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Latest Articles
2024-01-19 9:00
Drinking Less
How To Stop Throwing Up After Drinking
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Discover the secrets to avoiding hangover nausea with our guide. Learn about responsible drinking, hydration, dietary tips, and recovery methods.

14 min read

Take Control of Your Drinking With Reframe

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 millions 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!

Read Full Article  →

Waking up after a fun night out with friends can sometimes mean facing a not-so-fun morning. You remember the laughs, the music, and the dancing, but now you're dealing with a churning stomach and feeling sick. It's an experience many of us are familiar with.

Today we're explaining why drinking alcohol can make you feel sick and what you can do about it. We'll also discuss how to drink responsibly, reduce the aftereffects of a night out, and take care of yourself the next day.

Why Does Alcohol Make You Throw Up?

Ever wonder why drinking too much can lead to feeling nauseated the next day? It's more than just an annoying side effect; it's your body's complex reaction to alcohol. The way alcohol irritates your stomach lining and affects your brain and balance is key to understanding this reaction.

Drinking alcohol inflames your stomach lining and increases acid, causing discomfort. As your liver breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, a toxic compound, it can make you feel queasy. This effect is made worse by how alcohol affects your brain, especially the part that controls vomiting, making you feel even sicker. 

Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic, so you lose more fluids and can become dehydrated and/or suffer an imbalance of electrolytes, adding to the feeling of nausea. Drinking in moderation helps us avoid these unpleasant effects.

Does Throwing Up Cure Your Hangover? 

Vomiting after drinking too much can sometimes remove alcohol that hasn't yet been absorbed, possibly reducing the load on your body to process it. This could lessen the severity of alcohol poisoning and its symptoms, including harsh hangovers.

By getting rid of alcohol, vomiting might lower the amount of acetaldehyde (a harmful compound produced when alcohol is metabolized) in your body, easing many hangover symptoms.

Risks of Throwing Up After Drinking

One immediate concern after vomiting is dehydration and loss of vital electrolytes, which can cause weakness, dizziness, and, in serious cases, affect crucial body functions. There's also the danger of accidentally inhaling vomit, which can lead to choking or lung infections

Frequent vomiting can harm your esophagus and teeth due to stomach acid. Plus, if vomiting is due to heavy drinking, there's a significant risk of alcohol poisoning, a serious condition needing urgent care. On a mental level, often vomiting after drinking may signal an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, leading to increased anxiety and health worries.

How To Cure Hangover Nausea

Waking up with a hangover can be a rough start to your day. Luckily, there are some simple and effective ways to feel better and kickstart your recovery.

  • Hydration. Alcohol is dehydrating, and dehydration often worsens hangover symptoms. The best way to fight this is by drinking plenty of water. Sports drinks and oral rehydration solutions are also good options as they replace fluids and electrolytes you might have lost. Take it slow, allowing your body to rebalance itself gradually.
  • The “BRAT” diet. When it comes to food during a hangover, the BRAT diet — bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast — is your friend. These foods are gentle on your stomach and easy to digest. Bananas are great for replenishing potassium, while toast (or crackers) can soak up stomach acid. Rice and applesauce provide a mild energy boost without overworking your digestive system.
  • Over-the-counter remedies. Antacids can provide relief by neutralizing stomach acid. Antiemetics can also control nausea. Be careful with these medications, especially if alcohol is still in your system, and consider any interactions. It's always wise to talk to a healthcare provider before taking any medication, especially if you have other health conditions or are on different medications.
  • Rest and relaxation. Your body needs time to process and eliminate the alcohol, so getting enough rest is key to recovering from a hangover. Find a comfortable, quiet place to rest. Avoid bright lights and loud noises. Extra sleep is ideal, but if you can't sleep, just lying down and relaxing can be helpful. Remember, your body heals better when you're well-rested, so make sure to give yourself time to recover.

Preventing Future Discomfort: How To Stop Throwing Up After Drinking

To avoid the unpleasantness of hangover nausea, it's best to prevent it before it starts. Smart drinking habits, staying hydrated, and eating wisely can let you enjoy your time out without the nasty next-day consequences. Here’s how to drink smart and avoid discomfort later.

  • Moderate drinking. Knowing and sticking to safe alcohol limits — no more than 4-5 drinks in a two-hour period — is key to avoiding nausea. It's not just about how much you drink but also how quickly you drink it. Spread out your drinks and set a personal limit to reduce the chances of feeling sick. Remember, "moderation" varies for each person, depending on things like body size, age, and gender.
  • Hydrate. Begin hydrating before you start drinking and keep it up throughout the night. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water, and drink plenty of water before going to sleep. This helps keep you hydrated, dilutes the alcohol in your blood, and lessens the severity of hangovers.
  • Eat before drinking. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. A good meal with proteins, fats, and carbs before you start drinking can slow alcohol's absorption into your blood. This not only protects your stomach lining but also helps prevent getting too drunk too quickly, which can lead to nausea.
  • Choose drinks wisely. Different alcoholic drinks have different physical effects. High-alcohol drinks or mixing different types of alcohol can increase the chance of feeling sick. It’s better to choose drinks with lower alcohol content and consider mixing in some non-alcoholic beverages. Also, be wary of drinks with a lot of sugar or ingredients you're not used to as these can also upset your stomach and make hangover symptoms worse.

Beyond the Bottle: Building Healthier Habits

Our relationship with alcohol doesn't exist in isolation; it's intertwined with our overall lifestyle. From nurturing your mental health to embracing balanced nutrition and regular exercise, let’s explore how to create a life that balances alcohol consumption with mental well-being, healthy eating, and staying active. This holistic approach can help you make smarter choices and lead a more fulfilling life.

  1. Morning hydration ritual. Hydration is key. Begin each day with a glass of water to get a head start on staying hydrated. Keep a water bottle handy throughout the day to remind yourself to drink water regularly. Morning hydration helps keep your body balanced, boosts metabolism, and supports overall health.
  2. Balance your beverage choices. When you're out socializing, try alternating alcoholic drinks with water. Mindful drinking isn’t just good for pacing your drinking — it also helps prevent dehydration, a major factor in hangovers. It's a smart, simple way to enjoy yourself without going overboard.
  3. Make nutritionally conscious choices. Your diet affects how your body processes alcohol. Aim for foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Eating well, especially before drinking, can slow alcohol absorption and lessen its effects.
  4. Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It doesn't matter if it's a quick walk, a yoga class, or a session at the gym — regular exercise helps your body handle alcohol better, boosts your immune system, and lifts your mood.
  5. Get quality sleep. Try to get 7-9 hours of good sleep each night. Good sleep is crucial for your body's recovery and repair. Exercise reduces stress, improves brain function, and boosts overall health. Create a peaceful sleep environment and a calming bedtime routine to help you sleep better.
  6. Take a tech timeout. Set aside screen-free time each day. This "tech timeout" can lessen stress, sharpen your focus, and increase mindfulness. Use this time for relaxing activities like reading, meditating, or enjoying nature.

Embracing a Balanced Approach to Drinking

Improving your health and well-being is a step-by-step process, and every little change helps. By learning how alcohol affects your body and choosing healthier habits, you can turn your social gatherings into fun, memorable experiences without regrets. Here's to making healthier choices and enjoying the brighter mornings that follow.

If you want to cut back on your alcohol consumption but don’t know where to start, consider trying Reframe. We’re a neuroscience-backed app that has helped millions of people reduce their alcohol consumption and develop healthier lifestyle habits.

Waking up after a fun night out with friends can sometimes mean facing a not-so-fun morning. You remember the laughs, the music, and the dancing, but now you're dealing with a churning stomach and feeling sick. It's an experience many of us are familiar with.

Today we're explaining why drinking alcohol can make you feel sick and what you can do about it. We'll also discuss how to drink responsibly, reduce the aftereffects of a night out, and take care of yourself the next day.

Why Does Alcohol Make You Throw Up?

Ever wonder why drinking too much can lead to feeling nauseated the next day? It's more than just an annoying side effect; it's your body's complex reaction to alcohol. The way alcohol irritates your stomach lining and affects your brain and balance is key to understanding this reaction.

Drinking alcohol inflames your stomach lining and increases acid, causing discomfort. As your liver breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, a toxic compound, it can make you feel queasy. This effect is made worse by how alcohol affects your brain, especially the part that controls vomiting, making you feel even sicker. 

Additionally, alcohol is a diuretic, so you lose more fluids and can become dehydrated and/or suffer an imbalance of electrolytes, adding to the feeling of nausea. Drinking in moderation helps us avoid these unpleasant effects.

Does Throwing Up Cure Your Hangover? 

Vomiting after drinking too much can sometimes remove alcohol that hasn't yet been absorbed, possibly reducing the load on your body to process it. This could lessen the severity of alcohol poisoning and its symptoms, including harsh hangovers.

By getting rid of alcohol, vomiting might lower the amount of acetaldehyde (a harmful compound produced when alcohol is metabolized) in your body, easing many hangover symptoms.

Risks of Throwing Up After Drinking

One immediate concern after vomiting is dehydration and loss of vital electrolytes, which can cause weakness, dizziness, and, in serious cases, affect crucial body functions. There's also the danger of accidentally inhaling vomit, which can lead to choking or lung infections

Frequent vomiting can harm your esophagus and teeth due to stomach acid. Plus, if vomiting is due to heavy drinking, there's a significant risk of alcohol poisoning, a serious condition needing urgent care. On a mental level, often vomiting after drinking may signal an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, leading to increased anxiety and health worries.

How To Cure Hangover Nausea

Waking up with a hangover can be a rough start to your day. Luckily, there are some simple and effective ways to feel better and kickstart your recovery.

  • Hydration. Alcohol is dehydrating, and dehydration often worsens hangover symptoms. The best way to fight this is by drinking plenty of water. Sports drinks and oral rehydration solutions are also good options as they replace fluids and electrolytes you might have lost. Take it slow, allowing your body to rebalance itself gradually.
  • The “BRAT” diet. When it comes to food during a hangover, the BRAT diet — bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast — is your friend. These foods are gentle on your stomach and easy to digest. Bananas are great for replenishing potassium, while toast (or crackers) can soak up stomach acid. Rice and applesauce provide a mild energy boost without overworking your digestive system.
  • Over-the-counter remedies. Antacids can provide relief by neutralizing stomach acid. Antiemetics can also control nausea. Be careful with these medications, especially if alcohol is still in your system, and consider any interactions. It's always wise to talk to a healthcare provider before taking any medication, especially if you have other health conditions or are on different medications.
  • Rest and relaxation. Your body needs time to process and eliminate the alcohol, so getting enough rest is key to recovering from a hangover. Find a comfortable, quiet place to rest. Avoid bright lights and loud noises. Extra sleep is ideal, but if you can't sleep, just lying down and relaxing can be helpful. Remember, your body heals better when you're well-rested, so make sure to give yourself time to recover.

Preventing Future Discomfort: How To Stop Throwing Up After Drinking

To avoid the unpleasantness of hangover nausea, it's best to prevent it before it starts. Smart drinking habits, staying hydrated, and eating wisely can let you enjoy your time out without the nasty next-day consequences. Here’s how to drink smart and avoid discomfort later.

  • Moderate drinking. Knowing and sticking to safe alcohol limits — no more than 4-5 drinks in a two-hour period — is key to avoiding nausea. It's not just about how much you drink but also how quickly you drink it. Spread out your drinks and set a personal limit to reduce the chances of feeling sick. Remember, "moderation" varies for each person, depending on things like body size, age, and gender.
  • Hydrate. Begin hydrating before you start drinking and keep it up throughout the night. Alternate alcoholic drinks with water, and drink plenty of water before going to sleep. This helps keep you hydrated, dilutes the alcohol in your blood, and lessens the severity of hangovers.
  • Eat before drinking. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach. A good meal with proteins, fats, and carbs before you start drinking can slow alcohol's absorption into your blood. This not only protects your stomach lining but also helps prevent getting too drunk too quickly, which can lead to nausea.
  • Choose drinks wisely. Different alcoholic drinks have different physical effects. High-alcohol drinks or mixing different types of alcohol can increase the chance of feeling sick. It’s better to choose drinks with lower alcohol content and consider mixing in some non-alcoholic beverages. Also, be wary of drinks with a lot of sugar or ingredients you're not used to as these can also upset your stomach and make hangover symptoms worse.

Beyond the Bottle: Building Healthier Habits

Our relationship with alcohol doesn't exist in isolation; it's intertwined with our overall lifestyle. From nurturing your mental health to embracing balanced nutrition and regular exercise, let’s explore how to create a life that balances alcohol consumption with mental well-being, healthy eating, and staying active. This holistic approach can help you make smarter choices and lead a more fulfilling life.

  1. Morning hydration ritual. Hydration is key. Begin each day with a glass of water to get a head start on staying hydrated. Keep a water bottle handy throughout the day to remind yourself to drink water regularly. Morning hydration helps keep your body balanced, boosts metabolism, and supports overall health.
  2. Balance your beverage choices. When you're out socializing, try alternating alcoholic drinks with water. Mindful drinking isn’t just good for pacing your drinking — it also helps prevent dehydration, a major factor in hangovers. It's a smart, simple way to enjoy yourself without going overboard.
  3. Make nutritionally conscious choices. Your diet affects how your body processes alcohol. Aim for foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Eating well, especially before drinking, can slow alcohol absorption and lessen its effects.
  4. Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. It doesn't matter if it's a quick walk, a yoga class, or a session at the gym — regular exercise helps your body handle alcohol better, boosts your immune system, and lifts your mood.
  5. Get quality sleep. Try to get 7-9 hours of good sleep each night. Good sleep is crucial for your body's recovery and repair. Exercise reduces stress, improves brain function, and boosts overall health. Create a peaceful sleep environment and a calming bedtime routine to help you sleep better.
  6. Take a tech timeout. Set aside screen-free time each day. This "tech timeout" can lessen stress, sharpen your focus, and increase mindfulness. Use this time for relaxing activities like reading, meditating, or enjoying nature.

Embracing a Balanced Approach to Drinking

Improving your health and well-being is a step-by-step process, and every little change helps. By learning how alcohol affects your body and choosing healthier habits, you can turn your social gatherings into fun, memorable experiences without regrets. Here's to making healthier choices and enjoying the brighter mornings that follow.

If you want to cut back on your alcohol consumption but don’t know where to start, consider trying Reframe. We’re a neuroscience-backed app that has helped millions of people reduce their alcohol consumption and develop healthier lifestyle habits.

Drinking Less
2024-01-12 9:00
Drinking Less
The Difference Between an Addiction and a Habit
This is some text inside of a div block.

Unveiling the subtle nuances between habits and addictions to empower better recognition and management of behavioral patterns.

13 min read

Know What You’re Dealing With and Get Help

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 millions 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!

Read Full Article  →

Understanding what differentiates habit and addiction is crucial for self-awareness and effective behavioral management. In general, habits aren’t dangerous or life-threatening. However, they can become destructive, leading to an addiction. Recognizing when a habit transforms into an addiction is critical to building healthy lifestyle changes.

In this blog, we explore the subtle differences between these two behaviors, so you can recognize how these behaviors manifest and impact our lives.

Habit vs. Addiction: What Are the Differences?

A habit is something you do regularly and subconsciously, like washing your hands after using the bathroom, brushing your teeth after taking a shower, or having a glass of wine right after dinner. An addiction, on the other hand, is a state of physical or psychological dependence on a substance like alcohol or drugs. Let’s look at their differences in detail.

Level of Control

You have an easier chance of controlling a habit than an addiction. You can stop a bad habit by replacing it with a good one, meaning you have some level of self-control, but an addiction controls you. An alcohol addiction, for example, affects your self-control by reducing your ability to regulate drinking. You might be aware of your error and know its harmful effects, but the addiction is going to make you less concerned about it.  

Consequences

Habits don’t affect your life as seriously as addictions, and you can continue to enjoy relatively good health, relationships, and careers.

Alcohol addictions can cause severe consequences for your health, career, and relationships, including:

  • Health risks. Fatty liver, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy, stroke, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal tract damage, wet brain, alcohol-related brain impairment (ARBI), and more.
  • Psychological/mental health issues. Insomnia, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, low motivation, and withdrawal from friends and family
  • Marital issues. Conflict, infidelity, unplanned pregnancy, domestic violence, financial instability, and divorce.
  • Effects on children of addicts. Depression, loneliness, anxiety, guilt, anger, and lack of trust.
  • Financial. Debt and homelessness
  • Social. Drunk driving, crime, and sexually transmitted infections
  • Career/professional. Absenteeism, accidents at work, poor concentration and coordination, and job loss

Frequency and Urgency

For an alcohol addict, drinking becomes their priority over family, friends, and responsibilities. Drinking episodes happen several times a day because of the intense craving. On the other hand, habits are not typically motivated by a strong sense of urgency, and they occur as part of a routine rather than several times per day.

Neurological Effects

Alcohol addiction damages neurons and alters communication pathways in the brain, changing the way your brain looks and works. Alcohol addiction also affects the frontal lobes, hippocampus, cerebellum, medulla, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland, resulting in problems with decision-making, attention, memory, judgment, balance, movement, and other functions.

Habits, on the other hand, might alter neural pathways in the brain, but not as severely as addiction.

Dependency and Withdrawal Symptoms

An addiction to alcohol causes intense cravings, which give you a strong and uncontrollable desire to drink to the point where you’ll need alcohol to function. The dependency will make you continue drinking even though you’re facing severe health issues like liver cirrhosis. When you try to stop drinking, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms like agitation, hypertension, visual hallucinations, and hypothermia.

Habits don’t cause intense cravings, dependency, or withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment

You can change a habit independently with minimal effort and in less time using strategies like recognizing cues and building new habits.

Treating addiction requires intervention from medical professionals in the form of detoxification programs, medication-assisted therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, and more.

How To Know if It Is an Addiction or a Habit

Addictions and habits sit on opposite sides of the dependency scale, but habits can become addictions, making it hard to tell when you’ve crossed over. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you have an addiction or a habit.

  • Are you obsessed with the behavior? Thinking about it all the time, planning for it, and frequently engaging in it?
  • Do you repeatedly engage in the behavior even though it’s negatively affecting your health, school, work, or relationships?
  • Do you get anxious or feel like you can’t function if you can’t engage in the behavior? 
  • Have you tried and failed to reduce or stop the behavior?
  • Do you experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking for a specific period?
  • Do you put yourself in dangerous situations regularly, such as fighting?
  • Do you try to conceal your behavior from family, friends, or coworkers?
  • Do you find it difficult to admit that your behavior is causing you problems in your life?

If your answer to one or more of these questions is “yes,” you may have an addiction.

How To Overcome Addiction

Here are a few strategies to cope with and overcome habits and addictions.

Remove Triggers

Observe what triggers your bad habit or addiction, and avoid or walk away from the situation. Some common environmental triggers include:

  • Social events with alcohol
  • Visiting bars
  • Spending time with people who are drinking
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Stressful situations

It’s difficult to avoid some triggers, but you can try to distract yourself with activities like taking long walks, listening to uplifting podcasts or music, or reading a book.

Avoid Isolation

Alcoholics isolate to avoid conflict and judgment. They withdraw physically and emotionally from family and friends. Sadly, isolation worsens addictions and bad habits because there’s no element of accountability; you can do what you want when you want. Avoiding isolation is a crucial part of overcoming addiction and prevents you from relapsing while in recovery. Get involved in helpful social activities, like a biking group or a cooking class. Reach out to friends you haven’t contacted in a long time and start rekindling the relationships through regular, low-intensity contact.

Spend Time With Positive People

Avoid the people who passively or actively contributed to your bad habits and addiction. They could be drinking buddies or people who allow you to drink excessively around them, or even family members. Create a network of supportive people who will positively influence your recovery. Let your friends and family know you’re quitting and ask for their support.

Seek Professional Help

Contact your primary physician for advice about the best addiction treatments and withdrawal risks. Alternatively, call a rehabilitation center or therapist to discuss your treatment options. Depending on the length and effects of your addiction, you may need in-patient rehab, outpatient rehab, medication, detoxification, or therapy.

Celebrate Your Wins

Celebrating wins gives you strength and motivation to keep going. Decide on what rewards you get when you reach specific alcohol-free milestones. You might reward yourself with a new wardrobe piece or an exotic vacation after a certain length of abstinence.

Keep Going

The journey won’t be easy, and you might succumb to temptation occasionally, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Many people struggling with addiction overcome it after several attempts, and if you’re persistent, you’ll be one of them. Alcoholism recovery statistics show that 36% of people battling alcoholism recover after one year; it’s possible for us, too.

Addiction or Habit: Get the Help You Need

The first step to getting help with a bad habit or addiction is knowing what you’re dealing with and acknowledging it. Understanding the characteristics and differences between habit and addiction helps you identify when you need help and follow the steps necessary to overcome them.

Understanding what differentiates habit and addiction is crucial for self-awareness and effective behavioral management. In general, habits aren’t dangerous or life-threatening. However, they can become destructive, leading to an addiction. Recognizing when a habit transforms into an addiction is critical to building healthy lifestyle changes.

In this blog, we explore the subtle differences between these two behaviors, so you can recognize how these behaviors manifest and impact our lives.

Habit vs. Addiction: What Are the Differences?

A habit is something you do regularly and subconsciously, like washing your hands after using the bathroom, brushing your teeth after taking a shower, or having a glass of wine right after dinner. An addiction, on the other hand, is a state of physical or psychological dependence on a substance like alcohol or drugs. Let’s look at their differences in detail.

Level of Control

You have an easier chance of controlling a habit than an addiction. You can stop a bad habit by replacing it with a good one, meaning you have some level of self-control, but an addiction controls you. An alcohol addiction, for example, affects your self-control by reducing your ability to regulate drinking. You might be aware of your error and know its harmful effects, but the addiction is going to make you less concerned about it.  

Consequences

Habits don’t affect your life as seriously as addictions, and you can continue to enjoy relatively good health, relationships, and careers.

Alcohol addictions can cause severe consequences for your health, career, and relationships, including:

  • Health risks. Fatty liver, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy, stroke, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal tract damage, wet brain, alcohol-related brain impairment (ARBI), and more.
  • Psychological/mental health issues. Insomnia, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, low motivation, and withdrawal from friends and family
  • Marital issues. Conflict, infidelity, unplanned pregnancy, domestic violence, financial instability, and divorce.
  • Effects on children of addicts. Depression, loneliness, anxiety, guilt, anger, and lack of trust.
  • Financial. Debt and homelessness
  • Social. Drunk driving, crime, and sexually transmitted infections
  • Career/professional. Absenteeism, accidents at work, poor concentration and coordination, and job loss

Frequency and Urgency

For an alcohol addict, drinking becomes their priority over family, friends, and responsibilities. Drinking episodes happen several times a day because of the intense craving. On the other hand, habits are not typically motivated by a strong sense of urgency, and they occur as part of a routine rather than several times per day.

Neurological Effects

Alcohol addiction damages neurons and alters communication pathways in the brain, changing the way your brain looks and works. Alcohol addiction also affects the frontal lobes, hippocampus, cerebellum, medulla, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland, resulting in problems with decision-making, attention, memory, judgment, balance, movement, and other functions.

Habits, on the other hand, might alter neural pathways in the brain, but not as severely as addiction.

Dependency and Withdrawal Symptoms

An addiction to alcohol causes intense cravings, which give you a strong and uncontrollable desire to drink to the point where you’ll need alcohol to function. The dependency will make you continue drinking even though you’re facing severe health issues like liver cirrhosis. When you try to stop drinking, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms like agitation, hypertension, visual hallucinations, and hypothermia.

Habits don’t cause intense cravings, dependency, or withdrawal symptoms.

Treatment

You can change a habit independently with minimal effort and in less time using strategies like recognizing cues and building new habits.

Treating addiction requires intervention from medical professionals in the form of detoxification programs, medication-assisted therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling, and more.

How To Know if It Is an Addiction or a Habit

Addictions and habits sit on opposite sides of the dependency scale, but habits can become addictions, making it hard to tell when you’ve crossed over. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you have an addiction or a habit.

  • Are you obsessed with the behavior? Thinking about it all the time, planning for it, and frequently engaging in it?
  • Do you repeatedly engage in the behavior even though it’s negatively affecting your health, school, work, or relationships?
  • Do you get anxious or feel like you can’t function if you can’t engage in the behavior? 
  • Have you tried and failed to reduce or stop the behavior?
  • Do you experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking for a specific period?
  • Do you put yourself in dangerous situations regularly, such as fighting?
  • Do you try to conceal your behavior from family, friends, or coworkers?
  • Do you find it difficult to admit that your behavior is causing you problems in your life?

If your answer to one or more of these questions is “yes,” you may have an addiction.

How To Overcome Addiction

Here are a few strategies to cope with and overcome habits and addictions.

Remove Triggers

Observe what triggers your bad habit or addiction, and avoid or walk away from the situation. Some common environmental triggers include:

  • Social events with alcohol
  • Visiting bars
  • Spending time with people who are drinking
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Stressful situations

It’s difficult to avoid some triggers, but you can try to distract yourself with activities like taking long walks, listening to uplifting podcasts or music, or reading a book.

Avoid Isolation

Alcoholics isolate to avoid conflict and judgment. They withdraw physically and emotionally from family and friends. Sadly, isolation worsens addictions and bad habits because there’s no element of accountability; you can do what you want when you want. Avoiding isolation is a crucial part of overcoming addiction and prevents you from relapsing while in recovery. Get involved in helpful social activities, like a biking group or a cooking class. Reach out to friends you haven’t contacted in a long time and start rekindling the relationships through regular, low-intensity contact.

Spend Time With Positive People

Avoid the people who passively or actively contributed to your bad habits and addiction. They could be drinking buddies or people who allow you to drink excessively around them, or even family members. Create a network of supportive people who will positively influence your recovery. Let your friends and family know you’re quitting and ask for their support.

Seek Professional Help

Contact your primary physician for advice about the best addiction treatments and withdrawal risks. Alternatively, call a rehabilitation center or therapist to discuss your treatment options. Depending on the length and effects of your addiction, you may need in-patient rehab, outpatient rehab, medication, detoxification, or therapy.

Celebrate Your Wins

Celebrating wins gives you strength and motivation to keep going. Decide on what rewards you get when you reach specific alcohol-free milestones. You might reward yourself with a new wardrobe piece or an exotic vacation after a certain length of abstinence.

Keep Going

The journey won’t be easy, and you might succumb to temptation occasionally, but don’t be too hard on yourself. Many people struggling with addiction overcome it after several attempts, and if you’re persistent, you’ll be one of them. Alcoholism recovery statistics show that 36% of people battling alcoholism recover after one year; it’s possible for us, too.

Addiction or Habit: Get the Help You Need

The first step to getting help with a bad habit or addiction is knowing what you’re dealing with and acknowledging it. Understanding the characteristics and differences between habit and addiction helps you identify when you need help and follow the steps necessary to overcome them.

Drinking Less
2023-12-22 9:00
Drinking Less
Key Benefits of Trying the Damp January Challenge
This is some text inside of a div block.

Explore what Damp January is and how it can benefit your health and well-being. Plus learn how to participate.

18 min read

Join the Damp January Challenge With Reframe

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 millions 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!

Read Full Article  →

With the New Year right around the corner, many people are gearing up to participate in Dry January — a commitment to giving up alcohol for the first month of the new year. While this can be a great challenge for some, for others the idea of not drinking alcohol for an entire month can seem intimidating, overwhelming, or simply unattainable. This is where Damp January comes into the picture; it’s a semi-Dry January, not as restrictive as Dry January, but it still offers a number of benefits.

In this post, we’ll explore what Damp January is and how we can benefit from participating in the Damp January challenge. Let’s get started!

What Is Damp January?

As the name suggests, Damp January is an offshoot of Dry January. Dry January originated in January 2013 by Alcohol Change UK, a British charity that works to reduce alcohol-related harm. Today, a mere decade later, it’s a global phenomenon with millions of participants each year. 

However, for many people, the idea of not drinking any alcohol for a month can seem too extreme. Some people may want to cut back on drinking or make changes to their relationship with alcohol rather than saying goodbye to alcohol for good. This is where Damp January comes into the picture.

Instead of giving up alcohol for a month, Damp January is geared toward cultivating healthier drinking habits. It’s all about making progress toward a healthier relationship with alcohol — whatever that looks like for you. 

For instance, as our CEO and co-founder Vedant Pradeep explained, “If you typically drink 15 drinks a week, you may aim to cut out a handful of those each week during the month and slowly curb your alcohol consumption. Alternatively, you may choose drinks with lower alcohol content. Someone may keep their glass of wine with dinner but forgo alcohol in work or social settings. Others may drink on certain days or times of the week. It’s a personal decision, which can be empowering.”

In essence, as Pradeep noted, “Damp January is a less extreme and potentially much more sustainable version of the challenge that is focused on reducing our alcohol intake during the month of January.”

Health Benefits of Damp January

So does Damp January really work? Simply put, yes! Many people who participate in the Damp January challenge experience a number of benefits — from improved sleep to better mental health. Indeed, cutting back on alcohol can do wonders for nearly every aspect of our well-being. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of participating in Damp January:


Physical Health Benefits

  • Healthier liver. Since alcohol is metabolized in the liver, chronic, heavy consumption of alcohol can cause significant damage. Every time our liver filters alcohol, some liver cells die, and prolonged alcohol misuse over many years can result in permanent liver damage. However, our liver has a remarkable ability to heal. Cutting back on alcohol allows our liver to repair itself. 
  • Healthier heart. Heavy alcohol consumption can do a number on our heart health. It puts extra strain and stress on the heart, leading to high blood pressure (hypertension). Over time, alcohol can increase our risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing our risk of a heart attack and stroke. Limiting our consumption of alcohol helps protect our heart — and our life.
  • Healthier skin. We might not realize it, but alcohol can actually affect our appearance, including our skin. It dehydrates us, leading to dry skin, inflammation and reduced collagen levels. Over time, alcohol misuse can lead to jaundice, a yellowing of the skin. When we cut back on drinking, one of the first things we’ll notice is that we look healthier — even younger!
  • Healthier weight. It’s no secret that drinking alcohol can lead to weight gain. Alcohol robs our body of nutrients and disrupts our metabolic processes. A lot of alcoholic beverages are full of added sugar and empty calories. In fact, binge drinking can lead to consuming hundreds of extra calories a day. If we’re looking to lose some weight, cutting back on alcohol is a good place to start.
  • Improved sleep. Sleep is vital to nearly every aspect of our health, from our mood and immune system to our energy and mental clarity. While it’s true that alcohol can help us fall asleep faster, it actually reduces our overall sleep quality by limiting the amount of time spent in REM sleep — the most important stage for our physical and mental restoration. Many people who cut back on drinking report a better, more restful night sleep.
  • Improved immune function. Alcohol takes a toll on our immune system by reducing the number of white blood cells our body needs to fight off germs and bacteria. In fact, people who often drink heavily are at an increased risk of developing infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis because their immune system isn’t up to snuff. Cutting back on drinking helps strengthen our immune system.
  • Reduces cancer risk. It might be surprising to learn, but alcohol is associated with seven different types of cancers: breast, liver, mouth and throat, esophageal, stomach, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Reducing our consumption of alcohol or eliminating it entirely helps protect us from these conditions.

Mental and Emotional Health Benefits

What about the mental and emotional health benefits of participating in Damp January? While we often associate drinking with pleasure — thanks to the flood of dopamine, that “feel good” chemical, in our brain — alcohol is a depressant. It not only slows our central nervous system, but it also impacts our mood, thoughts, and behavior. In fact, research shows that regularly misusing alcohol disrupts our brain’s chemical equilibrium, altering mood, behavior, and emotions in the long term. 

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the mental and emotional health benefits of cutting back on drinking: 

  • Improved mood. Alcohol disrupts our brain’s chemical balance and increases depression and anxiety. When we cut back or stop drinking, our brain can return to normal. We likely will feel less easily agitated, annoyed, upset, or anxious. Plus there’s the added benefit of better sleep, which does wonders for our mood and energy levels.
  • Greater resilience. While many of us turn to alcohol for relaxation and stress management, the relationship between alcohol and stress is complicated. Research indicates that alcohol triggers chemical changes in our brain that lead to short-term relaxation, but also long-term stress. Alcohol also changes how our body responds to stress, making it harder to cope without it. 
  • Enhanced mental focus. Alcohol disrupts our thought processes, judgements, and memory. In fact, heavy drinking can actually shrink our hippocampus, the part of the brain that’s critical to memory and learning. Research suggests that we may start to see cognitive improvements (focus, concentration, planning, organization, and memory) as quickly as two to four weeks after our last drink.

The bottom line? Cutting back on alcohol can lead to significant improvements in our physical and mental health. One study observed that those with alcohol use disorders who significantly reduced their alcohol intake had a reduced mortality risk. Furthermore, research shows that even a brief break from alcohol for moderate to heavy drinkers can produce health benefits, such as better sleep, weight loss, improved mood, and higher energy levels. 

But don’t just take our word for it! Participate in Damp January and experience these benefits yourself!

Who Should Really Try Damp January?

So who would benefit most from Damp January or who should try it? If you’re not quite ready to completely quit drinking or are curious about cultivating a healthier relationship with alcohol, Damp January is a great place to begin. Or if you’re looking to take “new year, new me” to a whole new level, the Damp January challenge is a great way to get your health on track after the holiday season. 

Indeed, as our CEO and co-founder Vedant Pradeep said, Damp January can be beneficial for “pretty much anyone that wants to make positive adjustments and experience all the health and emotional benefits of drinking less, while not eliminating alcohol completely from their lives.”

Plus, those who try Damp January and start noticing its benefits might be inclined to continue changing their relationship with alcohol. For some, Damp January is more convenient than Dry January. As Pradeep explained, “By not cutting out alcohol completely, but instead being mindful about consumption, those who attempt Damp January may find that it’s easier to continue the trend beyond the first month of the year, and increase the possibility of a meaningful life change."

In fact, according to our survey results from last year’s Damp January challenge, 78.8% of participants planned to continue working on staying “damp” or moderate after the challenge. And 21.2% planned on trying out a “dry” or alcohol-free period in the future.

When it comes down to it, participating in the Damp January challenge can be a great launching pad to feeling, looking, and living healthier. It also serves as a great confidence and resilience-building tool. By successfully completing the challenge, we realize we have the ability to make changes and incorporate healthier habits into our life.

How Can You Participate in a Damp January Challenge?

If you’re thinking about cutting back on alcohol or curious about drinking less, our Damp January Challenge is a great place to start. We can help you develop a customized plan to help you reach your drinking goals — whatever they are. We’ll also equip you with personalized daily activities and a toolkit, and we’ll connect you with a 24/7 community for encouragement along the way.

It’s worth noting that being part of a community can be incredibly helpful for participating in this challenge. It not only allows you a safe space to share your struggles, but it also can help provide you with encouragement and support as you work toward healthier habits. Furthermore, a group can help keep you accountable throughout the challenge. 

The Bottom Line

The Damp January challenge is a great opportunity to make small changes to our personal drinking habits. It’s a more relaxed approach to Dry January for those who don’t want to completely remove alcohol from their lives. Participating in the Damp January challenge can offer a number of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits — from a healthier weight and heart to better sleep and improved mood. Keep in mind that Damp January doesn’t mean we’re saying goodbye to alcohol entirely — or forever. But using Damp January to build a healthier relationship with alcohol can put us on the path to a healthier and happier future.

Reframe can help guide and support you during the Damp January challenge. We’re a science-backed app that has helped millions of people cut back on their alcohol consumption and enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

With the New Year right around the corner, many people are gearing up to participate in Dry January — a commitment to giving up alcohol for the first month of the new year. While this can be a great challenge for some, for others the idea of not drinking alcohol for an entire month can seem intimidating, overwhelming, or simply unattainable. This is where Damp January comes into the picture; it’s a semi-Dry January, not as restrictive as Dry January, but it still offers a number of benefits.

In this post, we’ll explore what Damp January is and how we can benefit from participating in the Damp January challenge. Let’s get started!

What Is Damp January?

As the name suggests, Damp January is an offshoot of Dry January. Dry January originated in January 2013 by Alcohol Change UK, a British charity that works to reduce alcohol-related harm. Today, a mere decade later, it’s a global phenomenon with millions of participants each year. 

However, for many people, the idea of not drinking any alcohol for a month can seem too extreme. Some people may want to cut back on drinking or make changes to their relationship with alcohol rather than saying goodbye to alcohol for good. This is where Damp January comes into the picture.

Instead of giving up alcohol for a month, Damp January is geared toward cultivating healthier drinking habits. It’s all about making progress toward a healthier relationship with alcohol — whatever that looks like for you. 

For instance, as our CEO and co-founder Vedant Pradeep explained, “If you typically drink 15 drinks a week, you may aim to cut out a handful of those each week during the month and slowly curb your alcohol consumption. Alternatively, you may choose drinks with lower alcohol content. Someone may keep their glass of wine with dinner but forgo alcohol in work or social settings. Others may drink on certain days or times of the week. It’s a personal decision, which can be empowering.”

In essence, as Pradeep noted, “Damp January is a less extreme and potentially much more sustainable version of the challenge that is focused on reducing our alcohol intake during the month of January.”

Health Benefits of Damp January

So does Damp January really work? Simply put, yes! Many people who participate in the Damp January challenge experience a number of benefits — from improved sleep to better mental health. Indeed, cutting back on alcohol can do wonders for nearly every aspect of our well-being. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of participating in Damp January:


Physical Health Benefits

  • Healthier liver. Since alcohol is metabolized in the liver, chronic, heavy consumption of alcohol can cause significant damage. Every time our liver filters alcohol, some liver cells die, and prolonged alcohol misuse over many years can result in permanent liver damage. However, our liver has a remarkable ability to heal. Cutting back on alcohol allows our liver to repair itself. 
  • Healthier heart. Heavy alcohol consumption can do a number on our heart health. It puts extra strain and stress on the heart, leading to high blood pressure (hypertension). Over time, alcohol can increase our risk of cardiovascular disease, increasing our risk of a heart attack and stroke. Limiting our consumption of alcohol helps protect our heart — and our life.
  • Healthier skin. We might not realize it, but alcohol can actually affect our appearance, including our skin. It dehydrates us, leading to dry skin, inflammation and reduced collagen levels. Over time, alcohol misuse can lead to jaundice, a yellowing of the skin. When we cut back on drinking, one of the first things we’ll notice is that we look healthier — even younger!
  • Healthier weight. It’s no secret that drinking alcohol can lead to weight gain. Alcohol robs our body of nutrients and disrupts our metabolic processes. A lot of alcoholic beverages are full of added sugar and empty calories. In fact, binge drinking can lead to consuming hundreds of extra calories a day. If we’re looking to lose some weight, cutting back on alcohol is a good place to start.
  • Improved sleep. Sleep is vital to nearly every aspect of our health, from our mood and immune system to our energy and mental clarity. While it’s true that alcohol can help us fall asleep faster, it actually reduces our overall sleep quality by limiting the amount of time spent in REM sleep — the most important stage for our physical and mental restoration. Many people who cut back on drinking report a better, more restful night sleep.
  • Improved immune function. Alcohol takes a toll on our immune system by reducing the number of white blood cells our body needs to fight off germs and bacteria. In fact, people who often drink heavily are at an increased risk of developing infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis because their immune system isn’t up to snuff. Cutting back on drinking helps strengthen our immune system.
  • Reduces cancer risk. It might be surprising to learn, but alcohol is associated with seven different types of cancers: breast, liver, mouth and throat, esophageal, stomach, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Reducing our consumption of alcohol or eliminating it entirely helps protect us from these conditions.

Mental and Emotional Health Benefits

What about the mental and emotional health benefits of participating in Damp January? While we often associate drinking with pleasure — thanks to the flood of dopamine, that “feel good” chemical, in our brain — alcohol is a depressant. It not only slows our central nervous system, but it also impacts our mood, thoughts, and behavior. In fact, research shows that regularly misusing alcohol disrupts our brain’s chemical equilibrium, altering mood, behavior, and emotions in the long term. 

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the mental and emotional health benefits of cutting back on drinking: 

  • Improved mood. Alcohol disrupts our brain’s chemical balance and increases depression and anxiety. When we cut back or stop drinking, our brain can return to normal. We likely will feel less easily agitated, annoyed, upset, or anxious. Plus there’s the added benefit of better sleep, which does wonders for our mood and energy levels.
  • Greater resilience. While many of us turn to alcohol for relaxation and stress management, the relationship between alcohol and stress is complicated. Research indicates that alcohol triggers chemical changes in our brain that lead to short-term relaxation, but also long-term stress. Alcohol also changes how our body responds to stress, making it harder to cope without it. 
  • Enhanced mental focus. Alcohol disrupts our thought processes, judgements, and memory. In fact, heavy drinking can actually shrink our hippocampus, the part of the brain that’s critical to memory and learning. Research suggests that we may start to see cognitive improvements (focus, concentration, planning, organization, and memory) as quickly as two to four weeks after our last drink.

The bottom line? Cutting back on alcohol can lead to significant improvements in our physical and mental health. One study observed that those with alcohol use disorders who significantly reduced their alcohol intake had a reduced mortality risk. Furthermore, research shows that even a brief break from alcohol for moderate to heavy drinkers can produce health benefits, such as better sleep, weight loss, improved mood, and higher energy levels. 

But don’t just take our word for it! Participate in Damp January and experience these benefits yourself!

Who Should Really Try Damp January?

So who would benefit most from Damp January or who should try it? If you’re not quite ready to completely quit drinking or are curious about cultivating a healthier relationship with alcohol, Damp January is a great place to begin. Or if you’re looking to take “new year, new me” to a whole new level, the Damp January challenge is a great way to get your health on track after the holiday season. 

Indeed, as our CEO and co-founder Vedant Pradeep said, Damp January can be beneficial for “pretty much anyone that wants to make positive adjustments and experience all the health and emotional benefits of drinking less, while not eliminating alcohol completely from their lives.”

Plus, those who try Damp January and start noticing its benefits might be inclined to continue changing their relationship with alcohol. For some, Damp January is more convenient than Dry January. As Pradeep explained, “By not cutting out alcohol completely, but instead being mindful about consumption, those who attempt Damp January may find that it’s easier to continue the trend beyond the first month of the year, and increase the possibility of a meaningful life change."

In fact, according to our survey results from last year’s Damp January challenge, 78.8% of participants planned to continue working on staying “damp” or moderate after the challenge. And 21.2% planned on trying out a “dry” or alcohol-free period in the future.

When it comes down to it, participating in the Damp January challenge can be a great launching pad to feeling, looking, and living healthier. It also serves as a great confidence and resilience-building tool. By successfully completing the challenge, we realize we have the ability to make changes and incorporate healthier habits into our life.

How Can You Participate in a Damp January Challenge?

If you’re thinking about cutting back on alcohol or curious about drinking less, our Damp January Challenge is a great place to start. We can help you develop a customized plan to help you reach your drinking goals — whatever they are. We’ll also equip you with personalized daily activities and a toolkit, and we’ll connect you with a 24/7 community for encouragement along the way.

It’s worth noting that being part of a community can be incredibly helpful for participating in this challenge. It not only allows you a safe space to share your struggles, but it also can help provide you with encouragement and support as you work toward healthier habits. Furthermore, a group can help keep you accountable throughout the challenge. 

The Bottom Line

The Damp January challenge is a great opportunity to make small changes to our personal drinking habits. It’s a more relaxed approach to Dry January for those who don’t want to completely remove alcohol from their lives. Participating in the Damp January challenge can offer a number of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits — from a healthier weight and heart to better sleep and improved mood. Keep in mind that Damp January doesn’t mean we’re saying goodbye to alcohol entirely — or forever. But using Damp January to build a healthier relationship with alcohol can put us on the path to a healthier and happier future.

Reframe can help guide and support you during the Damp January challenge. We’re a science-backed app that has helped millions of people cut back on their alcohol consumption and enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Drinking Less
2023-12-21 9:30
Drinking Less
Sip with Purpose: The Best 10 Mindful Drinking Apps
This is some text inside of a div block.

Transform your relationship with alcohol using the power of technology! Our latest blog unveils the top 10 mindful drinking apps, packed with tips and strategies for a healthier lifestyle.

29 min read

Build Better Drinking Habits With Reframe!

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 millions 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! 

Read Full Article  →

In today’s busy world of work schedules, family obligations, and daily routines, finding balance in our habits — including those around booze — can be a challenge. Welcome to the world of mindful drinking, a movement that's redefining our relationship with alcohol in the most positive way! For those looking to moderate their alcohol intake or learn to drink more mindfully, technology offers a helping hand. Let’s explore the top 10 mindful drinking apps that can support your journey towards a healthier relationship with alcohol.

What Is Mindful Drinking?

Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword, especially in health and wellness circles, but what does it really mean? While the concept might seem modern, it’s much more than a recent fad, with roots going back to Buddhist philosophy, Eastern traditions, and yogic practices.

The surge in the popularity of mindfulness, combined with a growing awareness of health and wellness, has naturally flowed into our drinking habits, giving birth to what we now know as mindful drinking. And no, we’re not talking about taking shots between vinyasa rounds or sipping a margarita while tuning in to our root chakra. Instead, mindful drinking is about savoring each sip with intention and awareness. It's a conscious decision to understand why we’re drinking — is it to socialize, to escape, or just because it's a habit? Mindful drinking encourages us to tune into our body's responses and to recognize how each drink affects our mood and well-being.

If we’re not careful about our drinking habits, they can easily get out of hand, leading to a host of health problems such as sleep disturbances, liver problems, heart disease, digestive issues, immune system glitches, and even certain cancers. Mindful drinking is all about breaking out of autopilot mode when it comes to booze. Instead of mindlessly downing a glass, we pause, we reflect, and we choose. This could mean opting for a non-alcoholic beer at a party, savoring a single glass of wine with dinner, or exploring the wide world of mocktails.

Why Mindful Drinking Resonates Today

Mindful drinking fits perfectly with the growing desire for a healthier lifestyle, mental clarity, and improved social experiences. It's not about total abstinence — although it can be for some — but about making choices that align with our personal goals and health.

Mindful drinking also taps into the creative side of beverages. It has led to a boom in artisanal non-alcoholic spirits, craft mocktails, and a whole new world of flavors that don't rely on alcohol content for their appeal. Let’s embrace this delightful journey, one mindful sip at a time, and take a closer look at 10 apps that can make the journey to healthier drinking habits a mindful experience. 

1. Reframe App

When it comes to rethinking our relationship with alcohol and building mindful drinking habits, the Reframe App has no equal. It’s perfect for those seeking a comprehensive, science-based approach to shift their mindset around booze! With its unique blend of neuroscience, psychology, user-friendly tools, and community support, Reframe is more than just an app — it's a life-changing, mind-reshaping toolbox in your pocket.

  • Neuroscience- and psychology-based core program. Designed in collaboration with experts from Harvard, Stanford, and Georgia Tech, Reframe’s core program aims to shift our mindset around booze.
  • Personalized drink tracker and SMS tracking. These features allow users to see their progress on a smart dashboard, set daily targets, and view weekly and monthly trends to stay on track.
  • Community support. Daily check-in meetings and a 24/7 anonymous forum connects users with a global support system of fellow Reframers.
  • Group support. Users can create and join support groups in the forum based on their alcohol goals, location, interests, and other factors to boost motivation and stay accountable.
  • Monthly challenges. Users can explore science-backed information on a variety of topics — alcohol use, mental health, habit setting, exercise, mindfulness and more — as part of an interactive, collaborative experience.
  • In-depth courses. Multi-day courses cover topics that range from healthy habits to gut health, sleep quality, and mindful living.

Who Will Benefit From Reframe?

  • The curious learners. Those who love understanding the “why” behind their actions will find Reframe’s educational approach captivating and enlightening.
  • Habit architects. For those who find power in analyzing habits but want to go beyond basic tracking and actually reshape their mindset, Reframe’s tools are a treasure trove of insights.
  • Mindfulness enthusiasts. For those into mindfulness who want to apply these principles to drinking, the app’s meditation and urge surfing exercises are a perfect fit.
  • Busy professionals. Professionals looking for an efficient way to manage their drinking habits without disrupting their busy schedules will appreciate the flexibility and accessibility of the Reframe app.
  • Support seekers. Users who value having access to coaching and love being a part of a community with similar goals will find Reframe’s monthly challenges, coaching resources, and 24/7 Forum to be a comprehensive and support system in their journey towards mindful drinking.

Pro Tip: Dive into the daily educational content! These lessons are not just informative but also help you stay engaged with your goals every day while deepening your understanding of your own mind and how to reshape it. Those bits of knowledge really do add up!

The Verdict: Reframe is an empowering tool that offers a science-backed approach to understanding and changing drinking habits by actually reshaping — reframing! — our mindset around alcohol. Its combination of educational content, daily habit tracking, journaling, and hands-on exercises make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to embark on a healthier relationship with alcohol, whatever that might mean — even if those goals change along the way!

2. Drink Control App

The Drink Control App is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to gain a better understanding and control of their drinking habits. What makes this app particularly engaging is its user-friendly interface and its commitment to helping users track their alcohol intake in a simple, yet effective manner.

  • Easy tracking. The app allows users to log each drink with ease to gain insights into their drinking patterns. It also breaks down the data by week or month, showing trends over time.
  • Feedback based on guidelines. Drink Control uses the guidelines from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to provide science-backed feedback.
  • Cost tracking. The ability to track how much users are spending on booze can be a real eye-opener!
  • Health insights. The app also provides educational info on the health implications of different drinking levels, helping users understand the long-term health consequences of their alcohol consumption.

Who Is It For?

  • The health-conscious drinker. For those wanting to ensure their drinking habits align with a healthy lifestyle, this app provides the necessary data to stay informed.
  • Budget watchers. For those looking to save money or be more aware of their spending, the cost tracking feature is a godsend.
  • Data enthusiasts. For those who love digging into data and trends, this app’s detailed breakdowns and feedback will satisfy their analytical side.

Pro Tip: Don’t just use the app to track; engage with it. Set personal goals, look into your trends, and let the app’s feedback guide you towards healthier habits.

The Verdict: With its user-friendly interface, Drink Control is great at tracking money spent on booze, and it provides useful feedback based on NIAAA guidelines. At the same time, it might be a bit too basic for users wanting a more comprehensive approach, while for others cost tracking could actually be stressful.

3. LifeBac

LifeBac merges psychological strategies with pharmacotherapy by using the Sinclair Method, a scientifically supported treatment using naltrexone to reduce cravings. The app offers a blend of medication management and cognitive behavioral techniques, making it a comprehensive tool for those seeking a multifaceted approach to reducing or quitting alcohol.

  • Medication management. For users taking naltrexone as part of their treatment, LifeBac offers guidance on medication management.
  • Customized plans. Every user is unique, and LifeBac gets that. The app provides personalized plans based on individual needs and goals, ensuring that each user has a tailored experience.
  • Support and resources. The app offers a wealth of resources, including educational materials, tools for tracking progress, and access to a supportive community.

Who Can Benefit From LifeBac?

  • Those seeking a dual approach. For those interested in a program that combines medication with behavioral strategies, LifeBac is an ideal choice.
  • Those exploring medication options. For those considering or already taking naltrexone, the app’s medication management feature can be a game-changer in ensuring effective use.

Pro Tip: Take full advantage of the app’s community feature. Engaging with others who are on a similar journey can provide an extra layer of support and motivation.

The Verdict: Combining medication management with cognitive-behavioral techniques is great for those using naltrexone to control their drinking. That said, the medication route isn’t for everyone, so the narrow focus naturally limits LifeBac’s overall scope and relevance.

4. Less

Less is your cheerful companion in the journey to moderate drinking; it’s designed for those who aim to drink less and drink smarter. It’s all about setting realistic goals, tracking progress, and understanding drinking habits in a friendly, engaging way while using cognitive behavioral principles to make lasting changes.

  • Realistic goal setting. Less excels in helping users set achievable goals, whether it’s cutting down by a few drinks a week or designating more alcohol-free days.
  • Cognitive behavioral foundations. Less uses cognitive behavioral principles to help users understand their drinking patterns. It’s not just about drinking less; it’s about understanding why we drink and how to manage those triggers.
  • Progress tracking made fun. With its user-friendly interface, drink tracking becomes less of a chore and more of a rewarding activity. The app also offers insights into the user’s drinking habits — what triggers them, when they’re most likely to drink, and how they can make healthier choices.

Who Will Love Less?

  • The moderate goal setter. For those looking to cut back rather than quit, Less is the perfect fit. It’s all about moderation and making healthier choices.
  • Data-driven drinkers. For those who love to see progress in numbers and charts, Less offers a visually appealing way to track the journey.

Pro Tip: Use the insights feature to its fullest. The more you know about your habits, the better equipped you’ll be to make lasting changes!

The Verdict: This app focuses on reduction rather than abstinence by using time-tested CBT principles. It’s great for those seeking to moderate rather than quit, but does require self-discipline to stick to goals.

5. Drydays

Drydays is the bubbly buddy for those on the quest for more alcohol-free days. It's the perfect app for anyone looking to sprinkle more sobriety into their week without the pressure of complete abstinence. This app is all about celebrating each alcohol-free day as a victory and making moderation both achievable and fun.

  • User-friendly tracking. Logging alcohol-free days is a breeze with Drydays. The interface is intuitive, making the process of tracking as straightforward as it gets.
  • Visual progress. There’s nothing like visualizing our accomplishments! Drydays provides engaging charts and statistics to show you how well we’re doing over time.

Who Will Enjoy Drydays?

  • Goal-oriented moderators. For those who love setting and achieving goals, the app’s clear targets for alcohol-free days provide a satisfying challenge.
  • Visual motivators. If seeing progress visually feels motivating, Drydays’ charts and statistics will serve as great inspiration.

Pro Tip: Embrace the challenge of increasing your alcohol-free days gradually. Start with a manageable goal, nudging it up as you go.

The Verdict: Drydays is great at encouraging goal-setting and offering motivational support. But while it’s simple and user-friendly, it might be a bit superficial when it comes to helping users deal with the underlying causes of drinking and might not offer enough support for heavy drinkers.

6. Alcogram

Alcogram stands out in the world of mindful drinking apps by providing a unique science-savvy perspective on how alcohol affects the body over time.

  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tracking. The app allows users to estimate their BAC based on your drinks and personal details (such as weight and gender), generating real-time insights into alcohol’s effects.
  • Safety first. Alcogram helps users stay safe by indicating when their BAC is approaching or exceeding legal limits for activities like driving.

Who Will Benefit From Alcogram?

  • The health-conscious drinker. Those interested in the science behind how alcohol affects the body will find that Alcogram provides useful data.
  • Safety-minded consumers. For those who want to ensure they’re making safe choices after drinking, this app is an invaluable tool.

Pro Tip: Use the BAC tracking feature as a guide to learn about your limits. Understanding how your body metabolizes alcohol can help you make smarter drinking decisions!

The Verdict: While tracking BAC and educating users about the physical impact of drinking are both useful features, the estimates are based on user input and may not be entirely accurate. Alcogram also lacks the psychological support features of other apps.

7. Coachme

Coachme is a personal trainer for our drinking habits — supportive, personalized, and always there to guide us towards healthier choices. It’s a fantastic blend of AI-driven insights and human coaching, making it a standout choice for those seeking a more personalized approach to manage their drinking.

  • AI-driven insights. The app uses artificial intelligence to analyze drinking patterns and provide tailored advice.
  • Human touch with personal coaching. In addition to AI, Coachme offers the invaluable element of human interaction. Users get regular check-ins with coaches who provide encouragement, answer questions, and help them stay on track.
  • Community support. Coachme provides access to a community of individuals with similar goals, offering an additional layer of support and motivation.

Who Will Thrive With Coachme?

  • Fans of personalization. For those who appreciate a personalized touch and enjoy the guidance of a coach, this app offers a unique blend of technology and human interaction.
  • Community seekers. If connecting with others on a similar journey sounds appealing, the app’s community feature will be a valuable resource.

Pro Tip: Make the most of the coaching sessions. These are great opportunities to get personalized advice, ask questions, and receive encouragement tailored just for you.

The Verdict: While the app combines AI-driven insights with human interaction, goal setting and progress tracking, the emphasis on AI might not appeal to those preferring human-only guidance.

8. Mind the Sip

Mind the Sip is an exceptional app for those who want to enjoy their drinks more responsibly and with greater awareness. Focusing on the philosophy of being fully present and aware during drinking occasions, Mind the Sip makes each sip a more conscious experience.

  • Awareness tools. Mind the Sip offers various tools to help users stay present while drinking — mindful sipping exercises, journaling prompts, or setting intentions before drinking.
  • Customizable reminders. Users can set reminders to check in before, during, and after drinking. These gentle nudges encourage mindfulness and make it easier to stay aligned with the goals they set for themselves.

Who Will Enjoy Mind the Sip?

  • The mindful enthusiast. For anyone already into mindfulness practices or eager to start, this app will seamlessly integrate into the mindfulness-based lifestyle.
  • Social drinkers. For those who enjoy a drink in social settings but want to do so more mindfully, this app offers the tools to enhance the experience.

Pro Tip: Make the most of the journaling feature. Documenting your thoughts and experiences with each drink can be an eye-opening exercise!

The Verdict: The focus on mindful drinking and awareness tools are helpful, but the concepts might be a bit too abstract for some. This particular app also lacks features for tracking and rigorous goal setting.

9. Drinkers Helper

Drinkers Helper combines the power of community support with evidence-based strategies, making it a fantastic choice for anyone looking to explore mindful drinking.

  • Community support. One of the app’s greatest strengths is its vibrant community. Join others who are facing similar challenges and share experiences, tips, and encouragement.
  • Evidence-based strategies. Drinkers Helper is grounded in proven methods like cognitive-behavioral and motivational interviewing techniques. These strategies help address the root causes of our drinking habits and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Goal setting and tracking. The app helps users set realistic drinking goals and tracks their progress.
  • Personalized exercises. Drinkers Helper offers a range of exercises tailored to the user’s specific needs. These exercises help manage cravings, deal with triggers, and maintain motivation.

Who Will Benefit From Drinkers Helper?

  • Seekers of community support. Those who thrive in a supportive, community-driven environment will find a welcoming space within Drinkers Helper.
  • Fans of practical tools. For those who appreciate hands-on tools and exercises to work through challenges, the app’s range of personalized activities will be particularly beneficial.

Pro Tip: Dive into the community features. Sharing your journey and learning from others can be incredibly empowering and enlightening.

The Verdict: Community support, evidence-based strategies, goal setting, and personalized exercises set this app apart, but it may not appeal to those seeking more privacy.

10. Vorvida

Vorvida is like having a scientific guide at our side, specifically tailored to help us manage our drinking habits. This app stands out with its algorithm-driven, personalized approach to reducing alcohol consumption, making it a great fit for anyone looking for a tech-savvy, scientifically validated tool.

  • Interactive and engaging. Vorvida engages users with AI-powered interactive exercises and scenarios, making the journey towards moderation or abstinence more engaging and less daunting.
  • Comprehensive self-help program. The app provides a structured program that covers various aspects of changing our drinking habits, from understanding triggers to developing coping strategies.

Who Is Vorvida Ideal for?

  • Science and tech enthusiasts. Those who appreciate the latest in digital health technology will find Vorvida’s algorithm-driven evidence-based approach appealing.
  • The self-starter. For those who prefer a self-guided approach to managing their drinking, Vorvida offers the tools and structure to do so effectively.

Pro Tip: Take full advantage of the interactive exercises. These are insightful, and they help reinforce the strategies you learn, making your journey more effective and personalized.

The Verdict: The scientifically validated approach, personalized feedback and strategies, and interactive structure are all standout features. However, the algorithm-driven approach may not cater to all nuances of individual experiences, and it lacks the personal touch of human interaction.

Action Steps for Using Mindful Drinking Apps

  • Set clear goals. Define what moderation or mindful drinking means for you. Be specific about your targets, such as limiting to a certain number of drinks per week or aiming for alcohol-free days.
  • Download and explore multiple apps. Begin by exploring various mindful drinking apps and assessing their features. From focusing on tracking and goal setting to educational content and community support, different apps cater to different needs and preferences.
  • Get tracking. Consistent tracking provides insights into patterns and triggers, making it easier to adjust habits, identify patterns and triggers, and gain valuable insights for making changes.
  • Set personalized goals in the apps. Use the apps to set specific, achievable goals. Whether it's reducing the number of drinks, increasing alcohol-free days, or working towards complete abstinence, these apps can help you solidify and shape your intentions.
  • Engage with educational resources. Take advantage of the educational materials offered by these apps. Learning about the effects of alcohol on your health and well-being can be a powerful motivator for change.
  • Participate in app communities for support. Many apps have community features that put you in touch with others on a similar journey. Engaging in these communities can provide encouragement, advice, and a sense of shared experience.
  • Regularly review and adjust your goals. Use the apps to regularly review your drinking habits and progress towards your goals. Be flexible and adjust as needed!

Summing Up

Adopting a mindful approach to drinking is an exciting journey of self-awareness and change, and the mindful drinking apps we introduced all provide various tools and strategies to provide support tailored to your needs and goals while cheering you on along the way. Put these resources to use, and start your journey to a healthier relationship with alcohol, one sip at a time!

In today’s busy world of work schedules, family obligations, and daily routines, finding balance in our habits — including those around booze — can be a challenge. Welcome to the world of mindful drinking, a movement that's redefining our relationship with alcohol in the most positive way! For those looking to moderate their alcohol intake or learn to drink more mindfully, technology offers a helping hand. Let’s explore the top 10 mindful drinking apps that can support your journey towards a healthier relationship with alcohol.

What Is Mindful Drinking?

Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword, especially in health and wellness circles, but what does it really mean? While the concept might seem modern, it’s much more than a recent fad, with roots going back to Buddhist philosophy, Eastern traditions, and yogic practices.

The surge in the popularity of mindfulness, combined with a growing awareness of health and wellness, has naturally flowed into our drinking habits, giving birth to what we now know as mindful drinking. And no, we’re not talking about taking shots between vinyasa rounds or sipping a margarita while tuning in to our root chakra. Instead, mindful drinking is about savoring each sip with intention and awareness. It's a conscious decision to understand why we’re drinking — is it to socialize, to escape, or just because it's a habit? Mindful drinking encourages us to tune into our body's responses and to recognize how each drink affects our mood and well-being.

If we’re not careful about our drinking habits, they can easily get out of hand, leading to a host of health problems such as sleep disturbances, liver problems, heart disease, digestive issues, immune system glitches, and even certain cancers. Mindful drinking is all about breaking out of autopilot mode when it comes to booze. Instead of mindlessly downing a glass, we pause, we reflect, and we choose. This could mean opting for a non-alcoholic beer at a party, savoring a single glass of wine with dinner, or exploring the wide world of mocktails.

Why Mindful Drinking Resonates Today

Mindful drinking fits perfectly with the growing desire for a healthier lifestyle, mental clarity, and improved social experiences. It's not about total abstinence — although it can be for some — but about making choices that align with our personal goals and health.

Mindful drinking also taps into the creative side of beverages. It has led to a boom in artisanal non-alcoholic spirits, craft mocktails, and a whole new world of flavors that don't rely on alcohol content for their appeal. Let’s embrace this delightful journey, one mindful sip at a time, and take a closer look at 10 apps that can make the journey to healthier drinking habits a mindful experience. 

1. Reframe App

When it comes to rethinking our relationship with alcohol and building mindful drinking habits, the Reframe App has no equal. It’s perfect for those seeking a comprehensive, science-based approach to shift their mindset around booze! With its unique blend of neuroscience, psychology, user-friendly tools, and community support, Reframe is more than just an app — it's a life-changing, mind-reshaping toolbox in your pocket.

  • Neuroscience- and psychology-based core program. Designed in collaboration with experts from Harvard, Stanford, and Georgia Tech, Reframe’s core program aims to shift our mindset around booze.
  • Personalized drink tracker and SMS tracking. These features allow users to see their progress on a smart dashboard, set daily targets, and view weekly and monthly trends to stay on track.
  • Community support. Daily check-in meetings and a 24/7 anonymous forum connects users with a global support system of fellow Reframers.
  • Group support. Users can create and join support groups in the forum based on their alcohol goals, location, interests, and other factors to boost motivation and stay accountable.
  • Monthly challenges. Users can explore science-backed information on a variety of topics — alcohol use, mental health, habit setting, exercise, mindfulness and more — as part of an interactive, collaborative experience.
  • In-depth courses. Multi-day courses cover topics that range from healthy habits to gut health, sleep quality, and mindful living.

Who Will Benefit From Reframe?

  • The curious learners. Those who love understanding the “why” behind their actions will find Reframe’s educational approach captivating and enlightening.
  • Habit architects. For those who find power in analyzing habits but want to go beyond basic tracking and actually reshape their mindset, Reframe’s tools are a treasure trove of insights.
  • Mindfulness enthusiasts. For those into mindfulness who want to apply these principles to drinking, the app’s meditation and urge surfing exercises are a perfect fit.
  • Busy professionals. Professionals looking for an efficient way to manage their drinking habits without disrupting their busy schedules will appreciate the flexibility and accessibility of the Reframe app.
  • Support seekers. Users who value having access to coaching and love being a part of a community with similar goals will find Reframe’s monthly challenges, coaching resources, and 24/7 Forum to be a comprehensive and support system in their journey towards mindful drinking.

Pro Tip: Dive into the daily educational content! These lessons are not just informative but also help you stay engaged with your goals every day while deepening your understanding of your own mind and how to reshape it. Those bits of knowledge really do add up!

The Verdict: Reframe is an empowering tool that offers a science-backed approach to understanding and changing drinking habits by actually reshaping — reframing! — our mindset around alcohol. Its combination of educational content, daily habit tracking, journaling, and hands-on exercises make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to embark on a healthier relationship with alcohol, whatever that might mean — even if those goals change along the way!

2. Drink Control App

The Drink Control App is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to gain a better understanding and control of their drinking habits. What makes this app particularly engaging is its user-friendly interface and its commitment to helping users track their alcohol intake in a simple, yet effective manner.

  • Easy tracking. The app allows users to log each drink with ease to gain insights into their drinking patterns. It also breaks down the data by week or month, showing trends over time.
  • Feedback based on guidelines. Drink Control uses the guidelines from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to provide science-backed feedback.
  • Cost tracking. The ability to track how much users are spending on booze can be a real eye-opener!
  • Health insights. The app also provides educational info on the health implications of different drinking levels, helping users understand the long-term health consequences of their alcohol consumption.

Who Is It For?

  • The health-conscious drinker. For those wanting to ensure their drinking habits align with a healthy lifestyle, this app provides the necessary data to stay informed.
  • Budget watchers. For those looking to save money or be more aware of their spending, the cost tracking feature is a godsend.
  • Data enthusiasts. For those who love digging into data and trends, this app’s detailed breakdowns and feedback will satisfy their analytical side.

Pro Tip: Don’t just use the app to track; engage with it. Set personal goals, look into your trends, and let the app’s feedback guide you towards healthier habits.

The Verdict: With its user-friendly interface, Drink Control is great at tracking money spent on booze, and it provides useful feedback based on NIAAA guidelines. At the same time, it might be a bit too basic for users wanting a more comprehensive approach, while for others cost tracking could actually be stressful.

3. LifeBac

LifeBac merges psychological strategies with pharmacotherapy by using the Sinclair Method, a scientifically supported treatment using naltrexone to reduce cravings. The app offers a blend of medication management and cognitive behavioral techniques, making it a comprehensive tool for those seeking a multifaceted approach to reducing or quitting alcohol.

  • Medication management. For users taking naltrexone as part of their treatment, LifeBac offers guidance on medication management.
  • Customized plans. Every user is unique, and LifeBac gets that. The app provides personalized plans based on individual needs and goals, ensuring that each user has a tailored experience.
  • Support and resources. The app offers a wealth of resources, including educational materials, tools for tracking progress, and access to a supportive community.

Who Can Benefit From LifeBac?

  • Those seeking a dual approach. For those interested in a program that combines medication with behavioral strategies, LifeBac is an ideal choice.
  • Those exploring medication options. For those considering or already taking naltrexone, the app’s medication management feature can be a game-changer in ensuring effective use.

Pro Tip: Take full advantage of the app’s community feature. Engaging with others who are on a similar journey can provide an extra layer of support and motivation.

The Verdict: Combining medication management with cognitive-behavioral techniques is great for those using naltrexone to control their drinking. That said, the medication route isn’t for everyone, so the narrow focus naturally limits LifeBac’s overall scope and relevance.

4. Less

Less is your cheerful companion in the journey to moderate drinking; it’s designed for those who aim to drink less and drink smarter. It’s all about setting realistic goals, tracking progress, and understanding drinking habits in a friendly, engaging way while using cognitive behavioral principles to make lasting changes.

  • Realistic goal setting. Less excels in helping users set achievable goals, whether it’s cutting down by a few drinks a week or designating more alcohol-free days.
  • Cognitive behavioral foundations. Less uses cognitive behavioral principles to help users understand their drinking patterns. It’s not just about drinking less; it’s about understanding why we drink and how to manage those triggers.
  • Progress tracking made fun. With its user-friendly interface, drink tracking becomes less of a chore and more of a rewarding activity. The app also offers insights into the user’s drinking habits — what triggers them, when they’re most likely to drink, and how they can make healthier choices.

Who Will Love Less?

  • The moderate goal setter. For those looking to cut back rather than quit, Less is the perfect fit. It’s all about moderation and making healthier choices.
  • Data-driven drinkers. For those who love to see progress in numbers and charts, Less offers a visually appealing way to track the journey.

Pro Tip: Use the insights feature to its fullest. The more you know about your habits, the better equipped you’ll be to make lasting changes!

The Verdict: This app focuses on reduction rather than abstinence by using time-tested CBT principles. It’s great for those seeking to moderate rather than quit, but does require self-discipline to stick to goals.

5. Drydays

Drydays is the bubbly buddy for those on the quest for more alcohol-free days. It's the perfect app for anyone looking to sprinkle more sobriety into their week without the pressure of complete abstinence. This app is all about celebrating each alcohol-free day as a victory and making moderation both achievable and fun.

  • User-friendly tracking. Logging alcohol-free days is a breeze with Drydays. The interface is intuitive, making the process of tracking as straightforward as it gets.
  • Visual progress. There’s nothing like visualizing our accomplishments! Drydays provides engaging charts and statistics to show you how well we’re doing over time.

Who Will Enjoy Drydays?

  • Goal-oriented moderators. For those who love setting and achieving goals, the app’s clear targets for alcohol-free days provide a satisfying challenge.
  • Visual motivators. If seeing progress visually feels motivating, Drydays’ charts and statistics will serve as great inspiration.

Pro Tip: Embrace the challenge of increasing your alcohol-free days gradually. Start with a manageable goal, nudging it up as you go.

The Verdict: Drydays is great at encouraging goal-setting and offering motivational support. But while it’s simple and user-friendly, it might be a bit superficial when it comes to helping users deal with the underlying causes of drinking and might not offer enough support for heavy drinkers.

6. Alcogram

Alcogram stands out in the world of mindful drinking apps by providing a unique science-savvy perspective on how alcohol affects the body over time.

  • Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) tracking. The app allows users to estimate their BAC based on your drinks and personal details (such as weight and gender), generating real-time insights into alcohol’s effects.
  • Safety first. Alcogram helps users stay safe by indicating when their BAC is approaching or exceeding legal limits for activities like driving.

Who Will Benefit From Alcogram?

  • The health-conscious drinker. Those interested in the science behind how alcohol affects the body will find that Alcogram provides useful data.
  • Safety-minded consumers. For those who want to ensure they’re making safe choices after drinking, this app is an invaluable tool.

Pro Tip: Use the BAC tracking feature as a guide to learn about your limits. Understanding how your body metabolizes alcohol can help you make smarter drinking decisions!

The Verdict: While tracking BAC and educating users about the physical impact of drinking are both useful features, the estimates are based on user input and may not be entirely accurate. Alcogram also lacks the psychological support features of other apps.

7. Coachme

Coachme is a personal trainer for our drinking habits — supportive, personalized, and always there to guide us towards healthier choices. It’s a fantastic blend of AI-driven insights and human coaching, making it a standout choice for those seeking a more personalized approach to manage their drinking.

  • AI-driven insights. The app uses artificial intelligence to analyze drinking patterns and provide tailored advice.
  • Human touch with personal coaching. In addition to AI, Coachme offers the invaluable element of human interaction. Users get regular check-ins with coaches who provide encouragement, answer questions, and help them stay on track.
  • Community support. Coachme provides access to a community of individuals with similar goals, offering an additional layer of support and motivation.

Who Will Thrive With Coachme?

  • Fans of personalization. For those who appreciate a personalized touch and enjoy the guidance of a coach, this app offers a unique blend of technology and human interaction.
  • Community seekers. If connecting with others on a similar journey sounds appealing, the app’s community feature will be a valuable resource.

Pro Tip: Make the most of the coaching sessions. These are great opportunities to get personalized advice, ask questions, and receive encouragement tailored just for you.

The Verdict: While the app combines AI-driven insights with human interaction, goal setting and progress tracking, the emphasis on AI might not appeal to those preferring human-only guidance.

8. Mind the Sip

Mind the Sip is an exceptional app for those who want to enjoy their drinks more responsibly and with greater awareness. Focusing on the philosophy of being fully present and aware during drinking occasions, Mind the Sip makes each sip a more conscious experience.

  • Awareness tools. Mind the Sip offers various tools to help users stay present while drinking — mindful sipping exercises, journaling prompts, or setting intentions before drinking.
  • Customizable reminders. Users can set reminders to check in before, during, and after drinking. These gentle nudges encourage mindfulness and make it easier to stay aligned with the goals they set for themselves.

Who Will Enjoy Mind the Sip?

  • The mindful enthusiast. For anyone already into mindfulness practices or eager to start, this app will seamlessly integrate into the mindfulness-based lifestyle.
  • Social drinkers. For those who enjoy a drink in social settings but want to do so more mindfully, this app offers the tools to enhance the experience.

Pro Tip: Make the most of the journaling feature. Documenting your thoughts and experiences with each drink can be an eye-opening exercise!

The Verdict: The focus on mindful drinking and awareness tools are helpful, but the concepts might be a bit too abstract for some. This particular app also lacks features for tracking and rigorous goal setting.

9. Drinkers Helper

Drinkers Helper combines the power of community support with evidence-based strategies, making it a fantastic choice for anyone looking to explore mindful drinking.

  • Community support. One of the app’s greatest strengths is its vibrant community. Join others who are facing similar challenges and share experiences, tips, and encouragement.
  • Evidence-based strategies. Drinkers Helper is grounded in proven methods like cognitive-behavioral and motivational interviewing techniques. These strategies help address the root causes of our drinking habits and develop healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Goal setting and tracking. The app helps users set realistic drinking goals and tracks their progress.
  • Personalized exercises. Drinkers Helper offers a range of exercises tailored to the user’s specific needs. These exercises help manage cravings, deal with triggers, and maintain motivation.

Who Will Benefit From Drinkers Helper?

  • Seekers of community support. Those who thrive in a supportive, community-driven environment will find a welcoming space within Drinkers Helper.
  • Fans of practical tools. For those who appreciate hands-on tools and exercises to work through challenges, the app’s range of personalized activities will be particularly beneficial.

Pro Tip: Dive into the community features. Sharing your journey and learning from others can be incredibly empowering and enlightening.

The Verdict: Community support, evidence-based strategies, goal setting, and personalized exercises set this app apart, but it may not appeal to those seeking more privacy.

10. Vorvida

Vorvida is like having a scientific guide at our side, specifically tailored to help us manage our drinking habits. This app stands out with its algorithm-driven, personalized approach to reducing alcohol consumption, making it a great fit for anyone looking for a tech-savvy, scientifically validated tool.

  • Interactive and engaging. Vorvida engages users with AI-powered interactive exercises and scenarios, making the journey towards moderation or abstinence more engaging and less daunting.
  • Comprehensive self-help program. The app provides a structured program that covers various aspects of changing our drinking habits, from understanding triggers to developing coping strategies.

Who Is Vorvida Ideal for?

  • Science and tech enthusiasts. Those who appreciate the latest in digital health technology will find Vorvida’s algorithm-driven evidence-based approach appealing.
  • The self-starter. For those who prefer a self-guided approach to managing their drinking, Vorvida offers the tools and structure to do so effectively.

Pro Tip: Take full advantage of the interactive exercises. These are insightful, and they help reinforce the strategies you learn, making your journey more effective and personalized.

The Verdict: The scientifically validated approach, personalized feedback and strategies, and interactive structure are all standout features. However, the algorithm-driven approach may not cater to all nuances of individual experiences, and it lacks the personal touch of human interaction.

Action Steps for Using Mindful Drinking Apps

  • Set clear goals. Define what moderation or mindful drinking means for you. Be specific about your targets, such as limiting to a certain number of drinks per week or aiming for alcohol-free days.
  • Download and explore multiple apps. Begin by exploring various mindful drinking apps and assessing their features. From focusing on tracking and goal setting to educational content and community support, different apps cater to different needs and preferences.
  • Get tracking. Consistent tracking provides insights into patterns and triggers, making it easier to adjust habits, identify patterns and triggers, and gain valuable insights for making changes.
  • Set personalized goals in the apps. Use the apps to set specific, achievable goals. Whether it's reducing the number of drinks, increasing alcohol-free days, or working towards complete abstinence, these apps can help you solidify and shape your intentions.
  • Engage with educational resources. Take advantage of the educational materials offered by these apps. Learning about the effects of alcohol on your health and well-being can be a powerful motivator for change.
  • Participate in app communities for support. Many apps have community features that put you in touch with others on a similar journey. Engaging in these communities can provide encouragement, advice, and a sense of shared experience.
  • Regularly review and adjust your goals. Use the apps to regularly review your drinking habits and progress towards your goals. Be flexible and adjust as needed!

Summing Up

Adopting a mindful approach to drinking is an exciting journey of self-awareness and change, and the mindful drinking apps we introduced all provide various tools and strategies to provide support tailored to your needs and goals while cheering you on along the way. Put these resources to use, and start your journey to a healthier relationship with alcohol, one sip at a time!

Drinking Less
2023-07-05 9:00
Drinking Less
Alternatives To Drinking Alcohol: Exploring Life Beyond Booze
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Ready to discover what life has to offer when you leave alcohol behind? Dive into our latest blog for a thrilling journey filled with science-backed advice, creative alternatives, and practical steps.

20 min read

Ready To Explore Life Beyond Alcohol?

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 millions 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 today!

Read Full Article  →

Lots of sitcoms revolve around the characters meeting up for drinks — take the iconic Boston bar from Cheers, its modern New York counterpart in How I Met Your Mother, or the raunchy version from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There might be comedic gold in the crazy bar shenanigans, and trivia night is fun, but that doesn’t mean there are no other options for an entertaining Friday night than the local pub.

The truth is, magic and memories can be made beyond the confines of a hazy nightclub or row of beer taps. What are some great alcohol substitutes or alcohol alternatives? Travel with us through compelling alternatives to the age-old narrative of booze-fueled fun. Cheers to a world beyond the bar!

The Science of Habits

Why are we drawn to alcohol in the first place? And how did drinking become synonymous with having fun and being social? To truly understand how to navigate our relationship with alcohol and create healthier alternatives, it's essential to dig deeper into the science behind our habits. By gaining insight into the neurological processes involved in habit formation, we can better equip ourselves to create and stick to new patterns that benefit our well-being.

The brain is an incredibly efficient organ that’s always on the lookout for potential ways to save energy. When we repeat a behavior consistently, our brains begin to process it with less and less conscious thought, transforming that behavior into a habit. This happens in a region of the brain known as the basal ganglia.

Three elements make up the habit loop:

  • Cue. This is the trigger that initiates the behavior. For instance, feeling stressed might be a cue for some to grab a drink.
  • Routine. This is the behavior itself. In this context, it could be the act of drinking.
  • Reward. After performing the behavior, we receive a neurological payoff in the form of dopamine — the brain’s “reward” chemical, responsible for pleasure-seeking behaviors and reward-driven learning. When our habits consistently stimulate dopamine release, they become even more ingrained. This is why alcohol — which triggers dopamine release — seems to provide temporary relief from stress and gives us a brief feeling of euphoria.

Over time, as this loop is continually reinforced, the habit becomes more ingrained. When it comes to alcohol, the association of drinking with fun makes the habit feel like a given simply because it’s reinforced by our own behaviors, as well as by society. But what if it’s simply one of many options? In other words, what if we could replace the habit of drinking to relax and let loose with something else that’s just as satisfying?

Setting the Neurological Stage

Knowing how habits form gives us the roadmap to alter or replace them. The key is to identify the cue and the reward, then find a different routine that delivers the same reward without the negatives associated with the old behavior.

One of the brain's most incredible features is neuroplasticity — its ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This means that no matter how long-standing a habit might be, our brains are wired to adapt and change.

Every time we choose a healthier routine over an old habit, we reinforce a new neural pathway. The more we strengthen this pathway, the easier it becomes to default to the healthier behavior.

Dopamine plays a pivotal role in this process. By consciously selecting alternative activities that trigger dopamine release in healthier ways — such as exercise, accomplishing tasks, or even enjoying good food — we can build up a reserve of alternatives to drinking.

Find Your “Why”

When setting out to find alternatives for alcohol cravings, it’s best to start with a bit of self-exploration. To find an activity that will do the trick, look for something that adds to your life in a meaningful way. Every story has its motive. What's yours? Are you looking for better health, stronger relationships, or improved mental well-being? Your “why” is the plot twist that changes everything! Science says when we attach a strong personal motive to a behavior change, we're more likely to stick with it. This is because your “why” directly stimulates your brain's reward system, releasing feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, creating a sense of pleasure and reward. 

Once you have identified your goal, it’s time to start exploring new activities. Who knows? You might find some new favorites!

The Brain-Boosters

Let's talk about some brain-boosting activities. While alcohol can do a number on your brain, the body is extremely resilient. By immersing yourself in brain-boosting activities, you're not just avoiding the negative effects of alcohol, you're actively elevating your cognitive potential.

There are plenty of ways to relax and feel good — all while boosting your brainpower! Here are a few favorites:

  • Meditation and mindfulness. Both of these practices are like a workout for our brain, helping to strengthen and build new neural connections. They also encourage relaxation and stress relief, replacing those "relaxing" benefits we often associate with alcohol.
  • Puzzle time. Doing crosswords, sudoku, or jigsaws stimulate the brain, improving cognitive function and memory. Plus, puzzles are fun!!
  • Brainy board games. While digital games have their place, classic board games like chess, Go, or Settlers of Catan require players to think several steps ahead, strategize, and adapt based on other players' actions.
  • Hone a new language. Learning a new language exercises your brain while opening doors to understanding different cultures. Apps like Duolingo make this process fun and accessible.
  • Active learning. Sign up for workshops, online courses, or lectures on topics you're unfamiliar with. The options are endless, ranging from astrophysics to zoonoses. Grappling with unfamiliar concepts and information can stimulate neural growth and connectivity.
  • Nature walks with a twist. While walking in nature is therapeutic, add an element of brain-boosting activity by turning it into a learning expedition. Identify plants, birds, or stars. Apps like iNaturalist can help you catalog and learn about various species.

The Health-Enthusiast Route

The health benefits of reducing alcohol intake are numerous, ranging from lower blood pressure to reduced risk of certain cancers. But there are also more immediate ways to give your body a wellness boost. 

  • Get moving. Regular exercise releases endorphins, those lovely chemicals that make us feel happy and relaxed. Whether it's yoga, running, or dancing in the living room, physical activity is a fantastic substitute for the temporary high alcohol provides.
  • Hydrotherapy. Water has incredible therapeutic properties. Beyond just swimming, explore activities such as aqua aerobics, cold water immersion (known for boosting immunity and mood), or even attend floatation tank sessions for deep relaxation and mindfulness.
  • Cooking masterclass. Preparing our own meals is a fun and satisfying activity with the added bonus of helping us make healthier food choices. Plus, it provides a sense of accomplishment that another round of drinks just can't match. The process of cooking itself can be meditative, and the end result? Delicious! 
  • Plant new seeds. Ever tried gardening? Tending to plants is not only rewarding, but it also has therapeutic benefits. “Horticultural therapy” reduces stress and improves mood by increasing levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. 
  • Traditional healing arts. Delve into the world of traditional healing practices such as Ayurveda, acupuncture, or reflexology. Attend workshops or sessions to understand your body type, imbalances, and remedies. These holistic approaches look at health as an interplay of body, mind, and environment.

Adventure Seekers' Paradise

Why not replace that wine bottle with an adrenaline rush? Engaging in thrilling activities can trigger a dopamine release similar to the effects of alcohol.

  • Rock climbing. Whether indoor or outdoor, rock climbing provides a physical and mental challenge that can quickly turn into a passion.
  • Scuba diving. If you're near the water, scuba diving can offer a whole new world to explore, and it’s a fantastic way to build new experiences.
  • Adventure sports. These not only give an adrenaline rush but also offer immense health benefits. Kayaking, whitewater rafting, or mountain biking can provide full-body workouts, increase endurance, and foster a deeper connection with nature.

Artsy and Eclectic Escapades

Engaging in artistic endeavors can not only provide a creative outlet but also boost your mood and lower stress levels.

  • Pottery or sculpting. Working with your hands to create something beautiful is extremely satisfying and therapeutic. Plus, you get a wonderful piece of art to display!
  • Digital art and animation. The digital age brings with it a plethora of tools to create digital paintings, graphic designs, and animations. Software such as Adobe Creative Cloud or Procreate can help you bring your visions to virtual life.
  • Film photography. On the other hand, with the ubiquity of digital photography, going old school with film can be a refreshing change. The process is mindful, and the results can be truly rewarding.
  • Music and soundscapes. Explore digital music creation. Apps and software such as GarageBand or Ableton allow users to compose tunes, mix tracks, and create their own soundscapes.
  • Interactive art. Attend or create interactive art installations, immersive theater experiences, or escape rooms for an engaging mix of art, story, and experience.
  • Art travel. Plan trips or retreats specifically focused on art. For example, sign up for a pottery workshop in a remote village, visit art festivals, or explore the art and architecture of a historic city.

The Social Butterfly Approach

Just because you're giving up alcohol doesn't mean you have to give up socializing. In fact, you might even find your social interactions become more meaningful! Socializing without alcohol might seem daunting, but it can be incredibly enriching.

  • New social experiences. Switch your boozy brunch for a hike with friends, join a book club, or host a movie night. There are countless alcohol-free ways to socialize that can enhance relationships.
  • Coffee culture. Why not meet up for a cup of joe instead of a pint? Exploring new coffee shops and trying different roasts can become an adventure that leads you to discover all sorts of wine alternatives and alcohol replacement drinks. Plus, coffee can provide a bit of a pick-me-up without the downsides of alcohol.
  • Themed dinner parties. Instead of regular parties, why not host a themed dinner? The theme could be anything: a Hawaiian luau, an ’80s retro night, or a costume dinner. This gives everyone something to focus on other than alcohol — and maybe even discover some great alcohol alternative drinks!
  • Volunteer together. Find a cause you're passionate about and invite your friends to join you. Volunteering not only gives back to the community but also helps form meaningful bonds.

Remember that change takes time and patience. Don’t worry if you slip up now and then, and certainly don’t beat yourself up about it. Just take it one day at a time, keep trying new things, and before you know it, you'll be creating new memories that don’t need alcohol to be enjoyable.

Tips for the Journey

  • Start small. Small habits add up, and tiny changes lead to massive shifts over time. Begin by designating certain days as alcohol-free and gradually increase them.
  • Rediscover morning. Remember, evenings aren’t the only time to have fun. Challenge yourself to wake up early and explore sunrise activities, like morning hikes, sunrise yoga, or even a sunrise photography challenge. The world feels different at dawn, and without a hangover, you can truly appreciate it.
  • Find a buddy. Sharing the journey with a friend or family member can make it easier. You'll have someone to hold you accountable, share new experiences, and offer support during challenging moments.
  • Stay open-minded. As you explore alcohol alternatives, remember that not every activity or hobby will resonate with you. Be willing to try multiple options before finding what truly fits.
  • Prioritize self-care. Transitioning away from alcohol can be emotional. Prioritize self-care routines, whether those include meditation, spa days, or simply spending time in nature.
  • Stay positive. There may be moments when you slip back into old habits. Instead of being hard on yourself, use these as learning experiences. Stay positive, and remember the reasons you started this journey.

A New Story

In a world awash with clinking glasses and celebratory toasts, there's more to socializing and relaxation than the familiar fizz and burn of alcohol. Stepping outside the liquor spotlight, there’s a vast and vibrant world of experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you're seeking better health, deeper connections, or simply a change of pace, there's a fresh chapter waiting for you, no bottle required. 

Every activity you undertake is an opportunity to weave a new storyline — one that doesn't rely on the crutch of alcohol. So get out there, try new things, and start creating your healthier, happier narrative. Now, that's a show worth binge watching!

Lots of sitcoms revolve around the characters meeting up for drinks — take the iconic Boston bar from Cheers, its modern New York counterpart in How I Met Your Mother, or the raunchy version from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There might be comedic gold in the crazy bar shenanigans, and trivia night is fun, but that doesn’t mean there are no other options for an entertaining Friday night than the local pub.

The truth is, magic and memories can be made beyond the confines of a hazy nightclub or row of beer taps. What are some great alcohol substitutes or alcohol alternatives? Travel with us through compelling alternatives to the age-old narrative of booze-fueled fun. Cheers to a world beyond the bar!

The Science of Habits

Why are we drawn to alcohol in the first place? And how did drinking become synonymous with having fun and being social? To truly understand how to navigate our relationship with alcohol and create healthier alternatives, it's essential to dig deeper into the science behind our habits. By gaining insight into the neurological processes involved in habit formation, we can better equip ourselves to create and stick to new patterns that benefit our well-being.

The brain is an incredibly efficient organ that’s always on the lookout for potential ways to save energy. When we repeat a behavior consistently, our brains begin to process it with less and less conscious thought, transforming that behavior into a habit. This happens in a region of the brain known as the basal ganglia.

Three elements make up the habit loop:

  • Cue. This is the trigger that initiates the behavior. For instance, feeling stressed might be a cue for some to grab a drink.
  • Routine. This is the behavior itself. In this context, it could be the act of drinking.
  • Reward. After performing the behavior, we receive a neurological payoff in the form of dopamine — the brain’s “reward” chemical, responsible for pleasure-seeking behaviors and reward-driven learning. When our habits consistently stimulate dopamine release, they become even more ingrained. This is why alcohol — which triggers dopamine release — seems to provide temporary relief from stress and gives us a brief feeling of euphoria.

Over time, as this loop is continually reinforced, the habit becomes more ingrained. When it comes to alcohol, the association of drinking with fun makes the habit feel like a given simply because it’s reinforced by our own behaviors, as well as by society. But what if it’s simply one of many options? In other words, what if we could replace the habit of drinking to relax and let loose with something else that’s just as satisfying?

Setting the Neurological Stage

Knowing how habits form gives us the roadmap to alter or replace them. The key is to identify the cue and the reward, then find a different routine that delivers the same reward without the negatives associated with the old behavior.

One of the brain's most incredible features is neuroplasticity — its ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. This means that no matter how long-standing a habit might be, our brains are wired to adapt and change.

Every time we choose a healthier routine over an old habit, we reinforce a new neural pathway. The more we strengthen this pathway, the easier it becomes to default to the healthier behavior.

Dopamine plays a pivotal role in this process. By consciously selecting alternative activities that trigger dopamine release in healthier ways — such as exercise, accomplishing tasks, or even enjoying good food — we can build up a reserve of alternatives to drinking.

Find Your “Why”

When setting out to find alternatives for alcohol cravings, it’s best to start with a bit of self-exploration. To find an activity that will do the trick, look for something that adds to your life in a meaningful way. Every story has its motive. What's yours? Are you looking for better health, stronger relationships, or improved mental well-being? Your “why” is the plot twist that changes everything! Science says when we attach a strong personal motive to a behavior change, we're more likely to stick with it. This is because your “why” directly stimulates your brain's reward system, releasing feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine, creating a sense of pleasure and reward. 

Once you have identified your goal, it’s time to start exploring new activities. Who knows? You might find some new favorites!

The Brain-Boosters

Let's talk about some brain-boosting activities. While alcohol can do a number on your brain, the body is extremely resilient. By immersing yourself in brain-boosting activities, you're not just avoiding the negative effects of alcohol, you're actively elevating your cognitive potential.

There are plenty of ways to relax and feel good — all while boosting your brainpower! Here are a few favorites:

  • Meditation and mindfulness. Both of these practices are like a workout for our brain, helping to strengthen and build new neural connections. They also encourage relaxation and stress relief, replacing those "relaxing" benefits we often associate with alcohol.
  • Puzzle time. Doing crosswords, sudoku, or jigsaws stimulate the brain, improving cognitive function and memory. Plus, puzzles are fun!!
  • Brainy board games. While digital games have their place, classic board games like chess, Go, or Settlers of Catan require players to think several steps ahead, strategize, and adapt based on other players' actions.
  • Hone a new language. Learning a new language exercises your brain while opening doors to understanding different cultures. Apps like Duolingo make this process fun and accessible.
  • Active learning. Sign up for workshops, online courses, or lectures on topics you're unfamiliar with. The options are endless, ranging from astrophysics to zoonoses. Grappling with unfamiliar concepts and information can stimulate neural growth and connectivity.
  • Nature walks with a twist. While walking in nature is therapeutic, add an element of brain-boosting activity by turning it into a learning expedition. Identify plants, birds, or stars. Apps like iNaturalist can help you catalog and learn about various species.

The Health-Enthusiast Route

The health benefits of reducing alcohol intake are numerous, ranging from lower blood pressure to reduced risk of certain cancers. But there are also more immediate ways to give your body a wellness boost. 

  • Get moving. Regular exercise releases endorphins, those lovely chemicals that make us feel happy and relaxed. Whether it's yoga, running, or dancing in the living room, physical activity is a fantastic substitute for the temporary high alcohol provides.
  • Hydrotherapy. Water has incredible therapeutic properties. Beyond just swimming, explore activities such as aqua aerobics, cold water immersion (known for boosting immunity and mood), or even attend floatation tank sessions for deep relaxation and mindfulness.
  • Cooking masterclass. Preparing our own meals is a fun and satisfying activity with the added bonus of helping us make healthier food choices. Plus, it provides a sense of accomplishment that another round of drinks just can't match. The process of cooking itself can be meditative, and the end result? Delicious! 
  • Plant new seeds. Ever tried gardening? Tending to plants is not only rewarding, but it also has therapeutic benefits. “Horticultural therapy” reduces stress and improves mood by increasing levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. 
  • Traditional healing arts. Delve into the world of traditional healing practices such as Ayurveda, acupuncture, or reflexology. Attend workshops or sessions to understand your body type, imbalances, and remedies. These holistic approaches look at health as an interplay of body, mind, and environment.

Adventure Seekers' Paradise

Why not replace that wine bottle with an adrenaline rush? Engaging in thrilling activities can trigger a dopamine release similar to the effects of alcohol.

  • Rock climbing. Whether indoor or outdoor, rock climbing provides a physical and mental challenge that can quickly turn into a passion.
  • Scuba diving. If you're near the water, scuba diving can offer a whole new world to explore, and it’s a fantastic way to build new experiences.
  • Adventure sports. These not only give an adrenaline rush but also offer immense health benefits. Kayaking, whitewater rafting, or mountain biking can provide full-body workouts, increase endurance, and foster a deeper connection with nature.

Artsy and Eclectic Escapades

Engaging in artistic endeavors can not only provide a creative outlet but also boost your mood and lower stress levels.

  • Pottery or sculpting. Working with your hands to create something beautiful is extremely satisfying and therapeutic. Plus, you get a wonderful piece of art to display!
  • Digital art and animation. The digital age brings with it a plethora of tools to create digital paintings, graphic designs, and animations. Software such as Adobe Creative Cloud or Procreate can help you bring your visions to virtual life.
  • Film photography. On the other hand, with the ubiquity of digital photography, going old school with film can be a refreshing change. The process is mindful, and the results can be truly rewarding.
  • Music and soundscapes. Explore digital music creation. Apps and software such as GarageBand or Ableton allow users to compose tunes, mix tracks, and create their own soundscapes.
  • Interactive art. Attend or create interactive art installations, immersive theater experiences, or escape rooms for an engaging mix of art, story, and experience.
  • Art travel. Plan trips or retreats specifically focused on art. For example, sign up for a pottery workshop in a remote village, visit art festivals, or explore the art and architecture of a historic city.

The Social Butterfly Approach

Just because you're giving up alcohol doesn't mean you have to give up socializing. In fact, you might even find your social interactions become more meaningful! Socializing without alcohol might seem daunting, but it can be incredibly enriching.

  • New social experiences. Switch your boozy brunch for a hike with friends, join a book club, or host a movie night. There are countless alcohol-free ways to socialize that can enhance relationships.
  • Coffee culture. Why not meet up for a cup of joe instead of a pint? Exploring new coffee shops and trying different roasts can become an adventure that leads you to discover all sorts of wine alternatives and alcohol replacement drinks. Plus, coffee can provide a bit of a pick-me-up without the downsides of alcohol.
  • Themed dinner parties. Instead of regular parties, why not host a themed dinner? The theme could be anything: a Hawaiian luau, an ’80s retro night, or a costume dinner. This gives everyone something to focus on other than alcohol — and maybe even discover some great alcohol alternative drinks!
  • Volunteer together. Find a cause you're passionate about and invite your friends to join you. Volunteering not only gives back to the community but also helps form meaningful bonds.

Remember that change takes time and patience. Don’t worry if you slip up now and then, and certainly don’t beat yourself up about it. Just take it one day at a time, keep trying new things, and before you know it, you'll be creating new memories that don’t need alcohol to be enjoyable.

Tips for the Journey

  • Start small. Small habits add up, and tiny changes lead to massive shifts over time. Begin by designating certain days as alcohol-free and gradually increase them.
  • Rediscover morning. Remember, evenings aren’t the only time to have fun. Challenge yourself to wake up early and explore sunrise activities, like morning hikes, sunrise yoga, or even a sunrise photography challenge. The world feels different at dawn, and without a hangover, you can truly appreciate it.
  • Find a buddy. Sharing the journey with a friend or family member can make it easier. You'll have someone to hold you accountable, share new experiences, and offer support during challenging moments.
  • Stay open-minded. As you explore alcohol alternatives, remember that not every activity or hobby will resonate with you. Be willing to try multiple options before finding what truly fits.
  • Prioritize self-care. Transitioning away from alcohol can be emotional. Prioritize self-care routines, whether those include meditation, spa days, or simply spending time in nature.
  • Stay positive. There may be moments when you slip back into old habits. Instead of being hard on yourself, use these as learning experiences. Stay positive, and remember the reasons you started this journey.

A New Story

In a world awash with clinking glasses and celebratory toasts, there's more to socializing and relaxation than the familiar fizz and burn of alcohol. Stepping outside the liquor spotlight, there’s a vast and vibrant world of experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you're seeking better health, deeper connections, or simply a change of pace, there's a fresh chapter waiting for you, no bottle required. 

Every activity you undertake is an opportunity to weave a new storyline — one that doesn't rely on the crutch of alcohol. So get out there, try new things, and start creating your healthier, happier narrative. Now, that's a show worth binge watching!

Drinking Less
2023-07-05 9:00
Drinking Less
How Can Yoga Help Us Drink Less Alcohol?
This is some text inside of a div block.

This blog explores how yoga can aid in reducing alcohol consumption. It highlights how yoga enhances self-awareness, reduces stress, promotes mindfulness, builds resilience, and fosters a sense of community, providing a holistic approach to managing our relationship with alcohol for a healthier, happier lifestyle.

8 min read

Drink Less With Reframe!

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 millions 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!

Read Full Article  →

Yoga, an ancient practice that originated thousands of years ago in the East, has become a global phenomenon, embraced by millions for its physical and mental benefits. Combining physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, yoga is a holistic approach to well-being. However, beyond its well-known benefits for flexibility, strength, and stress reduction, yoga can also play a significant role in helping us reduce or even eliminate our alcohol consumption.

At the heart of this lies the concept of mindfulness, a state of being fully present and engaged in the moment, free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without being consumed by them. Mindfulness is a powerful tool in managing our habits and behaviors, including our relationship with alcohol. So, how exactly does yoga help us cultivate mindfulness and support us in our journey towards reducing alcohol intake? Let's explore this intriguing connection in depth.

1. Cultivating Self-Awareness Through Yoga

One of the fundamental principles of yoga is the cultivation of self-awareness. Through the practice of various asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga encourages practitioners to tune into their bodies and minds, fostering a heightened sense of self-awareness. This increased awareness can be particularly beneficial for those attempting to reduce or eliminate their alcohol consumption.

When we become more in tune with our bodies, we start to notice the effects that alcohol has on our physical and mental state. We become acutely aware of the sluggishness that follows a night of heavy drinking, or the creeping anxiety that sets in as the effects of alcohol wear off. This heightened awareness can act as a powerful deterrent, prompting us to make healthier choices that align with our well-being.

2. Yoga Is a Natural Stress Reliever

Stress is a common trigger for alcohol consumption. Many of us turn to drinking as a coping mechanism to deal with the pressures and demands of daily life. However, yoga, with its emphasis on deep breathing and physical movement, serves as a natural stress reliever.

The practice of yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and relaxation. This stimulation helps to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, all of which are associated with stress. By reducing stress, yoga can help to remove one of the primary triggers for alcohol consumption, providing a healthier alternative for managing challenging emotions.

3. The Role of Mindfulness in Yoga

Yoga is not merely about physical movement; it's also about cultivating mindfulness. During a yoga session, we are encouraged to focus on our breath and to be fully present in the moment. This practice of mindfulness can be incredibly beneficial for those of us attempting to reduce or stop our alcohol consumption.

Mindfulness helps us break free from habitual patterns of behavior. When we are mindful, we are more likely to recognize the urge to drink as just that — an urge. This awareness allows us to respond to this craving in a healthier way, rather than automatically reaching for a drink. By cultivating mindfulness through yoga, we can develop healthier responses to our cravings and urges.

4. Building Resilience With Yoga

Yoga is a practice that requires patience, persistence, and resilience. Some postures can be challenging, and progress may be slow. However, this process of overcoming challenges on the yoga mat can help build resilience, a crucial attribute for those of us changing our drinking habits.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It's about having the mental strength to cope with life's challenges without resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol. By building resilience through the practice of yoga, we can navigate the ups and downs of life without relying on alcohol as a crutch.

5. Fostering a Sense of Community Through Yoga

Lastly, yoga fosters a sense of community. Many of us attempting to cut back or quit drinking alcohol find it helpful to surround ourselves with supportive individuals who understand our journey. Yoga classes provide a safe, supportive environment where we can connect with others who are also committed to living a healthier lifestyle.

Yoga and Drinking Less Alcohol: Final Thoughts

Yoga is a powerful tool that can support us in our journey towards reducing or stopping alcohol consumption. By enhancing self-awareness, reducing stress, promoting mindfulness, building resilience, and fostering a sense of community, yoga provides a holistic approach to managing our relationship with alcohol.

If you're on a journey towards cutting back on alcohol or eliminating it from your life, why not give yoga a try? You may find that it's just the tool you need to support your journey towards a healthier, happier you!

Yoga, an ancient practice that originated thousands of years ago in the East, has become a global phenomenon, embraced by millions for its physical and mental benefits. Combining physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, yoga is a holistic approach to well-being. However, beyond its well-known benefits for flexibility, strength, and stress reduction, yoga can also play a significant role in helping us reduce or even eliminate our alcohol consumption.

At the heart of this lies the concept of mindfulness, a state of being fully present and engaged in the moment, free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without being consumed by them. Mindfulness is a powerful tool in managing our habits and behaviors, including our relationship with alcohol. So, how exactly does yoga help us cultivate mindfulness and support us in our journey towards reducing alcohol intake? Let's explore this intriguing connection in depth.

1. Cultivating Self-Awareness Through Yoga

One of the fundamental principles of yoga is the cultivation of self-awareness. Through the practice of various asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga encourages practitioners to tune into their bodies and minds, fostering a heightened sense of self-awareness. This increased awareness can be particularly beneficial for those attempting to reduce or eliminate their alcohol consumption.

When we become more in tune with our bodies, we start to notice the effects that alcohol has on our physical and mental state. We become acutely aware of the sluggishness that follows a night of heavy drinking, or the creeping anxiety that sets in as the effects of alcohol wear off. This heightened awareness can act as a powerful deterrent, prompting us to make healthier choices that align with our well-being.

2. Yoga Is a Natural Stress Reliever

Stress is a common trigger for alcohol consumption. Many of us turn to drinking as a coping mechanism to deal with the pressures and demands of daily life. However, yoga, with its emphasis on deep breathing and physical movement, serves as a natural stress reliever.

The practice of yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and relaxation. This stimulation helps to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels, all of which are associated with stress. By reducing stress, yoga can help to remove one of the primary triggers for alcohol consumption, providing a healthier alternative for managing challenging emotions.

3. The Role of Mindfulness in Yoga

Yoga is not merely about physical movement; it's also about cultivating mindfulness. During a yoga session, we are encouraged to focus on our breath and to be fully present in the moment. This practice of mindfulness can be incredibly beneficial for those of us attempting to reduce or stop our alcohol consumption.

Mindfulness helps us break free from habitual patterns of behavior. When we are mindful, we are more likely to recognize the urge to drink as just that — an urge. This awareness allows us to respond to this craving in a healthier way, rather than automatically reaching for a drink. By cultivating mindfulness through yoga, we can develop healthier responses to our cravings and urges.

4. Building Resilience With Yoga

Yoga is a practice that requires patience, persistence, and resilience. Some postures can be challenging, and progress may be slow. However, this process of overcoming challenges on the yoga mat can help build resilience, a crucial attribute for those of us changing our drinking habits.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It's about having the mental strength to cope with life's challenges without resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol. By building resilience through the practice of yoga, we can navigate the ups and downs of life without relying on alcohol as a crutch.

5. Fostering a Sense of Community Through Yoga

Lastly, yoga fosters a sense of community. Many of us attempting to cut back or quit drinking alcohol find it helpful to surround ourselves with supportive individuals who understand our journey. Yoga classes provide a safe, supportive environment where we can connect with others who are also committed to living a healthier lifestyle.

Yoga and Drinking Less Alcohol: Final Thoughts

Yoga is a powerful tool that can support us in our journey towards reducing or stopping alcohol consumption. By enhancing self-awareness, reducing stress, promoting mindfulness, building resilience, and fostering a sense of community, yoga provides a holistic approach to managing our relationship with alcohol.

If you're on a journey towards cutting back on alcohol or eliminating it from your life, why not give yoga a try? You may find that it's just the tool you need to support your journey towards a healthier, happier you!

Drinking Less
2023-06-28 9:00
Drinking Less
Five Famous Mindful Drinkers
This is some text inside of a div block.

This blog explores the concept of mindful drinking and how five celebrities have incorporated this approach into their lives. By prioritizing their well-being and making informed choices about alcohol consumption, they demonstrate that it is possible to enjoy a successful career in the entertainment industry while maintaining a healthy relationship with alcohol.

6 min read

Drink Mindfully With Reframe!

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 millions 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!

Read Full Article  →

More and more people are becoming conscious of their health and well-being, especially after the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. This has led to a growing trend of "sober curiosity" or "mindful drinking," where individuals are reevaluating their relationship with alcohol and opting for a more moderate approach to consumption. This movement is not about complete abstinence, but rather about finding a balance and making more informed choices about drinking alcohol.

Many famous alcoholics, like celebrities, have also joined this trend, proving that it’s possible to enjoy a glamorous lifestyle while still being mindful of your alcohol intake. In this blog, we’ll look at five famous alcoholics who became mindful drinkers and how they have incorporated this approach into their lives.

1. Jennifer Garner

Actress Jennifer Garner is known for her healthy lifestyle and dedication to fitness. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Life, Garner revealed that she has been cutting back on alcohol, and explained that she prefers to enjoy a glass of wine, rather than indulging in excessive amounts of alcohol. This mindful approach to drinking allows Garner to maintain her healthy lifestyle and focus on her well-being, while still enjoying the occasional treat.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow, actress and founder of the lifestyle brand Goop, is no stranger to promoting health and wellness. In an interview with People, Paltrow shared that she currently allows herself one drink per week. She also mentioned that she had been drinking too much during the pandemic, and that she sleeps way better when she doesn’t drink. Paltrow's mindful approach to alcohol demonstrates that it’s possible to enjoy a balanced lifestyle while still indulging in the occasional drink.

Famous Mindful Drinkers

3. Katy Perry

Pop star Katy Perry has been open about her journey with sobriety and mindful drinking. In an interview with E! News, Perry stated that she and her fiancé, actor Orlando Bloom, made a pact in February 2023 to be sober for three months. Now that they made it through that challenge, she’s adopted a moderate approach and only drinks on the weekends. 

4. John Legend

Singer-songwriter John Legend has also embraced the concept of mindful drinking. In a recent interview with People, Legend shared that he has been trying to drink less since his wife, model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, went alcohol-free. He explained that he wants to support Teigen in her journey and be more mindful of his own alcohol consumption. Legend's decision to cut back on alcohol demonstrates the importance of finding balance and making healthier choices for both oneself and one's loved ones.

5. Ed Sheeran

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has also made headlines for his decision to cut back on alcohol. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Sheeran revealed that since becoming a father, he has been much more conscious about how much he drinks so that he can be a great dad to his daughter, Lyra. 

Famous alcoholics are known for their notoriety but these five celebrities are showing that it is possible to enjoy a successful career in the entertainment industry while still maintaining a healthy relationship with alcohol. By embracing the concept of mindful drinking, they have demonstrated that finding balance and making informed choices is key to living a healthy and fulfilling life. Whether you are sober-curious or simply trying to cut back on alcohol consumption, these celebrities serve as inspiring examples of how to incorporate mindful drinking into your lifestyle.

More and more people are becoming conscious of their health and well-being, especially after the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. This has led to a growing trend of "sober curiosity" or "mindful drinking," where individuals are reevaluating their relationship with alcohol and opting for a more moderate approach to consumption. This movement is not about complete abstinence, but rather about finding a balance and making more informed choices about drinking alcohol.

Many famous alcoholics, like celebrities, have also joined this trend, proving that it’s possible to enjoy a glamorous lifestyle while still being mindful of your alcohol intake. In this blog, we’ll look at five famous alcoholics who became mindful drinkers and how they have incorporated this approach into their lives.

1. Jennifer Garner

Actress Jennifer Garner is known for her healthy lifestyle and dedication to fitness. In a recent interview with Yahoo! Life, Garner revealed that she has been cutting back on alcohol, and explained that she prefers to enjoy a glass of wine, rather than indulging in excessive amounts of alcohol. This mindful approach to drinking allows Garner to maintain her healthy lifestyle and focus on her well-being, while still enjoying the occasional treat.

2. Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow, actress and founder of the lifestyle brand Goop, is no stranger to promoting health and wellness. In an interview with People, Paltrow shared that she currently allows herself one drink per week. She also mentioned that she had been drinking too much during the pandemic, and that she sleeps way better when she doesn’t drink. Paltrow's mindful approach to alcohol demonstrates that it’s possible to enjoy a balanced lifestyle while still indulging in the occasional drink.

Famous Mindful Drinkers

3. Katy Perry

Pop star Katy Perry has been open about her journey with sobriety and mindful drinking. In an interview with E! News, Perry stated that she and her fiancé, actor Orlando Bloom, made a pact in February 2023 to be sober for three months. Now that they made it through that challenge, she’s adopted a moderate approach and only drinks on the weekends. 

4. John Legend

Singer-songwriter John Legend has also embraced the concept of mindful drinking. In a recent interview with People, Legend shared that he has been trying to drink less since his wife, model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, went alcohol-free. He explained that he wants to support Teigen in her journey and be more mindful of his own alcohol consumption. Legend's decision to cut back on alcohol demonstrates the importance of finding balance and making healthier choices for both oneself and one's loved ones.

5. Ed Sheeran

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has also made headlines for his decision to cut back on alcohol. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Sheeran revealed that since becoming a father, he has been much more conscious about how much he drinks so that he can be a great dad to his daughter, Lyra. 

Famous alcoholics are known for their notoriety but these five celebrities are showing that it is possible to enjoy a successful career in the entertainment industry while still maintaining a healthy relationship with alcohol. By embracing the concept of mindful drinking, they have demonstrated that finding balance and making informed choices is key to living a healthy and fulfilling life. Whether you are sober-curious or simply trying to cut back on alcohol consumption, these celebrities serve as inspiring examples of how to incorporate mindful drinking into your lifestyle.

Drinking Less
2023-06-19 9:00
Drinking Less
Drinking With Friends: How To Avoid Peer Pressure When You Cut Back
This is some text inside of a div block.

Peer pressure plays a significant role in alcohol use and can make cutting back in a social setting tricky. However, there are several strategies that can help get around this problem.

6 min read

Ready To Change Your Relationship With Alcohol? Try Reframe!

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 millions 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!

Read Full Article  →

Alcohol often finds its way into the picture when we’re painting the town red with our pals. But what happens when we decide to cut back on the booze, or maybe quit entirely? It's no easy feat, especially when faced with social situations involving alcohol. Here's a bit of encouragement, some scientific insight, and a few tricks of the trade to help you stay on your path, even when the party's in full swing.

A Peek Into Peer Pressure

To start, it’s worth acknowledging that peer pressure is very real. Contrary to popular belief, peer pressure isn't just a teenage phenomenon. As a 2020 BMC Public Health study showed, it follows us into adulthood, sneakily shaping our choices and behaviors, especially when it comes to alcohol. Likewise, a 2019 survey of UK drinkers found that more than 30% of the participants reported drinking more than they intended because of pressure, and more than half wished there was less pressure around alcohol. For those of us figuring out how to control drinking without quitting, peer pressure can be a major barrier.

Just imagine: a hard day at work, a casual after-hours drink, and a colleague cheerfully insisting "One more won't hurt!" But why does this happen? Here are some of the most common reasons people tend to experience peer pressure around alcohol:

  • Humans are social creatures. We humans, social creatures to the core, are wired to fit into our “tribes.” Research reveals that adult drinking habits are strongly influenced by perceptions of what is “normal” within our social circles, a phenomenon known as “social modeling.” If the gang’s toasting to Tequila Tuesday, our brains often decide it's the path of least resistance to join in. 

    Moreover, because we tend to hang out with people whose lifestyles are similar to our own, it’s only natural that someone who was drinking heavily in the past and is now trying to cut down has friends who did — and are still doing — the same. 
  • Cutting back can serve as an unwanted “mirror” for others. Some people might pressure others to drink as a way to justify or normalize their own drinking habits. This phenomenon is rooted in cognitive dissonance — the mental discomfort experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values, or performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, values, or personal norms. These people are made uncomfortable by our changed drinking habits, and they want to alleviate that discomfort by changing our habits back to “normal.”
  • Cultural norms around alcohol can contribute to pressure. In some societies, drinking alcohol is deeply intertwined with cultural rituals and celebrations. The pressure to participate in these traditions may lead individuals to consume alcohol even when they might not otherwise choose to do so. For example, a 2015 study in Drug and Alcohol Review found that cultural expectations around drinking in Finland was a contributing factor to peer pressure regarding alcohol.

Your Life, Your Choices

So, how do we arm ourselves against this invisible foe when we're aiming to cut back on alcohol? We certainly don’t want to avoid social gatherings entirely — that’s neither fun nor practical. If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re wondering how to cut back or stop drinking on your own, we’re here to remind you that you can still have friends even if you change your relationship with alcohol. Here are some proven strategies:

  • Be Prepared: Have Your Responses Ready. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that participants who were “primed” with information regarding social norms and the human tendency to fit in were more likely to follow through with their intentions to drink less in a social setting. Moreover, having prepared responses can significantly decrease the influence of peer pressure. When asked if you'd like a drink, a simple "I'm driving tonight" or "I'm cutting back for a bit" should suffice. More often than not, friends respect our decisions, especially when we communicate our boundaries clearly.
  • Non-Alcoholic Options: Your Secret Weapon. Non-alcoholic beverages are on the rise! A 2023 survey by NCS showed that one in four Americans have heard about the sober curious movement, and over a third reported that they’re trying to drink less in 2023.

    As a result, sales of non-alcoholic beverages are on the rise. And these aren't the bland, tasteless options of yesteryear. Today, we have artisanal non-alcoholic craft beers, sophisticated alcohol-free wines, and even spirit substitutes. Holding a drink that looks like it could be alcoholic reduces the likelihood of being offered another drink.
  • The Buddy System: Find a Friend. If we can find a friend who's also avoiding or cutting back on alcohol, the alcohol-free socializing can be much less daunting. Having a support system is significantly associated with successful behavior change. So consider bringing a non-drinking buddy along for the next pub crawl.
  • Mindfulness: More Powerful Than You Think. A study in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology showed that even “ultra-brief” mindfulness exercises lasting as little as 11 minutes led to a decrease in alcohol consumption. Mindfulness can help us become more aware of our drinking habits and the influences on our decisions, allowing us to make choices that align with our goals. Even a quick breathing exercise before walking into a social gathering can ground us and provide the focus we need.
  • Combine Socializing With Exercise. Instead of traditional bar meetups, why not opt for activities that combine socializing with exercise, like hiking, cycling, or a yoga class? Not only do these options naturally sidestep alcohol, but they're also great for our physical and mental health.
  • Get Curious. Finally, try to approach the process of cutting back from a perspective of exploration and curiosity. Instead of worrying about what you might be missing out on, look at this process as a discovery of your authentic self on a journey to a more fulfilling life. In the words of writer Suzy Kessem, “Stay true to yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.”

Choose Your Adventure

It’s vital to remember that cutting back on alcohol isn't about going from 100 to 0 instantly. It's about making conscious decisions that suit our lifestyles and our health. Studies show that gradual reductions in alcohol intake are more sustainable in the long run than abrupt changes.

As we take on this journey of reduced drinking, it’s okay to have setbacks. The point is to keep trying and to keep learning about ourselves and our patterns. Cutting back on alcohol doesn't mean we have to cut back on fun! It just means we're choosing a different way to enjoy ourselves, one that's healthier and more sustainable.

Alcohol often finds its way into the picture when we’re painting the town red with our pals. But what happens when we decide to cut back on the booze, or maybe quit entirely? It's no easy feat, especially when faced with social situations involving alcohol. Here's a bit of encouragement, some scientific insight, and a few tricks of the trade to help you stay on your path, even when the party's in full swing.

A Peek Into Peer Pressure

To start, it’s worth acknowledging that peer pressure is very real. Contrary to popular belief, peer pressure isn't just a teenage phenomenon. As a 2020 BMC Public Health study showed, it follows us into adulthood, sneakily shaping our choices and behaviors, especially when it comes to alcohol. Likewise, a 2019 survey of UK drinkers found that more than 30% of the participants reported drinking more than they intended because of pressure, and more than half wished there was less pressure around alcohol. For those of us figuring out how to control drinking without quitting, peer pressure can be a major barrier.

Just imagine: a hard day at work, a casual after-hours drink, and a colleague cheerfully insisting "One more won't hurt!" But why does this happen? Here are some of the most common reasons people tend to experience peer pressure around alcohol:

  • Humans are social creatures. We humans, social creatures to the core, are wired to fit into our “tribes.” Research reveals that adult drinking habits are strongly influenced by perceptions of what is “normal” within our social circles, a phenomenon known as “social modeling.” If the gang’s toasting to Tequila Tuesday, our brains often decide it's the path of least resistance to join in. 

    Moreover, because we tend to hang out with people whose lifestyles are similar to our own, it’s only natural that someone who was drinking heavily in the past and is now trying to cut down has friends who did — and are still doing — the same. 
  • Cutting back can serve as an unwanted “mirror” for others. Some people might pressure others to drink as a way to justify or normalize their own drinking habits. This phenomenon is rooted in cognitive dissonance — the mental discomfort experienced by a person who holds two or more contradictory beliefs or values, or performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, values, or personal norms. These people are made uncomfortable by our changed drinking habits, and they want to alleviate that discomfort by changing our habits back to “normal.”
  • Cultural norms around alcohol can contribute to pressure. In some societies, drinking alcohol is deeply intertwined with cultural rituals and celebrations. The pressure to participate in these traditions may lead individuals to consume alcohol even when they might not otherwise choose to do so. For example, a 2015 study in Drug and Alcohol Review found that cultural expectations around drinking in Finland was a contributing factor to peer pressure regarding alcohol.

Your Life, Your Choices

So, how do we arm ourselves against this invisible foe when we're aiming to cut back on alcohol? We certainly don’t want to avoid social gatherings entirely — that’s neither fun nor practical. If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re wondering how to cut back or stop drinking on your own, we’re here to remind you that you can still have friends even if you change your relationship with alcohol. Here are some proven strategies:

  • Be Prepared: Have Your Responses Ready. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology found that participants who were “primed” with information regarding social norms and the human tendency to fit in were more likely to follow through with their intentions to drink less in a social setting. Moreover, having prepared responses can significantly decrease the influence of peer pressure. When asked if you'd like a drink, a simple "I'm driving tonight" or "I'm cutting back for a bit" should suffice. More often than not, friends respect our decisions, especially when we communicate our boundaries clearly.
  • Non-Alcoholic Options: Your Secret Weapon. Non-alcoholic beverages are on the rise! A 2023 survey by NCS showed that one in four Americans have heard about the sober curious movement, and over a third reported that they’re trying to drink less in 2023.

    As a result, sales of non-alcoholic beverages are on the rise. And these aren't the bland, tasteless options of yesteryear. Today, we have artisanal non-alcoholic craft beers, sophisticated alcohol-free wines, and even spirit substitutes. Holding a drink that looks like it could be alcoholic reduces the likelihood of being offered another drink.
  • The Buddy System: Find a Friend. If we can find a friend who's also avoiding or cutting back on alcohol, the alcohol-free socializing can be much less daunting. Having a support system is significantly associated with successful behavior change. So consider bringing a non-drinking buddy along for the next pub crawl.
  • Mindfulness: More Powerful Than You Think. A study in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology showed that even “ultra-brief” mindfulness exercises lasting as little as 11 minutes led to a decrease in alcohol consumption. Mindfulness can help us become more aware of our drinking habits and the influences on our decisions, allowing us to make choices that align with our goals. Even a quick breathing exercise before walking into a social gathering can ground us and provide the focus we need.
  • Combine Socializing With Exercise. Instead of traditional bar meetups, why not opt for activities that combine socializing with exercise, like hiking, cycling, or a yoga class? Not only do these options naturally sidestep alcohol, but they're also great for our physical and mental health.
  • Get Curious. Finally, try to approach the process of cutting back from a perspective of exploration and curiosity. Instead of worrying about what you might be missing out on, look at this process as a discovery of your authentic self on a journey to a more fulfilling life. In the words of writer Suzy Kessem, “Stay true to yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.”

Choose Your Adventure

It’s vital to remember that cutting back on alcohol isn't about going from 100 to 0 instantly. It's about making conscious decisions that suit our lifestyles and our health. Studies show that gradual reductions in alcohol intake are more sustainable in the long run than abrupt changes.

As we take on this journey of reduced drinking, it’s okay to have setbacks. The point is to keep trying and to keep learning about ourselves and our patterns. Cutting back on alcohol doesn't mean we have to cut back on fun! It just means we're choosing a different way to enjoy ourselves, one that's healthier and more sustainable.

Drinking Less
2023-06-19 9:00
Drinking Less
What Does It Mean To Be "Soberish" or “Damp”?
This is some text inside of a div block.

The new trend of being “soberish” or “damp” describes people who have decided to take a more mindful approach to drinking in an effort to protect their physical and mental health from the dangerous effects of excessive alcohol use.

8 min read

Start Your “Soberish” Journey With Reframe!

Whether you're considering a life without alcohol or are simply sober-curious, remember that making positive changes is always worth it — and the Reframe app is here to help! You will have access to tools and skills that can help you explore a sober or soberish lifestyle in a fun and intuitive way.

With our # 1-rated app, you’ll have access to daily readings that help you develop new habits and sharpen your problem-solving skills. You will also receive a set of daily tasks, journal prompts, guided meditations, and motivational quotes to keep you inspired.

When you join, you’ll have a chance to interact with a worldwide community of caring, compassionate people just like you, eager to share their stories and advice in our 24/7 Forum chat. You can also connect with licensed coaches for one-on-one counseling sessions, as well as daily check-in calls via Zoom if you would like extra support.

The Reframe in-app Toolkit is a treasure trove of resources that will arm you with additional knowledge and help you hone your new skills. Most importantly, the Reframe app is free for 7 days — so try it today risk-free! We would love to be a part of your healing journey. Hope to see you in the app!

Read Full Article  →

There’s a buzzing trend in the wellness arena: being “soberish” or “damp.” Let’s take a deep dive into this concept, which is changing how people perceive their relationship with alcohol. 

What Is “Soberish”?

What exactly does “soberish” mean? And what is a “damp” lifestyle? They’re terms that have come to define a state of selective sobriety — people who are “soberish” or “damp” aren’t completely abstinent from alcohol, but they’re intentional and mindful about their consumption. It's about setting your own rules and finding balance. You're not a teetotaler, but you're also not partaking in boozy blowouts. You're treading the path of moderation and maybe even becoming “sober-curious.”

The “soberish” approach acknowledges the detrimental effects excessive alcohol can have on both physical and mental health. Picture your body as a well-oiled machine. If alcohol is added in excess, it's like throwing a wrench in the works; it can disrupt various bodily functions. As just one example, it can strain the liver, leading to diseases like cirrhosis, in which the liver cells get damaged and replaced by scar tissue. It can also increase the risk of various cancers, including mouth, esophagus, colorectal, stomach, liver, pancreatic, and breast cancer. Moreover, alcohol has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes and can be detrimental to gut health, too.

Excessive alcohol can impact our mental well-being, too. Alcohol tends to amplify our feelings, so if we’re feeling anxious, alcohol might increase those feelings instead of suppressing them. While drinking might feel like a temporary relief, alcohol can exacerbate anxiety symptoms in the long run.

So where does “soberish” fall in all this? It's like taking the steering wheel of our health and well-being into our own hands. We’re in the driver’s seat, deciding when to hit the brakes on our alcohol intake and when to gently press the accelerator, always ensuring we’re in control.

“Damp Drinking”

Going “damp” is a similar idea with an even more casual, user-friendly flavor. Like being “soberish,” it’s all about finding a sweet spot between complete sobriety (being bone-dry) and drinking regularly. This particular spin on the concept first appeared thanks to a TikToker named Hana Elson. She's whipped up a bunch of videos teaching people about the upsides of “damp” drinking, and boy, has it struck a chord! The #damplifestyle hashtag on TikTok is up to nearly 20 million views and still going strong.

The “damp” lifestyle is a down-to-earth way to handle drinking. Picture it like the mindful eating trend but swapping out food for alcohol. You can still have a drink, but you're setting some ground rules for yourself.

Being “damp” is all about spotting why you're drinking and the fallout that might come from it. The goal is similar to the “soberish” approach – making your relationship with alcohol a whole lot healthier. 

Why Not Sober?

Some may ask, "Why not go entirely sober?" Absolutely, sure — complete abstinence works for some. However, absolute sobriety can be a drastic change, and the idea of never having a drink again can be daunting — especially at the beginning, when we’re still trying to determine what relationship with alcohol is right for us. Being “soberish” allows for flexibility in the way we see our relationship with alcohol. It's about choosing when, where, and how much we drink, putting the power back in our own hands.

Getting Soberish

The concept of being “soberish” or “damp” goes hand-in-hand with the principles of mindful drinking. It's like turning on the GPS to navigate our journey with alcohol. We become more aware of our speed (rate of consumption), our destination (how we feel after drinking), and any bumps on the road (unwanted side effects). This mindful approach lets us enjoy the journey without veering off the healthy path.

Non-alcoholic alternatives play a significant role in the “soberish” or “damp” journey. Think of them as rest stops along the road. We still get to enjoy the ride — parties, celebrations, and social gatherings — without adding road wear to our health. Non-alcoholic drinks have been shown not only to help reduce alcohol intake but also to improve overall quality of life. So the next time you're at a social gathering, don't hesitate to reach for that mocktail or sparkling water!

Give It a Try!

Don’t know how to shift toward a “soberish” or “damp” lifestyle? Here are a few practical tips:

  1. Set your boundaries. Decide what moderation means for you. It might be drinking only on weekends or special occasions, or limiting the number of drinks per sitting.
  2. Stay mindful. Pay attention to your drinking habits. Note your triggers and how you feel during and after drinking. This awareness will help guide your decisions.
  3. Explore alternatives. There's a whole world of non-alcoholic beverages to explore. From herbal teas to kombuchas to alcohol-free beers, there's a drink for every occasion.
  4. Seek support. This journey doesn't have to be solitary. Connect with like-minded individuals, join support groups, or talk to a professional if needed. Try the Reframe Forum! Remember, it's okay to ask for help.

Explore Damp January

One of the best ways to give the “damp” or “soberish” lifestyle a go is to explore Reframe’s Damp January challenge.

The Damp January challenge is exactly what it sounds like: during the entire month of January, try to be conscious about drinking less than you usually do. Unlike the traditional Dry January, this challenge is perfect for those of us who aren’t looking to go sober for the entire month (or at all), but would like to be more mindful of their alcohol intake and improve their relationship with it.

In the Driver’s Seat

In a nutshell, being “soberish” — or “damp,” if you prefer — means you're the one in the driver's seat, taking control of your journey with alcohol, making conscious choices to ensure you enjoy the ride while maintaining your physical and mental well-being.

The idea behind being soberish or damp is not about demonizing alcohol; it’s about promoting a balanced, healthier lifestyle. It's about enjoying a glass of wine on a special occasion without feeling the pressure to finish a whole bottle or choosing a mocktail over a cocktail without any insecurity.

Being “soberish” or “damp” gives you the freedom to define your own relationship with alcohol, giving you control and the opportunity to lead a happier, healthier life. 

There’s a buzzing trend in the wellness arena: being “soberish” or “damp.” Let’s take a deep dive into this concept, which is changing how people perceive their relationship with alcohol. 

What Is “Soberish”?

What exactly does “soberish” mean? And what is a “damp” lifestyle? They’re terms that have come to define a state of selective sobriety — people who are “soberish” or “damp” aren’t completely abstinent from alcohol, but they’re intentional and mindful about their consumption. It's about setting your own rules and finding balance. You're not a teetotaler, but you're also not partaking in boozy blowouts. You're treading the path of moderation and maybe even becoming “sober-curious.”

The “soberish” approach acknowledges the detrimental effects excessive alcohol can have on both physical and mental health. Picture your body as a well-oiled machine. If alcohol is added in excess, it's like throwing a wrench in the works; it can disrupt various bodily functions. As just one example, it can strain the liver, leading to diseases like cirrhosis, in which the liver cells get damaged and replaced by scar tissue. It can also increase the risk of various cancers, including mouth, esophagus, colorectal, stomach, liver, pancreatic, and breast cancer. Moreover, alcohol has been associated with an increased risk of diabetes and can be detrimental to gut health, too.

Excessive alcohol can impact our mental well-being, too. Alcohol tends to amplify our feelings, so if we’re feeling anxious, alcohol might increase those feelings instead of suppressing them. While drinking might feel like a temporary relief, alcohol can exacerbate anxiety symptoms in the long run.

So where does “soberish” fall in all this? It's like taking the steering wheel of our health and well-being into our own hands. We’re in the driver’s seat, deciding when to hit the brakes on our alcohol intake and when to gently press the accelerator, always ensuring we’re in control.

“Damp Drinking”

Going “damp” is a similar idea with an even more casual, user-friendly flavor. Like being “soberish,” it’s all about finding a sweet spot between complete sobriety (being bone-dry) and drinking regularly. This particular spin on the concept first appeared thanks to a TikToker named Hana Elson. She's whipped up a bunch of videos teaching people about the upsides of “damp” drinking, and boy, has it struck a chord! The #damplifestyle hashtag on TikTok is up to nearly 20 million views and still going strong.

The “damp” lifestyle is a down-to-earth way to handle drinking. Picture it like the mindful eating trend but swapping out food for alcohol. You can still have a drink, but you're setting some ground rules for yourself.

Being “damp” is all about spotting why you're drinking and the fallout that might come from it. The goal is similar to the “soberish” approach – making your relationship with alcohol a whole lot healthier. 

Why Not Sober?

Some may ask, "Why not go entirely sober?" Absolutely, sure — complete abstinence works for some. However, absolute sobriety can be a drastic change, and the idea of never having a drink again can be daunting — especially at the beginning, when we’re still trying to determine what relationship with alcohol is right for us. Being “soberish” allows for flexibility in the way we see our relationship with alcohol. It's about choosing when, where, and how much we drink, putting the power back in our own hands.

Getting Soberish

The concept of being “soberish” or “damp” goes hand-in-hand with the principles of mindful drinking. It's like turning on the GPS to navigate our journey with alcohol. We become more aware of our speed (rate of consumption), our destination (how we feel after drinking), and any bumps on the road (unwanted side effects). This mindful approach lets us enjoy the journey without veering off the healthy path.

Non-alcoholic alternatives play a significant role in the “soberish” or “damp” journey. Think of them as rest stops along the road. We still get to enjoy the ride — parties, celebrations, and social gatherings — without adding road wear to our health. Non-alcoholic drinks have been shown not only to help reduce alcohol intake but also to improve overall quality of life. So the next time you're at a social gathering, don't hesitate to reach for that mocktail or sparkling water!

Give It a Try!

Don’t know how to shift toward a “soberish” or “damp” lifestyle? Here are a few practical tips:

  1. Set your boundaries. Decide what moderation means for you. It might be drinking only on weekends or special occasions, or limiting the number of drinks per sitting.
  2. Stay mindful. Pay attention to your drinking habits. Note your triggers and how you feel during and after drinking. This awareness will help guide your decisions.
  3. Explore alternatives. There's a whole world of non-alcoholic beverages to explore. From herbal teas to kombuchas to alcohol-free beers, there's a drink for every occasion.
  4. Seek support. This journey doesn't have to be solitary. Connect with like-minded individuals, join support groups, or talk to a professional if needed. Try the Reframe Forum! Remember, it's okay to ask for help.

Explore Damp January

One of the best ways to give the “damp” or “soberish” lifestyle a go is to explore Reframe’s Damp January challenge.

The Damp January challenge is exactly what it sounds like: during the entire month of January, try to be conscious about drinking less than you usually do. Unlike the traditional Dry January, this challenge is perfect for those of us who aren’t looking to go sober for the entire month (or at all), but would like to be more mindful of their alcohol intake and improve their relationship with it.

In the Driver’s Seat

In a nutshell, being “soberish” — or “damp,” if you prefer — means you're the one in the driver's seat, taking control of your journey with alcohol, making conscious choices to ensure you enjoy the ride while maintaining your physical and mental well-being.

The idea behind being soberish or damp is not about demonizing alcohol; it’s about promoting a balanced, healthier lifestyle. It's about enjoying a glass of wine on a special occasion without feeling the pressure to finish a whole bottle or choosing a mocktail over a cocktail without any insecurity.

Being “soberish” or “damp” gives you the freedom to define your own relationship with alcohol, giving you control and the opportunity to lead a happier, healthier life. 

Drinking Less