It’s that time of year again. Between work parties, pub gatherings and boozy lunches, hangovers can become a fairly unwelcome part of the festive season.
If you’re tired of rocking up to the office with a fuzzy head, dry mouth and a distinct lack of motivation, you might be thinking about making a healthy change in January.
Ever heard of the ‘Sober Curious’ movement? It refers to the rising number of people who are drinking less, or not at all, for wellness reasons. It could be that you’re working towards a fitness goal or have a sneaking suspicion that your mental health would benefit from a break. Either way, it’s about asking ‘how’ and ‘why’ you drink and if it’s useful to your lifestyle.
If you’re thinking of jumping on the dry bandwagon this January, we’ve found a number of bedside books to help inspire you on your journey. Here are just a few to curl up with in the New Year.
In The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, author Catherine Gray argues that giving up booze isn’t just good for your health, but life is much more fun without it. After spending the majority of her twenties being peeled off the floor and put into taxis by her friends, she quit alcohol and discovered a surprising number of benefits to living life hangover-free. Part memoir, part self-help book, this witty and relatable read is packed full of advice on navigating real-world sober challenges, from drink-free weddings to dry dates.
In this sober memoir, journalist Bryony Gordon shines a light on the link between mental health and addiction, exploring how she used alcohol to cope with intrusive thoughts and OCD that have plagued her since childhood. Taking an unflinching look at her twenty-year addiction, she explains the many insidious ways it quietly robbed her of her relationships, work, and enjoyment of life. Dark but ultimately uplifting, Gordon shares how quitting drinking helped her to develop a kinder relationship with herself – one that she never thought possible.
Would life be better without alcohol? That’s the question Ruby Warrington poses to readers as she asks them to re-evaluate their relationship with drinking. Drawing on research, expert interviews, and personal narrative, Sober Curious takes a non-judgemental look at the wellbeing benefits a booze break can bestow, from blissful sleep to greater focus. Written by Club Soda founder and face of the sober curious movement Warrington, this book is a great place to start if you’re keen to reevaluate your relationship with casual drinking.
One of the reasons it’s notoriously hard to quit drinking is that it punctuates most of our social occasions. Birthdays, weddings, breakups, funerals and holidays are all occasions to crack open a bottle. Writer Sean Alexander argues that we’re living on a ‘drunk planet’, where we celebrate alcohol use in a way that’s different from other drugs we place restrictions upon. This eye-opening book tells it like it is, looking at the real reasons why we drink and how we can break free from a drink-reliant society.
Russell Brand’s addiction programme looks at the many unhealthy attachments we hold onto in life, including alcohol. Offering a fresh perspective on what it means to be an addict, the comedian-turned-guru takes a brutal look at his reliance on drugs, booze, sex and fame in his early career. Providing a roadmap to recovery for readers, he draws on the tools and techniques that really work, from someone who has lived and breathed it.
When Clare Pooley left her high-powered job to focus on parenting, she found herself drinking more than a bottle of wine each night. Worrying about the example she was setting for her children, she stopped drinking and penned a blog called Mummy Was a Secret Drinker on her experience. This brilliantly frank book charts a year in Pooley’s life, taking in her decision to quit and being diagnosed with breast cancer. Now booze-free and cancer-free, she looks positively at how kicking the habit of a lifetime helped her to live life to the fullest.