Shay Mooney Says He Got Sober, Lost 50 Lbs. Because 'I Was Too Tired to Play with My Kids'

The 31-year-old has plenty of reasons to be proud: three Grammys with Dan + Shay, his sons Asher, 6, Ames, 3, and Abram, 8 months, whom he’s raising with his wife, Hannah, 32, his “rekindled” relationship with best friend and bandmate Dan Smyers — and now, he can add his health and sobriety to the list, too.

Shay Mooney Says He Got Sober, Lost 50 Lbs. Because 'I Was Too Tired to Play with My Kids'
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“I kind of set out on this journey in a place where I was like, ‘Man, I'm tired of feeling horrible all the time.' I was too tired and rundown mentally to play with my kids when I got off the road, or really just ever. It was all the time," he says. "I knew that that was because of my unhealthy eating habits and drinking too much."

Mooney’s solution was simple, but required discipline: He quit sugar and alcohol “cold turkey.”

"I started eating super clean, whole foods and fasting, and I cut out alcohol and I haven't looked back. That was a year ago now,” he notes. 

As a result of changing his daily habits, Mooney lost more than 50 lbs., which he says “is great." But the major benefits have been on the inside. 

“I feel better, is the main thing, because my mental health was suffering," he explains. "Your gut and your brain and your mind are so connected. And I never really realized that.”

He recalls two weeks before Dan + Shay were set to kick off their arena tour — just before the pandemic struck in 2020 — when Mooney and his wife had recently welcomed their second son, Ames.

What should’ve been a joyous time in Mooney's life was instead filled with anxiety. 

“I was having panic attacks, and I'd never had a panic attack before and I didn't know what was going on,” Mooney says. “And after getting healthy and I stopped drinking, I haven't had a single moment of panic.” 

As Mooney was grappling with his health and lifestyle changes, he and bandmate Dan Smyers were also facing challenges of their own with Dan + Shay as a duo.

When their arena tour ended in December 2021, the two didn’t speak for four months. Mooney took the time to keep improving his health, while Smyers worked on falling in love with music again.

“It was just kind of the perfect timing. Dan and I were both working on ourselves and preparing for this moment. And just looking back on it, it really feels like a divine thing where it was meant to happen in the way that it was meant to happen. We needed to learn those lessons,” he says. 

“When people ask me, ‘Do you wish that you would've done it sooner? You wish that you guys would've fixed this a long time ago?’ My answer every time would be no," he continues. "I've been sober for about a year now. I don't know that I'll ever look back. I just know that my life is better when alcohol is not in it. This personal journey that I went on, that's not for everybody, but it changed my life.”