Top 10 reasons to take on Dry January

December 2018 | 8 minutes

With Dry January fast approaching, people across the country are gearing up for their month without booze. But should you be one of them? In no particular order, here are 10 top reasons to try dry.

Adapted from Try Dry: The Official Guide to a Month Off Booze

You don't like your relationship with alcohol

What might have once been a love affair with the sparkling, witty person you become after a drink or two has turned into leaning on booze just to get you through the evening. If it’s become more habit than fun, a month off is a good way to reset. The skills and tricks you learn along the way – how to say no when someone offers you a drink, how to go out and have fun booze-free, how great it feels to wake up on Sunday morning without a hangover – are what makes a dry month so worthwhile, even long after the month is over.

You want more energy

Who doesn’t want more energy? It’s surprising how daily drinking can sap your ‘get up and go’ and leave you lacklustre and constantly fuzzy in the head. With no alcohol, you’ll get higher-quality sleep, and it will be less interrupted as you make fewer visits to the loo. If you want to feel years younger in just four weeks, yup, this should do it.

You're raising money for a charity

Maybe you’ve lost someone to alcohol and want to raise funds for a charity like Alcohol Change UK, the organisation behind Dry January. Or maybe you’d like to raise money for another charity. If this is you, try not to look too smug but yes, you should be proud of yourself. Or how about pledging? If the idea of asking friends and family for cash fills you with horror, why not pledge some of your savings instead? After all, the cash you would have spent on drinking this month is free dosh, right?

You're building up to a big event

Wedding of the year? Tropical holiday? Whatever the special occasion, you want to look your best and that means bright-eyed, clear-skinned and full of beans. We’ve got just the thing. Just one month without alcohol and you’re likely to be able to tick off all of the above. Plus you’ll save some cash to put towards the big event.

You want to look better

Since heroin chic went out of fashion, there’s no mileage in the sunken-eyed, grey-pallor, hangover-from-hell look. Fresh-faced is in. If you were considering microdermabrasion, a facelift or wearing a paper bag for the foreseeable future – good news! Cutting out alcohol can make a bigger difference than you imagine.

You or your partner is pregnant or trying to become pregnant

This is a big one, isn’t it? If this is you, you’ve got a fabulous motivator. There are plenty of useful ‘not tonight’ excuses coming in a later blog to help you keep this secret. When you do share the happy news, trust me, no one will be offering you a drop of the hard stuff.

If it’s your partner, just because you’re not actually carrying the future prime minister/star striker/world-famous cancer-curing doctor doesn’t mean you don’t have a role to play at this stage. Your partner will find it soooo much easier to avoid the booze if you’re not stocking up the fridge with tinnies every weekend. If you’re taking the challenge to support someone for another reason, it’s a great way to show you care.

Someone else has suggested you cut back

This is an eye-opener, isn’t it? You’re thinking you’re the life and soul and your mates are thinking, to quote Captain Jack Sparrow, ‘Hide the rum!’ Maybe they’ve been subtle, à la: ‘Ooh, it might be nice to not drink for a while – what do you think?’ Or maybe it’s more: ‘You’re a lush. Get a grip.’ Either way, take the hint. If you find yourself defending your drinking habits – what does that tell you? So take it personally, but in a good way. A dry month lets you evaluate your drinking from a sober perspective.

You have health concerns or your GP has suggested a change

Uh-oh, wake-up call. This is a great opportunity to make a change. Your body and brain will thank you for giving them some time off alcohol.

You're training for a sporting event

Go you! Whether it’s your first Park Run or the London Marathon, I absolutely promise that this will make your training easier. Alcohol is a muscle relaxant so the more you drink, the harder you have to train to get those pecs pumped and those glutes, er, gluting.

You want to save money

I know, you’ve read about it before, but it’s true! Every penny you would’ve spent on booze stays in your wallet, just waiting for you to spend it on something nice to treat yourself. For the same price as three London pints (and five everywhere else...) you could buy yourself a nice meal somewhere or start saving for a holiday. You literally have nothing to lose, only money to gain, from cutting out alcohol for a month.

If any of these reasons appeal to you, it’s definitely worth considering giving Dry January a go! We’ve got some quotes from the Dry January class of 2018 here if you’d like to read some more personal accounts. If you’re ready for the challenge, sign up here, or download the app from 13 December.

Like what you read? This text has been taken and adapted from our new book, published by Penguin. It’s called Try Dry: The Official Guide to a Month Off Booze. You can get this ultimate guide from 13 December. Find out more here.