The Dry January Festival
Kickoff 2021 with a Month of Inspiring Events, Giveaways, & Support to Help You Stay Dry, Get Healthy, & Have Fun During Dry January.
Register for the Festival to Win Our Dry January Festival Grand Prize
Grand prize winner will be drawn after the festival. You’ll also be able to enter other weekly giveaways!
Past Dry January Festival Events
The Dry January Festival is Presented By:
We’ve partnered with the best non-alcoholic beverage companies in the U.S. to bring you exclusive discounts so you can explore and stock up on delicious NA drinks to have throughout Dry January! Learn more about our sponsor below and check your email for the discounts in your Virtual Goodie Bag!
Have you been in situations where you wanted a drink, but you didn’t want to drink? Just like you, we wanted something fun but not too sweet — and, of course, clean, convenient and great-tasting. So, Mocktails set to work creating our own delicious, carefully crafted, alcohol-free drinks that anyone can enjoy and be proud to serve.
Grüvi is a line of craft brewed, non alcoholic beers and wines based in Denver, CO. We strive to help others be healthy and stay social, one drink at a time. We sought to create a line of craft, non-alcoholic beers and wine because you deserve it. Your health is your wealth, and the beverage you consume shouldn’t compromise that.
Better Rhodes is an online marketing for the best tasting non-alcoholic brands out there. Taste tested and reviewed by some seriously picky taste buds. Healthy lifestyle. Alcohol-free. Sober curious. Mindful drinker. Dry January. Expecting Moms. Whatever your reason – be in the know.
Festival Community Partners
For All Drinks is on a mission to create a healthier and more inclusive drinking culture by spotlighting new non-alcoholic beverages and advocating for more bars, restaurants, and personal gatherings to provide non-alcoholic options for all people.
Whether you’re looking to improve your health, are sober curious, or have ditched alcohol altogether, For All Drinks is your go-to resource for everything non-alcoholic beverages!
Dry January Tips from the Experts
We asked some of our favorite experts what tips they have for Dry January participants and they shared the following with you. Be sure to follow them for continued inspiration and advice!
A BIG thanks to Laura Silverman (below) who helped support the Dry January Festival with partnerships, communications, and the creation of this guide!
No matter where you fall on the #sobrietyspectrum, you can do this. I was once in your shoes. You are neither too young/too old/too [insert literally anything] to make a change. This is about discovery: finding delicious booze-free beverages, community, authentic self-care routines that work for you, books, podcasts, blogs, creative outlets, and help (if you need it). Whatever you decide, know that there is zero shame in starting fresh. Let 2021 be the beginning of something magical.
I did several Dry Januarys before finally committing to a sober lifestyle. I generally had an easy enough time the first two weeks and the last two weeks were all about the countdown to the end of the month. If you find yourself counting down to the day you will claim victory and go back to alcohol, it may be time to completely reevaluate your relationship with drinking. Even if you did not drink every day of the week before you may still have a problematic relationship with alcohol. Dry January done right is not a countdown, and is more than just a detox. It is a time to really sit down and process the impact that alcohol has on your life and determine if it is one that you benefit from, or not. If you sit and look at the impact drinking has on you does it fill you with a little dread? Do you remember (or not remember) embarrassing nights? Take the time to really sit with your thoughts and recognize the role that alcohol has played in your life up until now, then decide if that is what you want for your future.
Staying dry is a byproduct of my decision to live my most radically authentic life. My choice to abstain from alcohol began as a must happen after almost suffering a stroke, but as sober time went on, I welcomed the feelings of discomfort because it meant I was growing. Choosing not to drink powers my will which in turn fuels my desire to improve myself. Finding your community and what works for you individually are the keys behind successful recovery paths, as each journey is unique and totally not linear. It took me until my 30s to finally find me and it only gets better from there.
Not drinking socially started when I was trying for my first baby and then just continued naturally since I wanted to nurse. But even with that being my main goal, maintaining a healthy diet and body for my child, people still wanted me to drink with them and they would always find ways to justify their reasonings…
My biggest tip is that “The pressure is THEIR problem, not yours!” No matter why you are choosing to be dry there are often people that may put pressure on you because YOUR choice makes THEM uncomfortable. Thinking of it this way makes it so much easier to not want to indulge especially if these are people that you can’t cut ties with (which is often the case around holidays).
I knowingly dumbed myself down with alcohol for years. Yes, I had a great many years as a career bartender, but nothing compared to being able to use my talents and my full potential for the first time, at 38 years of age. It all started by me saying, “Let’s take a year off drinking, to see what that year will turn out like.” It’s been more than I could have ever dreamed of.
It can be scary to think of giving up your “blankie”, your best friend, the thing that activates so much dopamine in your life. But to have your energy, health, synapses and frequency change because of this “sacrifice” is worth its weight in diamonds.
You know why some people struggle more with sticking to the path of non drinking? It’s because of mindset. Mindset is one of the most fundamental assets or debilitating detriments in our lives. Harness and strengthen that and think about it all the time. Don’t be fearful you won’t have fun or will be boring. Are you boring or un-fun? Then you’ll be fine.
There is a massive movement of non drinkers and they are cool as shit. Start a new pattern, change your life to include not drinking alcohol, that shit causes cancer. There’s a new sober, there’s a lot of people rethinking their drinking habits, and there are a million amazing things that await if you do this hard thing. Find your why, make a commitment. The brain really starts kicking in at 2 months, 6 months, and 1 year. Go for it.
I was looking for something outside AA and the #alcoholfree community on Instagram was my answer. So many people were sharing their experiences — the raw + the real — and I no longer felt lost or broken. I felt empowered. Brave. This January, tap into community. Use this time to connect with others and connect with the thoughts that get buried during the rush of busier times. Listen. Feel. Read books on personal development or “quit lit.” Drink zero-proof cocktails + NA beer + alcohol-removed wine. Discover new flavors + learn about the craft of the mocktail in the “ON THE MOCKS” Facebook group. If at any time you feel uninspired or unmotivated to keep going, ASK FOR HELP. There’s a super strong community behind #thesobermovement + #sobercurious. We have your back, for one day or one month. Keep saying it to yourself, because it’s true. YOU GOT THIS!
2020 was an insane year for all of us. Nothing prepared me better to weather this year than cutting alcohol out of my life. Kicking off 2021 with a clear head and hangover-free mornings is the best gift we can give to ourselves to start the year off on the right start. There are more incredible AF options out there than ever. I have been loving Athletic Brewing NA beers as well as Element Shrub & Club sparkling drinks. I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest checking out Raising the Bar’s zero-proof cocktail kits to get mixing up some delicious drinks at home 😊
Keep your fridge stocked with lots of non alcoholic drinks! The holidays and January – where my birthday falls – is probably the hardest time for me to stay alcohol free. It helps me to have my fridge and even a pantry shelf stocked with lots of fun and enjoyable non alcoholic drinks. I always have something to sip on and enjoy if I feel a craving coming on.
I also find that personally, TV and media is a big trigger for me. I try to remind myself that it’s just TV and it isn’t real. The beer they’re drinking on set is non-alcoholic for the actors. I don’t let myself get carried away in the romanticism of alcohol use on TV and I don’t let it affect my own view of how my relationship with alcohol was and is.
Take time to learn about what drinking alcohol does to your body. This was an important step in feeling confident in my decision to try a dry life. Two books in particular, Alcohol Explained and This Naked Mind, helped make the science of drinking easy for me to understand. So many things I thought were personal failures, like worsening sleep, drunk munchies, and increased anxiety, could be traced back to drinking. It was eye-opening to understand what alcohol was doing to my mind as well to be prepared to get through a craving without reaching for a drink. Knowledge is a game changer for Dry January!
If you’re a fan of gold stars and checklists, it can be really rewarding to track your progress with checkmarks for each day (it’s 30 days–you can do this!). Here’s a hack. Mark off that you didn’t drink that day in the MORNING, before you’ve had any temptation and when your resolve is strong. Come evening time, you won’t want to erase the progress you already checked off.
Find a new drink: habit loops are hard to change so don’t deprive yourself. Find a drink you love to drink–there are so many alcohol-free drinks on the market these days.
Use this time to introspect about yourself. Who are you authentically without relying on alcohol? What ways can you meet your needs in healthy ways? What do you really want in your short time on this planet? Get outside, allow yourself to find new passions and hobbies, and breathe in gratitude and self-esteem for the tremendous self-discovery journey you’re on!
The Sober Curator believes that life in sobriety should be exciting and rewarding for all. Our glass is half-full, there’s just no booze in it. If we were invited to a party and could only dress-up as one hashtag, it would be #sobernotboring
Here are a few of our recommendations to help celebrate the journey:
1.) GATHER the troops! The sober community is strong and vibrant. Research recovery related podcasts, apps, authors, books, bloggers and social media accounts across all platforms for 24/7 access to fellowship and resources.
2.) Smell ALL the roses! Seize each and every opportunity to create and experience joy. This can be a gratitude list, conversation with another sober person, service work, random acts of kindness, nature walks,meditation practices, or simply sharing your story.
3.) Embrace DAILY rituals! Create a morning routine, establish set meditations, intentionally prepare your food and drinks with the intention to savor them. We suggest the ritual of perfecting the art of zero proof cocktails. There are so many great alcohol-free resources and products available. Make sure to check out reviews in our Happy Every Hour section of the site for recipes and product reviews or follow The Daily Llama for short, one-word meditations for your complete wool-being. #seewhatwedidthere
For more recommendations on all things sober lifestyle and sober pop culture, we hope you’ll check out our website and follow us on social. Love something sober that we haven’t covered yet? We want to hear about it! We are actively seeking Sober Curators around the country to contribute to our ultimate sober living content library.
My fav drink is Synergy raw kombucha, Passionberry bliss. I believe the best thing everyone can do to strengthen their sober life is to strengthen their connection to self. Without it, you’ll never get to your next level in sobriety. Amplify your self care by making it a priority & you’ll go from white knuckling life to thriving. The opposite of addiction is conscious connection — make that your north star and all will reveal itself.
My one tip is to find a community of sober people. You don’t have to go to AA and tell everyone you’re an alcoholic. There are a lot of different groups you can join these days, especially online for both people who struggle with alcohol and for those who are sober curious. Even if you don’t consider yourself an alcoholic these groups are very rewarding and connecting for folks of similar mindsets. The one thing these groups provided me was a feeling of belonging and pushed me to grow into a better person. We as humans are designed to grow so if we’re not pushing ourselves to be better, eventually we will have a feeling of being stuck! If you feel stuck, it’s time to make changes and push yourself!
My approach to not drinking has always started with the environment around me, assessing if I’m in a healthy environment that will help me stick to the goal of not drinking. So I look at the following: Social environment: Who influences me and challenges me in positive ways? Physical environment: Is where I live, work, play positively or negatively influencing my mental or physical state? For me, my desire to change my relationship to alcohol, and when it really took hold, was when I did a combination of the following things: 1) Pursuing brain stimulation: Reading, podcasts, creative hobbies, anything to shape my brain in new healthy ways. 2) Physical activity. For me that was weightlifting, running, yoga..but also daily walks. A small habit that turned into something bigger. 3) Time in nature, which has been shown to decrease stress, a huge factor in making changes around drinking. 4) Community. The big one, finding people to connect with who help make you stronger. They could be in the sober community, fitness, a book club, a neighborhood group. Wherever you connect with people, this is a huge factor in feeling supported. Approaching the NA life holistically has helped me to address underlying areas where I wasn’t fulfilled, and working a little at a time to adapt and grow in those areas.
The easiest way to stay sober, is to remind myself of why I chose sobriety in the first place. Whenever I feel tempted or like I am losing control, I remind myself of who I was when I was drinking, the consequences suffered the next morning, and its overall negative impact on my mental health. I did not like who I was when I was a drinker. I hope I never meet her again. In sobriety, I am able to be present – I can feel every feeling fully, take the time to understand it, and allow myself to sit with it. I have grown so much as a person over just 10 months of sobriety, and I look forward to learning even more about myself as time goes on.
For a long time, socialization for me revolved around drinking. A few years ago, drinking became less appealing. In hindsight, it was around the time I really started on my spiritual journey and creating the business that is now known as Woo Woo Company. For many and myself included, to be a clear channel aka to tap into your intuition and to receive messages from the Universe requires you to stop drinking for a time or forever. The mental cobwebs clear and intuition gets louder. It gave me an opportunity to really understand myself without distractions. Intuition allows me to take aligned action and feel more of a flow rather than force in life. It’s a beautiful feeling!
I had my first NA beer after 100 days of being sober, on a hot afternoon summer’s day, at a bar. I had gone on a long run and was meeting a friend who was late. I ordered an O’Douls, watched some baseball, and felt EXTREMELY normal. When my friend texted that she was ready, I left my half full O’Doul’s on the counter, and cashed out. Never before had I left a beer anything less than completely empty. Having this NA drink allowed me to experience what being a non-alcoholic might be like; choosing to be done with drinking, and then just being done. Drinking this NA beer normally affirmed for me that I cannot drink alcoholic drinks normally, because I am, without any doubt, an alcoholic.
My biggest tip for Dry January comes in two parts: accountability and open-mindedness. Even if you are just re-evaluating your relationship with alcohol for the month or are just taking a break, finding an alcohol free community and/or someone to confide in can be extremely helpful for the days when you feel like you’re the only one participating. There are so many virtual movements that educate, empower, and connect you to alcohol free living as well as provide some insight if you’re new to this. The other facet, open-mindedness, is key if you have hesitations about concepts such as having fun, finding alcohol free options, and your overall mindset about what you can accomplish. Instead of treating Dry January like a punishment or deprivation, shifting your mindset to a more curiosity-based approach can lead to some pretty surprising realizations about how much you may actually depend on alcohol or its role in your life. Remember, this is not a lifetime sentence; it is a pause and invitation to a new lifestyle that may open doors you may not have even realized were there.
Taking a moment each day to sip a healthy and beautiful drink helps me stay dry. The beverage glass is an important part of my drinking ritual. I like to focus on the health, beauty and festive part of NA beverages. I design botanical drinkware specifically to help the alcohol-free community feel special, inspire sober sips and plant connections.
My tips for a successful Dry January is to not try and do too much. I always tried to stop drinking, eat “right”, exercise every day, etc. all at the same time and once one fell off it was easier to let the others fall too. Join a challenge like 1,000 Hours Dry on IG and follow along for help, information, and support. It’s much easier to accomplish something as a group than on our own. Read a book like This Naked Mind or listen to podcasts in the [N/A / sobriety] space to help you learn something and get even more out of the month, whether it’s just a break or something long-term you’re trying to do. As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! Good luck!
Try something different. The world of non-alcoholic beverages is INCREDIBLY exciting right now with new brands, flavors and styles popping up almost everyday. My sobriety was made easier [and more enjoyable] when I stopped focusing on what I was giving up, and started looking forward to the things – delicious non-alcoholic beverages, mental and emotional awareness, more meaningful relationships, improved physical ability, etc. – to be discovered. This still keeps me going.
Welcome to Dry January! Congrats on taking this step in exploring and disrupting your relationship to booze! This is huge and I want to congratulate you on this! To set yourself up for a successful month, there are many things you can do right now.
I love reading so I naturally gravitate towards books (audiobooks work well, too!). Some of my fave books on sobriety/addiction/recovery include:
Sober Curious by Ruby Warrington
Quit Like a Woman by Holly Whitaker
This Naked Mind by Annie Grace
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
The Sober Lush by Jardine Libaire and Amanda Eyre Ward
Cultivating community is key! Given covid and physical distancing, looking online to find community can be a great option! Some of my fave accounts on Instagram include:
Whether from your community above or friends and family, support is essential. If you’re looking for hands-on support, accountability and tools for lasting change, hiring a sobriety coach will ensure you’ve got exactly what you need to succeed, especially if you’re contemplating sobriety beyond the end of January. Coaches not only provide everything I’ve listed above and more but also support you in accelerating your results, helping you get where you want to go faster.
Research some fun, creative and tasty mocktails so that you’re set up for your next social event/party/Zoom happy hour. There are tons of awesome recipes out there plus many incredible alcohol-free (AF) brands like Gruvi and Seedlip.
* Make a decision: all change starts with a rock solid, ironclad decision. This is always the first step.
* Get clear on your why: having clarity around why you’re doing what you’re doing is key. As is the emotional connection to that.
* Just effing do it: now that we’ve set you up for success, the next part is to do the damn thing. Sustained action is what creates change, not thinking about change.
Good luck! You can do this and it could be the most life-changing experience of your life, if you let it! Cheering you on and don’t be afraid to reach out if you need support!
Well, 2020 was a hell of a year, and if there’s one thing many of us sober folks observed last year, it is how much we as a society try to push + justify the “necessity” a drink (or 6) is, under the guise of decompressing, lifting spirits, or even worse: self-care.
Maybe 2020 showed you that your preferred methods of merriment or relaxation weren’t as innocuous as you’d thought, and maybe—just maybe—you had a moment of clarity when you finally realized said preferred methods were doing more hurt and harm than help and healing. If you did, welcome! There is so much strength, NOT SHAME, in realizing that alcohol is not, has not AND WILL NEVER BE an authentic means of self-care.
As a mother of two, who also has 4+ years of freedom from booze, my preferred means of self-care look like: practicing mindfulness + communicating gratitude, not feeling guilty when I need to turn inwards and get lost in my imagination or have a moment of creative exploration, and listening to what my soul is beckoning for.
Self-care goes SO FAR beyond the perfunctory, commodified ideations social media and influencers try to sell us on, which is a liberating and cathartic realization in and of itself. If you are considering total and/or temporary sobriety, you’re ultimately allowing yourself a perfect opportunity to make over your idea of what self-care means/looks like FOR YOU.
May 2021 be the year you truly start living, friends; not fade away.
Beware of the “buddy system” – If you buddy up with a friend IRL for Dry January, you are automatically at the mercy of their willpower. If they choose to “cheat” it’s all-the-more likely that they’ll try to convince you to play along (it makes them feel less-bad about breaking the commitment they’ve made to themselves). It’s far more productive to join a community of strangers going through Dry Jan – there you’ll find open, active support of many like-minded people.
This is my 4th DRY January and I’m excited to share what has worked for me! I think it’s important to begin with the right mindset. I see the soberminded journey as progress over perfection, not just “counting days” but creating new experiences sans the alcohol. It’s important to “pre-decide” and “pre-plan”…notice how both of these are intentional and pro-active because it’s much more difficult to decide in the moment. It has been SUPER helpful to me to have great tasting alcohol free beverages that I’m excited about drinking in the evenings. Last but not least, the most powerful tool is that of connection with others on the same journey. Knowledge is power but wisdom comes through practice and living in community with others. Remember, every day you’re alcohol FREE is a win and should be celebrated. Before you know it, those days add up and you enjoy momentum which in turn leads to authentic freedom(AF).
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