Ever sworn off alcohol for January and found yourself drinking by the 7th? Think there's 'no point' in just one drink? Welcome! There are millions of us. Before embracing sobriety, Catherine Gray was stuck in a hellish cycle of drink, horrible decisions and hangovers, during which she had her fair share of 'drunk tank' jail cells and topless-in-a-hot-tub misadventures. 'I discovered that I was about a million times happier sober than I ever had been while drinking. As were the hundreds of sober pals I picked up along the way. I found myself with dozens more hours in the week, heaps more energy, £20K more money over three and a half years, deepened friendships, revived family relationships, better skin, a tighter body, tanned legs for the first time ever, the ability to sleep for eight uninterrupted hours, a bone-deep sense of well-being, a totally turned-around positive outlook and an infinitely more successful career. What's not to like?!' This inspirational, aspirational and highly relatable narrative champions the benefits of sobriety with a three-pronged approach combining the author's personal experience, factual reportage and contributions from expert sources and self-help advice for anyone who wants to reduce their alcohol intake or eliminate it completely. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is the new bible of sobriety.
©2017 Catherine Gray (P)2017 Octopus Publishing Group
Single in your late 20s or, hold the phone, in your 30s or beyond? Oh hi! You're in the right place. Over a third of us are now single. With the single camp growing at 10 times the rate of the actual population, it is now the norm to be single well into our 30s - the average marriage age for women is 35 and 37 for men. But nobody seems to have told society, rom-com makers, songwriters, marriage-hungry mothers, 'tick-tock' uncles, our mates or us that. Cue: single anxiety. Love addiction. Spending hours scrolling through dating apps. Being inconsolable when he/she doesn't text. Humming 'Here Comes the Bride' when they do. Catherine Gray went through all of this. And then some. She took a whole year off dating to get her love-hooked head straight. How do we chill our boots about our single status? Detach from 'all the good ones are gone!' panic? And deprogramme from urgent, red, heart-shaped societal pressure to find your 'other half'*? We know intellectually that single is far preferable to panic-settling, yet we forget that almost constantly. Why? Psychologists and neuroscientists tell us? Let's start the reverse brainwash and locate our happily single sanity for good. Are you in? *Spoiler: you're already a whole person.
©2018 Catherine Gray (P)2018 Octopus Publishing Group
From the Sunday Times best-selling author. We're told that happiness is in the extraordinary. It's on a Caribbean sun lounger, in the driving seat of a luxury car, inside an expensive golden locket, watching sunrise from Machu Picchu. We strive, reach, push, shoot for more. 'Enough' is a moving target we never quite reach. When we do brush our fingertips against the extraordinary a deeply inconvenient psychological phenomenon called the 'hedonic treadmill' means that, after a surge of joy, our happiness level returns to the baseline it was at before the 'extra' event. So, what's the answer? The Unexpected Joy of the Ordinary theorises that the solution is rediscovering the joy in the ordinary that we so often now forget to feel. Because we now expect the pleasure of a croissant, a hot shower, a yoga class, someone delivering our shopping to our door, we no longer feel its buzz. The joy of it whips through us like a bullet train, without pause. Catherine Gray was a grandmaster in the art of eye-rolling the ordinary and skilled in everlasting reaching. Until the black dog of depression forced her to rethink everything. Along the way, she discovered some surprising realities about the extraordinaries among us: that influencers risk higher rates of anxiety and depression, high rollers are less happy and huge frothy weddings increase the likelihood of divorce. Learning how to be exalted by the everyday is the most important lesson we can possibly learn. In Catherine Gray's hilarious, insightful, soulful (and very ordinary) next book, you may learn to do just that.
©2019 Catherine Gray (P)2019 Octopus Publishing Group