20 Benefits of Sobriety

20 Benefits of Sobriety

Although I’ve only listed 20 benefits of sobriety here, there are about a million and one more benefits that I know I have yet to experience. I’m more than a full year into my sobriety journey, and I couldn’t be happier with the amount of benefits I’ve gained from going alcohol-free. Not only has my mental and physical health improved, but my world has changed in countless ways. 

There’s nothing easy about struggling with addiction, but knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel may be helpful in getting sober. Whether you’re considering the sober curious life, addiction treatment, or are in long-term recovery, here are 20 benefits of sobriety that will help you get started or help get you motivated to keep going.  

If you or someone you know could benefit from alcohol addiction treatment, please visit the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which provides several options for evidence-based treatment.

20 Benefits Of Sobriety

When you’re trying to remain sober, it’s always good to keep in mind that you’re getting more than you’re giving up. Below, we I go through the 20 benefits that I’ve seen for myself during my recovery journey. I’m also outlining benefits that I’ve read about from keeping up with others’ sober lifestyle.

If you’ve recently decided to give up drugs and alcohol, rest assured that you made the right choice.

Improved mental health

I can’t even tell you how much my mental health has improved since I stopped drinking about six months ago. I used to spend a lot of time worrying about everything, which was horrible for my overall health. From work deadlines to making enough time for friends and family, I was a ball of anxiety. Something that would make me even more anxious was thinking about an upcoming event, where I knew there would be a lot of substance abuse (aka drinking) involved. I would get anxiety about how bad my hangover would be, and how I would be able to manage it. Then, I would get even more anxiety when I was actually experiencing the hangover. It felt like anxiety was with me at every step of the way, and it felt exhausting. 

No more hangovers

Not being hungover every weekend has opened so many doors (and so many new activities) for me. I don’t have to dread the anxiety that I will feel during a hangover, and I don’t have to feel anxious during a hangover. I get to go out with my friends and not worry about feeling like shit the next day. I’m able to make solid plans with people without potentially bailing because of my hangover. I don’t have to plan my week around which days I will probably be hungover or not. Plus, not being hungover gives me more time to do things I want to do. 

Pink cloud phase

Pink cloud phase 

Sobriety allowed me to experience the pink cloud phase. If you haven’t heard of it before, the pink cloud phase can occur in the early stages of your sobriety, when you are feeling really optimistic about your new sober life. People in recovery say that this phase is filled with feelings of confidence and excitement about living a sober life. During this phase, you aren’t focused too much on all the reasons why you drank so much in the first place.

My pink cloud phase lasted about 2-3 months, and it was this feeling of elation and freedom that I hadn’t really experienced before. It let me know that I was on the right path. Even though this may seem like a relatively short-term phase, it was—and continues to be—one of my favorite benefits of being sober.


Speaking of elation and freedom, sobriety has given me a sense of power that I didn’t expect. The moment I decided to stop drinking felt like the biggest weight had been lifted off my shoulders. To put it metaphorically, I truly feel like I was a bird locked in a cage while drinking. I was at the whim of my owner (alcohol), and was only allowed to come out of my cage whenever my owner decided. Now, I feel like I have escaped the small cage I was in, and I am free to fly anywhere and everywhere. 

Improved physical health

Once you stop drinking, you will start to notice how much your body changes. Your face will look less puffy. You’ll notice you have increased energy. And you’ll probably lose some weight. All of these things happened to me a few months after I stopped drinking. Now that I’m not hungover all the time, I have a lot more time and energy to workout regularly. My physical health has definitely improved since I stopped drinking. 

More inclined to try new things

So much time spent not hungover means more time to enjoy life and try new things. I’ve noticed that I am much more willing to try new things in sobriety, and I feel excited to do things I’ve never done before. Of course, I was still trying new things when I was drinking, but I feel a lot more confident in my capabilities as a sober person. 

Trying out mocktails and NA beers

I am surprised by how much I love exploring the world of mocktails and non-alcoholic beverages since going alcohol-free. I’ve been loving trying out new non-alcoholic beers and mixing mocktails, and it excites me to see this category growing within the alcohol industry so much. Plus, they really help me stay sober.  

Stronger immune system

Less alcohol means a healthier body. And a healthier body ultimately means a stronger immune system. Plus, a stronger immune system might make the difference between a really rough time with a cold, the flu, or even COVID, versus a more mild experience. 

Figure out who your true friends are

This one will be both a benefit and potentially a drawback of sobriety—it depends how you look at it. When you stop drinking, you start to figure out who your drinking friends are, and who are the people you actually connect with and enjoy being around sober. It’s great to have a social life, but you want the people in that to be with you through thick and thin.

Save money by not drinking - Benefits of Sobriety

Save money

One effect of alcohol by which I was kind of shocked? The amount of money you save by not drinking. It’s insane. Obviously, it really depends on how much you were drinking beforehand, but you might be surprised by how low your credit card payment goes down once you stop drinking alcohol. That being said, I have noticed that a lot of bars and restaurants are creating mocktails with non-alcoholic spirits that are the same price as an alcoholic beverage. So be aware of that!

Meet new people

One of the greatest benefits of sobriety is the community you find along the way. Some of my friends I’ve known for years are now sober. Others I’ve met through various support groups I’ve joined this past year. You might meet new people within a sober community, or you might meet new folks while exploring new hobbies (because you have the time and energy for that shit now!). 

You potentially advance in your career

With sober living comes a beautiful sense of mental clarity. And I can bet that a clear head might just help you advance in your chosen profession. Personally, I’ve noticed a huge drive to shift my business into something that makes me super happy and also makes me lots of money, too. And that’s also helped boost my emotional health because I feel more productive instead of simmering in the shame of my weekend shenanigans.

Healthier relationships

When I used to drink excessively every weekend, I oftentimes found myself fighting or bickering with my partner about stupid things. Now that I’m not drinking, I notice that we quarrel less. And when we do have disagreements, we’re able to have meaningful, conscious conversations that usually come to a great resolution or compromise. I’ve also noticed that my relationships with my family members are getting stronger, too. 

You will remember all the incredible moments in your life

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You might be shocked by how many beautiful memories you might have lost while drunk. That being said, some might argue that many of your best memories happened while you were out drinking. But how do you know if you actually don’t really remember them?

Anxiety levels go down or disappear

I used to live, eat, breathe, and sleep anxiety constantly. While your anxiety might heighten in the beginning stages of sobriety, I can bet that after a few weeks, your body will level out and thank you for taking a break from the booze. I no longer have this lingering pit in my stomach that I once did after every weekend I drank. It’s a wonderful sense of freedom. 

Your life becomes less chaotic

I won’t lie, there are still days that I stress about things happening in my life, for sure. That being said, I’m nowhere near as stressed as I was when I was drinking. Plus, I notice that the things I’m stressed about are actually exciting things happening in my life. Big, wonderful life changes that, yes, require a lot of planning and attention, but will ultimately make me very happy. 

Better sleep

Better sleep

This should go without saying, but alcohol can really mess with your sleep cycle. I still have nights where my brain won’t turn off, and I can’t fall asleep super fast, but they are few and far between. 

Clear skin

After about two weeks of not drinking, you’ll start to notice your skin getting clearer, less red, and more vibrant. I also noticed that my eyes became whiter, making my blue eyes appear even bluer. 

You learn how to cope with wounds and trauma without alcohol

This one is a big one. One of the biggest reasons I was binge drinking every Friday night was to try and numb any feelings I was suppressing from my past, present, and future. When you aren’t using alcohol as a crutch, you learn other coping mechanisms to help you heal gradually. 

You start to love yourself

One of the many benefits of sobriety is that you kinda fall in love with yourself again. This aspect of sobriety has been a pleasant surprise. I have become way more confident in myself since I stopped drinking. I am learning to love all the parts of myself. 

When Does Sobriety Get Easier?

For me, the weird thing about sobriety is that it kind of starts out easy because of that pink cloud phase. However, I caught myself worrying a lot about what people would think. Would they say they liked me better when I drank? Or maybe they’d stop inviting me places? Or maybe I wouldn’t be fun anymore? When I pondered on this, sobriety was hard

But since my physical, mental, and emotional health improved, I am able to curb my anxiety much more easily than ever before. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I’m a year into my sobriety. It’s not exactly a piece of cake to stay alcohol-free. Regardless of where you are in your journey, though, it helps to take it one day at a time and put into perspective how much better your life is as a result. At least that’s what I did, and it’s what I’ll continue to do.

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