Dry January begs the question, “Why do we drink? Now that the holidays have passed and the pandemic hasn’t, you might realize you’re drinking more than usual.
Country music artist Justin Moore sings that we drink because it’s cheaper than a shrink. We drink because someday we won’t be able to.
“Cuz it’s Friday. Cuz it’s Monday. Cuz it’s charcoal burning Sunday. Cuz my wound up needs a little wound down.”
Whatever your reason for drinking, there are apps and organizations to help you cut your alcoholic intake substantially or moderately. If participating in dry January is your wish, let these apps help you get there.
Note: The apps listed in this post are for the sober curious. If you have a life-threatening emergency or alcohol use disorder, call 911 or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrative hotline at 800-662-HELP (4357). It’s confidential and free.
Seriousness aside, being sober curious, or mindful of your drinking, is cause for celebration. Pop the alcohol-free cider.
I love the way Curious Elixirs, keeps it light on its Instagram page. Its slogan is “shaken, not slurred.”
Reframe was created by experts in psychology and neuroscience to help you reshape your relationship with alcohol. The app is endorsed by Georgia Tech, Emory University School of Medicine, and Harvard University and claims to be the world’s #1 alcohol reduction platform. I gave Reframe a test drive for the free 7-day trial period and was quite impressed with its simplicity and medical information I hadn’t heard about before.
For around $10 a month you get an evidence-based, education program, progress tracking, and support from a private community. You can upgrade to receive private coaching.
In 2019, 47% of adults in the U.S. said they were making efforts to reduce their alcohol consumption, yet fewer than 1% of drinkers were seeking outside help to change their drinking habits. (Source: Nielsen IQ)
Hello Sunday Morning
Hello Sunday Morning is an Australia nonprofit that supports people wanting to change their relationship with alcohol. The organization and its website launched in 2016. A press release on the site says that more than 50,000 Australians have used Hello Sunday Morning since 2016 to reduce their alcohol consumption. Hello Sunday Morning partners with the app provider below, Sunnyside, for its mobile phone application.
One in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, now meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder (aka alcoholism), according JAMA Psychiatry.
Aussie’s are known for their drinking but this stat shared by Zeroholic floored me.
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Sunnyside (formerly Cutback Coach)
A study from the RAND Corporation found that women have been hit hardest by the pandemic with an increase in heavy drinking of 41%. Nick Allen, the CEO and founder of Sunnyside, hopes the app will help reduce stress drinking and created the app to help people have a mindful relationship with drinking rather than total sobriety. Allen says women make up 70% of Sunnyside’s subscribers.
Some subscribers of Sunnyside claim they saw a 29% reduction in drinking first 30 days. Sunnyside has been featured in the NY Times, Forbes, and USA Today and has a load of positive reviews to read on its site. You can sign up for a 15-day trial that starts with a 3-minute quiz, here.
Vorvida helps you rethink how you drink. Though the name first struck me as a spin-off of Costa Rica’s motto — Puravida, the company is based in the US.
Vorvida is steeped in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—a type of psychotherapy that’s been clinically proven to help people drink less for the past 30 years. The company is running a half-off special during dry January so if you act now, it’s just $59.90 a month. Its website claims that the program is clinically proven to change your behavior around alcohol.
ShameOver is a membership-based coaching platform created by a female entrepreneur who exhibits passion but no medical credentials. The website claims the program will help you lose the hangover, not the booze. The app is $97 annually or you can purchase the app and coaching program for $197.
If you’re not into apps, there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks to treat yourself to during dry January and beyond.
Alcohol-free Drinks to Sip
Whether or not you use one of the above programs to cut back your alcohol intake, you can always swap a cocktail for a mocktail. Odoul’s is no longer the only choice for an alcohol-free beverage when you’re out on the town.
Rather than opening a bottle of Chardonnay, try Noughty by Thomas and Scott instead. Noughty is made with Chardonnay grapes and offers notes of ripe apples, honeysuckle, and delicate citrus on the palate and costs $8.99 a bottle.
Curious Elixirs offers a “number” of non-alcoholic drinks. Each one of their drinks is named a number. Its website shows No. 1 through No. 7.
No and Low, a zero alcohol cocktail company, uses the tagline “keep it on the no and low,” and emphasizes the importance of not asking someone why they’re not drinking alcohol. There are so many great reasons, including pregnancy, medication, training for a big event, not wanting to be hungover, cutting calories, or just personal preference.
I hope one of these sources or alcohol-free providers helps you keep the number of drinks you have in check. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, low-risk drinking for men is 14 or fewer drinks weekly and 7 or fewer drinks a week for women.
In Kansas City, there are plenty of ways to have fun without a drop of alcohol involved.