Choosing to get sober is a big decision that can stem from many reasons. Some people get sober after experiencing a “rock bottom,” while others choose to stop using drugs or drinking alcohol simply to get on a healthier path. Many times, it is loved ones that encourage others to enter treatment and establish a sober way of life. Some get sober to improve their mental health.
While getting sober is a key step, living sober is an even more momentous decision. It involves commitment, hard work, active management, support, and vulnerability at times. With each passing day, month, and year, sobriety is a milestone to be celebrated. Sober living brings many benefits, and leads people to being the healthiest and happiest versions of themselves.
Of course, there are always hard days. Especially as a young woman trying to meet expectations and live your life fully, choosing to become sober is not easy. It is, however, entirely possible. If you are a young woman looking for inspiration in your recovery journey, you are in the right place. Addiction can happen to anyone, but there is proof that recovery from addiction is possible. There are many famous sober women out there who have shared their incredible journeys of addiction and sobriety.
In our first article about famous women in recovery, we highlighted celebrities like Jamie Lee Curtis, Mary J. Blige, and Jada Pinkett Smith and their histories of substance addiction. Below, we showcase 10 more sober women who can serve as inspiring role models for other young women in recovery.
- Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is a well-known musician, but what many may not know is that this star is also actively working to live a sober life. Miley Cyrus was first encouraged to get sober after a vocal surgery that occurred in November 2019. However, after some reflection, the singer decided to stay sober following that recovery. In an interview with Variety in June 2020, Miley Cyrus revealed that she’s been “sober sober” for the past six months. She recognized the history of addiction and mental health issues in her family, and decided she did not want to continue drinking or using drugs. She said, “The thing that I love about [being sober] is waking up 100%, 100% of the time. I don’t want to wake up feeling groggy. I want to wake up feeling ready.”
- Florence Welch
The frontwoman behind Florence and the Machine recently celebrated seven years of sobriety. In February 2021, the singer posted on Instagram: “I am 7 years sober today. I send my love and support to anyone who is struggling. If you are feeling shaky around ED issues, drugs or alcohol, I completely understand. The desire to disassociate is so strong. But please don’t give up. We are going to need you on the other side.” Welch has long been open about her struggles with alcohol addiction, and her desire to get healthy, change pace, and relish in sobriety.
- Margo Price
The famed singer-songwriter, Margo Price, is a powerhouse in country music and a powerful voice in modern feminism. She is a role model to many young women in America, and just recently, made a decision that many more will look up to. Margo Price stopped drinking and got sober in January 2021. She says that the stress of the pandemic, combined with the lack of tour dates and boredom that stemmed from it, caused her to drink even when she “didn’t really want to.” She found benefits in sobriety, including a better work-life and becoming a better parent to her children.
- Lily Allen
Lily Allen, a notorious English singer, celebrated 18 months of sobriety in July 2021. Before this, however, she struggled with substance addiction for much of her lifetime. Her journey to sobriety has not been easy. The singer struggled with alcohol addiction while in school, partly due to feeling worthless, inadequate, and resentful. She buried herself in drugs and alcohol from a young age. As a young adult, this escalated into Adderall abuse, which she used in efforts to lose weight. “I got addicted to this drug because it made me invincible and I could work really long hours and be all the different people that I was required to be at the time,” she admits in People magazine. She chose to become sober and enter a drug treatment program, but difficult life events caused her to turn back to alcohol to cope. Recently, she celebrated her sobriety and is excited to leave her addiction behind, break out of the addiction cycle, and cherish her time with family.
- Cheryl Burke
You may know Cheryl Burke from ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, where she has danced professionally for 23 seasons. This year, the professional dancer was paired up with Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby for the competition. But did you know that, just last year, the star revealed she is sober? In September 2020, Burke said in a podcast that she was celebrating two years of sobriety. This year marked three years for the dancing star, and she has become more open about her struggles living a sober life in the spotlight and fame. Burke once said that her “only real sober friends” are in her Alcoholics Anonymous program, and she often thinks about drinking when she’s not around them. However, Burke chooses to talk about her struggles openly with her fans and in interviews, in order to hold herself accountable for her actions. She helps the world recognize that living sober is not easy, but it is entirely possible with commitment and support.
Kehlani’s fame started as a teenager with her debut in the music group, Poplyfe. However, most of us know Kehlani from her recent, solo studio albums, including It Was Good Until It Wasn’t which was released in 2020. The singer recently revealed, however, that she’s struggled with marijuana addiction. In a TikTok video in August 2021, Kehlani explained, “I used to smoke a lot of weed and now I speak on it in a past tense perspective.” She stopped using after realizing that she was overusing the drug. It was hurting her vocal cords and she was showing signs of a marijuana use disorder. “I got to a point where I couldn’t eat, sleep or be at a social gathering. I couldn’t kick it without smoking weed and I just didn’t want it to have that hold on my life anymore.”
- Eliza Dushku
Many 90s kids remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Disney’s Bring it On, both starring famous actor Eliza Dushku. What you may not know, however, is that this star has been sober for over 10 years. Her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction started before her career began, struggles that she believes were rooted in trauma. She said to Time magazine, “We carry trauma in our bodies. That’s where addiction comes in. People try to numb themselves.” Dushku made the choice to get sober after her brother said she wasn’t allowed to see her niece while intoxicated. That’s when she knew things were out of control. She’s been open about her struggles with addiction, including during the New Hampshire Youth Summit on Opioid Awareness in 2017. She said to the crowd, made up of mostly students, “Something a lot of people don’t know about me is that I’m an alcoholic and I was a drug addict for a lot of years. I’m always going to be that, but the difference between me and an alcoholic or a drug addict that still drinks and does drugs is that I’m sober. I don’t drink and I don’t do drugs anymore.”
- Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham is an actor, filmmaker, and writer. She is, perhaps, best known as the creator of Girls, an award-winning television series on HBO. Lena Dunham is another one of the many, influential sober women in Hollywood today. This impactful artist previously struggled with a prescription drug addiction, specifically Klonopin. However, for some time she didn’t believe she “was a drug addict,” because these were prescription drugs she was using. And she was still capable. This is a common misconception. Dunham eventually went to rehab for her addiction, which she revealed on Instagram, and recently celebrated three years of sobriety. In a post on social media, Dunham marked this milestone and encouraged her fans to seek help, if they need it: “If you are caught in a cycle of pain and shame around addiction, you are so far from alone – there are so many recovering addicts who want and NEED to connect with you and who will hold it down for you no matter what.”
- Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson is known as having done it all, as a singer, actor, and fashion designer. She has been in the spotlight since she was a teenager. The beloved star turned to alcohol and prescription drugs in efforts to cope with past traumas. In her memoir, Open Book, Simpson revealed that she was sexually abused as a child, and self-medicated with these substances to try and escape deep-seated pain. “I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills,” she writes. She got sober in November 2017 and hasn’t touched alcohol or drugs since. “Giving up the alcohol was easy,” she admits. “I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb.” Therapy, however, has been the hard part. Simpson writes, “With work, I allowed myself to feel the traumas I’d been through.” She attends therapy twice weekly and calls her newfound clarity a “continual gift.”
- Demi Lovato
We’ve talked about Demi Lovato’s struggles with drug abuse and mental health for years, but this legendary singer is worth highlighting again. Demi Lovato has long been an advocate for those battling substance use and mental health disorders. She is honest about her history of drug use, overdose, and trauma with her fans. She is actively working, every day, to maintain her sobriety. In March 2019, she posted words of encouragement and truth to her Instagram: “Today I would’ve had 7 years sober. I don’t regret going out because I needed to make those mistakes, but I must never forget that’s exactly what they were: mistakes.
“Grateful that AA/NA never shuts the door on you no matter how many times you have to start your time over. I didn’t lose 6 years; I’ll always have that experience but now I just get to add to that time with a new journey and time count.
“If you’ve relapsed and are afraid to get help again, just know it’s possible to take that step towards recovery. If you’re alive today, you can make it back. You’re worth it.”
Sobriety and Recovery are Possible for You
If you are a young woman and struggling with substance abuse, alcoholism, or even mental health issues, know that help is available to you. You do not have to compartmentalize your feelings or your struggles. Substance addiction does not define you; it is only part of your story. By asking for help, by making a decision to get help and get sober, you can set off on a path to a healthier version of you. If you are ready, know that Turnbridge is here for you. Turnbridge is a drug treatment center with specialized, holistic, trauma-informed treatment programs for young women struggling with addiction and mental health disorders. Call 877-581-1793 to learn more.