493 episodes

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions. 

If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place.

This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more.

Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.

Recovery Elevator �‪�‬ Paul Churchill

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.7 • 1.6K Ratings

It isn't a NO to alcohol, but a YES to a better life! Best selling author Paul Churchill, along with Kristopher Oyen interview people who have stepped away from alcohol in their own lives. Each week this podcast does a deep dive into an exploration of what a booze free life might look like from various perspectives and opinions. 

If you are sick and tired of alcohol making you sick and tired, we invite you to listen to Recovery Elevator. Check out what an alcohol free life can look like as others share their own stories of sobriety. If you are sober curious, newly sober, supporting a loved one or living your best life already in recovery, then you are in the right place.

This podcast addresses what to do if you’re addicted to alcohol, or if you think you’re an alcoholic. Other topics include, does moderate drinking work, does addiction serve a purpose, what happens to the brain when we quit drinking, should you track sobriety time, is A.A. right for you, spirituality, and more.

Similar to other recovery podcasts like This Naked Mind, the Shair Podcast, and the Recovered Podcast, Paul and Kris discuss a topic and then interview someone who has ditched the booze.

    RE 488: Hello Truth

    RE 488: Hello Truth

    Episode 488 – Hello Truth
     
    Today we have Christine. She is 58 and lives in Ontario. She took her last drink on December 29th, 2022.
     
    Recovery Elevator is going to Vietnam January 9th-20th, 2025. Registration for our newest alcohol-free travel trip opens July 1st. We have room for 25 passengers on this journey. We have AF workshops, a home stay and a service project planned, plus you’ll be traveling with others who have already ditched the booze.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [02:56] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    Paul shares with us some articles reminding us of what we already know: alcohol is shit.
    Society is waking up to the fact that no amount of alcohol is good for you.
     
    In 2023, GQ had an article titled The Year We realize Any Alcohol Is Bad For You.
     
    The World Health Organization, who once supported the stance that one to two drinks per day is beneficial, is now doing an about face.  Their headline was No Level of Alcohol Consumption is Safe For Your Health.
     
    The New York times also had an article further showing that the truth is emerging: Even A Little Alcohol Can Harm Your Health.
     
    Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction shares Canada’s Guidance on Alcohol and Heath.
     
    NBC News shares their take on the fact that drinking moderately is not healthier than abstaining
     
    If you want to join the discussion, go to the Recovery Elevator Instagram page and let us know what your thoughts are on today’s intro. Or write to your local politician and let them know that alcohol is shit.
     
    Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20
     
    [10:08] Kris introduces Christine:
     
    Christine is 58 years old and has two adult children, two cats, and is divorced. Christine is a massage therapist and enjoys participating in theater and reading in her spare time.
     
    Christine said that she knew there was alcoholism in her family, and her parents didn’t drink. She knew it was something that people needed to be careful with.
     
    While at university, she saw her older brother participating in the party scene and believed that drinking was just part of the experience. She started drinking and says that it was like a release valve for her and helped her with her awkwardness.
     
    After marrying her husband, Christine says drinking wasn’t part of their life for a long time. The occasional bottle of wine turned into more alcohol towards the end of the marriage.  Upon splitting up and moving to a new community, Christine found a music scene and easy friends there to frequently spend time drinking with.
     
    Christine feels she was leading a double life and not many people knew the extent of her drinking. Her brother noticed and was concerned. Christine started having regret for her drinking and attempted moderation for a while.
     
    Eventually she picked up Allan Carr’s book at the bookstore and began taking notes. Toward the end of 2019 she was able to quit for a period of time until the pandemic struck.
     
    Since she was not working and unable to care for her parents as she had been doing, she used the time to drink and felt entitled to the break. After being able to go out again, she started feeling the shame and despair set in. She began to realize she wasn’t going out for the music and friends, but for the drinks. After getting sick for two weeks and being unable to drink, something told Christine to take this opportunity to keep going.
     
    Christine found podcasts, YouTube testimonials, and began reading quit lit again feeling called to sobriety. She joined and became active in Café RE. Keeping a list in her phone of her whys and why nots which helped her a lot.
     
    Christine’s parting piece of guidance: we shouldn’t be asking ourselves if it’s bad enough to quit, we should be asking if it’s good enough to keep.
     
    Chrstine’s plan in sobriety going forward: seeking in-person connections.
     
     
    Café RE

    • 57 min
    RE 487: How Would You Walk?

    RE 487: How Would You Walk?

    Episode 487 – How Would You Walk?
     
    Today we have Sarah. She is 45 and lives in Indiana. She took her last drink on December 31st, 2022.
     
    Let’s talk AF International travel with Recovery Elevator. We’ve got some incredible trips in the works. We’re going to Vietnam for 12 days in January 2025. Then Back to Costa Rica for our 4th trip to the Blue Zone in April 2025, and then, we’re going back to Peru in October 2025 where we’re going to the Inca Trail and work with Non-profit Peruvian Hearts again.
     
    Athletic Greens
     
    [02:42] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    The World Heart Federation published a policy brief in 2022 staying there is “no level of alcohol consumption that is safe for health.” There was and still is a collective belief that alcohol is good for you. This is especially prominent in the wine culture.
     
    The paradigm is slowly cracking which is a huge step in the right direction. When Paul started Recovery Elevator in 2015, you couldn’t find that line anywhere. It was almost customary to see a line that says something like “studies show moderate alcohol consumption can improve heart health and longevity”.  Today the tides are turning and a narrative that alcohol can wreck your world (aka, the truth) is emerging. People are waking up to the lies that Big Alcohol has sold us.
     
    Check out this recent article about a new phenomenon called BORGS explains what these are and then follows it up with the snippet about alcohol being shit.
     
     
    [09:18] Paul introduces Sarah:
     
    Sarah is 45 and lives in Indiana. She is married with two kids and works in marketing. When she isn’t running the kids to their practices and games, she enjoys exercising, reading and backpacking.
     
    Sarah parents divorced when she was 11 and she grew up with her mother who she was very close with. She doesn’t recall alcohol being very present in their lives. Sarah didn’t drink much in high school but in college and into her 20s, everything she and her friends did involved alcohol. She always knew her drinking looked a little different than everyone else’s, but didn’t identify it as a problem.
     
    When Sarah was 35, her mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. Sarah quit working so that she could care for her mother through the diagnosis. Her drinking increased as she dealt with being a caretaker, having a family in addition to not working.
     
    After her mother died four years later, Sarah says she did not know how to deal with life. She would drink into a blackout almost daily and was stuck in the cycle of wanting to quit but not being able to. Sarah began to worry that it might not be possible for her and worried that she would disappoint her mother if she wasn’t able to quit.
     
    In time, Sarah found sober podcasts and tried medications to help. She says Antabuse worked, but she would stop taking it in order to drink. No one knew she was taking it to try and quit and Sarah feels that by not sharing, she always left the door open to drink again.
     
    Sarah knew something had to change and decided to come clean with her husband. Being active in the Café RE community helped Sarah gain the courage to choose a quit date and write a letter to her husband letting him know what was going on. Sarah says she received a lot of support from him.
     
    After the physical withdrawals, Sarah felt hopeful. As the months went on, she protected her sobriety by avoiding situations where there was drinking, and she began to gain more confidence. Sarah says that when she has thoughts of drinking, she does chooses to put her energy into her sober resources instead.
     
    Sarah’s best sober moment: experiencing the Northern Lights with her son
     
    Sarah’s parting piece of guidance: never quit quitting.
     
    [41:14] Outro:
     
    Paul invites listeners to answer some questions not with words in their minds, but in how they carry themselves.
    How would you walk if…….?
     
    Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY wai

    • 45 min
    RE 486: The Most Dangerous Thing on the Planet

    RE 486: The Most Dangerous Thing on the Planet

    Episode 486 - The Most Dangerous Thing on the Planet
     
    Today we have Adam. He is 46 from Flowermound, TX and took his last drink on December 31st, 2022.
     
    Recovery Elevator is going to Vietnam January 9th-20th, 2025. Registration for our newest alcohol-free travel trip opens July 1st. We have room for 25 passengers to this southeast Asia destination. We have AF workshops, a home stay and a service project planned, plus you’ll be traveling with others who have already ditched the booze.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [03:00] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    Paul shares many things that are dangerous but concludes that the most dangerous thing on the planet is the Ego. The reason why it is so dangerous is because it is never fully satisfied, it’s always hungry, lives in constant state of lack and is always seeking more, more, more.
     
    Alcohol is but a symptom of the most dangerous thing on the planet. Addiction gets a bad rap, but it does serve a purpose. It forces you to split from the thinking mind. As the author of The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer says you are the one hearing or witnessing the thoughts, but you are not your thoughts.
     
    Some of the humblest people Paul has met have been people in recovery. The addiction is the equalizer and forces us to seek a better way no longer guided by the blind pursuit of the ego.
     
    Sober Link.  Sign up for a $50 off promo code.
     
    [10:22] Kris introduces Adam:
     
    Adam is a registered nurse, married to his wife for 23 years and they have two children. He loves hiking, camping and walking and enjoys tabletop gaming and the creativity and childlike innocence that it has awoken.
     
    Alcohol was not very present in Adam’s childhood household. When he was 15, he had a bad experience with hamburgers and cheap alcohol that kept him away for a while. Typical teenage experimentation was there, but not much booze in his high school years.
     
    Becoming a young adult found Adam at college and going to a lot of parties. The heavier partying led to Adam beginning to have blackouts and hangovers. He ended up going to the Appalachian Mountains for some mission work and to get away from his dissonance around substance use. He says it still followed him there and eventually he had to go back home.
    Adam says drinking was part of he and his wife’s early dating period. After getting married and having kids, Adam was working 45 minutes from home and found himself drinking on the way home from work and the drinking was becoming daily. He knew it didn’t feel right but continued to do it. Deciding to start nursing school after the birth of their second child was very stressful and Adam’s drinking eventually found him seeking to stop but with short stints of sobriety, he would go back and feel stuck. This continued for Adam for a while and started to affect his relationships.
     
    Adam feels he finally had a time where it just clicked for him. He had joined Café RE and then joined the Restore course and he was able to organize some tools and awareness around his drinking. He knew he had work to do but he was willing to work on it finally. He currently has a great support network and close friends that he is doing the work with. Adam feels that a lot of things about him have changed and every day he sees joy.
     
    Adam’s biggest fear around quitting drinking: the fear of not having fun
     
    Adam’s plan moving forward: staying connected and immersed
     
    Adam’s parting piece of guidance for people thinking about quitting drinking: it makes the world colorful again and life will move in the direction it’s supposed to move.
     
     
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    I love you guys.

    • 1 hr 1 min
    RE 485: The Social Cost of Alcohol

    RE 485: The Social Cost of Alcohol

    Episode 485 – The Social Cost of Alcohol
     
    Today we have Jennifer. She is 41 from Hamilton, OT Canada and took her last drink on January 18th, 2024.
     
    Recovery Elevator is going to Vietnam January 9th-20th, 2025. Registration for our newest alcohol-free travel trip opens July 1st.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [02:09] Thoughts from Paul:
     
    Paul shares some information from an article he saw on the Instagram page recoveryroadmap.me. It discusses how in Canada, despite bringing in $13 billion in tax revenue, the net social costs in 2020 was $19 billion. And it is even worse in the US.
     
    The bright side of all of this is that we are becoming aware of this major deficit, and change is taking place. The demand for alcohol is lowering as people are becoming more aware that alcohol is not good for you. Two years ago, The Huberman Lab did a podcast called What Alcohol Does to Your Body and he debunked the myth that alcohol is good for you.
     
    Paul also shares that thanks to an initiative called Sounds Right, musicians who use natural sounds can list “Nature” as a featured artist and royalties from the tracks will go toward environmental causes.    
     
    Exact Nature: https://exactnature.com/RE20
     
    [08:33] Paul introduces Jennifer:
     
    Jennifer is married and they have a daughter and a standard poodle. She works for the family business and for fun she plays paintball, tennis and volleyball – anything active with friends.
     
    Jennifer says that as the “good girl” growing up, she always wanted to be bad and says that drinking fit in with that. During the week she was excelling in school, but on the weekends, she went to raves with friends and started smoking weed. She enjoyed the duality of her life and the same pattern continued at university.
     
    While in her first year of college, her father bought back his company with a ten-year plan of Jennifer becoming the CEO. The stress and responsibility of this and her parents divorce a few years later all found her drinking escalating. Some of her friends told Jennifer’s mom about her drinking and staged a small intervention to which Jennifer was not receptive. She assured everyone she was ok, but then just began to isolate when she drank.
     
    After the plan found her becoming the CEO, her drinking went from nights and weekends to drinking all day just to cope. She recognized that this was a problem but was scared to mention it to anyone. This is when she first joined Café RE, started listening to podcasts and trying to learn more about the disease. Jennifer tried a lot of moderation methods but was never successful until she got pregnant with her daughter at 35. She was able to quit drinking while pregnant and a few months after having the baby.
     
    After returning to work, Jennifer says her drinking started right where she left off. She says she was beginning to have disturbing thoughts and finally concluded that she needed help. Not being able to come up with a good way to quit without anyone knowing, she decided to confide in her cousin who she knew would understand.
     
    In January of 2024 at a dinner with her cousin, mom and husband, Jennifer was able to burn the ships, and everyone was very supportive. Upon going to treatment shortly after, Jennifer says she took her recovery very seriously and wanted to make it worth her time.
     
    Journaling and practicing mindfulness are big parts of Jennifer’s recovery, she takes time to be present with her daughter and her life, attends meetings and counseling regularly and says stacking habits are important to her growth. Nurturing the sober version of herself has been great for her. Jennifer can see a future now
     
    Jennifer’s best sober moment: Walking my daughter to school and being present.
     
    Jennnifer’s parting piece of guidance: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
     
     
    Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.

    • 56 min
    RE 484: Recovery is a Sandwich

    RE 484: Recovery is a Sandwich

    Episode 484 – Recovery is a Sandwich
     
    Today we have Brian. He is 59 from Eastern Iowa. He took his last drink on May 23rd, 2023.
     
    Recovery Elevator is going to Vietnam January 9th-20th, 2025. Registration for our newest alcohol-free travel trip opens July 1st and we’ve got room for 25 passengers. Who’s up for seeing the world with a group of travelers who have ditched the booze?
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [02:24] Thoughts from Kris:
     
    Kris’ topic today is one of the foundational themes in recovery which is telling our story or burning the ships as we refer to it at Recovery Elevator.
     
    Burning the Ships refers to when Hernan Cortez sailed across the ocean and ordered his men to burn their ships when they landed. There was no turning back, no retreat. When we share our story, we can no longer hide from it and are faced to move forward with others having knowledge of our journey.
     
    This isn’t a black and white situation so it will be different for everyone, and we each have to do what is right for us. Kris shares the different levels of burning the ships and his experiences with them. He feels that the positives outweigh the negatives. When people hear our stories, not just the stats, it changes their perception. Hearing our stories in others’, helps us know we are not alone, and we never know the impact that sharing our stories may have on others.
     
    Think of the moments that have inspired you. What is your version of that? Let Kris know what you think. How has burning the ships played out for you?  Email kris@recoveryelevator.com to share your thoughts.
     
    Athletic Greens: https://www.athleticgreens.com/recovery
     
    [10:48] Kris introduces Brian:
     
    Upon the release of this episode, Brian has just celebrated one year of sobriety!
    He is married, together they have five adult children and seven grandchildren. Brian is active and enjoys many outdoor activities, home projects, travelling and reading.
     
    Brian grew up on a farm and recalls it was common for people to have drinks after a long day of work. He says he and his friends would sneak beer out of curiosity. When he was in his teens, he and his friends would drive around the gravel roads with a cooler of beer. After graduating high school, Brian joined the military, which was a tradition in his family. He was enlisted for two years and lived the “work hard, play hard” life that is common in that environment.
     
    Shortly after discharge from the Army, Brian got a DUI. He did not feel this was a red flag to stop drinking, just needed to pay the fine and move on. After graduating college, he got his first job in management and married his first wife. They bought land and started a family together. Brian says drinking was mostly social on the weekends and at the local tavern after work.
     
    Brian and his wife got a divorce after 15 years married. Soon after, Brian began suffering from extreme anxiety and panic attacks. He tried medication and meditation to deal with it, but it was still intense.
     
    A few years later, Brian started dating his current wife. They were very social and frequently drank, but she was not a heavy drinker. Brian began to find himself waking up with anxiety and would often change his work hours to accommodate his drinking or recovery from the night before.
     
    In December of 2020 Brian discovered his sister had recently become sober. He feels this really led him to examine his drinking. Upon arriving home from that visit, he started reading a lot and listening to podcasts. He began attending more group chats with Café RE and connecting with other folks in recovery. Brian says his sister taught him a lot of mindfulness exercises which he has found very helpful. 
     
    Brian’s parting piece of guidance for those considering sobriety: just dig in and try it.
     
    Café RE – promo code OPPORTUNITY waives set up fee.
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    • 1 hr 15 min
    RE 483: NA Beers

    RE 483: NA Beers

    Episode 483 – NA Beers
     
    Today we have Tyler. He is 37 and lives in Phoenix, AZ. He took his last drink on November 28th, 2023.
     
    Recovery Elevator welcomes Danielle Marr to the team! She now writes the bi-monthly newsletter for RE which always has journalling prompts at the end. She taught our DTB writing course this last fall and does Instagram posts a couple days a week. She was also interviewed on episode 464.
     
    To subscribe to the Recovery Elevator newsletter, click here and wait for the box to pop up.
     
    Better Help:  www.betterhelp.com/elevator - 10% off your first month. #sponsored
     
    [03:35] Thoughts from Paul
     
    Paul shares with us the history of NA beers and how they were created to pacify the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers campaign back in the 90’s. The companies had zero intention of scaling this segment of their business and it has been said that the purposefully made the beer tasteless and bland.
     
    Those days are gone. Non-alcoholic beer sales have been growing every year by 30-40% since 2019. Many of the major beer brands are investing time and money into creating their own NA products and there are more breweries popping up that are 100% dedicated to making an AF craft beer.
     
    There is no need to explore the NA beer world in the early days of your alcohol-free life because it can be triggering. There is trace amount of alcohol in many of the NA beers (usually less than 0.5%) and you would have to drink 25-30 of them to reach the legal BAC. Check out this Instagram post where someone drinks several NA beers and stills blows zeros into a breathalyzer.
     
    What the AF beer world exploding shows is that people are waking up to the fact that alcohol is not good for you and big alcohol sales are reflecting that. The stigma around alcohol addiction is also crumbling. We as consumers decide every move a business makes – start asking for more AF options at restaurants and grocery stores. Start asking and you will receive.
     
    Go Brewing. Use the code ELEVATOR for 15% off.
     
    [09:58] Paul introduces Tyler:
     
    Tyler is 37 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ and has a six-month-old daughter. He does maintenance for a homeowners association. Tyler is also a musician and enjoys performing, writing, and recording music.
     
    Tyler had his first drink when he was in high school as simply a fun thing to do with friends. A health scare which ended up with tumor removal drove Tyler to feel he needed to live life to the fullest. He says his drinking increased as it was associated with having fun, and he discovered his passion for being a musician. That found him romanticizing alcohol, drinking more after gigs, and acquiring DUIs. Since a lot of people he knew had DUIs, it was considered normal and wasn’t taking seriously.
     
    When he lost a close family member to cancer, Tyler says his drinking evolved from good and bad to ugly. He and his girlfriend went out often, and his drinking became more frequent both while out and while at home. Tyler had a lot of anger that would come out while drinking. These issues eventually found Tyler and his girlfriend splitting up.
     
    Tyler started going to therapy and discovered that the loss of his aunt affected him more than he realized. He was able to process some of his anger and cut back on his drinking. He and his girlfriend got back together and six months ago their daughter was born. Tyler began to realize that his drinking was interfering with this new life and told his girlfriend he was ready to quit. At this time, he also reached out to a supportive cousin that has over 20 years in recovery.
     
    Tyler says AA didn’t resonate with him, but books, podcasts and other peoples’ stories have been very helpful. He believes in recovering out loud.
     
     
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    I love you guys.
    Go big beca

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
1.6K Ratings

1.6K Ratings

eersnherd ,

Recovery Elevator has saved lives, maybe even yours

I can’t begin to express my gratitude for this podcast. I started listening in 2019 as I began my journey into recovery. I wasn’t successful in quitting right away but I didn’t quit trying either. This weekly podcast was and is something that I look forward to each week. Hearing the stories of others helped me stay the course despite periods of “field research.” A big thank you to Paul, Kris, and Odette for the tireless work you put in. If you are trying to quit drinking, this should be one of the first podcasts that you subscribe to!

Ozziesocks ,

Great resource

I love this podcast and the wide range of stories that are shared. My only gripe is that it’s only once a week! Thank you for everything you do RE crew… it means more than you’ll ever know.

Lola JS ,

Life Changing

This podcast is extremely informative, uplifting and helpful. Paul you are living proof of how to live a purpose driven life!!! Keep this going.

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