Ann Dowsett Johnston

Award-winning journalist, bestselling author and former Vice-Principal of McGill University, is now on her fourth career

Ann Dowsett Johnston is the bestselling author of the book Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol, named one of the top 10 books of 2013 by the Washington Post. An award-winning journalist who spent the lion’s share of her career at Maclean’s, Ann moved on to become Vice-Principal of McGill University. Ann Dowsett Johnston a recent graduate of the prestigious Smith College, Ann Dowsett Johnston now has her own psychotherapy practice in Toronto. A passionate advocate for reducing the stigma around mental health and addiction, Ann Dowsett Johnston is the recipient of many honours and awards, including an honorary doctorate from Queen’s University and CAMH’s Transforming Lives Award.

Topic Presentations

Ann Dowsett Johnston, an award-winning journalist, bestselling author and former Vice-Principal of McGill University, is now on her fourth career—and loving it. A recent graduate from the prestigious Smith College, Ann is flourishing as a psychotherapist. Hear her take on how to live your best life, what we learn from life’s detours, and the secrets to building resilience. An inspirational, fresh take on making choices work for you.

It is no secret that the pandemic has caused an epidemic in women’s stress. In a matter of months, COVID took a crowbar women’s progress. With the burden of juggling home-schooling and home offices, you might argue that COVID has set back women’s progress by 50 years. Little surprise, then, to learn that according to the Rand Corporation, American women’s drinking days have increased 41 per cent in the past year. This is alarming. While men and women are democratically equal, women metabolize alcohol much more poorly: they become addicted much faster; 15 per cent of breast cancer cases are related to alcohol consumption. Meanwhile, it is well documented that while men are happier than they were in the 1970s, women are far unhappier. Ann Dowsett Johnston, once a vice-principal of McGill University and a mother of a teenaged son, knows all too well why she used alcohol to self-medicate her own depression, workplace burnout and stress. Hear her address the current crisis for high-functioning women, the revolutionary women-led recovery movement and her solutions for the years ahead.

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