Quench Your Sober Curious Thirsts

Sober curious? Going sober (whether temporarily or permanently) or switching to low-ABV cocktails is a trend that has been picking up steam in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The health and wellness industry is growing at a noticeable rate, and with that, so is the rise in the number of those who consider themselves sober curious. We all know both the short-term (hello, hangovers) and long-term (sleeplessness, high blood pressure, mental health issues) effects of drinking alcohol, and the sober curious movement allows people to be more mindful of their alcohol consumption and how it affects their overall health.

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One of the great things about this movement is that you don’t have to necessarily make any permanent changes. Dry January, for example, encourages participants to go alcohol-free for the month of January. Others might try it for a limited period of time, cut back on their drinking going forward, or even remove alcohol from their lifestyle entirely. There’s no right or wrong way to satisfy your curiosity.

We spoke to some experts in the field to challenge myths about sobriety, explore the unexpected benefits of going sober, and more.

Health Benefits

Veronica Valli, author of “Soberful,” regales us with a plethora of benefits of abstaining from alcohol, from lowering your cancer risk to increasing your mood, to reducing unnecessary calorie intake. However, “I think the most noticeable change is in mood,” she explains. “Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, so even small amounts will deplete our serotonin. Without alcohol in our system, we notice an increase in energy, more feelings of positivity, and better sleep.”

And don’t forget about perks like clearer skin and, of course, zero hangovers, adds Hilary Sheinbaum, author of “The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month.” She notes, “one of the most unexpected, surprising benefits I gained was better sleep…which was a major mood booster and increased my productivity and energy levels.”

Misconceptions Around Going Dry

“The belief that sobriety is boring is one of the things that keeps people drinking longer than is good for them,” explains Veronica. “Many people find when they give sobriety a proper chance, a completely new and unexpected world opens up to them.” Plus, think of all the extra time you’ll have on your hands when you aren’t moving slowly due to a hangover.

Tricks of the Trade

If you’ve never gone sober for a period of time before, it can be hard to know where to start. Hilary suggests recruiting a friend to participate with you. “Not only will you have a support system to cheer you on, but you’ll do the same for them and keep each other accountable. And, you’ll also have someone to plan non-boozy activities with,” she says.

Another trick she recommends is to hide away your bottles rather than leaving them out in plain sight. You know what they say—out of sight, out of mind!

The Bottom Line

There’s no downside to experimenting with going sober. “Doing a dry month can potentially change your relationship with alcohol and your perspective around drinking as well,” Hilary tells us. “If you do ponder your drinking,” adds Veronica, “having a dry period will help give you some clarity and perspective on how and when you use alcohol.”

Many social activities are centered around alcohol and abstaining from it for a period of time can highlight other activities you’d rather pursue. “Some people who embark on a dry month choose to extend their abstinence because they enjoy their newfound energy, financial savings, additional free time, health benefits, and more!” explains Hilary.

In fact, for it to be really beneficial, Veronica encourages you give it a year. “Alcohol will always be here. In that time, live life to the fullest–go on vacation sober and do birthdays and holidays sober.” There’s no time like the present, and there’s nothing to lose!

Valerie Recommends:

Seedlip Trio $89, SeedlipDrinks.com

Hilary Recommends:

Starla The Collection $84, StarlaWines.com

Free Spirits Company The Trifecta $79.99, DrinkFreeSpirits.com

Three Spirit The Starter Pack $59, US.ThreeSpiritDrinks.com

BELLA Recommends:

Surely Sparkling Rosé $24.99, HiSurely.com

Curious Elixirs Variety Pack $33+, CuriousElixirs.com

Grüvi Dry January Sampler Pack $29, GetGruvi.com

Betty Buzz Ginger Beer $29.99, BettyBuzz.com

Go More In-Depth…

“The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month” by Hilary Sheinbaum $15.99, HarperCollins.com

“Soberful: Uncover a Sustainable, Fulfilling Life Free of Alcohol”by Veronica Valli $21.49, BarnesandNoble.com


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