Real Housewives With the Most Inspiring Sobriety Journeys

Kyle Richards
(Photo by John Medina/WireImage)

Across the series, the Real Housewives have one job to do; lay bare their lives for viewers to consume. This role often sees the cast showcasing their mansions and jewelry, interspersed with catfights amongst each other, because friendships are hard. While opulent material possessions are not relatable storylines, a new trend is slowly emerging—sobriety.

Currently, a handful of Real Housewives are sharing their journeys sans-alcohol. Watching (and learning) about other’s encounters with addiction is about as real as reality television can get. We therefore applaud these women for their honesty and courage, and we wish them all the best on their paths to recovery. For our readers who also battle with addiction(s), you are not alone, and we wish for you bright days, filled with chances to start anew.

Currently, these are the sober Real Housewives who made the admirable decision to change their lives.

Gina Kirschenheiter

Gina Kirschenheiter/Instagram

Yes, this post shows Gina Kirschenheiter from Real Housewives of Orange County partaking in the Watch What Happens Live “shotski.” Yet the caption reads, “I gave up drinking…not having fun…” Gina goes on to use the hashtag “redbullshot,” explaining that her drink was in fact not the typically used liquor. Gina is still sober after filming all of Season 17 sans alcohol.

Side note, Andy Cohen appeared bewildered after his shot, exclaiming that his drink might have been switched with another. Gina looked on a tad horrified, so we are hoping that she was not served alcohol.

As for Gina’s sobriety, in the episode airing on June 14, Gina met up with Emily Simpson and Jennifer Pedranti for lunch. Here, Gina ordered a mocktail version of a skinny, spicy margarita. In a confessional, Gina explained, “I stopped drinking. I don’t want to feel like crap all the time because it’s not good for me.” 

In seasons past, viewers watched as Gina’s marriage to Matthew Kirschenheiter fell apart. Shortly after their split, it was alleged that Matt physically assaulted Gina before threatening to kill her. Matt was arrested and charged with two felony counts of domestic violence. Gina gave a victim impact statement at his sentencing, and the two are thankfully now in a much better place.

In an interview with E! News, Gina admitted that maintaining her sobriety helped her to deal with Matt’s actions and her ensuing triggered responses over her co-star Jennifer’s affair. Gina stated, “I have absolutely forgiven my ex. That’s why, for me, this really doesn’t have anything to do with him, it has to do with me and having to process through all of my feelings and what I went through in regards to that trauma.”

Keep moving forward, Gina.

Kyle Richards

Kyle Richards/Instagram

Kyle Richards from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has just passed one year of sobriety. In an emotional post, Kyle shared, “I knew it was no longer serving me (no pun intended) physically, mentally or spiritually.” On people’s reactions, Kyle stated, “Mainly people are supportive, even if they didn’t quite understand, since I don’t have a ‘problem’ with alcohol, although trust me, plenty of times it didn’t feel like that.”

Several months ago, rumors began to swirl regarding Kyle’s marriage to Mauricio Umansky. These rumors involved cheating, with both of the parties receiving blame. That’s a lot to handle for anyone, but remembering that Kyle has a large following, you can imagine the added stresses that viewers comments brought.

Speaking on this without speaking on this, Kyle continued, “and honestly, life is going to throw us some difficult days. I certainly don’t need to be adding any extra ones to that list.” Noting that drinking increases her depression, Kyle’s decision to remove alcohol from her life seems to have brought her peace. In her selfie, she is literally glowing.

We’re rooting for you, Kyle.

Leah McSweeney

Leah McSweeney/Instagram

Leah McSweeney was sober for nine years before joining Real Housewives of New York. Once on the cast, the pressures of filming saw her drinking habits resume. She’s since returned to sobriety and joined the ranks of the sober Real Housewives.

During Leah’s time on the series, heavy drinking saw her skinny-dipping and throwing tiki torches around Ramona Singer‘s pool in the Hamptons. When Leah announced last year that she’d been sober for 90 days, many assumed that this choice came from seeing herself on the show. Leah corrected this through an interview with US Weekly, saying that she cut off alcohol during the COVID-19 quarantine. If not, Leah knew she’d drink to an excess.

We applaud Leah for knowing her weaknesses and acting, and we are thrilled to write that Leah passed one year of sobriety this March. Atta girl, Leah.

Braunwyn Windham-Burke

Braunwyn Windham-Burke/Instagram

During Real Housewives of Orange County Season 15, Braunwyn Windham-Burke announced that she was an alcoholic. Her time spent on the series was nothing short of chaotic. With seven children and a crumbling marriage to Sean Burke, Braunwyn spent Season 14 drinking away her problems, while Season 15 began her journey with sobriety. She has since filed for divorce and is committed to her girlfriend, Jennifer Spinner.

Just passing 3 years of sobriety, Braunwyn is using her platform to encourage others who are caught up in addiction. “I remember the anxiety, the managing, the regret, the waking up, the feeling bad about myself….if you’re watching this, you can do it,” Braunwyn shares.

We agree with Braunwyn—you CAN do it, and thank you, Braunwyn, for using your platform for good. May your reaching down pull many others up.