Today we are excited to have Holly Whitaker on The SHAIR Podcast. She was the co-host of the HOME podcast, the bestselling author of Quit Like a Woman, and the founder of Tempest, a holistic, evidence-based digital recovery platform
It’s not just people in addiction recovery who hit a bottom. We all will have that point of reckoning in our lives that will turn us inside out. The current pandemic will force many of us to reevaluate how we think about ourselves and the world.
Holly talks about her struggle with the desire to be numb and escape oneself. She tells us that as people in recovery, we can lead the way through the dark night of the soul, showing others not only how to survive, but to come out on the other side with a new level of self-awareness, empathy, and acceptance.
Did you know how powerful you are?
Holly Whitaker is the founder and CEO of Tempest, Inc., a company she founded when, in 2012, she was determined to deal with her drinking problem but found that the recovery program she needed did not yet exist. With years of experience in the field of healthcare and as a former director at a well known health-tech startup, Holly’s vision went wide and deep: to create an accessible, lower cost, digital program for anyone struggling with alcohol, and support for the 90 percent of people who misuse alcohol but are not considered “alcoholics,” either by diagnosis or self-definition. Today, Tempest has served thousands of individuals on their path to recovery through its various programs, educational courses, and online media publication.
Holly is a writer and bestselling author of Quit Like A Woman, a groundbreaking look at drinking culture and a road map to cutting out alcohol in order to live one’s best life without the crutch of intoxication. She has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, and TechCrunch and was named in Inc’s 2019 Female Founders 100 List. Formerly, she co-hosted the HOME podcast, which garnered a Webby Honorable Mention in 2017.
We live in a world obsessed with drinking. We drink at baby showers and work events, brunch and book club, graduations and funerals. Yet no one ever questions alcohol’s ubiquity—in fact, the only thing ever questioned is why someone doesn’t drink. It is a qualifier for belonging and if you don’t imbibe, you are considered an anomaly. As a society, we are obsessed with health and wellness, yet we uphold alcohol as some kind of magic elixir, though it is anything but.
When Holly Whitaker decided to seek help after one too many benders, she embarked on a journey that led not only to her own sobriety, but revealed the insidious role alcohol plays in our society and in the lives of women in particular. What’s more, she could not ignore the ways that alcohol companies were targeting women, just as the tobacco industry had successfully done generations before. Fueled by her own emerging feminism, she also realized that the predominant systems of recovery are archaic, patriarchal, and ineffective for the unique needs of women and other historically oppressed people—who don’t need to lose their egos and surrender to a male concept of God, as the tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous state, but who need to cultivate a deeper understanding of their own identities and take control of their lives. When Holly found an alternate way out of her own addiction, she felt a calling to create a sober community with resources for anyone questioning their relationship with drinking, so that they might find their way as well. Her resultant feminine-centric recovery program focuses on getting at the root causes that lead people to overindulge and provides the tools necessary to break the cycle of addiction, showing us what is possible when we remove alcohol and destroy our belief system around it.
Written in a relatable voice that is honest and witty, Quit Like a Woman is at once a groundbreaking look at drinking culture and a road map to cutting out alcohol in order to live our best lives without the crutch of intoxication. You will never look at drinking the same way again.
Tempest is a holistic, evidence-based digital recovery platform. Whether you’re trying to quit drinking or are already sober, Tempest’s membership and programming provide the education, tools and community needed to recover or continue recovery. We’re affordable, flexible, and designed to fit your life, with your individual needs in mind.
Currently in America it takes a person an average of 10 years to get sober. Tempest was created to shorten that time and help millions of people struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder, regardless of whether they’ve hit “rock bottom”. We exist for anyone who wants to stop drinking, stay sober, or take a closer look at their relationship with alcohol.
We focus on understanding why people are drinking and what their individual barriers are to stopping. Our program incorporates behavioral therapy, positive psychology, mindfulness and meditation, and trauma-informed care. For example, alcohol can make us disconnected from our physical selves, so we work to reestablish the mind-body connection through new rituals of self-care for better sleep, nutrition and exercise. Or, for those that may start their recovery journey in a vulnerable state, we offer positive psychology practices that help to build self-confidence and increase their opportunity for success. Additionally, our always-on private community of professionals and peers offer constant support through every phase of recovery. There’s nothing like being in a community of people who understand what you’re going through, in a place free from judgement or criticism.
Tempest is laser-focused on making the platform experience as seamless and impactful as possible for its users. Later this spring, Tempest will be launching an enhanced membership experience to provide even greater accessibility and flexibility for people on their path to recovery.
Quit Like a Woman