Radio

Sobriety, Fearne Cotton's Happy Place and realising you're not alone

Giving up booze can be a shock to the system, so Sam Delaney has got himself hooked on Fearne Cotton instead

Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place is a podcast so popular that it’s been turned into a festival. As someone who spent most of his life thinking that talking about your feelings was a load of pointless old bollocks, I have been very surprised by how much I enjoy listening to it.

My grandma used to advise me to get straight out of bed in the morning in order to avoid thinking. “No good ever came of thinking,” she’d say. I subscribed diligently to this maxim for years, avoiding any sort of contemplation of what you might call my inner life. Booze and drugs used to be a good way of protecting my mind from wandering too far in dangerous directions. But then four years ago I had to knock all of that on the head because it was making me too much of a miserable, fat dickhead (and, ironically, hindering my ability to get out of bed in the morning).

At some point all of us have to learn new ways of coping with the little bits of ordinary pain,

Sobriety was tough at first. I had to confront each day, however stressful or boring or shitty it might sometimes have been, without the safety nets I’d trained myself to rely on since I was barely adolescent. Even if I’d just had an average, mundane sort of day, where nothing that bad had happened but I just felt lonely or tired or grimly indifferent to life, I could no longer take the quick fix of livening things up by smoking, snorting, popping or drinking something.

At some point all of us have to learn new ways of coping with the little bits of ordinary pain that punctuate even the happiest of lives. And guess what? I’ve found the most reliable way is to share stuff about your anxieties or stresses, however tiny, trivial or embarrassing they might seem. Because you will invariably find that there are other people who feel the same way.

Realising you’re not alone and we all have this crap going on in our hearts and minds every day is a magically liberating experience in itself. And at times you might even find that other people have practical ways of coping they can recommend to you. At the very least they will testify that they’ve been through what you’re going through but still come out the other side with a smile on their face.

Talk to your mates, talk to your relatives, find a bunch of strangers in a group near where you live who are up for the same sort of chat – it’s helpful. Or plug yourself into Happy Place and listen to all the funny, honest, smart and inspiring people Fearne Cotton talks to about this stuff. Unlike booze and drugs, it’s free. What’s the worst that can happen?

Support your local Big Issue vendor

If you can’t get to your local vendor every week, subscribing directly to them online is the best way to support your vendor. Your chosen vendor will receive 50% of the profit from each copy and the rest is invested back into our work to create opportunities for people affected by poverty.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Uncanny USA podcast host Danny Robins on Bigfoot, UFOs and why Americans scare differently to Brits
Danny Robins on set for Uncanny USA sitting on a rusty car
Podcasts

Uncanny USA podcast host Danny Robins on Bigfoot, UFOs and why Americans scare differently to Brits

Rick Edwards: 'I assumed I'd embrace being famous. I quickly realised that wasn't the case'
Rick Edwards
Letter To My Younger Self

Rick Edwards: 'I assumed I'd embrace being famous. I quickly realised that wasn't the case'

BBC cuts to local radio are a cost we cannot afford: 'Vulnerable people rely on radio'
A 1970s radio
Radio

BBC cuts to local radio are a cost we cannot afford: 'Vulnerable people rely on radio'

Shaun Keaveny: 'I was burnt out by the callousness and cruelty of this government'
Shaun Keaveny in a white t-shirt, smiling
Interview

Shaun Keaveny: 'I was burnt out by the callousness and cruelty of this government'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know

The Big Issue

Sign up to get your FREE Doctor Who Archive Special

Celebrate the 14th series with your FREE edition of the Dr Who Special Archives