Sobriety: The Rising Trend in Mental Health and Wellness

Gen Z and health consciousness individuals are shaping the non-drinking movement and new ways of socializing are becoming popular, leaving behind old traditions like endless mimosas and Thursday parties. 

In 2024, more people are choosing not to drink alcohol, and it's becoming a big thing. New words like "no-lo" and "sober-curios" are showing up. NielsenIQ says non-alcoholic drink sales went up by 20.6% from August 2021 to August 2022. This trend started in 2020 and is getting bigger. 

Young people, especially Gen Z, are leading this trend. They care more about feeling good and being productive than drinking alcohol. They worry about how alcohol affects their bodies. Gen Z also spends less money on alcohol than Millennials, about 40% less, according to the Food Institute.

Why Ditch the Drinks? 

Consider these potential health risks linked with alcohol consumption: 

Negative Effects on Physical Health:
  1. Elevated blood pressure 
  2. Increased risk of heart attacks or strokes 
  3. Heightened probability of developing cancer 
  4. Compromised immune system and heightened vulnerability to illnesses
person denying an alcoholic drink because they are choosing their sobriety and mental health
Negative Effects on Your Mental Health:
  1. Impaired cognitive abilities leading to learning and memory difficulties 
  2. Reduced ability to concentrate 
  3. Challenges in social interactions, including familial and employment-related issues
  4. Potential negative social consequences including legal troubles, violence within relationships, and impaired driving incidents 
  5. Elevated risk of experiencing anxiety, depression, and alcohol-related disorders


Now let’s look at the advantages of refraining from alcohol consumption.

Health Benefits of Abstaining from Alcohol:
  1. Improved functioning of bodily organs 
  2. Extended lifespan 
  3. Decreased likelihood of developing chronic ailments 
  4. Enhanced mental clarity and cognitive abilities 
  5. Better quality of sleep


Navigating social situations without alcohol can be challenging. Here are some strategies: 

  1. Inform friends in advance of your choice: Before going out with friends, let them know of your choice to abstain from alcohol so they will be supportive and not pressure you into drinking. 
  2. Explore non-alcoholic beverage options: Many places have drinks without alcohol that are an alternative to soda or water, such as mocktails and alcohol-free beer. 
  3. Seek out alcohol-free activities: Instead of focusing solely on events or places where alcohol is the main attraction, seek out activities and gatherings that don't revolve around drinking. This could include attending live performances, art exhibitions, sports events, outdoor adventures, or hobby-related meetups. Engaging in activities that don't center on alcohol can broaden your social circle and provide fulfilling experiences. Websites such as soberfun.info is a good resource for events
  4. Prepare for peer pressure and reactions: It's important to be ready for peer pressure or reactions from others if you choose not to drink. Some might be surprised or try to convince you to drink. Speaking calmly about your decision and why you've made it can help you handle these situations confidently. 
  5. Have an exit plan: If you're in a social situation where you feel uncomfortable or pushed to drink, having a plan to leave can make you feel safer. 


Remember, fun doesn't have to involve alcohol. Embrace sobriety as a path to mindfulness and overall well-being. Activities like meditation, yoga, or exercise can complement a sober lifestyle perfectly. 

Abstinence from alcohol is propelled by an emphasis on health, financial considerations, and shifts in generational attitudes. 

With sharper minds, healthier bodies, and richer relationships, the advantages of abstaining from alcohol are unmistakable. Let's strive for a world where individuals are empowered in their decisions, whether they opt for a glass of sparkling water or not. 

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About the author:

Stephanie Taylor is the Communications and Development Manager at Acenda, where she uses her passion for helping others to create compelling content that raises awareness about behavioral health and hopes to inspire others. She has a BA in psychology and over 25 years of experience in the behavioral health field. She is also a mom to three young men and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening, and reading.