This week, our guest writer Janet Hadley, Founder and Director of Choose Sunrise will be exploring how our relationship with alcohol underpins our physical wellbeing and shares with us some of her own journey to sobriety and the benefits she’s found of living an alcohol-free life.

Janet Hadley, Founder and Director of Choose Sunrise

Since training as a sober coach, I’ve worked with dozens of people to re-set their relationship with alcohol. My clients have a wide range of reasons for feeling unhappy about how much they are drinking, but interestingly, physical health is rarely sited as a primary motivator.

The Impact on Physical Wellbeing

I can understand this. When I was drinking, I had very little regard for the impact this might be having on my body. Aside from the bulge around the waistline of my jeans, there was very little to see in terms of any lasting impact of my over-indulgence. Yes, there were sometimes hangovers, but these are short lived and easy to put down to experience. Everyone loses the odd Sunday morning, after all.

I had a vague understanding that alcohol was bad for me on some level, but it wasn’t until I got sober that I really started to read up on the statistics that I fully appreciated the reality of what alcohol is and what it does. I think David Nutt sums it up best in his excellent book, “Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and Your Health”. According to David, if alcohol were discovered today and subjected to the same rigorous health and safety standards of all other food in the UK, the amount that would be deemed safe to drink is one glass of wine. Per year. Yes, you are reading that correctly, one glass per adult per year.

Perhaps then it’s not surprising that some of first benefits I noticed when I stopped drinking were physical. My sleep was the first thing to recover. No more waking at 3am and promising myself I’ll have a weekend off boozing next week…only to find that by the next Friday, the Wine Witch was back whispering, “Go on, you deserve it,” in my ear.

Better Sleep

Better sleep lead quickly on to having more energy. I went through a rather annoying stage of bouncing out of bed at 6am every day (don’t worry, I’m over that now). However, I am still inclined to get my trainers on and get out for an early morning walk or a run now that I’m not processing alcohol every weekend morning.

Brain Function

I also noticed how much better my brain function was within just a few weeks of stopping drinking.  My short-term memory improved and the brain-fog I’d been putting down to middle age or perimenopause seemed to lift overnight.


Next up was my skin. Its papery grey tone was replaced by a new, dewy youthfulness. Forget expensive night creams: sobriety is the best anti-aging hack I’ve ever tried!

After that the results started coming in thick and fast: my nails are stronger, my hair is shinier, my teeth are whiter, I’m finally shifting those extra pounds around the waistline.


Reduced risk of developing chronic conditions

When I go on to consider what’s happening inside my body, I feel even better about my decision. I’ve reduced my risk of contracting over 60 chronic conditions including at least 7 different cancers, liver disease and dementia.

Like so many of my clients, the magnitude of these benefits has taken me completely by surprise. I honestly thought that going alcohol-free was something I ‘had’ to do, not something I wanted to do. If only I’d known how much better life would be, I’d have done it decades ago.

Choose Sunrise

At Choose Sunrise, we believe that nobody should feel afraid to ask for help with alcohol use. We can help you to create drink safe workplace and we specialise in helping professionals to reach their full potential by escaping the office drinking culture and resetting their relationship with alcohol.


Did you know…

  • 20% of workers report drinking more than they want to because of pressure from work colleagues
  • 32% of employees attend work with a hangover every month
  • Alcohol is estimated to be the cause of between 3-5% of all workplace absence


Is it time for you to consider becoming an Alcohol Wise Employer?


Click here to find out more and join the waiting list.