Our Mission

To shout about the joys of sobriety. To encourage you to give sobriety a go. To support you on your journey!

We are sobriety unfiltered.

We are the sober rebellion, motivating the world to change their drinking habits and do things they've never done before.

Because giving up alcohol really is just the beginning!

 

We empower you with the connections, community and motivation to help you get over the influence, stop drinking and start living fabulously AF.

Our story might sound a little like yours...

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We were sick of not living up to our potential. Tired of living in hungover, quiet desperation.

Bored of the same old preachy podcasts, empty motivational phrases from the wannabe gurus and dull, unrealistic ‘wellbeing’ websites with yet another beautiful model gazing at a sunrise.

Over The Influence was created to turn the alcohol-free world upside-down.

 

We’re the rebels, the upstarts, the only people brave enough tell it how it is: All the joy, the fear, the tears and the triumphs combined into one ground-breaking, industry-disrupting community. 

And we're going to change the world...by empowering a billion people to drink differently.

 

This is sobriety unfiltered.

THIS is what real connection is. THIS is what real life is. THIS is what it means to be sober AF.

Meet the Founders

Sharon Hartley
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Sharon is a BBC broadcaster from Lancashire in the north west of England. She is 47 years old, married with 3 children and up until September 2018 she was a bottle-of-wine-a-night daily drinker who loved to ramp it up at weekends. Sharon is now over 1000 days alcohol free.

 

Sharon says: “I drank too much, too fast and too often but the prospect of living a life without alcohol was utterly terrifying.

 

I stopped drinking, I changed everything, I met Freddie & Ben and something quite incredible happened...

 

I fell in love with alcohol-free life.”

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Freddie Bennett

When Freddie was 35, it looked like he had it all. The high-powered corporate job, the Porsche, the exotic holidays with his young family, the granite worktops in the kitchen.

But the truth was, he was addicted, suicidal, unfit, unhealthy, and he hated the person he saw in the mirror every day (yes, life really was THAT cheerful for our Freddie).

But after years of failed attempts to get sober, Freddie finally said ‘enough is enough’ in March 2019 and he is now over 2 years alcohol free.

Since ditching the booze he’s run across the Sahara Desert, won ultramarathons, become a Guinness World Record holder, an Ironman and published his first book, ‘Starting at Zero’.
 

Ben Anderson
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Ben is 32 years old and lives in Liverpool. As the prior Managing Editor of three high profile radio stations, Ben's role came with a lot of stress, and his drinking started to creep up.

Ben launched his podcast production company, Sound Rebel, in 2019 and was immediately happier and healthier in almost every way - but it wasn't until he met Freddie and Sharon that he realised that he was ignoring his relationship with alcohol.

Ben tried moderation (which was quickly abandoned when the UK went into its first lockdown) but has now been completely alcohol-free since July 2020 - and he has never been happier!

Meet the Team

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Danielle Cooper – AF Newbies Zoom Host

 

I started my AF journey in January 2018. Yep, I jumped on the Dry January wagon not expecting to commence a long-term alcohol-free journey, yet here I am some years later hoping never to touch another drop of alcohol again!

 

I actually LOVE my sober life now, much more than my drinking life. I get so much more joy, fulfilment and excitement from this new way of living. Things are also a whole lot less chaotic.

 

So, what did I do differently that helped me a permanent change, rather than a series of short-term abstentions from alcohol? Essentially, I got CONNECTED. With Over The Influence, I finally feel like I’ve found my tribe.

 

People with all sorts of different backgrounds and mindsets but with one thing in common: we all want to be sober so that we can enjoy better lives. And boy, does sobriety deliver! I am so excited about my future and can’t wait to see what’s in store next.

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Kelly Cooney – Technical Support

​I am a proud mother of 3 amazing boys, I am turning 40 this year and determined to make it my best year yet.

I work in the IT industry and have had my eye on the same promotion for years but lack of consistency with my studies due to alcohol in my life has hindered that progress. 

I started listening to the OTI podcast in October 2020 and listening to people loving their AF life and achieving great things highlighted to me that removing alcohol was the key to all the things I wanted to achieve including just simple happiness and contentment.  

 

Alcohol has put me in many awful and if I'm honest dangerous situations but life without alcohol just seemed so boring! 

Joining the OTI community has taught me that this is absolutely not the case but most importantly it has taught me that connection with like-minded people is a crucial part in removing alcohol from your life. 

The support is second to none and I have made so many new friends who I really look forward to chatting to on the daily zooms.

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Charlie Martina – Blog Curator

​I am a master’s student of philosophy based in Liverpool. I suffered massively at the hands of student drinking culture, and because my drinking was ‘normal’ among peers, it was seldom questioned.

 

I might not have hit absolute ‘rock bottom’, but I could see it shimmering in the distance.

In December 2020, I kicked booze out of my life completely. I have now created a university society called ‘Sober Soc’ which consists of over 60 low or no alcohol students. I am a community champion for Alcohol Change UK, write and edits our community blog, and work to create sober content.

 

Most importantly, I am happier, calmer, and more at ease than ever before, I am incredibly grateful to have found alcohol-free life this early, and I want to spread the message that you’re never too young to live your life fully.