Contact Us
Simple, accurate health tests for the home and the workplace.

Dry January 2024: Tips for a Successful Month


New Year’s resolutions are in full swing every January. With the increasing popularity of Dry January, thousands of people each year decide to go alcohol-free for one month. There are many benefits to reducing your alcohol intake. From saving money to improving your overall health, you can reap the benefits of Dry January by following our top tips for success.

  • What is Dry January?
  • How Does Alcohol Affect Your Body?
  • Benefits of Dry January
  • Tips for Dry January Success
  • Dry January or Dryish January?
  • Any Month Can Be a Dry Month


What is Dry January?

Dry January was started in 2013 by Alcohol Change UK to create a community of people going alcohol-free for one month. January is chosen as it represents the start of a new year, encouraging people to focus on their health and wellbeing for the rest of the year.

The purpose of Dry January is not only to encourage everyone to reduce their own alcohol consumption for one month but also to help others cut down on their alcohol intake by raising both money and awareness.

The History of Dry January

Dry January began with the help of Emily Robinson. Before Dry January was an official campaign, Emily tried to go alcohol-free herself for a month to prepare for a half marathon. As news spread, Alcohol Change UK was inspired by Emily’s journey to giving up alcohol for one month and decided to create the official health and wellness campaign Dry January in 2013.

Since 2013, a lot has changed. From producing an app to help encourage people during Dry January to generating 175,000 sign-ups in 2023, Dry January has increased in popularity over the years. This has changed the lives of individuals and the wider community, but why should you reduce your alcohol intake, and what are the benefits?


How Does Alcohol Affect Your Body?

It is well known that alcohol has adverse effects, but what specifically happens to your body? From harming your liver to negatively affecting your immune system, alcohol can have a detrimental impact on your body, especially in large doses. Here are a few examples of what can happen to your body:

  • Liver Damage: The liver metabolises alcohol into a toxic substance called acetaldehyde which contributes to liver inflammation and, eventually, liver damage.
  • Heart-related Issues: Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and an increased risk of heart disease.
  • Disruption to the Immune System: Heavy drinking can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illnesses.
  • Increased Risk of Kidney Disease: Excessive alcohol drinking can contribute to kidney damage and increased risk of kidney disease.
  • Impact on Mental Health: Alcohol consumption can play a role in mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. Chronic alcohol abuse can also lead to developing alcohol use disorders.


Benefits of Dry January

Now that you understand what can happen to your body when consuming an excessive amount of alcohol is Dry January good for you? By dedicating a whole month to Dry January, you could experience various benefits, including:

Overall Health Benefits

There are a range of health benefits that you could experience from going alcohol-free. Some examples include:

  • Loss of weight
  • Better concentration
  • Improved sleep
  • Reduced blood sugar levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels

Improved Mental Health

The most prominent benefit people experience from Dry January is feeling a sense of achievement. After having a successful alcohol-free month, knowing you have the willpower to refrain from drinking alcohol is an achievement to shout about. Not only this, but participants also reported an increase in mood and more energy overall. This shows by cutting down on your alcohol intake, you could experience a happier month and future.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Health Conditions

Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of chronic health conditions such as diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease. By reducing your alcohol consumption, you will also reduce the risk of developing these serious health conditions, giving you greater peace of mind.

A Change to a Healthier Mindset

You could start the year off strong by changing your mindset. It is common for people to depend on alcohol during stressful periods, meaning it is crucial to change this habit to something more beneficial.  For example, trying meditation or art classes could enforce a healthier mindset. By finding a more creative or mindful outlet, a healthier habit can be formed, which can change how you deal with stress in the future.

Save Money

The amount of money an individual spends on alcohol a year in the UK is almost £1,000. By reducing your alcohol intake, you could save a substantial amount of money in your lifetime. Although this is not a primary reason people participate in Dry January, it is a benefit worth noting as it can reduce your money worries.


Tips for Dry January Success

Going alcohol-free for a month can be challenging, so taking steps to prepare yourself for the challenge can be helpful to increase your chances of success. We have compiled a guide to help you prepare for the month ahead.

1. Think About Your Why

A great way to start your journey is to consider why you want to participate in Dry January. If you wish to reduce your reliance on alcohol or you just want to be healthier, defining why you want to take part in this campaign can help you through any periods of doubt.

2. Educate Yourself

Understanding the effects of alcohol and the benefits of taking part in Dry January can act as motivation in progressing through an alcohol-free month. By knowing the end goal, you can have a target to aim for, which can increase your chances of success.

3. Surround Yourself With Support

Tell your friends and family that you are going alcohol-free for a month so they know to offer your support during this time. Dry January can be challenging for some people, so recognising this and having someone to talk to can make all the difference in being successful in reaching your goals.

4. Stock Non-Alcoholic Beverages

Keeping alcohol out of your home will make the challenge that little bit easier. Having some form of replacement can help you satisfy your urge if you feel the need to reach for an alcoholic beverage. Examples can be anything from sparkling water to a mocktail. You could also try out different non-alcoholic drinks to see which is the best option for you.

5. Practice Saying No

There may be times when you go out, and someone offers you a drink. It is worth practicing how you would turn down this offer with phrases such as:

  • Not tonight, thanks
  • I’ll have something else
  • I’m doing Dry January!
  • I’m cutting back this month and would appreciate your support.


Dry January or Dryish January?

Dry January involves going completely alcohol-free for the whole month of January. However, some people may benefit from trying Dryish January instead. This version of the campaign is aimed at people who would like to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume but don’t necessarily want to cut alcohol out of their lives completely.

Whether you participate in Dry January or Dryish January, reducing your alcohol intake in any way still has the same benefits. Losing weight, improving sleep, better mental health, increasing energy levels, and feeling a sense of accomplishment are all things you can experience from partaking in either one of the campaigns.


Any Month Can Be a Dry Month

Dry January doesn’t have to be the only alcohol-free month of the year. If you feel January isn’t the month you want to start reducing your alcohol intake, nothing is stopping you from having an alcohol-free March instead!

A range of support options will still be available if you don’t participate in January. For example, the Try Dry app created by Alcohol Change UK can be used all year round to help you track your goals and monitor your well-being over the month.

At Home Health, we are here to support you during your Dry January or any other alcohol-free month! From free health guides to alcohol testing kits, we are here with you throughout the year to help you transform your life.


Dry January FAQs

How long does alcohol stay in your system?

Alcohol can stay in your system for anywhere between 6-72 hours. This depends on the test used to measure alcohol in your system, the amount of alcohol an individual drinks in one sitting, and if the individual is a chronic user of alcohol. At Home Health, we have a range of alcohol testing kits available to you should you need to check your alcohol levels.


Is alcohol a depressant?

Yes, alcohol is a depressant. This means it can disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in your brain, affecting your behaviour and feelings. This shows alcohol can negatively affect your mental health, as regularly drinking alcohol is related to depression and anxiety.


What happens to your body when you stop drinking?

There are a range of benefits to reducing your alcohol intake. Some examples include:

  • Improved mental health
  • Better sleep
  • Loss of weight
  • Reduced risk of chronic health conditions


How long does alcohol withdrawal last?

Generally, alcohol withdrawal will last between 3-7 days from your last drink. The length and effects of alcohol withdrawal will depend on the amount of alcohol an individual consumes. Some common symptoms include nausea, headaches, chills, and excessive sweating.


What does alcohol do to your brain?

The neurotransmitters in the brain are affected by alcohol. This causes problems with the brain’s communication pathways, causing changes in behaviour and mental health. Blurred vision, slurred speech, and lack of control are all examples of the side effects of drinking alcohol.


What does teetotal mean?

Teetotal, or teetotalism, is when someone abstains from alcohol. This means people who practice or advocate for abstinence from alcohol are referred to as teetotallers.


Related Articles

Dry January: The Surprising Ways it Can Improve Your Life

What Happens to Your Liver When You Stop Drinking

Decembeard 2023