Kelly Ripa hasn't had an alcoholic beverage in three years, but she wasn't actually trying to get sober when she quit drinking. Right around the time Ryan Seacrest joined Live as her co-host, she and some friends made a pact to stop drinking for a month. "It felt great, I felt like I looked great, I felt like I didn’t feel hungover," Ripa, 49, tells People. "It wasn’t even really a thought process. ... I just never went back to it," she says. "I just didn’t really feel the need or desire to go back to it. It wasn’t really a choice or a thought, it was just, ‘Yeah, I guess I don’t drink anymore.'" She adds that Seacrest likes to joke with her that he was the one who caused her to quit, since the timing coincided.
She notes that when she quit smoking 25 years ago, there was a lot of thought involved: "I was like: ‘Smoking leads to cancer and it will kill you.’ It was a thing I had to tell myself. And I was like, ‘It gives you wrinkles.’ And that was the thing that was really terrifying. But you don’t want to die early, needlessly, over cigarettes. Over something you don’t even like that much anyway." Yet no one questioned her decision to quit smoking, whereas everyone wants to know why she quit drinking, she says. "But drinking was very easy, I didn’t really think about it at all. ... For me it was just like, I don’t do that anymore. I felt better so I just stopped." (Ripa recently went on the defensive after saying her son lived in "extreme poverty.")