This page of Resources has been immensely helpful in my continuous journey of personal evolution. What started as a website for living alcohol free has slowly morphed into an overall wellness platform aimed at sharing my experiences, struggles & triumphs within living a healthy life.
Yes, this includes removing alcohol from the equation, but also diving head first into my physical/mental/spiritual health, as well as communication, compassion, acceptance & love.
These next few pages are a collection of Resources and even recommendations that have worked and continue to work specifically for me and my journey of evolution. They are broken down really as overall Natural Resources, Ayurvedic Resources & Alcohol Free Resources. I highly recommend you try and put together an inventory of Resources yourself to fall back on when things get tough. Things you can refer to when need that extra guidance. These are unique to me and my experience, but I thought I would share in case in hopes that some could perhaps help you too.
Knowledge is power. READ, READ, READ. Read about addiction & sobriety. Read about depression & anxiety and their cause and effects. Read if you are curious, read if it scares you.
I can’t tell you how much reading and researching have led me to where I am right now. Without diving further into how not only the brain operates on a general basis, but how it also manifests depression, anxiety, addiction, etc, I wouldn’t have understood the ins and outs of what I’ve been through on a daily basis for most of my adult life. The liberty and relief I’ve felt putting a name to symptoms, thoughts and feelings has been a definite turning point.
Good thing for us women, there are plenty of resources including books, articles, podcasts, TedTalks etc, available to us as a guide or reference through this often shitty time. Here is a list that I’ve found extremely useful (will be adding to it all the time!)
A Mind of Your Own - By: Kelly Brogan, MD
I can't say enough about this woman! You may not agree with her studies and writing, and that's totally your call, but I could re-read this book over and over. It's especially insightful for women struggling with depression and anxiety. She writes about the myths of antidepressants and that when taken over time, are most likely doing more harm than good. I completely relate to this. I went on antidepressants twice in my life - once in my early twenty's and once in my early thirty's. Both times lasted less than 3 months. They made me foggy, aggressive, drained and not myself - kind of like alcohol. Not only is there fantastic research and studies to back up her words, there are also great tips and recipes to follow as well.
Sane New World - By: Ruby Wax
This really gets into the guts of depression and anxiety. Ruby inundates her book with stories of her struggle with mental illness, and doesn't shy away from her truth. She's real and honest in a super refreshing way. She also adds humour to this "taboo" subject which gives the book a little extra kick. Her studies and training brought her to the conclusion that Mindfulness is key to ease depression and anxiety. Ruby breaks down brain function, development and Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in a simple way that most anyone can relate to and understand.
Awakening The Brain - Dr. Charlotte A. Tomaino
Be prepared to get into the science of how your brain works. The ins and outs, the guts of it all. It can feel a little overwhelming, but there are some really great insights into how the brain operates. For example, the author states that the repetition of a thought or action eventually makes it an automatic reaction of the brain - good or bad. So for someone who turns to alcohol to placate a stressful situation, that repetitious action is creating a set behaviour in the brain. Hence addiction. Change your thoughts, change your life!
PodCasts have changed my life. I listen to them working out, while commuting long hours in the car, when I go for a walk, I listen to them at every opportunity I get. They are like a library & encyclopedia at your fingertips, and cost next to nothing.
There are thousands of podcasts out there. I guess you can break them down into themes/subjects - Health & Wellness, Lifestyle, Meditation, Interview Style, Pop Culture, etc, and my personal favourite - True Crime - Muah. But don't worry, I won't be chatting about that here. The list below will include some of my go-to Health & Wellness podcasts that have really had and continue to have a positive effect on me.
The Ultimate Health Podcast - Dr. Jesse Chaps & Marni Wasserman
This really is THE Ultimate Health Podcast. They interview some of the best and brightest in the field of health & wellness. The first episode I listened to was an interview with Dr. Kelly Brogan. Sound familiar? Her book is top on my list of recommended reading!
They also get into wonderful tips and tricks for women's health, food for thought & healthy eating, focusing on yourself and trusting your intuition, and so so much more. They have over 200 episodes recorded, so I suggest you get started as soon as you can.
Under The Skin - Russell Brand
What can I say about Russell Brand. This guy is actually a genius, much to his own detriment I think. If you don't know about Russell, he is a recovering addict. You name it, he was addicted to it - Food, Sex, Alcohol, Drugs. I think he's around 13 years sober, and doing quite well for himself these days. Not that it's been easy, or continues to be. He'll always be a "work in progress." Nowadays, he fills his time with stand-up gigs, touring Europe to promote his new book "Recovery", tons of mediation, and also this podcast. Again, one of the first episodes I listened to was with Ruby Wax, who's book I recommended reading as well. He also has guests from all walks of life on his show as well - Politicians, Scientists, Advocates, Doctors. The subject matter can really open and expand your mind. Best to take in small doses though, he can be a little overwhelming.
Not all superheros wear capes. I love this guy. Aubrey Marcus is actually the creator of ONNIT. He's a super driven dude, with an amazing voice that sucks me in every time I listen to him. And he's not sore on the eyes either. All jokes aside...Aubrey interviews some pretty amazing people and entertains some pretty interesting topics. One of the first podcasts I listened to was about "Humans & Psychedelics with Hamilton Morris". As you can imagine, they talked about the various medicine plants out there, and what purposes they can serve for humans. Crazy interesting subject matter. He also just wrote a book that I haven't read yet called "Own the Day, Own your Life" which I'm super excited to get my hands on.
This podcast is at the very top of my playlist. Luke's motto is "Living life at the highest level of human potential." This means bringing on some of the leading experts in health, wellness, spirituality, biohacking, just to name a few. Episode after episode, I am blown away by the content, the questions, the board range of topics covered. This is actually where I first heard of Ayurveda, through one of the guests he had on back in the Spring. Luke also is living alcohol free, having not touched the poison for over 22 years. Sit back, and enjoy the ride!
The host of Mind Love, Melissa, is one of the best interviewers I have come across. She poses some really intelligent questions of her guests, and makes them think a little more outside the box. This is where I first heard of Ayurveda and to identify your mind body type, the Wim Hof Method, and a little something called iboga. Want to know what all those things are - well my friends, you're going to have to go listen for yourself. You won't be disappointed.