Dry January has become a popular trend at the start of each year as New Year's resolutions formulate and adults decide to take a break from alcohol for an entire month after the holidays. Some people take it very seriously, some pass on it completely. Others simply take a more moderate approach, which has recently been dubbed "Damp January," where adults actively cut down on their alcohol intake without the pressure of going cold turkey.
This weekend, we're highlighting some of the top NewsBreak stories that focus on Dry (or damp) January. We'll take a look at some of the health benefits of cutting out alcohol altogether, why some people think the "damp" approach is the way to go, tips on how to get through the final week of the month and more.
Why we love this: Some people might need that extra push to get them through the end of the month, and who better to help you through that than a life coach who quit drinking herself. Life coach Amanda Kuda outlines three seemingly simple tips to quit drinking, and the advice works if you're just trying to finish Dry January or if you're planning on going dry long-term. Changing your habits will likely always result in other habits needing adjustments, and turning down those plans with your usual drinking buddies and replacing them with exercise or a movie can work wonders. And if that doesn't work, Kuda suggests thinking about that awful hangover you'll be saving yourself from the next day.
Why we love this: Whether its alcohol, cigarettes, fatty foods or screen time, going cold turkey is just not the best approach for everyone. Damp January is described as "less severe of an approach" by Shara Turner, an addiction expert and clinical director of Sabina Recovery in Tucson, Ariz. Turner also stresses the importance of understanding why you're even doing Dry or Damp January to begin with and suggests looking deeper into the motivations that come with it. She also notes that if you're truly trying to cut out alcohol and are unable to do so for a month (or less), then it may be time to seek help.
Why we love this: The data doesn't lie. Dry January is more popular than ever and an analysis of Google Trends data by food website Pantry & Larder revealed the alcohol-free trend jumped 259% compared with the same period last year. This article focuses on the data over the past decade, but also brings in Joshua James, owner of a non-alcoholic cafe and bottle shop, who said that he's seen double the sales of non-alcoholic beverages than last year within the first 10 days of January 2023. Pantry & Larder also notes that searches for mocktails saw an increase of 217% compared to January 2022.
Why we love this: Speaking of mocktails, NewsBreak contributor Teressa P shares some of her favorite mocktails for Dry January. Her spiced fruit tea is an alternative to a boozy fruit sangria and calls for apples, pears, lemon juice, hibiscus and her candied ginger simple syrup, which she also links to. She also includes some of her own personal favorites, including the virgin piña colada and an alcohol-free coquito. These coconut milk-based drinks are rich in spices that provide a tropical feel even without the rum. Plus, Teressa includes some hot beverage options like her favorite teas and tonics featuring her blend of chai-inspired spices and golden milk.
Why we love this: Dry January can be a great idea, but this article is for anyone considering extending their booze-free habits a bit further. Whether it's going an extra month or two, the rest of the year or abandoning alcohol forever, the health benefits support the idea.This past week, Canadian health officials altered their alcohol consumption guidelines and said no amount of it is healthy and that people should reduce their alcohol intake as much as possible. The updated guidelines say two small glasses of wine or a pint and a half of beer a week is considered "low-risk." The previous guidelines were 10 drinks per week for women and 15 drinks for men.