What does being sober curious actually mean?
It's simple really. Identifying as sober curious means that you've come to the realization that alcohol just doesn’t make you feel all that great. Perhaps it was one lost Sunday too many, or waking up full of anxiety after a drunken night out. Or you noticed that you didn't sleep well even after moderate drinking. Whatever the reason, you've decided to ditch the drink and started looking for alternatives.
Sober curious and alcoholism
Being sober curious does not mean that you have to have an addiction issue with alcohol, even though alcohol is one of the most addictive substances we can consume, just after heroin, nicotine and cocaine.
In laboratory experiments on animals alcohol increased dopamine levels in the brain's reward system by 40% to 360% -- and the more the animals drank the more dopamine levels increased.
Invest in your wellbeing
“People are more invested in their overall wellbeing,” says Ruby Warrington, founder of Club Söda NYC and author of the book Sober Curious. “As we change our diet, work out regularly and adopt other wellness practices, it becomes harder to reconcile the way alcohol really makes us feel. I think a lot of people are beginning to ask if a few hours of ‘pressing pause’ on stress, anxiety, or loneliness is worth the inevitable payoff the morning after.”
A number of influencers, like Jordan Younger of @thebalancedblonde or Lee Tilghman of @leefromamerica are publicly describing themselves as sober curious, sharing with their followers that they’ll drink once in a while if the occasion calls for it, but for the most part, they abstain — and that’s because alcohol makes them feel bad.
Alcohol is an addictive toxin
The rise of the wellness movement has caused many of us to eliminate toxins from our diet, and there’s no question that alcohol is just that - an addictive toxin.
But what do you drink, when you're not drinking?
The problem for many of us is that in Western society alcohol and being social are intricately linked. For many, being a part of the group means consuming alcohol, often because there are few or no alternatives available that aren't sugar-laden pop, or make you feel less than an adult.
We developed our brewed botanical tonics for ourselves when we started a 90 day no alcohol challenge and were presented with the question, what we should drink when we weren't drinking. Soft drinks were too sweet, water was too boring. After months of development work, our Lively Chaga Black is the first drink we'll be making publicly available. We hope you'll like it as much as we do.
If you'd like to learn more about the idea of being sober curious, listen to this podcast by Jessica Murnane, interviewing Ruby Warrington. It's a great podcast and a compelling story.