Walker Hayes Got Sober Because ‘I Might Die’


Country star Walker Hayes continues to share his sobriety journey — revealing the precise second when he realized he wanted to cease consuming. 

“I was working a night job at Costco stocking produce and playing shows at night,” Hayes, 44, advised Today hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, including that his spouse Laney had simply welcomed their sixth baby, Everly. 

“Life was just wild, it was a lot on my body and I just woke up on a Saturday and I just knew if I did this one more day my body would be affected,” the “Fancy Like” singer mentioned. “Some organ — you know, look, I’m not a scientist. I’m not a doctor. I just woke up and it felt like if I do it one more day I might die.”

Hayes, who shared that he began consuming at age 13, mentioned that he had this epiphany at age 36 — and began his sobriety journey in small levels. 

Walker Hayes together with his spouse and children.

Walker Hayes/Instagram

“I went one day to two, two days turned into a week,” Hayes — who chronicles relationship with alcohol in his new album, Sober Thoughts — mentioned. 

“Sobriety — [when] you’ve been drunk that long … you get addicted to … the clarity, the pep in your step. You go to the gym and you’re like, ‘I feel like I’m 17.’” 

“A month turned into a year and then I just didn’t want to go backwards,” Hayes mentioned.

Hayes mentioned he’s not shy to speak about being eight years sober, saying, “I want to share that as much as I can.”

“I think most recovering alcoholics feel the same way, you know. Sobriety is so amazing that you’d love to pass it along. It’s a great option that we have in life and there is freedom from addiction,” Hayes mentioned.

Walker Hayes performs reside.

 Jason Davis/Getty

“So, I’m always thinking about it. I like to make the world, my audience, my accountability partner — that’s how I go about it. I’m not very anonymous, I love to just share, ‘Hey, it’s a struggle. I’m weak in that area. Help! You know, we can help each other.’”

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“I swear, if you ask my publishing company, I probably write a song a week about recovery, and so, I’m so grateful,” he mentioned, explaining that one music, “Same Drunk,” is about coping mechanisms.

“A lot of our life, we just balance from coping mechanism to coping mechanism. Like coffee, for instance. I’m so addicted to coffee,” he mentioned, including, “But you know, it doesn’t destroy my life.”  

If you or somebody you recognize is combating substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.


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