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Strategies for Changing Drinking Habits
Alcohol and Health

Strategies for Changing Drinking Habits and Developing a Healthier Relationship with Alcohol

July 3, 2024
8 min read
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A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
July 3, 2024
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
July 3, 2024
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
July 3, 2024
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Reframe Content Team
July 3, 2024
8 min read

Changing your drinking habits and developing a healthier relationship with alcohol is a journey that requires intention, effort, and a set of effective strategies. For many, alcohol is a significant part of their social lives and coping mechanisms. However, the long-term health risks and potential for dependency make it crucial to reassess and modify these habits. This article will provide strategies to help you change your drinking habits and build a healthier relationship with alcohol.

Understand Your Motivation

Strategies for Changing Drinking Habits

The first step in changing your drinking habits is understanding why you want to make a change. Are you looking to improve your health, enhance your relationships, or increase your overall well-being? Identifying your motivations can help sustain your efforts over the long term. According to the article "6 Ways To Drink Less or Quit Alcohol", understanding the reasons behind your desire to change is essential for maintaining motivation.

Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic and achievable goals is crucial for success. Instead of aiming to quit alcohol entirely right away, consider gradually reducing your intake. For example, if you currently drink two glasses of wine every night, try cutting back to one glass or replacing a few nights with non-alcoholic beverages. The article "The Role of Habits in Drinking Less or Quitting Alcohol" emphasizes the importance of starting with small, manageable changes that can add up over time.

Identify Triggers

Understanding what triggers your desire to drink can help you develop strategies to avoid or cope with these situations. Common triggers include social settings, stress, boredom, or specific times of day. Once you identify your triggers, you can create a plan to manage them. For example, if you tend to drink when you're stressed, consider alternative stress-relief activities like exercise, meditation, or talking to a friend.

Develop Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Many people use alcohol as a way to cope with negative emotions or stress. Finding healthier alternatives can reduce your reliance on alcohol. Activities such as exercise, yoga, meditation, or engaging in hobbies can provide a positive outlet for stress and emotions. The article "How To Create a Relapse Prevention Plan That Works" discusses the importance of having a well-crafted prevention plan that includes healthy coping mechanisms.

Limit Time in High-Risk Environments

Spending time in environments where heavy drinking is common can make it challenging to change your habits. If possible, limit your time in bars or at parties where alcohol is prevalent. Instead, suggest alternative social activities that don't revolve around drinking, such as going for a hike, visiting a museum, or having a coffee date.

Avoid Drinking Alone

Drinking alone can be a sign of problematic drinking habits and can increase the risk of developing an alcohol dependency. Make a conscious effort to avoid drinking when you're by yourself. Instead, plan social activities that don't involve alcohol or find other ways to relax and unwind.

Track Your Progress

Keeping track of your drinking habits can help you stay accountable and see the changes you're making. Use a journal or an app to log your daily alcohol consumption. This can provide valuable insights into your drinking patterns and help you set and achieve your goals. The Reframe App, for instance, offers a tracking system to help you monitor your intake and make informed decisions.

Replace Alcohol with Non-Alcoholic Alternatives

When you're in social settings or situations where you would typically drink, consider opting for non-alcoholic alternatives. There are many delicious mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages available that can provide the same social experience without the negative effects of alcohol. This strategy can help you feel included in social events without compromising your goals.

Seek Support

Changing your drinking habits can be challenging, and having a support system can make a significant difference. Talk to friends and family about your goals and ask for their support. You might also consider joining a support group or seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in addiction and recovery.

Celebrate Your Successes

Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Every step you take towards reducing your alcohol intake and developing healthier habits is a victory. Celebrating your successes can boost your motivation and help you stay committed to your goals.


Changing your drinking habits and developing a healthier relationship with alcohol is a journey that requires time, effort, and support. By understanding your motivations, setting realistic goals, identifying triggers, developing healthy coping mechanisms, and seeking support, you can make meaningful changes that enhance your overall well-being. Remember, it's essential to be patient with yourself and recognize that progress may be gradual. With persistence and the right strategies, you can achieve a healthier and more balanced relationship with alcohol.

Master Your Triggers

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet hundreds of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol. 

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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