The GuardianThe Guardian

I gave up booze and am having more fun than ever. These seven tips could help you do the same

By Sam Delaney

10 Feb 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Whether you are hoping to prolong the benefits of Dry January, or thinking of going sober on a permanent basis, The Guardian has some tips on how to continue having fun whilst doing so.

When I decided to give up drinking in the summer of 2015, I was convinced it would improve almost every important part of my life: my career, my health, my marriage. But would I be able to handle the boredom? I had been getting drunk pretty regularly since I was an adolescent and was completely inexperienced at having fun without booze. I wasn’t sure it was possible. Happily, I was wrong.

“It has been deeply ingrained in us by the media, culture and our peers that alcohol is the best way to have fun, and therefore sobriety must be boring,” says Veronica Valli, a psychotherapist, recovery coach and author of Soberful. She says: “The truth is, with 23 years of sobriety behind me, I can’t think of anything that isn’t more fun without alcohol. But there’s more to stopping drinking than just stopping drinking. We have to learn a lot of new emotional skills.”

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