Sober curious? 5 books and apps to help you stop drinking
Between work parties, social gatherings and the big day itself, Christmas is generally a boozy time of year.
But it can also be a time when many of us feel more aware of those dreaded hangovers and all the negative tolls alcohol can take, and may even spark fresh motivation for cutting down, or quitting booze altogether, come January.
If you’re curious about trying a more sober life, here are five books and apps that could provide some inspiration and vital support for the journey…
While it’s always a good idea to speak to your GP if you’re struggling to manage your drinking, you can find some extra support in the form of books and apps.
These great reads and downloads can help to expand your knowledge, keep you on track with a sober streak and introduce you to the benefits of an alcohol-free life – even during the wine-soaked festivities of Christmas.
1. The Alcohol Experiment: How To Take Control Of Your Drinking And Enjoy Being Sober For Good by Annie Grace (£12.99, HarperCollins)
This bestselling book helps readers challenge their thinking and form new habits, with a 30-day action plan to support them through the first month of sobriety. Reformed drinker Grace uses science-backed information to break down the subconscious conditioning many of us have been exposed to in our younger years, helping us understand why alcohol is so difficult to give up.
Each day of the experiment has a workbook prompt to help you through your sober journey – using tested strategies and tools to help you beat that “can’t just stop at one drink” habit.
Pick this up if you want practical, down-to-earth and easy-to-engage-with advice for living without booze.
2. The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober by Catherine Gray (£12.99, Octopus Publishing)
This book is a game-changer if you’re worried that curbing booze will destroy your social life. Gray was stuck in the cycle of regular binge-drinking and regrettable morning-afters before she quit alcohol and realised a drink-free life could actually be fun and more fulfilling.
Most of The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober is about what comes after the quitting, which is often what people really want to know. Part memoir and part self-help tome, this is a funny and relatable story of life beyond booze, packed full of advice on how to handle everything from sober weddings and dating, to sex and socialising.
3. Nomo (Free on iOS and Android)
Meaning ‘No More’, Nomo is a clever app created by Parker Stech, a recovering alcoholic who wanted to create a free tool to help others stay on track with their sobriety by using data.
The app lets you create and share clocks – as many as you need – to track the number of days you’ve been sober. You can also set clocks for self-harm, codependency, smoking, tobacco, drug dependency, anger, depression, or any other kind of habit you want to change.
The app has lots of different games and exercises designed to help distract you from cravings and stay strong during periods of stress, so you won’t be tempted to raid the drinks cabinet instead.
4. Drinkaware App (Free on iOS and Android)
One of the hardest things about cutting down on alcohol is knowing how much you’re actually consuming in the first place – we all know that one lunchtime drink in the pub, a glass of wine with dinner and then a nightcap in front of the TV can easily add up without you even realising. Drinkaware’s app allows you to track your drinks so you can keep an eye on your daily units and make sure you’re not going overboard.
It will also track your spend over time, so you can clearly see how much money you’re putting into your drinking. There’s no bigger incentive to kick the habit for good than seeing how much you could save.
5. The Sober Diaries: How One Woman Stopped Drinking And Started Living by Claire Pooley (£9.99, Hodder & Stoughton)
After leaving her role as a managing partner at one of the world’s biggest advertising agencies to focus on her family life, Clare Pooley found herself drinking more than a bottle of wine per day and feeling depressed.
In a desperate bid to change the example she was setting her kids, she quit drinking and started a blog called Mummy Was a Secret Drinker. This book is a brave account of a year in Pooley’s life, that takes in her journey to quitting and getting diagnosed with breast cancer. Now booze and cancer-free, with a life that’s much richer, she looks back on that initial year of going cold turkey with a light-hearted and positive mindset.
A must-read for anyone curious about juggling life without resorting to a daily ‘wine o’ clock’ fix.
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