Sober curious movement: trend or here to stay?
With record-breaking Google searches for ‘sober curious’, we think it’s fair to say most people have questioned their relationship with alcohol of late. But our question is, is it just another health trend or is it here to stay?
Unsure of sober curious meaning?
To us sober curious means evaluating your relationship with alcohol and taking steps to deprioritize drinking to live better. If you’re wanting to reduce your alcohol intake but are not quite ready to call yourself teetotal, sober curious may be for you.
As the name suggests, sober curious is about exploring the benefits of a life without alcohol. The term was coined by Ruby Warrington in her 2018 book ‘Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol’.
For those who’ve declared ‘I’m never drinking again’, only to find themselves a few weeks later (or, let’s be honest, days) having another drink, it can be hard to imagine a life without ever drinking. Sobriety isn’t for everyone, and sober curious is more about finding that sweet spot in your relationship with alcohol.
Gen Z are leading the way
While alcohol-fuelled nights were the norm for many in their teenage and college years, Gen Z are paving the way as a sober generation. The number of college-age Americans who are teetotal rising from 20% to 28% in recent years.
So what is driving Gen Zers to choose the sober curious lifestyle?
- Healthy living
More conscious than their older counterparts, Gen Z are far more in tune with the health implications around alcohol - to the extent of instead choosing to go without. Recent Google research found Gen Z associates alcohol with “vulnerability”, “anxiety” and even “abuse".
- Social image
Gen Z reportedly has the fear of embarrassment in their minds when they go out drinking and socializing. Therefore they are concerned about their online image and perception of getting drunk and ‘out of control’.
- Boost productivity
Prioritizing productivity and success over anything, Gen Z are said to put their work and/or college performance above socializing.
But, it’s not just Gen Z… it’s trending
Google trend data show a +200% increase in searches for ‘Alcohol-free pink gin’ over the last 12 months, with breakout searches for:
- Sober October
- Sober date ideas
- Sober curious meaning
- Sober curious
Dubbed a new wellness trend, hundreds of thousands of #sobercurious posts are flooding TikTok and Instagram accounts with positive reinforcement messages about creating a healthy exploration of alcohol.
So, tempted to join this sober curious club?
With 1.5 Americans reportedly doing this year’s Dry January, it’s undeniable you’d be in good company as society's relationship with alcohol starts to shift.
Sobriety isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve found yourself wondering about what a hangover and hangxiety free you would look like, this could be the sweet spot to finding out.
And, we’re letting you in on a secret, choosing to stay sober in a setting where you’d ordinarily drink is empowering. As our founder, Spencer says, "It's fun to surpass your own expectation of what you can achieve. My goals are generally audacious, but once you hit one you begin to realise what might be in reach"
So in our humble opinion, it's only the beginning of the sober curious movement. As the awareness of the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle and society's interest in health and wellbeing grows, we see more and more people swapping the real thing for the right thing.