#157 – Episode 157 – Healthy Happy Sobriety with Janey Lee Grace


Veronica interviews British radio legend Janey Lee Grace who was a holistic health guru who drank. Janey knew something was wrong with her and tried everything to fix it until she finally realised she needed to stop drinking. Her book Healthy Happy Sobriety documents her journey into holistic sobriety.

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about this episode

Janey Lee Grace is a bestselling author, journalist, radio presenter, and speaker who has just come out with her latest book, Happy Healthy Sober, which I highly recommend.

Janey’s journey to sobriety was incredibly interesting. She always considered herself a health-conscious person and after getting pregnant, she went on a deep learning journey about holistic living, healthy eating, and more. She became known as the queen of holistic living and eventually published her first book, Imperfectly Natural Woman.

While there was nothing she didn’t know about spirituality and holistic living, there was a massive elephant in the room.

She knew something was off but she just couldn’t see what it was.

Janey’s experience is really typical of the collective denial we have. We know that alcohol is bad for you but still we’re so deeply convinced that it’s an essential part of life that we discount the negative impact it has.

We’ll drink green juices, exercise, and meditate but we won’t let go of our Chardonnay.

Janey didn’t see herself fitting into the stereotype of a person with an alcohol problem so it took her years longer than it should have for her to get help.

After years of stopping and starting Janey found lasting sobriety in 2018 and hasn’t looked back.

In this episode, she shares her journey to sobriety, the red flags she missed for years, and the things that helped her along the way.

key highlights
Healthy and unhealthy aren’t as clear cut as we’re led to believe

“I knew that alcohol wasn’t doing me any good but I didn’t fit any of the categories that seem to need to make a change.” – Janey Lee Grace

Our culture paints a picture of two types of drinkers: the bad one that has hit rock bottom and has no option but to change their ways and the good one that’s a happy social drinker and has no issues.

That’s just not how it works.

Most of us fall somewhere on the spectrum of “gray area drinking” – we’re not at rock bottom but we’re not okay either.


An alcohol problem is internal

“We think an alcohol problem is the stuff that happens on the outside.” – Veronica Valli

An alcohol problem starts years before outside effects (like getting arrested and drunk driving) show up.

It’s internal.

To everyone on the outside, Janey looked like she was doing great. She was on the radio, had books, had kids, everything seemed wonderful. But in her book she describes those same years where she was actually dealing with anxiety, low self-esteem, fear, sleepless nights, and feeling lost.

Those are the inside stuff that people can’t see and we don’t know how to talk about. And they’re often the feelings that keep us stuck for years before finding the help we need.

Opening your eyes to the other side

“I think we all need to get to a point where we flick that switch.” Janey Lee Grace

For years Janey stopped and started drinking, never really sticking with it. Then one day, Clare Pooley’s book, The Sober Diaries, landed on her desk as required reading for an upcoming interview with Clare.

That was her light bulb moment when she suddenly caught sight that there might be a better life without alcohol.

Reading Clare’s story and seeing the parallels in her own life opened her eyes to a new possibility: that there were benefits to not drinking.

She couldn’t imagine that there would be a day where she wouldn’t crave alcohol but she decided that since she was doing the interview, she might as well give it a try.

What started as Dry January has now become years of sobriety.

The Great Big Sober Secret

“I think we all need to get to a point where we flick that switch.” Janey Lee Grace

We’ve been indoctrinated and conditioned to believe that alcohol equals fun, therefore sober equals boring.

It feels like the worst thing in the world when you realise you are a person who can’t handle their drink and that you have to give up all of the wonderful things alcohol brings.

But that’s perception, not reality.

I was 27 when I got sober and I thought my life was over. I was shocked to realize that actually, sobriety rocks and everything got better.

Everything goes in technicolor.


About Janey Lee Grace

Janey Lee Grace is an Amazon No 1 Best-selling author, speaker, and co-presenter on the UK’s biggest radio show, BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon. She runs the popular recommendations blog www.imperfectlynatural.com.

Janey has written five books on holistic living including the number one Amazon bestseller Imperfectly Natural Woman and her latest book has just been published. Happy Healthy Sober – Ditch the booze and take control of your life encourages everyone to look again at their relationship with alcohol. After ditching the booze Janey launched a podcast, Alcohol Free Life, focusing on sober self-care. She gave a TEDx talk, Sobriety Rocks- Who Knew! in July 2019 and launched The Sober Club a membership portal and community for people who are committed to sobriety and want to ‘upscale’ their life without the booze and focus on health and wellbeing.

Janey is passionate about encouraging people to ditch the chemicals, focus on great nutrition, self-care, and finding their purpose as she found for herself that quitting the booze was the missing link in the ‘holistic living’ picture. She also offers coaching and is trained in EFT, Matrix Re-imprinting. and NLP.

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