The Rise of #SoberCurious

Whether or not you believe in the transformative potential of the New Year, January is undeniably a time for resolution-making or breaking? Some earnestly vow to make lasting changes to their lifestyle; others opt for temporary resets for a finite period of time.

In the latter camp are participants of “Dry January,” a movement to abstain from alcohol for the first month of the year. Its hashtag-ready name — #dryjanuary or #dryuary — makes it a social media-friendly venture: In 2018, #dryjanuary has gained the attention of Influencers like British model Emma Louise Connolly, while producing posts from industry-leading brands like Mr. Porter. Further, our data notes that from January 1st to the 7th of 2019 alone, the #dryjanuary hashtag had been used over 230 times by Instagram accounts with a following of 1k or more.

It’s trending, but is it a trend?

The reality is, resolutions aren’t exactly trend-worthy; they’re ubiquitous aspects of popular culture. Furthermore, the ephemeral nature and all-or-nothing parameters of #dryjanuary make it difficult to track as either an enduring or evolving movement. Yet self-elected alcohol abstinence is on the rise, manifested in a smaller, albeit growing movement: #sobercurious.

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PT 2- something about the energy of this year tells me that 2019 will finally be the year i don’t have a single sip of alcohol. on my ayahuasca retreat i saw a vision of myself as a completely clear & open channel, and alcohol never touching my lips again. it was beautiful!! although i have only had a handful of drinks in the last few years, i have never had a fully alcohol-free year. my journey with alcohol has been interesting. i went from a wild party girl who binge drank most every night of the week & believed if *everyone* was doing it then it couldn’t possibly be bad for me, to craving a healthy lifestyle that had nothing to do with partying by the time i turned 21, ironic i know. at that time my whole social life revolved around going out & drinking, so i didn’t know how to let it go even though i despised the way it tasted and made me feel. i began to drink less & less. three years ago my ayurvedic doctor told me that i had a toxic liver, and all of the sudden the mind-body connection became very clear to me. my body had been speaking to me for all these years, trying to tell me something. around then i stopped feeling GUILTY about not wanting to drink or “being who i used to be” & started being proud of myself for being so in tune with my spirit & my body. rather than losing my social life, my friendships got deeper because i was finally being fully myself. being sick has given me the ultimate gift of being UNABLE to drink alcohol- a step my body has been ready to take for a long time now. i am going to hold onto that & stick to my intention of seeing what 2019 is like without even a sip. 💛 what is your relationship with alcohol? #tbbmademedoit #soulonfire #soberlife

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Founded by Ruby Warrington, who recently released a book on the subject — Sober Curious — the #sobercurious proposition is this: Life is more interesting, enriching and enjoyable sober. What’s more, devotees don’t necessarily need to have a “problem” and/or an addiction to alcohol to participate, as #sobercurious is not an organized rehab program. Instead, #sobercurious followers are united in the pursuit of the enticing benefits of sober living, such as enhanced energy, greater mental clarity and reduced anxiety. In this sense, it’s a natural articulation of holistic health.

Although connected to the mainstream wellness movement, #sobercurious is still niche, albeit gaining traction; it’s garnered more than 4,000 mentions to date. Further, our data reveals that Influencers using the #sobercurious hashtag saw on average a 247% increase in comments and a 129% increase in likes versus their benchmark metrics, underscoring strong follower engagement.

Hold your beer and keep an eye on this one — based on our calculations #sobercurious has some staying power.