Drew Barrymore Calls Cutting Out Alcohol a 'Quiet, Confident Process'

The actress shares how's she's prioritizing healthy habits in a new interview.

Drew Barrymore
Getty Images.

If you're sick of hearing people pedal peddle the idea that they get their energy and calm state of mind from simply drinking water, eating "perfectly," and working out all time, you have something in common with Drew Barrymore. "I'm like, oh God, stop making me feel bad about my life choices," the actress and talk show host says of this kind of chatter. What's really getting Barrymore through the often stressful holiday season is first and foremost therapy.

"I definitely still do my weekly therapy at any cost," she tells Shape over the phone while promoting her partnership with Quorn, a brand that makes sustainable, meat-free protein alternatives. When she's really struggling, Barrymore turns to meditation. "A 20-minute [meditation session] can be such a game changer, but for anyone who's like, I can't find that 20 minutes or that discipline [to meditate], I so relate."

Still, therapy is "everything" to Barrymore, she says. The key is to find a therapist "who challenges you and really helps you figure stuff out and break cycles."

One cycle the talk show host has been breaking over the past three and a half years is drinking alcohol — though the actress is not sober, she clarifies. "I don't work a program, you know, that's not my jam," she says. "I just cut something out that was leading to constant behavior for me that wasn't working."

Avoiding alcohol around the holidays may be challenging for some, but now "it's not hard for me," says Barrymore. "Drinking is way harder for me than not drinking," she says. "If you can really change, it's so liberating to your narrative of 'I'm a broken, stuck person.'"

Now, she often enjoys drinking mocktails and non-alcoholic beer when socializing. "I have alcohol in my house; I serve people drinks," she explains. "It's a very quiet, confident process," she continues. "I love partying with my friends still, so, you know, it [the holiday season] doesn't trigger me, luckily," she says.

Drew Barrymore on cutting out alcohol

Drinking is way harder for me than not drinking.

— Drew Barrymore on cutting out alcohol

Friends seem to be central to Barrymore's life at the moment, both in terms of letting loose and making healthy choices — which often overlap. "I've been trying to have standing workouts with my girlfriends, otherwise I totally lose the motivation, and it's such a bummer, but left to my own devices, I'm not gonna work out," she admits. "But if I have standing workouts with my friends, I'm gonna do it. So, I love accountability. I also love being with my friends, and doing something positive and healthy is a great hang time," she says.

Barrymore likes to change up her exercise activities — which typically include cardio, dance, weights, and barre — to keep things interesting. "If it's super routine, I know it's coming and then I check out," she says. "So, anything that mixes it up with, like, fun music."

She's also the latest celebrity to give an endorsement for Pilates, which seemingly everyone in Hollywood (read: Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Kristen Bell, etc.) is doing these days. "I'm also starting to realize the older you get, the more you need Pilates," says Barrymore.

"It's such small movements and so interesting, and then you can feel it so much the next day, and it makes you stronger," she says. "And my problem with working out is consistency. It's my biggest downfall." Finding an enjoyable exercise seems to make it that much easier for Barrymore to keep it up.

Drew Barrymore on exercising with friends

My problem with working out is consistency. It's my biggest downfall.

— Drew Barrymore on exercising with friends

While staying consistent with her workouts is admittedly challenging for the actress, Barrymore is a bit more steadfast with with her dietary habits. She was raised vegetarian and stuck with it until she was in her late twenties. While she does eat some meat now, the self-proclaimed "flexitarian" hasn't had chicken in 15 years. "I'm a little all over the place, but I feel like that's a lot of people's journeys," she says.

That's one of the reasons why Barrymore's partnership with Quorn makes sense. It's also why she'd like to see the brand's vegan and vegetarian products in as many stores as possible to make finding and cooking meat alternatives simpler and more accessible for all. "The more we make this easier on people and affordable and available, the more they'll indulge in it."

And if anyone is getting the urge to give being vegan or vegetarian a try (looking at you, Veganuary), now's the time. "I don't think there's probably ever been an easier time to do that," says Barrymore.

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