself as being a “borderline alcoholic” in her 20s. There’s actually no such thing as a borderline alcoholic and today the word “alcoholic” is also pretty dated. Nowadays, we tend to think of drinking on a continuum.

At The Sober School, I work exclusively with women in the “grey area”. This means drinking is causing you problems at home and on a personal level, but to the outside world, your life probably looks ok. Your drinking might be well hidden from others, but it’s causing you pain – and that’s what matters.

3. Sobriety doesn’t have to mean deprivation

Adele told fans in Vegas, “I stopped drinking maybe three and a half months ago. It’s boring. I mean, I was literally borderline alcoholic for quite a lot of my 20s, but I miss it so much.” She told a fan: “So enjoy your whiskey sour. I’m very, very jealous.”

It was a shame these comments got so widely reported, because they repeat an unfortunate myth about sobriety – that it’s boring and you always feel as if you’re missing out. Trust me, alcohol-free living does not have to be depriving, if you do the right mindset work!

Nowadays, I never think “Poor me, I can’t drink.” Instead I think, “Yes! I don’t have to drink. I don’t need that crap any more.” That type of freedom – where alcohol becomes small and irrelevant – is what I want for you too. That is true alcohol free living. 

If you’d like some help to quit drinking in a way that feels fun and empowering, my Getting Unstuck course will show you how. Click here for more details.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 

Comments

68 Responses

  1. I think you are a very wise woman. I know exactly what you’re talking about. Personally I’m still in the grips of alcohol. But the words you speak give me hope. Kind regards Amber.

      1. Kate, I’m really struggling to kick the unhealthy habit of drinking, I’m addicted and every 3-4 days I tend to binge drink. I use it as a coping mechanism when I’m heightened or extremely low.
        I have ADHD and borderline personality disorder, so I’m impulsive, inhibiting and common sense go out the window, I become dissociated with reality or who I am. It’s crippling me and making my anxiety and depression very difficult- I know I’m self destructive and sabotaging myself I crave to feel healthy. I’m due to start Psychotherapy soon hopefully and I’ll be raising my struggle with alcohol the alarming thing to us that I take medication for both conditions yet I block out the dangers of drinking.

        1. Hi Lisa, finding new healthier coping mechanisms is an important part of my Getting Unstuck course, I can help you with that for sure. Alcohol will undoubtedly be getting in the way of your medication doing what it is supposed to do at the moment. It is also a depressant and will be making this and your anxiety worse. Being honest about your struggle with alcohol at this next appointment is essential. The support I can provide via the Getting Unstuck course will help you tackle your emotional and psychological addiction, but it’s not a substitute for medical advice or support.

  2. I’m 5 weeks into being alcohol-free. When I heard about Adele and her being jealous about someone else drinking; I thought, I know of 2 books she should read: The Sober Diaries and Kick The Drink…Easily. I’m going to read all that you send me. Thanks for your support.

    1. Absolutely agree with your book recommendations! Quit lit as it is sometimes called is a great sober tool in the early days and weeks, so keep going Marcia – you’re doing an amazing job 🙂

    1. It can be a lonely journey when you’re doing this on your own and repeating the hardest first days of not drinking over and over again. If you need any support, my online coaching programme would be a great fit for you. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  3. I am now sober and been in AA for month and a half I have a sponsor and a therapist that specializes in addiction. I hate to hear about Adele I know she is in denial

    1. For me and many of the women I work with, it can feel hard to stop drinking when the right support isn’t available. That’s exactly why I created The Sober School to show women that quitting drinking doesn’t have to be miserable and you can get sober without feeling deprived or labelling yourself. Please check out my online programme for more information: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  4. This is me. I would call myself borderline alcoholic. I stopped for couple months and now I am on day one. For my health I must stop. I am 74.. . I drink like 3-5 or 4!when home for the day.

    1. Pat…I’m right there in your age bracket. I felt that alcohol was a normal part of adulthood. I was ashamed of my problems with alcohol. Somehow, goofing around on the web,I found the Kate’s Sober School… took a risk., as I felt SO READY for some kind of help. Her class helped me to put away my resistances, and I eagerly followed the materials. Now I can focus on other goals in enjoying my life. Best to you,

  5. Hi Kate
    I feel would have said the same as Adele as I have put so much on Alcohol being the social height
    Of entertaining or going out but also have used it like as an emotional crutch, I always say how much I enjoy the taste and it’s not just the alcohol content, so I can relate to a lot of the reasons you have mentioned in videos etc about giving up that I find so hard.

    1. When we think that alcohol is ‘joy juice’ and the only thing that makes a social occasion fun, that’s a red flag and is actually not true either. It’s a big, old myth and one of many that we grow up believing from a young age. You’re not alone in seeing alcohol through rose tinted glasses because that’s exactly what all the hype and marketing are doing and it works, sadly.
      Next time you’re tempted to drink at a social occasion or a normal night at home for that matter, put your earplugs in and listed to my free pep talk: https://thesoberschool.com/pep-talk

    2. 100% agree with what Kate says in her reply to you, you’re doing the hardest part on repeat. The best money I EVER spent was on her course, I am coming up 3 years now without alcohol. I was EXACTLY like you in my relationship with alcohol too. You can ditch it, honestly you can.

      1. Brilliant Karen, well done! I am on day 104 after doing Kate’s course – you are right it was the best thing I could have done too xx

    1. The only things you are missing out on Angel are a headache, a hangover, lethargy, nausea, bad breath, anxiety, guilt, shame, weight gain, being overemotional, regretting things, poor sleep, mood swings etc, etc…. Take a break from booze for just six weeks and I’ll show you what alcohol-free living is really all about: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  6. I just saw the Adele comment this morning , so glad you addressed this issue. I felt sad that she said that , have a huge affect on a lot of people. I realize she was off the cuff but sobriety is something to be proud of. And encouraging others to drink. Not good. I realize she does not have our training about how toxic alcohol is.Also sad the she said borderline alcoholic I hope she sees your post and lets you help her with her mindset. Love Adele and wish her all the best. Thanks Kate

  7. You delivered right away, Kate. When I read about what Adele said at her concert, my first thought had been: she needs to join The Sober School. Exactly on this topic aka myth ‘sober is boring’ you train and empower us to widen our view. My two years of being sober with the help of your course, I can assure everyone, have not been boring at all. I hope that the next news of sober celebreties will be those who speak about their joy.

    1. Thanks Claudia, nothing about sobriety is boring as we know. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s enlightening and empowering! 🙂

  8. Very disappointing to hear someone of high profile like Adele making such throwaway comments. She will undoubtedly sadly influence a lot of people to give up their AF journey. 11 months AF now, it’s so NOT boring.!! Life is amazing .

  9. I am 1 year, 28 days sober, I wouldn’t have considered myself a borderline alcoholic, I just didn’t have the ‘switch’, if you know, you know. I have to say I’m currently finding stopping a bit difficult, I think my mind has now gone to “ well you’ve stopped for a year, we’ll done, have a celebration” I know I will not drink again, but it is hard as I feel like I’m beating myself up again, I’m hoping this is just a phase and it will pass again, just like in the beginning. All things must pass, my motto

    1. You are right, feelings do pass. But if you are thinking that alcohol provides you with some pleasure, benefit or service, you are always going to feel deprived in some way. That’s why my approach to alcohol-free living is quite different and teaches you the truth about alcohol and works on changing your mindset so alcohol holds no allure and becomes insignificant.

  10. I cant agree more with these comments Kate. I completed the getting unstuck course last October/November, but had six more months of on again off again until it finally stuck! I am now 140 days sober. I revisit my getting unstuck course often and it has helped me realise that I have gained everything and missed nothing!. Thank you Kate for your courses and work in this “grey area” – it was the key to my happier future.

  11. Kate
    Thanks to my learnings from Sober School I have been sober for over 15 months. It isn’t BORING. It is LIBERATING! My life has become amazing in the past 15 months.

    Thank you again.
    Dawn

  12. Hi Kate – I took your course in 2018 and didn’t drink for 3 years…the course made so much “sense” to me…no labels, the way commercials make alcohol look like “fun” when it’s not fun to have tummy troubles the next day from drinking the wine poison (sorry if TMI but it’s real) and feeling like crap. Your approach works….thanks!

  13. Not had a drink this year after 11 years of stop-start habits. I’ve not done your course but follow every video and you have helped me change my mindset. I’m so glad I don’t have to drink. I’ve been caring for my dad every day for 2 months and finally lost him last week. I could not have done that with alcohol in my life. I don’t need alcohol to have fun and I don’t need it to grieve. Thank you Kate.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss Sheena. Grieving and feeling all the emotions authentically is a respectful response when you lose a loved one.

  14. I did your course which began at the beginning of January 2023. I was ready; I hated drinking & myself for doing it.
    I still heave a sigh of relief every day that I’m not beholden to it anymore. You were right when you taught us when we reach for wine in the evening, we were actually just thirsty.

    1. Good for you Jacky, drinking makes life harder, not easier. Learning to recognise your body’s unmet needs is a big part of realising that alcohol is not the answer.

  15. I do recommend Kate’s course. I have found I needed to be in the right mindset to embrace change. I’ve tried before and now I’m finding it easier than I ever did. I’ve made other changes, long overdue ones but tackling this one has been immense. Yesterday was Day 70 of being sober, feeling alive, not hating myself. It is taking time to feel really genuinely better but it’s coming. My tip really is one pinched from Kate – celebrate the variety of gorgeous soft drinks and mocktails. And really celebrate them with a nice glass, ice, hell – am umbrella if you want to! Good luck to all. It’s worth the journey. And I don’t miss it! Xx

  16. Kate,
    I just wanted to say that in January I will be 5 years alcohol free thanks to your Unstuck Course I took in 2018. It was the scariest thing I have ever done and the best thing I have ever done. The course, support and everything about it was the key to me stopping drinking and every day I am grateful I heard you on the Bubble Hour and took the step to try.
    Thanks for everything and I highly recommend anyone struggling seek out the course.
    Sharon

  17. Hi Kate, I took your course in October 2020. My drinking was causing me anxiety , and I wanted to feel free of alcohol. That was it. I wasnt an alcoholic . I wanted to grow older healthier and happier. And I am ! I havent had a drink since the night before that first day of class. I have been free of it because I did the inner work of facing the myths. I love my life, and am so grateful for your course

    1. So happy for you Caroline:-) Grey area drinking is such a hidden phenomenon and that makes it a lonely place to be, but there is hope and support here at The Sober School.

  18. As you say Kate, it’s all about the mindset. I thank God I tripped across your course just as I took a choice to try not drinking. That was 24 May of this year, and with all the tools you offer, drinking is now not something I choose to do. I too hated the term alcoholic so it was refreshing to find my tribe through you. Intelligent women who just became addicted by mistake but by choice chose to travel light, free and with laughter at what we’ve ditched 🙂

    1. Stopping drinking doesn’t have to be tough and there is power in working it through with like minded people who understand the struggle. There are many different approaches to quitting drinking, but I believe you can get sober without going to meetings, labelling yourself or being in permanent ‘recovery’. There is another way of doing things and my online course is a way to get support, education, advice, coaching and community in one programme:https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  19. Almost 1.5 years sober. Never took course, yet gjt book and that is what helped me. Anso these blogs. What really stick out to me from this blog was when you said:
    You never called or labeled yourself an alcoholic. Just that one comment made me believe and trust you!

    Cheryl Jacobsen

  20. Great comments, Kate. BTW Adele is dating someone from Cleveland, Ohio, Rich Paul. There are several folks in the Club from Cleveland, so if we see her, we’ll surely mention the Sober School! AF living is freeing, not boring.

  21. I woke this morning after a night of tears trying to get my head around things, feeling very sad and lonely. Praying things would be different today. I was labelled a functioning alcoholic and this stuck with me because of the ‘functioning’ bit!! But I realise I’m not really functioning well because of the absolute downs of drinking. I really appreciate the continuous encouragement of the blogs, hopefully today is a new day for me I can’t carry on, I want to be happy and healthy xxx

    1. We all deserve to be happy and healthy, but alcohol does not help us do that. I recommend taking a decent break from alcohol, so you can experience the true benefits of alcohol-free living. You don’t need to contemplate quitting forever, just a break to get to the good bit so here’s another of my blogs that explains why in more detail: https://thesoberschool.com/quit-drinking-forever/

  22. Afternoon Kate, I’m on your course at the moment, listening to this post today gave me the shivers and bought tears to my eyes, it was as though you were given therapy directly to me. My mindset is changing so much and I am slowly unpicking all the brain washing I have convinced myself about the wonder juice. I’m only 3 weeks in but already contemplating continuing after the six weeks. Thanks to your team and my sobriety sisters

    1. I’m happy to hear your mindset is changing Angie, the course is working! By showing you the truth about alcohol, I’m giving you the knowledge and power to make informed decisions for a better and healthier future.

  23. Very timely post re: Adele. After 2.5 years sober I went out on a date with a heavy drinker and allowed myself 3 or 6 glasses of wine for the first time out, and went to a music show. Happy to report that all symptoms of drinking came right back, and reminded me vividly that walking away and keeping alcohol out of my life is the only way to go. I absolutely love drinking wine, but absolutely abhor the after-effects from doing so. So, in case you wonder, nothing changes, alcohol is poison, so glad to say it reinforced my mindset to leave that stuff out of my body. BTW, I am 70, and had been drinking since high school days. Love being real and AF!

  24. Hi
    I just can’t seem to break my nightly routine… I cook a nice meal (after a long days work) and drink a bottle of wine.
    I know there is life outside of the bottle because I have lived it previously, but right now I with Adele (and I don’t really want to be).

    1. Hi Diane, when we are stuck in that cycle it can be hard to see a way out. The fact that you are here tells me that a part of you does want to break free. You don’t have to do this on your own though. I work with women who want to take a break from booze, but hate the idea of missing out or feeling deprived. I show them how to have fun, relax and be confident without a glass of wine in their hand… and can help you too. Because stopping drinking doesn’t have to be hard. I can show you how to quit without feeling miserable.If you’d like some support, my online coaching programme would be a great fit for you. Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  25. I’m 6 years clean & sober (also nicotine free). Crazily gave up most of my vices in the same year as all interlinked. (Sugar is still an issue but I suppose a lesser evil). Describe myself as a problematic binge drinker in my 20s & 30s. Stopped at 41, even though I had a better handle on consumption but 2 or 3 times a year I would still blackout and the fear, anxiety and shame of waking up with no recollection of what I did or said the night before was enough to finally stop permanently. Life isn’t boring, still love going to clubs and dancing all night long 🙂

  26. Once again, a very inspirational post Kate. I’m 48, work full time and the nightly routine of drinking a bottle of red, secretly keeping the bottle in a cupboard away from prying eyes of kids and hubby, was becoming a chore and a source of shame I so desperately wanted out of, but one I couldn’t seem to stop! I came across your website after yet another argument with my other half after he’d caught me trying to quickly hide the bottle as he came unexpectedly into the kitchen. That night, I think I read and watched everything you’d ever posted on your site and resolved that ‘this night, this was the night I was going to quit.’ 6 months on, I am proud to say, I’m loving life alcohol free. I’ve lost weight, my skin looks fab and my relationships with kids and hubby, better than ever. I really could not have done this without you Kate. I eagerly await your posts popping into my inbox and I’m grateful to you for not being judgemental, and being so understanding and supportive in your posts. Where I once saw failure in me, I now see determination to be a better person – without the bottle. Thank you Kate 🙂 x

    1. Well done Angie, it’s wonderful to hear how well things are going for you now and it just gets better and better too.

  27. So disappointing what Adele said, she as a role model. She surely doesn‘t have the right mindset yet. There are so many good books out there and of course Kate‘s wonderful Getting Unstuck course and her community. Did the course this April, alcohol free for more than 7 months now and feeling proud and free. Thank you Kate!

  28. I am just so furious with this irresponsible comment of Adele’s. Does she not know that, as a celebrity with an incredible following, she has powerful influence on other people? People in her position can choose to make positive contributions to cociety or damaging ones – even in Hollywood. That woman needs to be educated. It’s hard for me not to be angry about this.

    1. Hi Jean, I agree it is frustrating when celebrities are quoted publicly like this. She said something she believes to be true for her, but we know differently. Trying to be alcohol free in the public eye, without doing the mindset work, must be incredibly difficult for her.

      1. Thank you for saying that. I know my comments were a bit harsh. You are so insightful and kind and yes it’s the mindset work that she needs.

  29. This was a powerful message. It’s just what I needed after so many fails. I need to take alcohol down off of the pedestal of fun and good times because it is neither. Thank you.

  30. What I miss the most when I stop, currently taking a drinking break, is the routine and sugar. A glass of wine with my dinner, but I know I can’t stop at one glass . . . but right now, it’s the sugar I am missing, too.

    1. Have you tried any alcohol-free alternatives? Only the alcohol content is removed, not the sugar. Or my favourite is putting grapefruit juice and soda in a fancy glass with ice and a slice – feels a bit special and zingy (with sugar). Give some of the alternatives a try, there’s so many on the market these days. 🙂

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