How a Dry January may have lasting benefits for your health

As we approach a new year, many people may be thinking of all sorts of resolutions, particularly with the determination to turn over a new leaf and live a healthier life. Aside from goals around fitness and eating better, more people have become interested in having a “dry” January — by abstaining from alcohol for the entire month, or possibly longer.

Beyond joining in a trendy movement, there is evidence that suggests putting aside beer, wine or cocktails — even for a limited amount of time — may make a positive impact on your long-term health. Going “dry” even for a short period may help decrease liver inflammation, brought on by drinking alcohol.

This might be especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent study shows alcohol sales increased by about 20% from March to September 2020, compared to the previous year. What’s more, the World Health Organization indicates this consumption may exacerbate health issues already under stress during the pandemic.

The good news is, taking a break from alcohol can help. A recent study shows that participating in Dry January indicated an increased sense of well-being. In a 2019 survey of Dry January participants:

  • 86% saved money
  • 70% said they were sleeping better
  • 66% had improved their health
  • 54% lost weight

An event like Dry January, even if you don’t stop drinking altogether, can mean drinking less overall, and can “reset” your relationship to alcohol. Having that chance to reassess your relationship going forward may be the biggest benefit. You also don’t have to wait for January to put alcohol on hold – you may find the same success any time of the year.

If you’re looking for a few fun mocktails to try, check out these delicious recipes — and you may not miss the booze at all.

Holiday Sangria


  • 1 segment (2-3 inches) of ginger
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 oz. pomegranate juice 
  • 8 oz. blueberry juice 


  1. Slice grapefruit, apples, orange and ginger and place in pitcher. Add cranberries and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Fill pitcher 1/3 of the way full with a pomegranate juice of your choice
  3. Fill pitcher 2/3 of the way full with a blueberry juice of your choice
  4. Fill to top with sparkling water
  5. Let pitcher sit so flavors can meld. 
  6. Pour into glass with ice. 
  7. Garnish with mint, rosemary and a grapefruit slice.

Cranberry Mule


  • ½ cup ice
  • ¼ cup cranberries
  • 2 orange peels
  • 2 ginger peels
  • Sparkling water
  • Cinnamon stick


  1. Fill a copper mug half full with ice. 
  2. Add cranberries. 
  3. Add two orange and ginger peels. 
  4. Fill mug to the top with sparkling water
  5. Stir mixture with cinnamon stick. 

Alcohol-Free Mimosa


  • ¼ cup orange juice 
  • Orange flavored sparking water
  • Orange peel


  1. Pour ¼ cup of orange juice into champagne flute. 
  2. Fill the rest of the flute with orange flavored sparking water. 
  3. Garnish with an orange peel.