When the pandemic hit in 2020, Laura McKowen was saddened when her local AA chapter shut down. Inspired by her own journey of recovering from alcohol addiction, she has decided to start her own set of meetings. Joining Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D, Laura shares how this simple idea grew into a proper community dedicated to achieving freedom from alcohol, which she has named The Luckiest Club. She explains why recovering people must surround themselves with individuals who can validate their challenging path towards sobriety. Laura also delves into the dangers of a judgmental and comparative mindset, as well as the importance of not seeing oneself as damaged goods.
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Pushing Off From Alcohol Addiction With Laura McKowen
Laura McKowen had a long, successful career in public relations and the Mad Men–esque drinking culture of advertising. After getting sober, she quickly became recognized as a fresh voice in recovery, beloved for her soulful and irreverent writing online and in print. She now leads sold-out retreats and courses, teaching people to how to say yes to a bigger life. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with her daughter and has published her new book Push Off From Here. Thank you so much for being here.
I’m happy to be here. Thank you.
It’s great to see you, Laura. Thanks for joining me again. I am thrilled with having been through both reading and listening to your new book, Push Off From Here. I’m thrilled to have a discussion with you about the two books, what brought you into them, and where they’ve launched you.
My first book, We Are The Luckiest, is focused on my story. It’s a memoir of my journey through alcohol addiction and sobriety. That was published in 2020, but if I go back a bit, I started writing about this topic as I was getting sober in my first years of sobriety. One of the things that I did was I would often answer letters from people who wrote to me about various things around their sobriety or addiction.
I got this letter from a woman whose sister was struggling with alcohol. She was going through all the things that people go through when someone they love is struggling with addiction. She was angry, mad, and frustrated, but also loves her sister and walked on eggshells. She didn’t know what to say or do. She asked me, “What would you have wanted to hear?”
I wrote her this letter in response and said all this stuff, but then at the end, I said, “If this is too much, just give her this list.” I made a list of the things that I most needed to hear at that time when I was trying to get sober and still needed to hear. I was a couple of years sober when I wrote this, and there are these nine points. That letter was written in 2016. I published it on my blog. When I went to write We Are the Luckiest in 2020 or published in 2020, I knew that I wanted those nine things to be the epigraph to the book. It’s the little part at the beginning of the book before anything starts.
What was funny was people gravitated to those nine things. There’s this whole book that follows, but people love those nine things. What they are is, 1) It’s not your fault, 2) It is your responsibility, 3) It’s unfair that this is your thing, 4) This is your thing, 5) This will never stop being your thing until you face it, 6) You can’t do it alone, 7) Only you can do it, 8) I love you, and 9) I will never stop reminding you of these things.
That book goes out, and as I said, it’s my story. It’s about my experience. It was published in January 2020. The pandemic hit a couple of months later. I was in the middle of a book tour and everything got canceled. I’m sitting there at home one day and see that my local AA chapter has shut down and is not going to be having meetings.
I’d never seen that happen before, ever. Not for any storm or holiday. It was a moment where I thought, “What’s going to happen to all these people that need support?” I felt pretty solid in my sobriety at that point and had built enough of a community and a following online and everything that I thought, “I’ll host some free meetings, not AA meetings.” I’ll structure my own and host some free meetings for this week, thinking that the pandemic was going to be very short-lived.
I started hosting these meetings, and 200 to 300 foreign people started to show up. I had them that one week and was like, “We’ll keep going because I’m around. I don’t have anything to do.” I had a lot to do, but I didn’t have anything to do. We’re all homebound. I hosted those meetings for six weeks. It felt like at that time there was something magical happening in those spaces.
Let me interrupt you and say that there’s a real gift in you to be able to recognize that magic happening. Don’t lose that. Watch for that. In my experience, it’s rare to have that kind of chemistry come together in a group. When it happens, not that it should be the be-all and end-all, but it is a wonderful thing when people recognize it and begin to nurture it.
Thank you. I think that’s true. I can look back now and see that it was like this very unique specific alchemy happening at that time. I’m glad I said yes to it. I’m glad I jumped on it. I was going to stop doing the meeting because I had other things to do. My daughter was home. It was a lot. I was hosting two meetings a day, one in the morning and one at night, but I got a lot of people saying, “Please keep these going. This is the first community I’ve ever had. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced a meeting. I’m relying on these. I’m loving them.”
I made a quick decision. I talked to a couple of people, including my brother, and sat with it and thought, “I’m going to give it a shot.” I hired some people to lead meetings, so it wasn’t just me. I created a name for this community called The Luckiest Club based on my book and ran with it. I set it up in about a week and started a community. It now still exists and thrives. We have over 40 meetings a week in this amazing community, app, and all these other offerings.
When I decided to create The Luckiest Club, I was like, “These nine things are going to be our backbone. This is what we’re going to say at the end of every meeting.” They’re our mission in a way. I tweaked the last two points. Number eight was I love you. I made it say, “You are loved.” The number nine was, “I will never stop reminding you of these things.” I made it we. It’s now this collective statement and people stuck and it resonated with them.
They’re so simple, but people just clicked. Over time in running The Luckiest Club and in the community, it became very clear that while they understood these nine things, they’re pretty straightforward and intuitive. It was also like, “But what does it mean? Tell me more. How do you take responsibility? Why is it helpful to hear that it’s unfair that this is my thing? What’s beyond that?”
How do you do responsibility without blame and guilt, etc.?
I wasn’t going to write this next book. That wasn’t going to be what I wrote, but it became clear that it was something that needed to be written. That’s what Push Off From Here is. That’s the book that just came out. It is an exploration of those nine points and a prescriptive, practical guide to how you might apply them to your life. That’s how it came to be. It’s this interesting thread that started in 2016. I followed the breadcrumbs and ended up with now these two books out in the world.
My mind goes to, “Can you tell us how you define your thing?” This is because I have this thing in my head. I don’t want to say it until after you’ve talked, but what do you mean by this is your thing?
What I think of things are as anything that pushes you up against the edge of yourself and what you know and how you’ve coped in the past. It pushes you outside of what you’re capable of coping with based on your present skillset. It’s pain. Things that cause you pain, suffering, and struggle that you have to change, you have to go through some kind of transformation or change in order to get through them. Another more simple way of putting it is your things are things that own you. They take away your freedom and your attention in a way that is destructive to you.
As I come away from it after reading your two books a couple of times, I think of my thing as anything that blocks me from living fully in the moment joyfully and creatively.
That’s a much more eloquent description of things than I did. I should have it better. I’ve been writing about the item for so long, but you’re right. That’s a great way to put it.
One of the things that I get from your two books is that while your struggle with an addictive process is part of both books and a big part of your life, it’s not your whole life and it’s not where you’re focusing your energy to be able to have a healthy vibrant life, relationships, and have joy in your life. The way I come to think about my thing is anything that is a roadblock to me being there, being present at the moment, being able to work through what’s difficult, and still embracing gratitude for life itself and having joy in my life.
That’s very well said. When you were talking, I thought of this line that I heard in a yoga teacher training a long time ago that the blocks are the path. I would say that things are the blocks. They’re not a problem. They’re part of life, but the blocks are the path. They’re there to help us grow, figure out who we are, and create ultimately more joy and meaning in our lives but they suck. Addiction is one thing, but it can be death, illness, divorce, eating disorders, or anything that robs us of our presence.
It has me running away from it rather than realizing that it’s not possible for something to be bigger than me and be there with it until my strength builds to the point where I can move through it with ease and grace. If I run from it, I don’t build that strength. I don’t have the experience of being bigger than whatever is in front of me. That’s one of the things that I have taken so beautifully. When you write about it in these books, the point is to build a joyful, creative, and expansive life. Anything that wants to get in the way of me doing that is one of my things.
One of the reasons I called it a thing was when I went to get sober, it felt like addiction was this very singular special thing that people go through. That would be something that you had to live with forever and center your life around. You think and worry about it all the time and have it define your identity. The reason I called it a thing is that it’s this benign term. There are so many different things that people face. Addiction is not that unique. It’s not unique at all. It’s not special. I don’t think it’s that interesting. It so happened to be one of the things that I faced. The idea is that’s important to say this because we ether people who go through addiction.
One of the things I love about the way you write about this and you’ve worked through it, thought about it, and struggled with it, is that in a culture where alcohol is the only drug you have to explain why you’re not using it, it’s the only destructive addictive substance you have to explain why you’re not going to use it. That’s a pretty sick culture. That’s a pretty distorted mindset.
I love this line from Tuesdays with Morrie where Mitch Albom who wrote the book was talking to Morrie who was dying of ALS. He said, “Morrie, I don’t get it. You can’t carry a tune to save your life. When you get on the dance floor, it looks like somebody’s constantly jabbing you with a cattle prod, and yet you sing at the top of your lungs and you dance like nobody’s watching. How do you do it?” Morrie said, “Mitch, if you live in a culture that doesn’t help you feel good about yourself, you need to create your own culture.”
That’s what I get from reading your books about, “Listen, if I want to go into a place where everybody’s drinking and everybody’s status is how much they can drink and how many shots they can do and still function. If I want to go into that culture and I have a problem with the way my body responds to alcohol, where my judgment derails me and I drink to the point where I’m going to kill myself, I need to create a culture or a place I can go and people I can surround myself with who aren’t doing that as their primary entertainment or their primary distraction from life.”
The thing about your books is to say, “This can happen. This is a very real possibility. There are all kinds of intelligent, creative, loving, and productive people who don’t drink.” They either don’t drink all the time or they don’t drink at all. You can build a life for yourself in those environments and within those communities. If they aren’t right there in your face, take Morrie’s advice to create your own community, which is what you’ve done with TLC.
Even a step further than that, too, is I can exist in the ether spaces too, where people are prizing this thing, the alcohol, where they’re obsessed about it and it’s very normalized and not feel other ether. I don’t care anymore.
However, you do that after you’ve created this strength in your core about your value as a person. The only way you do that is you define for yourself your value that is other than what the culture or the conditioning that you’ve been brought up in would define you as deficient if you can’t drink with your buddies, etc.
I feel like that extra step, that second part is where a lot of recovery stops short. It’s like you’re focused on the no instead of the yes.Recovery from alcoholism stops short when you are more focused on the no’s instead of the yeses. Click To Tweet
So much about it as you said is that you are other. You’re not just another noodle in the soup. There’s something weird about you. You’re damaged and broken so you better find other damaged and broken people to hang out with and stay away from those other healthy people or those other stronger people. That’s not the way it works.
No, I never bought that, which is weird to me, but I get why people do. It’s everywhere.
If that’s the core value, belief system, or motive of operating from the community that you find to help you pull back from the edge so you’re not going to kill yourself with your addiction, that’s part of the community. In order to belong there, you buy into that, where we are other and that we are weaker. I get it. As you might have said a couple of times, it’s a useful first step or two, but it’s not our goal. Our goal is not to define ourselves as so damaged and broken. Our goal is to shore up those weak spots, build on our strengths, and recognize our value.
It’s so funny because I still see it. I saw this interview with Melanie Lynskey who is an amazing actress and her husband. They were on The Drew Barrymore Show. He was talking a little bit about his path. You could see that he is someone who struggled with alcohol and got sober, but you could see in his body language that there was still so much shame there and he was very apologetic. There’s a difference between humility and apologizing for yourself. I identified that in the interview as like, “You don’t have to carry it around like that anymore.”
That thing about humility is the way I grew up and the way it was introduced to me that being humble is putting yourself below other people. However, what I understand from the ancient origins of the word is that it’s more about being able to see that we’re all the same and to look for and be able to identify the highest and best in another person.
Also, despite what’s coming out of them toward you, cooperate only with their highest and best. Engage them as though they are at the same level of value. They are another person of being of brilliance and light. They might have temporarily forgotten or yet to discover their brilliance, but I can still relate to them as who they are.
This thing about humility is to recognize that the only significant difference between any of us at any time is the degree to which we live from the realization that we’re all the same. What? He said, “The only difference is that we’re all the same.” Yes. That’s the only difference. Some of us think we flip-flop between thinking we’re better and worse than others and some of us are able to recognize we’re just another noodle in the soup.
There’s so much power in that. It’s very enticing to want to think that you’re one-up.
There’s a trap that is enticing, but it’s lovely to get out of it.
Everything’s possible there. When you don’t have to take yourself so seriously and so personally, that’s real freedom. I found being caught in addiction or anything that causes you a lot of shame is that you’re constantly thinking about yourself, not in a good way. I talk about this in Push Off From Here. I got it from you. It’s how useless blame is and this idea that I am to blame for everything in all cases and that anything bad that happens is my fault. It’s such a strangely egotistical way of viewing the world. Even though we’re doing it to punish ourselves or keep ourselves down, the paradox is that it’s this grandiose idea.Everything is possible if you don’t take yourself seriously. That is how you can achieve true freedom in life. Click To Tweet
You have to have a split inside yourself to be able to say that, “There’s a part of me that knows what a schmuck I am, a part of me that knows better than the part of me that keeps acting in a certain way.” I’m both the villain and the hero and there’s a craziness in the way our thought patterns work or that we’re conditioned into that David Bohm has called sustained incoherence. Others would talk of it as the absolute trap of thought.
I think my way into a problem and then I think I better think of a way out of it. It’s not going to happen because the actual process of thought is flawed. Here I’m going to judge myself as bad and wrong. Who’s judging who? How can I be these two separate people? One of them knows so much better than the other and I beat myself up mercilessly for every misstep or faux pas or whatever. It’s a trap. It’s me spinning my wheels. I’m not going anywhere.
That is the trap. One of the things that have been the gift of being in recovery is that I think of myself a lot less in the sense of the amount of time and energy I spend thinking about obsessing about what I’ve done wrong and myself and, “They must be mad at me and this is about me,” and that exhausting thought process.
Many of us live in the psychological realm where it’s an actual pathological thing at an extreme, and it’s called ideas of reference. I think everything’s about me. I walk into a room and I think that the conversation went into a lull, and then I think, “It’s because I walked in.” When I make it too much about me, I’m losing the perspective that everybody I meet started out as a sperm and egg and had their own life challenges and is going to end up in dust, etc., and that we’re all the same.
Everyone’s living on their own. It was such a relief to learn that people were not thinking about me. They are doing the same thing I am. They are worrying about themselves.
Guy Finley has a thing where he says, “The vast majority of your mental, emotional, and psychological pain is the bitter fruit of a comparative life.” That ties into this thing about it. Every time you compare yourself to somebody else and you come out on the bottom, what you’re doing is comparing their highlight reel to your outtakes and vice versa. When you come out on top, you’re selectively picking the best bits of you and looking at somebody else and their outtakes. The question that we try to help people ask is, “What good does that do you? How does that move you forward in your life, in growth, in productivity, in joy? How does that do that?”
Often, it’s unconscious or subconscious. That’s where you’re living.
It’s what we’ve been trained and conditioned to do because we were born into this realm. I saw Neil deGrasse Tyson say something like, “We say we try to make sense of things and that we put a high value on making sense of things, but pay attention to how limiting that is.” That means I’m going to make everything fit into what I can sense with my five senses.
He says, “The universe is out here trying to talk to us beyond our five senses.” What does he mean by that? X-rays, infrared, ultraviolet, and all these things are there, but we can’t register them with our senses. There’s a lot more going on here than just the physical. If all we’re doing is measuring any person by what their physical output is, we’re in a trap. We’re in this very narrow myopic view of life.
We’re missing 95% of it.
For instance, you would never have noticed the magic going on with The Luckiest Club if all you looked at was stats.
“There are only 100 people here.” I have had many of those moments in sobriety that have been one of the absolute gifts is being present to what was already always happening around me. I was too mired in my addiction to be able to see it.
Another way to talk about it is that almost all of us, at least in the Western culture, have a couple of addictions we’re not even aware of. One of them is the addiction to the familiar. Another one is the addiction to judging. Whenever I’m judging, I’m not going to see as much of this wonderful chemistry in this group of people. You called it alchemy. If I’m judging, it’s good, it’s bad, it’s right, it’s wrong. Whenever life unfolds in a way that I don’t want it to and I start to judge, “That’s bad,” I’m crimping my view down to this very narrow view. I’m getting tight and intense as though I might need to protect myself from something.
My field of vision is so narrow that I miss all of the ways that there might be a little miracle happening here, wonderful synchronicity happening there, or a wonderful opportunity expanding right here. Along with your sobriety, let’s say we decide to get sober from judging. We will also expand our ability to see these alchemies and miracles exponentially.
That’s exactly it. With the alcohol example, I remember so many days I had to focus on how sick I felt and try to get to the other side of that. I can’t even imagine what I missed on those days. If you look at it as judging, it is like a trance you get into. It’s this very seductive trance. If all you can think about is how resentful you are about this thing that happened or whatever, the judgments are never-ending. Your eyes are closed.Judging is like a seductive trance. If you can only think about resentment, judgments are never ending. Click To Tweet
We come by it naturally. We’ve developed into it over hundreds and hundreds of generations, focusing on the physical above all else. Not every culture did that. There were other cultures that had more focus on other energies, intuition, prayer meditation, and being in alignment with nature. However, our Western culture has developed to be focusing just on the physical. We’ve been conditioned from the language we learn through all of our schoolings to be in judgment. If you want to take your health and your well-being and the joy in your life to the next level, try to abstain from judgment. Try to get sober from judgment.
It’s a trick because it’s been so thoroughly conditioned in so much in our brain that helps us on autopilot. It’s a useful thing. I wouldn’t want to have to learn how to drive a car every time I get in one. There’s a part of the mind where it’s useful, but another area of my life where that judgment and that autopilot and what Guy Finley would call the mechanical level of mind is counterproductive, at best.
A lot of times, people ask, “If I’m not judging, what I am supposed to do? Do I accept everything and be a doormat.” No. The option that some people like Rainer Maria Rilke will say is we need to learn to live in the question without demanding an answer because at the moment a mind can ask a loving and powerful question, that mind isn’t even capable of comprehending the answer. That mind has to grow and expand.
In Rilke’s words, perhaps if we stay in that questioning state and learn to live there, we might grow along someday into an answer. Instead of judging, “This is bad, this shouldn’t happen,” if I start saying, “This has happened. I wonder how this is going to work out,” I lead myself in an open space rather than, “This shouldn’t be happening.”
A huge thing I talk about in Push Off From Here is how self-denigration is our default in Western culture and shame. We beat the crap out of ourselves and how we think that’s what’s going to make us change, like more pressure, discipline, and self-beating. Sobriety was the first time that I realized, “That isn’t going to work. That’s not working here. I can’t hate myself into getting sober.” I tried.
Lots of people will help you try that because they’re doing it to themselves. That’s what they have been taught.
They’re doing it to you too. That’s where addiction is unique because there are many people who will tell you what a piece of crap you are.
What we know about how these human mind, body, and energy systems work is anybody who tells you you’re a piece of crap doesn’t feel good about themselves. Whatever comes out of that person’s mouth is always going to tell you more about what’s going on inside that person than it’s ever going to tell you about you or anything around them.
It’s so hard to take that in. That’s like a PhD level lesson for a lot of people, including myself.
Being able to live there all day every day would be PhD level, but please don’t cheat yourself out of the ability to play with it and grow in your ability to do it moment to moment from situation to situation because it’s as easy as recognizing that’s an option and then opening up to, “What if?”
What if that’s true?
What if what they’re saying is not about me? What if when I attack somebody in anger or insult, it means there’s pain or fear of sadness in me? What if I take a breath and turn in here and look at that? It’s this process of growing into recognizing it if it happens to be true for you, but the only way you can do that is if you move more and more into observation in the moment and away from belief and judgment.
One of the big turning points I had when I was getting sober was I had a morning where I woke up after drinking again, not wanting to again, and doing it again. I woke up with those same self-beating thoughts running through my head. “I can’t believe you’re in this spot again. You suck. What is it going to take, you piece of crap?”
I remembered this from Eat, Pray, Love. It just came to me, Liz Gilbert sitting in an ashram in India going through an episode of extreme depression and anxiety. She was writing to herself in the voice of what she understood as God and saying, “I’m here. I’m stronger than this depression and I am not going anywhere. What do you need? I’m not going to leave you?”
I remembered that at that moment and wrote that down to myself. “I’m not leaving. I’m here. You drank again, but what happened? What was that about?” I remember looking down at my feet. It was summertime and my feet were tan. I had blue nail polish on. I am thinking, “Your feet are really pretty,” I am thinking, “You’re beautiful. It’s okay.” At that moment, it was this loving curiosity. Instead of going, “I can’t believe that happened again and you did that again,” it is going, “What happened?” It made all the difference.
It’s childlike curiosity, as you say, loving curiosity. I realized we were pushing up against one of my hard time limits. I want to come back to you and ask you. If you take a breath and center, what’s an area that we haven’t touched on yet that you want to talk about or something that we’ve already discussed that you want to go back and highlight?
The thing that I would love to just touch on is this. Chapter three in the book Push Off From Here is it’s unfair that this is your thing. Writing this chapter was such a journey for me because I didn’t know what else to say about that. I knew that it was something that I needed to hear and that is very helpful for other people to hear, but I didn’t know exactly why and what is underneath that.
What I realized in writing it and digging is we don’t expect things to be fair. We don’t think that life is fair. It wasn’t about that. It was about having someone witness, acknowledge and validate your sorrow. That’s what it was about. When I was writing this, I read Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance. She writes about the need for someone to witness our sorrow and acknowledge that it’s real.
When it came to addiction, and there are other areas where this applies, I realized we have all of these unstated rules about grief in our culture, about who’s allowed to feel it, at what level, and for how long. When it comes to addiction, we do not think that people who struggle with addiction deserve to feel grief about it. They’ve caused harm. They’ve caused the pain. They need to atone. They don’t deserve grief. What happened when I allowed myself to hear, “This is unfair, and this sucks,” was that acknowledgment that yet you are going through something really painful and hard. I see you and I care about your suffering.
You’re still okay and you’re still beautiful. I’m not going anywhere.
That was such an exploration for me to see what that was about. It’s because so many people, when you go through something difficult and specific, whether it’s parenthood, a divorce, your mother dies, or whatever it is, you have to find people who are going to understand why this hurts in the specific way that it hurts. This speaks to the community of people you might find.
When I tried to go to my immediate family or my ex-husband or my friends even about what I was experiencing when I was trying to get sober, I was so frustrated and disappointed because they could not acknowledge that. However, when I found people who could and who got it and who would say, “Yes, this does suck. Yes, I see your pain and it’s real. I care about it,” that changed everything.
It’s like a warm bath and coming home.
We have such a fundamental need to be seen.
Most of us that have that so deeply didn’t have it in our families of origin, even if they were not real abusive families. I’ve interviewed a psychiatrist who’s self-reported on the autism spectrum. She’s brilliant. She talks about it as children are either a laptop or a rock. What does that mean? She said a rock, it still functions as a rock. If you bounce it off the wall, if you drop it in a lake, if you throw it in a snow bank, it still functions as a rock. It can be a projectile or a doorstop, but a laptop, you bounce that off a wall, drop it in a lake, or throw it in a snow bank, it doesn’t function at all.
You don’t have to be raised in a highly abusive environment to come out not getting what you feel you need. If there’s a mismatch between your personality, your style, your physical sensitivities, and what your parents and your friends are able to provide in terms of connection, validation, and support, then you can grow up feeling weak in your core. You then need that outside validation more. You need that sense of being heard. My hunch is at this stage in your life with your development, your sense of urgency to feel heard is nowhere near as strong as it was when you were getting sober.
No, not at all.
This is because now, you’ve internalized it. You’ve got that core strength in here.
One of the reasons that I write these books and like to do the work I do is because that’s available to everybody. It’s not always going to feel that way. I can see that’s why I was writing so much and talking so much. I could not say enough about what was happening to me at that for years. Now I don’t feel such an urgent need to do that at all.
It’s because it’s more solid within you because you can rest in it internally. Thank you so much for being willing to join us again. Is it your intention to keep The Luckiest Club functioning? Is it going to stay where it is and grow where those support groups are going to be out there for people?
Yes. I don’t run it anymore. I have a CEO. There are four full-time employees. There’s a bunch of amazing contractors who run meetings. We’re growing and thriving. There’s no intention to stop it.
Where can people find out about that?
Are your two books still available?
They are available everywhere you could buy a book.
We Are The Luckiest and Push Off From Here. Thank you so much. It’s delightful. Thank you for all the work you do and congratulations.
Thank you for having me.
Laura McKowen had a long, successful career in public relations and the Mad Men–esque drinking culture of advertising. After getting sober, she quickly became recognized as a fresh voice in recovery, beloved for her soulful and irreverent writing online and in print. She now leads sold-out retreats and courses, teaching people to how to say yes to a bigger life. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with her daughter and has recently published her new book Push Off From Here.
Laura writes an award-winning blog and hosted the iTunes Top 100 Home Podcast. She has been featured in the New York Times, the Guardian, WebMD, Psychology Today, and The Today Show. She has an MBA from Boston College and spent fifteen years in advertising, managing million-dollar accounts for Fortune 100 companies before transitioning to writing and teaching.
She’s the Founder of several online programs for sobriety and personal development. The Luckiest Club is a sobriety support community, and she teaches workshops and retreats all over the United States. Her first book, We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of A Sober Life was released in January 2020 and was an instant bestseller. Laura is represented by Jamie Carr at The Book Group.
- Push Off From Here
- We Are The Luckiest
- The Luckiest Club
- Tuesdays with Morrie
- Eat, Pray, Love
- Radical Acceptance
- The Book Group
About Laura McKowen
Laura McKowen had a long, successful career in public relations and the Mad Men–esque drinking culture of advertising. After getting sober, she quickly became recognized as a fresh voice in recovery, beloved for her soulful and irreverent writing online and in print. She now leads sold out retreats and courses, teaching people to how to say yes to a bigger life. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts with her daughter.
Laura writes an award-winning blog and hosted the iTunes Top 100 HOME podcast. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, WebMD, Psychology Today, the TODAY show, The Doctors, and more.
Laura has an MBA from Babson College and spent 15 years in advertising managing million-dollar accounts for Fortune 100 companies before transitioning to writing and teaching. She’s the founder of several online programs for sobriety and personal development, The Luckiest Club, a sobriety support community, and she and teaches workshops and retreats all over the U.S..
Her first book, We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life, released in January 2020 and was an instant bestseller. Laura is represented by Jamie Carr at The Book Group.
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