#204 – Episode 204 – She Recovers with Dawn Nickel


Veronica is joined by She Recovers co-founder Dawn Nickel. They discuss how She Recovers started and grew into the movement it is today. Dawn also speaks frankly about her workaholism and how it forced her to change and take care of her recovery. Lastly, Dawn talks about her new book.

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about this episode

Today I am honored to have a really special person on the podcast: the one and only Dawn Nickel, the co-founder of SHE RECOVERS. In this conversation, she talks about the foundation, her mission to help women recovering from not just alcohol problems, but depression, self-harm, and her new book which will be an excellent addition to your recovery toolkit. I’ve been working on bringing Dawn to the show for quite a while, and I’m so excited to share this interview with you.


About Dawn Nickel

Dawn Nickel (PhD) is a thought leader in the women’s recovery movement who has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to ensure that women (and those who support them) are aware of the many pathways and patchworks available for women in or seeking recovery from substance use disorders and related mental health or behavioral health issues. Along with her daughter Taryn Strong (also in recovery) Dawn is the creator of the SHE RECOVERS Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) that is dedicated to connecting, supporting, and empowering women in recovery from addiction and related life challenges – both virtually and in person. Dawn started her own journey of recovery from a substance use disorder, mental health issues and intimate partner violence in 1987. Although she is grateful for her own firm foundation and attachment to twelve step recovery, Dawn is best known as a vocal and strong advocate for the position that every woman in or seeking recovery must be supported to find the tools and pathways that will work best for her as an individual.

key highlights


“I was on this hamster wheel, I couldn’t slow down.” – Dawn Nickel

Dawn Nickel first got into recovery in 1987, but apart from the recovery, she developed a serious case of workaholism in 2011. She was running three careers simultaneously doing consulting work, working in a research team in government, and teaching part-time at a university. While finishing her PhD in 2005, she was also diagnosed with colon cancer and had to undergo a year of chemotherapy while still grieving her mother’s passing before her cancer diagnosis.

Even now Dawn is working on to manage her workaholism, often over-volunteering and finding herself waking up in the middle of the night with her brian racing.



When it became too much to juggle her day job and her blog, Dawn’s daughter Taryn suggested starting a Facebook fan page so she could communicate with people more easily. That’s how SHE RECOVERS started.

“We started a page and called it SHE RECOVERS, instead of Recovering Dawn, because by that point, I didn’t want it to be all about me. I wanted it to be about the conversation.” – Dawn Nickel

When government work shut down because of an economic downturn and Dawn lost her job, she took the opportunity to focus on making a difference in other people’s lives, especially women in recovery. After doing recovery coach training, Dawn and Taryn decided to host the first SHE RECOVERS retreat in Mexico in November 2012.


The future of SHE RECOVERS

“I think smashing stigma, to me it’s always a part of everything that we do, and changing the narrative is got to be part of that too.” – Dawn Nickel

Dawn sees SHE RECOVERS the next 10 years as being about identity-based groups and making a significant impact on both younger and older women and the LGBTQ community, welcoming them all to join the recovery movement.

resources mentioned

Connect with Dawn Nickel & SHE RECOVERS


Resources for You

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