Florence Welch Says Getting Sober Was a 'Healing Process'

By May Wilkerson 05/20/16

The Florence and the Machine lead singer partially attributed her substance use to her rapid rise in fame and touring schedule. 

Florence Welch Says Getting Sober Was a 'Healing Process'

Florence Welch is getting high naturally these days. The singer of the band Florence and the Machine recently spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about her decision to get sober on the tail end of her rip-roaring twenties. “I’d been really self-destructive for a while, and I really didn’t want to keep breaking things—whether it was relationships or physical stuff,” she said. “Not drinking was such a healing process that I thought, ‘Let’s just keep going with this.’”

The UK-born singer partially attributed her heavy substance use to her rapid rise to fame, and the turbulent lifestyle of touring with a band. "I had a gung-ho idea of being in a band," she said. "It was like, get drunk, cover yourself in paint, jump off the stage."

Luckily, giving up substances doesn’t seem to have put a damper on her ability to enjoy life. Since putting down alcohol, she said “what I’ve learned is that I’m naturally a sensitive, open person who’s just super-high on life without any drink or drugs.”

In sobriety, 29-year-old Welch says she’s “looking forward” to smoother sailing as she approaches her thirties. "My 20s have been quite a sea, a whirlwind of working out who you are,” she said. “I feel I was a bit of a nightmare for everyone before—fun, I hope, but an absolute chaos merchant as well. I'm very lucky not to have come out feeling swallowed up."

And she is lucky. Back in 2012, the singer made headlines after a night of heavy drinking led to her accidentally setting fire to her NYC hotel room. "I think I must have had about 17 Dirty Martinis," she told Q magazine at the time. "I lost my phone and ripped my dress very badly. I accidentally set fire to the Bowery Hotel because I'd left a cinnamon tea light burning. I came back to the hotel, passed out in my ripped dress—no phone, chipped tooth—came round and there was black stuff all over the wall, my book had melted on the bedside table and there was a bucket of water on the floor. Actually the last scene you want to wake up to with a hangover. Half the room was singed."

Florence, we’re glad you’re sober.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.