What Is Being Sober Curious?

She offers particular focus on how Big Alcohol preys on women, exploiting our insecurities, wants, and needs to make alcohol all the more appealing. If you’re looking for a sober curiosity handbook, this is a great place to start. That’s a number that’s likely to continue to grow as more people focus on health and wellness. Social media will play a big role in that growth, raising awareness of the negative impact alcohol can have on one’s life.

  • Suckerpunch accrued a mailing list of 30,000 curious consumers prior to opening its doors, which the owners attribute to people becoming increasingly health-conscious and sober-curious throughout the pandemic.
  • Beverage marketers in this space should consider taking a page out of the plant-based meat playbook, which saw success by leaning into socially native formats and boundary-pushing campaigns.
  • While you might think older generations would be the ones largely on board with the movement, it’s Millennials and Gen Z who are leading the charge.
  • Year-over-year the non-alcoholic spirits category ballooned 113.4%; on delivery app Drizly, category sales were even higher — where they spiked 290% in 2021.
  • It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.

The movement is rooted in mindfulness about what one puts in their body and a desire for authentic connection, especially in the post-COVID era. With health being top of mind for many, consumers are drawing the connection between alcohol consumption and how it makes them feel. The movement gained momentum quickly, in part because it allows people to explore living a more sober lifestyle without making the commitment to give up drinking entirely.

What Are the Benefits of a Sober Curious Lifestyle?

Though some individuals have been sober curious for decades, the term was created by Warrington. Her event series called Club SÖDA NYC stands for Sober or Debating Abstinence and features panels, writing workshops, and sober retreats. Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs of this movement, and how it’s influencing the changing depictions of alcohol and sobriety in our culture. Instead of having a drink every time you normally would , “try to alternate your regular alcoholic drinks with an NA alternative,” says Watts.

sober curious movement

Many people who have made the decision to be sober will still visit bars which is creating anincreased demand for non-alcoholic alternatives, like mocktails and non-alcoholic beers. Buzz-less beverages will be one of the biggest trends of 2022. While non-alcohol products represent a small portion of BevAl sales today, it is a focus area among manufacturers striving to figure out how to successfully play in this space. As more brands innovate to enter this niche, companies should be mindful of competitive differentiation. At the heart of consumer demand within the buzz-less beverage market is the task for a brand to deliver on taste, quality, and experience.

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The first month of every year brings an air of renewal, revival, and resolutions. This year, as consumers are notably shifting from a pandemic to an endemic mindset, many are resolving to make lifestyle changes and prioritizing their pandemic-formed preferences without compromise. Amidst these preferences and priorities comes the wave of interest towards partaking in Dry January, a ‘sober-curious’ movement created in the UK that challenges individuals to abstain from alcohol for the month of January. Sober curious culture encourages a sober lifestyle, but welcomes individuals who aren’t willing, ready, or planning to give up alcohol completely. The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol.” Sounds pretty great, right? Warrington points out the incongruity of our green juice rituals, yoga practices, and self-care routines that sit alongside our drinking habits.

Rather, it’s a great preventative practice that can keep your mind and body healthier. Drinking impacts everything from your nervous system to your sexual and reproductive health. As more information becomes widely available and the long-term effects of drinking, it’s no wonder why so many people are turning away from it. It’s a form of self-care, and a way of being compassionate and kind to yourself. Aside from a “fevered couple months” when she first stopped drinking, Sophie never took comfort in overtly positive, wellness-oriented messaging around sobriety. Now, the millennial generation—ages 26 to 41—is sometimes referred to as ‘generation sober’ because of its sober-curious culture.

In response to the growing demand for alcohol-free experiences, numerous zero-proof brands and bars continue to succeed. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Nonalcoholic beer, wine, and liquors are also available for anyone looking for an alternative that looks and tastes more similar to alcohol.

Millie Gooch, the founder of Sober Girl Society, told Insider’s Rachel Hosie that “sober curious” is a purposefully ambiguous phrase, as the movement includes all kinds of gray-area drinkers. Researchers who conducted a global study published in The Lancet in 2018 concluded that no amount of alcohol consumption is safe. They found that alcohol was a leading risk factor for disease worldwide, that it led to 2.8 million deaths in 2016, and that it accounted for 10% of deaths for people 15 to 49. Surveys and studies suggest fewer young people have been drinking alcohol over the past decade. Younger people haven’t been drinking as much as older people did at their age — and the trend of moving away from alcohol has been occurring since the aughts.

In the first two weeks of January, among the off-premise outlets in the U.S. that are tracked by NielsenIQ, no- and low-alcohol sales totaled $106 million; with non-alcohol sales at $13.6 million and low-alcohol products at $92.8 million. Non-alcohol products are seeing a 19% increase in dollar sales, whereas total alcohol sales are down 6.7%. Within this new year, non-alcohol products are already showing heightened share with 0.5% share of total alcohol sales, compared to 0.4% during the same time last year. It should be noted that historically, sales for both the total alcohol and non-alcoholic categories typically decline in January.

In fact, interest in going alcohol-free appears to be driven in large part by a desire to lead a healthy lifestyle. All in all, these sober-curious individuals are much more likely to value living a healthy lifestyle, and nearly one-third of the ‘very curious’ are passionate about it. Looking at the ‘who’ behind the sober-curious, the greatest interest in living a fully sober lifestyle is found among Gen Z adults (21-24), followed by young Millennials (25-34). Adults aged 55 and older are the least sober-curious, but also the most likely to say they already abstain from alcohol altogether.

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You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine. As mentioned, there are tons of NA options on the market—so choose beverages that seem interesting, tasty, and that you’ll be genuinely excited to try.

Still, people widely accept alcohol as a tool to manage stress, celebrate joyous events, or weather life challenges like a job loss or breakup. Gen X and Boomers, on the other hand, are less likely to give up their nightly glass eco sober house price of wine or beer. Nielsen Consumer & Media View research done in summer 2017 showed that just over half of Millennials said they consumed alcohol in the past month, compared with 65 percent of Gen Xers and 72 percent of Boomers.

If you’re considering making a lifestyle change, there’s no shortage of inspiration to help you get started and to keep you motivated. Below are a few Instagram accounts and books that I’ve found supportive in navigating an alcohol-free lifestyle. If you’re anything like me, you’re halfway through Dry January longing for February 1.

Research shows that stopping alcohol consumption for even one month can result in immediate health benefits. The sober curious movement isn’t necessarily about abstaining from alcohol all together, but more so about intentionally choosing moments of sobriety. Instead, this time can be used to gain a deeper understanding about one’s relationship with alcohol plus experience the myriad of health benefits that come from shifting away from alcohol.

sober curious movement

Many people believe the cause for this decline in alcohol consumption is the sober curious movement – people who are either drastically reducing their alcohol consumption or giving it up entirely. Whether it’s for religious purposes, health reasons, or just to experience greater clarity, people have stopped drinking alcohol for a variety of personal reasons. As a result, the sober curious movement is shaping our society.

And founders in Pittsburgh and Houston have opened stores that exclusively sell nonalcoholic beers and wines. Hadid and other celebrities have founded or invested in companies that make alternatives to alcohol. Kin Euphorics, a wellness brand that sells drinks infused with so-called functional mushrooms, welcomed Hadid as a cofounder in 2021, and Katy Perry launched a line of nonalcoholic aperitifs earlier this year. A bevy of nonalcoholic wines, beers, and liquors have cropped up in response to the sober-curious movement. Allow exploring a sober lifestyle to be a judgment-free practice that embraces growth and learning.

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“Sober curious” is a term that is used to describe people who do not identify as addicts but decide to experiment with sobriety to see what changes it can bring to their health or to their lifestyles. The “sober curious” are deciding to abstain from drinking alcohol to see what kinds of positive effects sobriety can have on their lives, not because they have a clinical drinking problem or for religious reasons. All that got me thinking, what is it like for people who don’t just do a dry January, but live a dry life.

Jen Bruning, MS, RDN, LDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Verywell in an email that reducing alcohol consumption may improve your mood, sleep, decision-making, libido, digestive and immune systems. Abstaining from alcohol can help increase energy, improve sleep quality, boost your immune system, and even aid in weight loss. It’s no wonder the day after drinking can leave you feeling down; alcohol is a depressant and can affect the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain that worsen anxiety. Whatever your reason for choosing to explore sobriety, know that the reward of health benefits are plenty.

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You may not feel a need to quit entirely, but you think taking a break might help you find more productive ways of managing challenges. To get some insight on sober curiosity and alcohol moderation, we reached out to Cyndi Turner, LCSW, LSATP, MAC. Sober curiosity often begins with some concern about alcohol’s impact on your life. It usually involves some questioning of drinking culture and your own patterns of alcohol use. Sober curious simply means that you’ve chosen to avoid alcohol for personal or wellness reasons. It involves curiosity about the reasons fueling your desire to drink and the way alcohol affects your life.

“It kind of starts me off on the right foot. And if I end up having a glass of wine later, at least I started with water and lemon,” she said. “By skipping days when you drink, you allow your body a rest period to help fully detoxify. Cutting back on daily amounts can help too—there’s less toxin coming into your body,” https://sober-home.org/ Bruning said. Verywell Health’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. The Washington Post reported in 2018that the “Monitoring the Future” survey from the University of Michigan suggested that millennials and Gen Zers were drinking less than baby boomers and Gen Xers did at their age.

Shorter-term commitments like Dry January, and more recent addition Sober October, presents valuable strategic marketing opportunities for brands. Consumers are being more intentional and predictable about when they drink alcohol and when they choose to abstain. It is no surprise that the pandemic dramatically shifted how people lived their lives. Women, especially mothers, were forced to take on huge loads during the pandemic including balancing motherhood, work from home, and distance learning for kids.

The generation under that, Gen Z, drinks even less.Mocktails and non-alcoholic beers and kombuchas are extremely popular now, providing a chance for people to socialize over a drink without the potential harmful effects. If you’re starting to wonder whether giving up drinking might have a positive impact on your life, know that you’re not alone with these thoughts. A growing number of “sober curious” people are starting to take a closer look at the role alcohol plays in their life. This movement gives people the chance to be more mindful of their drinking habits and decide for themselves what they want their relationship with alcohol to look like. This decision is not necessarily a life-long commitment to sobriety and is often done out of curiosity of what it is like to be sober, hence the term “sober curious”. It’s seen as an alternative to traditional sobriety in that participants are encouraged to experiment with how alcohol fits into their lives vs complete abstinence from alcohol.

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