3 Major Health Benefits of Dry January (That Have Nothing to Do With Weight)

Scout Brisson, CEO of sparkling non-alcoholic apéritif brand De Soi, shares her tips for abstaining from alcohol this month.
Dry January

Colorful mocktail.

January is always a time for resolutions, and we’re willing to bet that most of you have heard of Dry January. The concept, which originated in the UK in 2014, is a means of abstaining from alcohol for the month in order to reassess one’s relationship with it. And while many outlets promote Dry January as a quick weight-loss method to kick off a new year, there are countless other wellness-related pros to cutting back on booze.

We spoke with Scout Brisson, CEO of sparkling non-alcoholic apéritif brand

De Soi

, to learn more about some of those benefits. Here’s what she had to say about participating in Dry January from personal experience.

Better sleep and more energy

“I’ve certainly found this personally, but I think when you’re not drinking, you sleep better. And I think sleep is extremely underrated when it comes to just health impact,” Brisson says. She adds that with popular tools like the

Oura Ring

, folks are a lot more tuned in to the importance of a quality night’s rest these days.

“[Now] people actually have better data for themselves around how even one glass of alcohol can impact your sleep, even if you’re not noticing it the next morning,” she explains.

Numerous studies have found that alcohol consumption can decrease sleep quality, so taking a break from that evening glass of wine may actually help you wake up feeling more well-rested. Naturally, poor sleep can lead to lower energy levels, so you may find yourself dragging the day after an evening of one too many cocktails. 

“Better sleep and [having] more energy is one thing that I think people are realizing more and more as the value of drinking less,” Brisson says.

Lessened anxiety

“Hangxiety” is a relatively new term used to describe the anxious feelings one experiences after a night of drinking. Whether it’s an inability to relax, physical symptoms like a stomach ache, or feelings of anxiety and depression, reevaluating your relationship with alcohol and making lifestyle changes accordingly is a great way to rid yourself of these common side effects.

“Anxiety induced by alcohol is very real, and so ... [you may find] a more positive impact on your mental health without alcohol in your system,” Brisson explains.

She says that participating in Dry January is a great way to explore other healthy lifestyle changes to implement moving forward. For example, if you typically reach for a glass of wine after a stressful day at work, consider whether or not there are other, perhaps healthier, alternatives to try in instead.

“So for instance, making yourself a cup of tea or doing a yoga class or just calling a friend,” Brisson says of other self-care methods that can help you unwind. “That’s another big one when I think about more holistic mental health, is that you’re taking the time to reevaluate the why and the when, and it gives you the opportunity to try different self-soothing, self-care tactics outside of that typical, ‘I want to relax and unwind and grab a drink [mentality].’”

How to have a successful Dry January

Brisson reminds us that Dry January is open to interpretation, as many people choose to opt for “Dry-ish January” practices so they can indulge in a drink or two on occasion. No matter how you choose to approach it, she offers a few tips for staying the course:

  1. Have an accountability partner. She suggests trying it out with a friend, family member or partner so you can keep each other on track.
  2. Don’t alter your social calendar. When you go out with friends, try a mocktail! Many bars and restaurants are embracing the sober-curious movement these days and offer tasty booze-free options.
  3. Have an alternative in the fridge to enjoy at home. Try a non-alcoholic alternative, like De Soi, which is now available at Target. The beverage brand, which was cofounded by Katy Perry and Morgan McLachlan, offers four tasty flavors, including Champignon Dreams, Purple Lune, Très Rosé and Golden Hour (the latter is Brisson’s favorite). 

And when the month is over, Brisson says it’s time for a bit of reflection.

“I think it’s really just coming out of the month and figuring out what worked for you and leaning into that,” she suggests.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.