Dry January Download the Dry January App About Dry January What is Dry January? Our story Support and policies Our partners Why do Dry January? Get involved Resources Charities In your community In your workplace Fundraising Blog Eight reasons to go dry Jenna is a blogger who writes about diet, mental health and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle free from alcohol. In this blog, she takes a look at the eight amazing benefits, on the mind, body, and purse, that she has experienced since cutting out alcohol. I've noticed that people tend to focus on the negatives of a sober lifestyle, and don't give much thought to the benefits. Before I stopped drinking, I wasn't even aware that they existed! So, I'll be your cool, sober friend - well, maybe just the sober part. Excited? You should be. Here are just a few of the ways that quitting alcohol will change your life for the better! No more hangovers This is an obvious one, but I didn't realise just how good it felt to live hangover-free until I stopped drinking. I used to spend at least four days a month feeling hungover - that's almost two whole months out of the year! I would lie around feeling nauseated, tired, anxious (more on that later!) and just plain terrible. You'll save money By the time I turned 24, I was spending roughly £80 on alcohol every month. That may not sound like much, but it works out at around £960 a year! That's a lot of money. The money that I used to spend on alcohol is now spent on new clothes, meals out or added to my savings account (which is basically just a travel account!) These things give me so much more joy and satisfaction than buying yet another round of drinks. Now when I hang out with friends, we eat delicious food together or watch a movie - there are so many activities that don't involve alcohol. Plus, you'll actually remember the conversations! You'll feel happier Now, life is so much happier. When I feel joyful, I know it's authentic - not that artificial rush of pleasure that comes from drinking alcohol. I also know that any sadness or anxiety is usually down to an actual problem, which I can then take steps to resolve. I've taken back control of my feelings and emotions, instead of suppressing them with alcohol. It's the most liberating feeling ever! You'll be more productive Looking back, I can see that I was living so much of my life on autopilot. I never made many plans for the weekend - I had to keep Sunday free to nurse my hangover, and Saturday was usually spent getting ready for the night ahead. I had surrounded myself with people who thought this was normal, and as a result I didn't even consider that there could be a better way to live. Not only are my weekends more productive, but my weekdays are too! Mondays used to be a washout as I was still recovering from the weekend, and my sole focus was to survive work and get back to bed. Now, I work towards my future goals every single day. Chasing my dreams is much more fulfilling than recovering from a hangover. You'll have fewer regrets Now I love knowing that my decisions are made with a clear and sober mind, and that I'm being my authentic self in all social situations. No more piecing together the events of the night before and wondering who I've offended! I have so much more self-respect, too - I used to do crazy, wild things when I was drunk just to get attention and make people laugh. I genuinely don't feel the need to do that anymore, and I'm so much happier for it. You'll look good Well, two glasses of wine contain roughly the same amount of calories as a cheeseburger - and I was definitely drinking more than that on a weekly basis! Combine that with the regular trip to McDonald's at the end of a night out (plus the greasy hangover food the next day) and you've got a recipe for weight gain. Once I quit drinking, I lost the extra pounds without even having to think about it. How's that for an incentive? My skin was also starting to take a beating. I would always wake up with a blotchy, dry face after a night out and never really felt comfortable leaving the house without makeup as my complexion looked so uneven. I assumed it was a side effect of aging (at 24?) so I didn't think much of it, but after three years of sobriety my skin has improved drastically. It feels so good to leave the house barefaced without having to worry about how I look. My complexion is much more even, and my skin feels baby soft - people even comment on it now! You'll feel great I didn't think I felt bad at the time. I assumed that it was normal to feel tired and slightly sluggish, and that it was just a side effect of getting older. I couldn't have been more wrong! I have so much more energy now - I can jump out of bed at 6am and go all day. Sometimes, I'm even annoyingly perky. I can actually think properly now, and the constant fog in my brain has disappeared. I hadn't even realised that it was there! If you're sitting there thinking, "Well, I drink fairly regularly and I don't feel like that!" then I totally get it - I would have said the same thing! It wasn't until I gave my body a much-needed break from alcohol that I realised how much potential I had to feel amazing. What have you got to lose? Life is just better! Choosing to step away from alcohol can feel scary and isolating. You're no longer following the crowd, and are forging your own path. That's an amazing thing! It took a lot of soul-searching, but I like myself better now. You know when you just have that deep, unshakable conviction that you're on the right path? That's how I feel, and there's no room on that path for alcohol. I'll end with one of my favourite quotes by Alexandra Katehakis: "To sober up seems to many like making life 'so serious', as if seriousness precluded joy, warmth, spontaneity and fun. But there can be a delusional, blind quality to non-sober festivities. To have our eyes open soberly with all our senses and memory intact allows some of the most rewarding, soul-nourishing, and long-lasting pleasures possible." To read more about life without alcohol, check out Jenna's blog. To sign up for Dry January, click here.