"Not drinking has been the best thing I've ever done for myself," Simpson shared at the Footwear News Achievement Awards Nov. 29, "because I have so much clarity."
"I like to be present when I'm in conversation with people," continued the 43-year-old, who took home the Icon Award. "I like to absorb what other people are thinking and I like to listen. That kind of blocked me from feeling my life. I'm feeling it now, and I love it!"
Being sober has also led to positive changes in her body.
"It's also good to keep the extra pounds off, I will say," the former MTV star said. "Especially during the holidays."
As the "I Wanna Love You Forever" artist put it, "Being too hard on yourself will cause setbacks in anything you do and in any goal you have. Just love yourself through it, give yourself some compassion. It takes time to get to a place where you feel really confident."
She added, "Once you do, you'll be happy you got there."
—Reporting by Tijana Jokanovic
Keep reading for more inspiring stories from stars who got candid about their sobriety journeys.