Inspiring Quotes About Sobriety From Your Favorite Celebs

There can be enormous comfort in hearing that someone else, especially someone whom you admire, has experienced something similar to what you're experiencing now, and can put into words exactly what it is you've been feeling. Sometimes, a good inspiring quote is all you might need to muster up your courage to do what might otherwise seem impossible, such as deciding not to drink today and then again tomorrow and then again the day after that — and so on. 


That goes a long way toward explaining why AA meetings are seen as so critical to maintaining sobriety. "Sharing at your AA meeting helps prevent you from slipping into denial or being delusional about your addiction to alcohol," according to Alcoholics Anonymous. However, your sharing may also be regarded as a gift you give to others. In fact, the 12th step of any 12-step program is a call to serve others struggling with addiction. This is true for celebrities as much as it is for anyone else. But when celebrities speak about sobriety, they do so knowingly without the buffer of anonymity. 

In that sense, we like to think of these sobriety quotes from some of our favorite celebrities as precious gifts from the celebrities themselves. But these sobriety quotes are also so spot-on and so inspiring that we're pretty sure we would see them as gifts no matter who said them. Let's see if you'll agree.


Demi Lovato

Singer, songwriter, actor, and outspoken advocate for mental health awareness, per the Borgen Project, Demi Lovato has been dealing with addiction to drugs and alcohol since 2010, which is when they went into rehab for the first time (via E Online). Although they have relapsed several times over the years, including at least one near-fatal overdose in the not-too-distant past, according to Us Magazine, they have also come out the other side each time. In that sense, they represent a living, breathing monument to the recovery-friendly philosophy of taking it one day at a time


Seemingly in that spirit, Lovato recently reversed their previous and somewhat controversial position that sobriety should be whatever the person living it needs it to be, per Us Magazine. Having tried the so-called "California sobriety," which allows for what can only be described as "cheat days" while sober, and having landed back in rehab, Lovato now believes that the only way to be sober is to be sober, full-stop. 

"Sober sober is the only way to be," Lovato stated in an Instagram post on December 2, 2021, per Us Magazine. It's been a hard-won truth for Lovato, but one worth repeating.

Ben Affleck

In 2018, actor, filmmaker, and Academy Award winner Ben Affleck spoke candidly with The Wall Street Journal regarding his road to recovery from alcoholism, which, as he made clear during the interview is and always will be ongoing (via Harper's Bazaar). "Oftentimes they want to sell you: Do your 30 days, and it'll be fixed," Affleck told the outlet, when, as Affleck has learned, "the only real cure for alcoholism is suffering." It's not that Affleck is a glutton for punishment. Rather, it's that he has learned to embrace the ugliness that his addiction wrought and channel that into his continuing sobriety. 


Robert Downey Jr.

For some, like Demi Lovato, the road to recovery is rife with potholes and razor-edge turns. For some, such as "Iron Man" star Robert Downey Jr., making the decision to get sober seemed as irrevocable as it did inevitable at the time. "For me, I just happened to be in a situation the very last time and I said, 'You know what? I don't think I can continue doing this.' And I reached out for help and I ran with it, you know?" he told I Am Sober. "What's hard is to decide."


Russell Brand

Singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse's 2011 death from alcohol poisoning following many years of addiction devastated many, but arguably, the ones that it might have been hardest for were those who had been rooting so long for her sobriety and who sensed how much she was struggling. That includes actor and comedian Russell Brand, who considered Winehouse a personal friend and who remembers with regret his lost opportunities to have sat his friend down and made the notion of sobriety extraordinarily simple for her, per Entertainment Weekly. "Don't pick up a drink or drug, one day at a time," he noted in a 2011 essay he wrote about his own sobriety journey. "It actually is simple but it isn't easy: it requires incredible support and fastidious structuring."


Rob Lowe

Back in 1990, actor Rob Lowe, who had risen to fame during the big '80s as a key member of the Brat Pack, was at rock bottom, and he knew it. "When Lowe made the decision to get sober back in 1990, the consequences of his addiction had nearly destroyed his career," the American Addiction Centers explains. 


Today, Lowe has been sober for more than three decades. In 2015, he said in a speech given on the occasion of his 25th sober anniversary that "I'm under no illusions where I would be without the gift of alcoholism and the chance to recover from it" (via People). And that recognition seems to be fundamental to Lowe's sobriety. "The only way to stay in recovery is to be honest with yourself on a minute-by-minute basis. No secrets, no double life. And you have to get real," he said during a 2021 interview with Variety.

Matthew Perry

Actor and author Matthew Perry of "Friends" fame is another of our favorite celebrities who have shown us that although addiction may be a chronic threat to the health of those who have it, addiction recovery works if you work with it. "I didn't get sober because I felt like it," he told The New York Times in 2022. "I got sober because I was worried I was going to die the next day." 


Perry had been sober for around one year at the time, and he has remained sober ever since, according to I Am Sober. And it's not because he went through rehab once and called it a day. "You can't have a drug problem for 30 years and then expect to have it solved in 28 days," he's often credited with saying. "Getting sober is a really hard thing to do."


Marshall Mathers, or as the powerfully poetic rapper is known to his legion fans, Eminem, has been sober for well over a decade, according to The Recovery Village. And although sobriety is presumed to be a challenge for anyone who takes it seriously, for Eminem, it was made harder by his erroneous belief that the only way to be happy is to be "on something." Eventually, something clicked for Eminem because, in 2020, he celebrated a dozen years of sobrierty, per an Instagram post. Eminem seems to feel that if he could do it, you can too. "I would say to anybody," he's quoted as having said. "It does get better" (via The Recovery Village).


Kelly Osbourne

"If you would have told me 365 days ago that I would be sober, happy, and about to be a mumma I would have laughed in your face," actress and television personality Kelly Osbourne told her Instagram fans and followers in May 2022. Although her principal message was one of gratitude for the love and support she received along the way, she also managed to deliver a bit of sage advice to anyone who is thinking about maybe giving sobriety a try: "Life is truly amazing when you do the work." 


And Osbourne knows of what she speaks, having relapsed in 2021 after several years of sobriety. "I am an addict and had thought that I had enough time under my belt and I could drink like a normal person, and it turns out I cannot and I will never be normal," she told Extra at the time. A tough realization, no doubt, but one that many other addicts eventually come to face along their journey to sobriety.

Kat Von D

Sometimes, those on whom you were always able to count while in the throes of addiction won't want anything to do with your sober self. That's what tattoo artist and TV star Kat Von D says she experienced. "The first six months of getting sober consisted of nothing but accumulative isolation," she recalled (via Muse Treatment). "My phone stopped ringing the minute word got out that I had put the bottle down — and that was pretty painful." 


Ultimately, however, Von D came to recognize that this wasn't a case of her friends letting her down — because real friends would want better for her than to live as an addict. "I had social pals, relationships based on nothing more than partying. I guess you could say I made myself into a party favor." Getting sober meant letting all of that go for the better.

Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore was just six when she made her screen debut as an adorable cherub in Steven Spielberg's "E.T." She wasn't much older when "she became addicted to cocaine," according to CNN. She went to rehab and resumed her career, but the journey has not been linear — with more stints in rehab, three divorces, and various hospitalizations punctuating her otherwise stellar career over the last near-five decades. 


In 2021, Barrymore told CNN that she was proud to be sober once again — this time, for two and a half years. "We continue to confront things with each decade of our life that almost surpasses what we thought we had seen," she told CBS in an interview (via Twitter). "We are on that roller coaster."

Jamie Lee Curtis

As of July 2021, the iconic actress and lifelong Hollywood veteran, Jamie Lee Curtis, had been sober for 22 years, she told E.T. Online. Nevertheless, it is still "one day at a time," she pointed out. "I finally summoned up the courage to say three words that would change my life," she's quoted as having said (via American Behavioral Clinics). And those words were, "I need help." 


Recognizing that she has many "selfless people" to thank for their support, Curtis expressed her gratitude to E.T. and also some timeless advice for those contemplating sobriety: "Try to stay out of the future and try to forget the past, because it's over and you can't do anything about it anyway," she said. "Try to live a present life."

Bradley Cooper

If you love watching actor and Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper perform on the big screen, and especially if you loved his star turn as the self-destructive but extraordinarily talented musician, Jackson Maine, in "A Star Is Born," you might be interested to learn that the extraordinarily talented Cooper had once been on his own self-destructive path, which began during his tenure on "Alias" with Jennifer Garner and subsequently developed into drug and alcohol addiction. 


Had Cooper not been willing to confront his addiction and get help for it, as he did at age 29, per Ventura Recovery Center, it's possible you might not even know Bradley Cooper's name. "I would never be sitting here with you, no way, no chance," he's quoted as having said of his sobriety (via White Sands Treatment). "I never would have been able to have the relationships that I do. I never would have been able to take care of my father the way I did when he was sick. So many things." 

Daniel Radcliffe

The actor who famously brought J.K. Rowling's beloved Harry Potter to life, Daniel Radcliffe, has been dealing with addiction for almost as long as he's been playing Harry Potter, according to I Am Sober. While the world regarded him as synonymous with his squeaky clean if slightly rebellious boy wizard, Radcliffe was quietly struggling. Nine years after the first "Harry Potter" movie opened, Radcliffe went to rehab for the first time, in part because his family and friends pushed him to do so. But it wasn't until he owned who he was in relation to alcohol and other substances that he was able to keep maintain his sobriety long-term, which he has been doing since 2013.


"As much as I would love to be a person that goes to parties and has a couple of drinks and has a nice time — that doesn't work for me. I do that very unsuccessfully. I'd just rather sit at home and read, or go out to dinner with someone, or talk to someone I love, or talk to somebody that makes me laugh," the preternaturally wise Radcliffe has explained.

Elton John

Hitting rock bottom is, by definition, deeply painful, especially when you've been blithely assuming that you've got everyone — and most of all, yourself — fooled into believing you're in control of your drinking and using, and then, seemingly out of nowhere, your friends and family begin taking you aside and telling you they're afraid for you. Sir Elton John is another celebrity who has enormous gratitude for the people who took him aside and forced him to take a look at his addiction before it could end his life. 


"If I hadn't finally taken the big step of asking for help 30 years ago, I'd be dead," Elton John tweeted in 2020, per The Walker Center. "Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the people who have inspired and supported me along the way."

Kristin Davis

Having support is key to staying sober, as many of our favorite celebrities have made clear. But one of the first things that you might start to notice as you work the steps and start taking your recovery one day at a time is that, ultimately, sobriety is a choice that only you can make. Not everyone will understand, some won't even know, and, overall, it's no one's responsibility but yours. 


"Sex and the City" star Kristin Davis, who identifies as a recovering alcoholic, has been sober for 30 years (via The Week). But many times over the years, fans have sent cosmopolitans or champagne over to her table when they see her at a restaurant. As much as it might make her fans happy to see her raising a glass like her "Sex and the City" alter-ego, Charlotte York Goldenblatt, Davis never drinks, period.

 "I don't think you can mess with it," she says of addiction (via Tru Healing Centers). "There was a time when people who didn't know me well would say, 'Couldn't you just have one glass of champagne?' And I would say, 'No.' I'm doing well.' I still have occasional bad days. Why risk it?"


Craig Ferguson

In 2021, the Scottish American actor, author, and television host, Craig Ferguson, marked 29 years of sobriety, according to Cinema Blend, which refers to Ferguson as "one of the entertainment world's most thoughtful and authentic speakers on the topic of alcoholism and sobriety." Like many of his sober colleagues, Ferguson practices gratitude and likes to recognize those who helped support his journey (via Twitter). But he also recognizes that, ultimately, it was up to him to make it happen. 


"I got sober. I stopped killing myself with alcohol. I began to think: Wait a minute — if I can stop doing this, what are the possibilities? And slowly it dawned on me that it was maybe worth the risk," he recalled, per Paracelsus Recovery.

Edie Falco

One of the catchphrases often heard at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is "easy does it." The idea is that life is going to throw a lot of stuff at you, and while you can certainly make some effort to prepare, per The Idioms, what tends to be more workable is methodically dealing with each challenge as it arises. One sober celebrity who seems to understand this is Edie Falco of "The Sopranos" fame. "It's like learning to ride a bike," she said of sobriety, per The Discovery House. "You have to get your bearings and you have to stay stable. And balanced."


Colin Farell

If you're considering pursuing addiction recovery, it might be helpful to know that as much as acclaimed Irish actor Colin Farell was motivated to become sober when he started his journey toward recovery in 2005 (via Page Six), he nevertheless found it terrifying. "For people who drink too much, the problem isn't really about booze," Farell explained, per Muse Treatment. "It's about an inability to deal with life ... What giving up booze does is allow you to look at yourself through an untainted mirror for the first time." Farell has faced his fears, however, and you can too. 


Tobey Maguire

By the time he was 19 years old, actor Tobey Maguire had a long list of big-screen acting credits and a career-threatening problem with alcoholism. Fortunately, he began his recovery that same year and has been sober ever since. He credits his success with "surrendering his will" to AA, according to Stonewater Recovery. "It's just all practical," he says of the 12-step program that made it possible for him to take on the role of Spider-Man, per Entertainment Weekly. "There are no holes in the program. It's so, so simple. I come in, I ask for help. It has totally changed my life."


Dax Shepherd

Actor, comedian, and podcast host, Dax Shepard cites 2004 as the year he began his journey to sobriety in earnest. "Twelve years ago today, I came out of my last toxic, life threatening stupor," he tweeted in 2020, per E Online. Although he relapsed later that year, Shepard has found his way back to sobriety — and has emerged the wiser for it, having learned that "rock bottom" is relative, and for an addict, there's always someplace lower, according to Best Life Online.


"Most addicts have many bottoms," Shepherd explained during a 2019 interview with "Off Camera with Sam Jones," via Best Life. As he sees it, the key to maintaining sobriety over the long haul is moving beyond what, for some, may be the inevitable relapse, and recommitting to recovery as if it were the first time. "I don't believe people think their ways into acting different," Shepard remarked on his podcast, Armchair Expert that same year. "I think they act their ways into thinking different" (via Us Magazine).