The original goal of Dry January may have been to simply break away from holiday overindulgence. However, even one month without alcohol can have significant benefits for both physical and psychological health. In one study of 800 participants, those who completed Dry January reported improved sleep, energy levels, weight loss, and overall well-being. Additionally, 67 percent experienced improved concentration and increased productivity at work. Some even continued their abstinence after the initial month was over.

If you are considering a Dry January challenge, know that you are not alone and the potential benefits are worth it. Take on the challenge and discover how much better your body and mind can feel without alcohol in your life. Are you ready to give it a try?

Change up your relationship with alcohol

One of the benefits of going dry for the month is that it can lead to lasting changes in your drinking habits. A study from the University of Sussex found that 80 percent of those who took part in Dry January reduced their drinking in the following months, with an average decrease of three units per week.

Save on sleep and money

Dry January can save money and even improve sleep quality and productivity. So, whether you are trying to cut out alcohol or just experimenting with moderation, it's worth considering taking a break from alcohol this January - and beyond.

Boost your immune system

Drinking slows down the immune system, depletes calcium from the bones and adds on the pounds. Alcohol tricks the body into thinking it must go into starvation mode so it can be taxing on the immune system.

How to do Dry January right

  1. Set a goal. Whether it’s going alcohol-free for a week, two weeks, or a month, setting a goal will help you stay on track.
  2. Tell your friends and family about your decision. Having the support of loved ones can make all the difference.
  3. Find an alternative activity to replace drinking. Whether it’s exploring new hobbies or spending more time with family and friends, finding something to fill the void left by alcohol will help make the transition easier.
  4. Avoid triggers. If there are certain places or situations that trigger your urge to drink, do your best to avoid them.
  5. Stay busy. If you find yourself with time on your hands, use it to your advantage by staying active and keeping yourself occupied. Doing so will help reduce stress and boredom, two common triggers for drinking.
  6. Be prepared for setbacks. There will be times when you slip up and have a drink. Don’t beat yourself up over it; just get back on track as soon as possible and keep moving forward.

How to make Dry January goals

Trying to cut back on alcohol or quit drinking entirely can be a difficult resolution to stick to. There are a few things you can do to make it easier. First, make a plan and set milestones. Breaking your goal down into smaller, more manageable pieces will make it feel less daunting and more achievable. Write your goals down somewhere visible as a reminder of your intentions.

Secondly, don't try to take the big leap all at once. Start by making small changes, like reducing the number of drinks you have per week, starting before the holiday season. Gradually decreasing your alcohol consumption will help you form new, healthier habits.

Finally, remember that slips are normal. If you have a slip-up, don't beat yourself up about it. Just get back on track and continue working toward your goal.

Try meeting friends for coffee instead of drinks. Bring a seltzer-based mocktail instead of a bottle of wine to a party. If you feel too much temptation, call the night early and head home to watch your favorite show. You could even have a late-night workout.

Try new activities. Join a new exercise class or find a new beat to dance to. Anything that releases endorphins will beat boredom, make drinking less appealing and give you more restful sleep.  

Kick off 2023 by changing your relationship with alcohol with Reframe.

Reframe offers a personalized approach to reset your relationship with alcohol. The app starts by asking you about your drinking goals and then provides the support you need to make lasting change.