100: How to get sober & overcome addiction – with Laura McKowen

By January 14, 2020The Simplifiers Podcast

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If you are struggling with addiction, whether it’s to food, alcohol, overworking or otherwise, I want you to know, there is a way to overcome it. It’s a new year and if you’re motivated to make a change, but not sure where to begin, today’s episode is just for you.

My special guest today is author Laura McKowen and she is simplifying how to get sober and overcome addiction. As she shares her personal story through sobriety and the bumpy, sometimes super hot mess along the way, my hope is that you’ll see you are not alone in your recovery journey. Therefore, what may seem completely, utterly entrenched into your current lifestyle is totally possible to shift, one simple step at a time.

Here’s how.


Laura McKowen simplifies how to get sober & overcome addiction.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why she considers “addiction is a human condition” and why that’s good news for you
  • One key question that you need to ask yourself before starting your recovery journey that’ll help you determine if this thing is a thing that’s out of control… or not
    • “is this good enough for me to stay the same?”
  • What role ‘truth telling’ plays in your recovery and why we may need to get honest with our various addictions in life, big or small
  • The primary steps to begin to overcome your addiction… where to go for support, what to do when you’re ready to get off the ‘crazy train’
  • What the ‘Pregnancy Principle’ is and how that plays into your addiction
  • How to discover your “Bigger Yes” inside you that’ll bolster you though the hard times ahead

Alcohol isn’t really my thing. I could take it or leave it. However, overworking and obsessing on the details… well, that’s certainly an addiction that I could use a little grace with. 

What addiction are you grappling with at the moment and wish you didn’t have to overcome?

As I was chatting with Laura today, I realized that some recovery journeys are certainly harder than others. Look, this stuff can get messy, we all know this. So, if you’re right smack dab in the middle of the muck in your addiction, please know that we are walking alongside you and holding your hair back.

You are not alone.


My challenge for you this week:

How are you going to take what you’ve learned in today’s episode and reflect on what things in your work or life you might be addicted to? How might you shift things in a tiny way this week? Share it with me, privately or publicly. Snap a photo of you doing the thing, and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, books and apps mentioned:

Book: We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life – Laura McKowen

eBook: Six Mantras for Early Sobriety, a free book – Laura McKowen

Book: The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling – Stephen Cope

Course: We Are The Luckiest, an 8-week online course designed to help people create more stability, resilience, and joy in recovery. Led by Laura McKowen, registration begins February 3, 2020

Book: The F*ck It Diet: Eating Should Be Easy – Caroline Dooner

Podcast: When food is comfort: how to end emotional eating, featuring Julie Simon – The Simplifiers Podcast

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[13:10] “The bigger question to me is, ‘are you free? Like with this behavior, are you free? Is it controlling you? Does it own you?’ Cause I know for me, alcohol owned me, it owned all my decisions.”

– Laura


[18:42] “I think that’s what a lot of women do. It’s ‘drinking to cope’, but it’s the thing that’s really ripping you apart from your mental health perspective. [And] it was crushing me.”

– Laura


[21:24] “Codependency is so woven into addiction because… it’s the disease of the lost self. And I think that’s what’s always happening. Addiction is where we are uncomfortable with ourselves, at the root. And so we need to get out of that in some way. So it is never about the alcohol or the whatever. It’s about that.”

– Laura


[23:14] “What happens over time is you move further and further and further away from your own center. And when we are out of integrity with ourselves, it’s extraordinarily uncomfortable. Right? So you’re saying one thing and you’re doing another and you know, internally there’s this unrest, but we don’t know how to get back. You know, it’s too big. And so you add in a major addiction, [for me] I was lying all over the place because I had to do everything to protect this thing, like this behavior that I needed to be able to do. I had to do everything to protect it. And it wasn’t a single decision. It’s like death by a thousand cuts and then you’re in a really dark place.”

– Laura


[42:01] “There are nine things you can tell someone who are overcoming their addiction and on the path towards recovery: It’s not your fault. It is your responsibility. It is unfair that this is your thing. This is your thing. This will never stop being your thing until you face it. You can’t do this alone. Only you can do it. I love you and I will never stop reminding you of these things.”

– Laura

Get Unstuck with The Simplifiers Morning Prompts

We’ve got a free resource we’d love to share with you! If you find your work days aren’t as productive as you’d like and wondering where all the time goes, download The Simplifiers Morning Prompts. 

It’s a free daily worksheet that helps you laser-focus in on what needs to get done today, what could trip you up and how you’re going to stay on track. 5 questions, 7 minutes… this worksheet will help you SIMPLIFY!

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About Laura McKowen

Laura McKowen is the author of We Are the Luckiest. She is a former public relations executive who has become recognized as a fresh voice in the recovery movement. 

Beloved for her soulful and irreverent writing, she now leads sold-out yoga-based retreats and courses that teach people how to say yes to a bigger life. She hosted the Apple Podcasts Top 100 podcast HOME, with over 1.5 million downloads and has been featured on the TODAY show, in The Guardian, WebMD, New York Post, and more.

Where Laura hangs out online:

Website: lauramckowen.com

Facebook: @iflyatnight

Instagram: @laura_mckowen

Laura’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Melissa Hartwig Urban – CEO of Whole30, a 30-day dietary experiment that helps millions of people transform their health, habits, and emotional relationship with food.

Laura McKowen get sober

Watch the video version of the episode

Episode sponsored by…

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Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate links because we wholeheartedly believe in the products, books and courses featured on the podcast. Therefore, we get compensated when you click on the links above and decide to purchase these items, which helps us continue to serve and support you. We share only the very best resources with our listeners and hope you find great value in them, as well.

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