Home » Walker Hayes reflects on 8-year sobriety and his ‘epiphany moment: ‘I might die’

Walker Hayes reflects on 8-year sobriety and his ‘epiphany moment: ‘I might die’

by UNN Feed

Walker Hayes says he’d been abusing alcohol for more than 20 years by the time he finally had an “epiphany moment” about his addiction.

The Grammy-nominated country music singer started drinking at 13, he told TODAY’s Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.

At 36, he found himself working the 4 a.m. shift at a Costco in Nashville, Tennessee, stocking produce to make ends meet and playing shows at night. He’d been doing that routine for about a year and his wife had just given birth to their sixth child, Hayes, now 44, recalled.

“Life was just wild. It was a lot on my body,” Hayes said in a segment on Hoda & Jenna that aired on May 2, 2024.

“I just woke up on a Saturday and I just knew if I did this one more day, my body would be affected, some organ. 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.”

The singer started his recovery by being sober for one day, then stretching that into two days, then a week and ultimately a year. “And then, I just didn’t want to go backwards,” he recalled.

Hayes said he’s now been sober for eight years. His new album, “Sober Thoughts,” is a collection of songs about his experience with his recovery. It can be a struggle, he admitted, but he wants to share his journey with others as much as he can and make his audience his accountability partner.

“Everybody loves a drinking song,” he said. “(But) sobriety is so amazing that you love to pass it along. It’s a great option we have in life. There is freedom from addiction.”

Hayes said he found other things on which to focus his attentions instead of alcohol, like the gym. Coffee is another one, and it doesn’t destroy his life, he added.

The country star estimated he writes a song a week about recovery because he’s so grateful.

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

He still loves the taste of beer, so…

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