Dry January started in 2013 with 4,000 people committing to abstaining from alcohol for a month. Now in its 10th year, it’s come a long way since then, with over 130,000 taking part in 2022.
It’s gained popularity as a way for individuals to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol, promote healthier habits and potentially experience both physical and mental benefits.
Six ways to have a brilliant Dry January:
1. Team up with a friend
Doing Dry January with a friend or in a group is a great way to stay committed. You can hold each other accountable, turn to one another when it gets tough and encourage each other to keep going.
2. Tell your friends, colleagues, and loved ones
Share your commitment to Dry January with those closest to you. They may surprise you by offering support and helping you to keep on track.
3. Don’t beat yourself up over a slip-up
Drinking alcohol doesn’t need to mean the end of your dry month. If you do have a slip-up, reflect on why it might have happened and what you could do next time to stop it from happening again.
4. Write down your motivation
Why have you committed to Dry January this year? Write down all the reasons – what you hope to gain, how you hope this will impact you, and how will you feel when you’ve succeeded. Make your list visible by sticking it on the wall, putting it on the fridge or putting it on the bathroom mirror. Daily reminders will help to see you through to the end.
5. Plan ahead for occasions when alcohol is on offer
It’s likely that you’ll end up somewhere alcohol is on offer during the month – a work dinner, a catch-up with friends or a family meal. The best thing you can do is to plan ahead and decide ahead of time how you will manage the situation.
6. Put the money you’d have spent on alcohol aside
Put the money that you would have spent on alcohol aside. Not drinking will likely save you money and by the end of the month you’ll have a pot saved for a rainy day.
Alcohol support services
Alcohol Change UK
NHS tips and advice
Alcohol addiction services in your area
Free, confidential helpline for anyone who is concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s.
Helpline: 0300 123 1110
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
AA supports the recovery and continued sobriety of individuals. Meetings are available online and in person.
Helpline: 0800 917 7650