Top ‘quit lit’ books and resources for anyone looking to take a break from booze

January 2024 | 8 minutes

The ‘Quit lit’ genre is growing and there are now lots of books and resources to choose from for those of us looking to re-evaluate our relationship with alcohol. These books can prove to be a useful tool when planning your next steps after a dry month and be a helpful guide to sticking to your goals.

Luckily for us, quit lit doesn’t just cover books and extends to a whole host of other resources including podcasts, videos, guided meditations and much more. We wanted to bring you the best variety of suggestions, so we asked the experts – our Dry January® participants from past years. Take a look!

Books

  • Alcohol Explained by William Porter – Described by the publisher as explaining “how alcohol affects human beings on a chemical, physiological and psychological level”, the book promises to be a comprehensive overview on all things alcohol. There’s also an Alcohol Explained 2: Tools for Stronger Sobriety for those that want to explore Porter’s writing further.
  • Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol and your Health by David Nutt – Described by the publisher as a book “written by a scientist and rooted in 40 years of medical research and hands-on experience treating patients”, this book takes a scientific approach to alcohol’s effect on everything from mental health and hormones, to fertility and addiction. You can purchase it from many online book sellers, including Amazon.
  • The Easy Way for Women to Stop Drinking by Allen Carr – Carr’s book is aimed at women as he explains his belief that “alcohol blights women's lives often in a distinctly different way to men's”. Carr is also known for a series of books giving advice on stopping smoking.

  • This Naked Mind by Annie Grace – Described by the publisher as the antidote for the “millions of people who worry that drinking is affecting their health, yet are unwilling to seek change because of the misery and stigma associated”. Grace focuses on supporting readers to leave their psychological dependence on alcohol behind. You can purchase it from many online book sellers, including Amazon.
  • The Sober Diaries: How one woman stopped drinking and started living by Clare Pooley – This autobiographical book covers a year in the author’s life after she decided to give up alcohol. After making a significant life change and making the decision to leave a high-powered, stressful job to raise her children, Clare found her drinking getting out of control and wanted to get back to living life to the full.
  • The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray – The author describes herself as “stuck in a hellish whirligig of Drink, Make horrible decisions, Hangover, Repeat” and covers her process of discovery in the book as she made the decision to reduce her drinking.

Podcasts

  • The Bee Sober podcast – Described by the producers as “a funny and honest account to self-discovery”.
  • Coping with Cravings from Headspace, a series of guided meditations – The wellbeing app Headspace uses meditation, mindfulness and coaching to support users to better mental health. Their short, guided meditations on cravings are designed to help you through a craving in real time. Available via the Headspace app only.
  • Hello Someday podcast – Described by the producers as a mental health podcast for ‘sober curious women and grey area drinkers’ or in other words, those who are not physically dependent but may find themselves drinking too much. Host Casey Davidson provides weekly advice for women trying out stopping drinking.
  • Over the Influence: The Alcohol Free podcast - Presented by BBC Lancashire presenter Sharon Hartley and Sound Rebel podcast producer Ben Anderson, the hosts discuss the transformative effect they believe becoming alcohol-free has had on their lives.
  • Sober Awkward podcast – Hosts and Brits now living in Australia, Vic and Hamish, take a humorous (and sometimes awkward!) look at their newly alcohol-free lives. Winner of the Wellbeing Australian Podcast Award.

But if quit lit isn’t for you, that’s ok!

As we gathered these recommendations from our Dry January® alumni, we heard a few of our past participants explain how they found ‘quit lit’ hard to relate to, or they never quite found their perfect fit. Don’t worry if this sounds like you. Perhaps snippets of a variety of books or resources will resonate with you, and you’ll find they start to accumulate into your useful change toolkit. Perhaps, peer support groups like Dry January® and Beyond Facebook community group will work better for you. Or perhaps you have some better suggestions you’d like to share. Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Still looking for recommendations? Find out more about the official companion book to Dry January®, Try Dry®: The Official Guide to a Month Off Booze. From planning for your dry month, to the day to day, to the physical effects, to what comes next - if you've got a question about trying dry, this book will have the answer!

Read more