Meet Liz, the driving force behind Sunrise Psychology, a positive psychology business with a unique focus. As an ex-teacher, Liz is passionate about improving the well-being and self-esteem of teens & educators, as well as those struggling with negative habits. She specialises in addressing alcohol issues and other dependencies that don’t fit the typical profile.

Liz’s programmes enable people to access alternative tools and their own inner resources to cope and flourish. The Women’s Organisation have assisted Liz with developing a business plan, and growing the skills to reach more people. Here’s Liz’s journey from educator to business owner:

What led you to set up Sunrise Psychology?

I was teaching for nearly 30 years, and I had seen the deterioration in mental health of students and the NHS struggling to provide the help they needed. I also felt frustrated with the education system, seeing too many good teachers suffering from stress-related issues.

Then there were my own alcohol issues that I had developed to cope with stress. It was during a ‘low’ time in my life that I discovered Soberistas, a worldwide community of support with sobriety.

From there I started to research the neuroscience behind addiction. I put together a podcast called RISE, (you can find this on Apple and Spotify) and I collaborated with another Soberista who had retrained as a therapist.

I began to specialise in working with people struggling with ‘grey area’ drinking – those who don’t present as an alcoholic but still have a significant dependency. It’s not just alcohol, it can be any substance that negatively impacts a person’s life.

What challenges have you faced and how have you worked around them? 

Leaving the security of a permanent job was a huge leap of faith for me and this was only possible because I had nurtured a deep belief in myself and what I was doing.

Fear of the unknown was my biggest challenge, but the creative freedom the business gave me and the wonderful people I have collaborated with have been truly amazing.

I was a busy mum of 2 so developing and maintaining a healthy work-life balance was difficult.


How did The Women’s Organisation help you?  

The Women’s Organisation, along with business advisor and facilitator Paul Rittenberg (pictured) provided a safe space for me to nurture my business idea and develop a business plan. There was no judgement and I was always able to ask for help.

(For help developing your business plan click here.)

The training courses were great too. The support from the Women’s Organisation has not only been fully-funded, it has been second-to-none. They encouraged me to take my business seriously.


What advice would you give to someone who want’s to start a business? 

  • Just do it! Believe in yourself.
  • You might not necessarily bear fruit straightaway, so be patient.
  • Have a Plan B but know that your ‘why’ is strong enough.
  • Find a tribe of like-minded people.
  • Be eager to learn and teach yourself.
  • Don’t ask for permission, just take action.
  • Focus on progress, not perfection.

Knowing your ‘mission’ is the key. Mine is to reach as many people as I can. The one thing I’ve discovered in developing my new business is that it is an ongoing, infinite game. There is no destination, just evolution.

What does Sunrise Psychology offer currently? 

One of our programmes is Rise Resilience, a 10-week course for teenagers and students at City of Liverpool College and various schools. This also caters for ESOL and asylum seekers.

In addition, I offer an ongoing support package for teachers, which involves one-to-one positive psychology coaching support that runs throughout the academic year.

I also run various workshops and master classes for sixth-formers and folks in the corporate and business world, and I can offer one-to-one support on an ad hoc basis.

What’s next for Sunrise Psychology? 

My business will continue to grow the more open and humble I am about it. I’ve stopped playing small and putting a ceiling on things. Instead, I keep looking to break through and, as I do so, I look for the sky to open up so I can reach for the stars. And you can too.

You can reach Liz on the below platforms:

Instagram: @sunrisesobriety
Facebook:  Liz Folan
LinkedIn: Liz Folan MSc Positive Psych

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