The Mindful Drinking Blog

18+ Tips and Tools to Crush Dry(ish) January and Build Better Habits in 2024

18+ Tips and Tools to Crush Dry(ish) January and Build Better Habits in 2024

dry january tools

Last Updated on January 5, 2024

These are the top recommendations to build healthier habits in 2024 and beyond.

New Year’s is coming, and we all know what that brings: resolutions. On top of focusing on a Dry(ish) January, many of you might be looking to add on other healthy habits. That’s where this article comes in handy — 17 useful tools, apps and tips that will make the month as easy as possible. 

Keep in mind that while this time usually comes with heavy pressure to crush your goals, it doesn’t have to. Look at it as more of a challenge; one that helps you become more aware of your habits — minus the usual self-criticism and judgment. 

With that said, let’s dive into the top apps and tips to make your life easier as you aim to build healthier habits.

Sign Up for Dry(ish) January

1) Sunnyside: The Mindful Drinking App

Sunnyside uses the science of habit change to help you set, track, and achieve your goals. The app combines a supportive community with reminders and professional coaches to prevent you from falling into old habits. 

Tracking, for example, is one of the most useful tools for users. Studies also show that tracking your progress makes you more likely to achieve your goals. 

To test our app’s success, we did a study in May 2023 of members who have been with Sunnyside for at least three months, and these were the results:

  • 97% of members said they drank less since joining Sunnyside. 
  • A massive 50% reduction or more in drinking was reported in 62% of users.
  • Cravings were a huge issue, with 81% saying Sunnyside helped them manage them better.
  • 90% of members said they binge drank less thanks to Sunnyside.
  • Sleep improved for over 74% of our mindful drinkers. 

With Sunnyside’s focus on emotional well-being, 66% said they realized they felt less guilt and shame about alcohol. Plus, about 75% said they felt an improvement in their mental health since joining Sunnyside. Take the 3-minute quiz to see if it’s a fit for you.

Sign Up for Dry(ish) January

2) Coravin: Wine Preservation System

Coravin’s technology revolutionizes the way the world experiences wine, removing the pressure to finish the bottle before it oxidizes. 

Pouring a glass becomes a mindful act, preserving the remaining wine for weeks, months, or even years.  Tailored to wine lovers’ needs, the Pivot™ system is ideal for bottles enjoyed within
four weeks, compatible with any closure type.  

This enables you to enjoy Dry(ish) January without worrying about wastage. For extended preservation of multiple years, the Coravin Timeless system pierces natural cork, ensuring it isn’t exposed to oxygen. Experience wine without constraints, as Coravin offers versatile solutions for every occasion.

You can finally stay mindful without feeling pressured to drink a whole bottle.

And for a limited time, Coravin is offering Sunnyside participants 20% off all wine preservation systems.

Visit this link to explore their products and Use code Sunnyside20 at checkout.

3) Proxies: Wine Alternative

Proxies were created for when you want something to drink but you’re not drinking. By blending wine grapes, fruits, teas, spices, and complex ferments, Proxies go way beyond the grape to capture everything that makes wine a great pairing with food—acidity, body, and tannin—without the alcohol. 

Poured at some of North America’s finest restaurants—including The French Laundry, Atelier Crenn and Alinea—Proxies are the only non-alcoholic wine alternative endorsed by award-winning chefs, sommeliers and winemakers. 

Proxies don’t necessarily taste like a specific type of wine, but are always inspired by the flavor components that make wine a perfect pairing for whatever’s on your plate.

Proxies offer all the complexity, with none of the alcohol.

Click here to explore a wide range of options and don’t forget to use SUNNYSIDE15 at the checkout to get an extra 15% off. 

4) Goal Design Virtual Course for 2024

A great way to kickoff your New Year’s goals is by working with coaches to help you plan and stay accountable. Ameera Virani is a Life Design Coach offering a special offer on her virtual workshop. The course takes place on on a weekly basis, and you can sign up here for an exclusive discount.

5) InsightTimer: Build Healthy Habits

If you’re looking for help getting your mind and body in sync, this is the app for you. It’s packed full of everything you need to feel calmer, from meditation playlists to yoga classes to breathwork guides. Best of all, it’s totally free. 

With InsightTimer, you get a massive library with courses and classes on everything from sleep to personal development. It’s different from other meditation apps because it focuses on deep engagement. They aim to help you create long-term habit change. It’s not just about randomly playing a 5-minute guided meditation, it’s about building habits that stick. 

You’ll get a daily nudge and suggestions for new classes with teachers from all over the world. You can join events with others, so you get a sense of community, too. They also offer talks to tackle emotional events and situations, like managing family or holiday stress. 

6) Headspace: Mindfulness and Meditation

Looking for a personal mindfulness coach? Headspace is there for you. You’ve got 24/7 access to different voices, meditations, and bite-sized manageable sessions. It’s great for newbies, offering plenty of introductory and 2-minute guided meditations. 

Plus, Headspace has something for every moment, whether it be sleep, anxiety, or even cravings. Mindfulness can help you recognize the urges and pause before reacting automatically, giving you the power to make healthier choices. 

Studies show that regular meditation works to change your brain, reducing stress and improving focus. So whether it’s Headspace or another meditation app, shop around for one that suits you best to learn mindfulness for the smoothest Dry January possible.

7) Calm: Relaxation for Rest

We all know how important sleep is for health, but it’s also key to making better decisions and reducing cravings. Fatigue and stress make it harder to choose salad over pizza, but with sleep, it’s easier to make choices that are good for us. 

Anxiety, little rest, and cravings go hand-in-hand. Studies show time and time again that mindfulness and rest can reduce stress and help you think more clearly. That’s why apps like Calm can make such a big difference for your Dry January. 

Plus, Calm is famous for a reason; not only does it offer bedtime stories and relaxing soundscapes, but it even has celebrities reading to you. That’s right, you can feel the same surety that Matthew McConaughey has as his soothing voice lulls you into a deep sleep. 

8) WHOOP: Fitness and Sleep Tracker

A personal trainer and sleep scientist in one; that’s WHOOP

It keeps tabs on your body’s data, like your heart rate, sleep cycles, workout intensity, and how you’re recovering from stress. It’s a 24/7 health diary that helps you understand the connection between your choices and how they affect you. 

For example, you’ll get feedback on how your body responds to drinking or a bad night’s sleep. That kind of insight can make all the difference in your motivation to make healthier choices. 

9) MadMuscles: Personal Fitness Coach 

This app gives you the trainer you always wanted, minus the intimidation. MadMuscles gives you a personalized workout guide that fits your lifestyle, goals, and currency fitness levels. It’s great for anyone doing Dry January, giving you something healthy to focus on and another way to release the stress. 

You can choose from any style of training, whether it be HIIT, yoga, or low-impact. Studies show that working out can release endorphins, giving you a natural high that might stop those stress cravings making you reach for a drink instead. 

10) Strava: Connect and Compete 

You don’t need to push yourself to hit the gym four times a week if you don’t want to. With Strava, you can improve dramatically just walking, jogging, or going for light hikes on the weekend. It’s the perfect app for people who want more than just sweating it in a gym. 

The great thing about Strava is that it forces you outdoors and (hopefully) into green space, which science shows can reduce cortisol in as little as ten minutes. It combines the powerful mood-boosting effects of movement and nature in one. 

Plus, it combats the isolation that some may feel during Dry January. Strava connects you with others through challenges, like virtual races. Science shows that a supportive community can make all the difference in helping you reach your goals. 

11) HelloFresh: Healthy Meal Kits

If you want to eat healthier but you can’t be bothered to hunt down tasty-looking recipes or ingredients, this is the food service for you. HelloFresh makes cooking easy by sending you recipes of your choice and everything you need to make it. You can choose from new weekly menus and get everything delivered right to your door. 

By focusing on nutrition during Dry January, you’re giving your body and mind the fuel it needs to think clearly and make good decisions. Much like sleep, eating well keeps you energized and can prevent sugar highs and lows — which we all know lead to mood swings and cravings.

Take the stress out of eating well, and make it easier on yourself this year by opting for some tasty and quick home cooking. Plus, that little boost in self-esteem from making your dinner from scratch can help, too. 

12) Eat Right Now: Mindful Eating Made Easy

For anyone who’s struggled with their relationship with food (which is almost all of us), this is the app you didn’t know you needed. Eat Right Now was built to transform how you eat. 

Not only does it focus on helping you become more aware of your eating habits, but you also get guided meditations, daily check-ins, workouts, and educational videos to help you improve your eating behaviors. Learn how to slow down, savor your food, and understand what triggers you to eat unhealthily. 

Mindful eating can lead to better choices overall, including drinking choices. They claim that the app is clinically proven to reduce craving-related eating by 40%. Luckily, this mindful approach can indirectly support you as you work to watch and reduce your alcohol intake. 

13) Noom: Holistic Health and Wellness Coach

Unlike traditional diets, Noom focuses on the psychology behind eating and lifestyle choices. They use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques to help you understand and change your habits. 

What sets Noom apart is its emphasis on the “why” of your eating and drinking habits. It doesn’t just track calories, it helps you learn your triggers, motivations, and barriers to eating healthier. 

With this method, you can expand from using Noom just for food and take advantage of using it to follow your drinking habits. 

14) Ate Food Journal: Emotional Eating Helper

If you’re focused on weight loss as well and want to avoid the traditional calorie counters, check out Ate Food Journal. They emphasize consistency and healthy eating patterns, letting you track food easily with photo journals. 

Ate doesn’t want you to focus on restriction, which is great since many studies show that restrictive diets can lead to eating disorders down the line. Instead, it motivates you to self-reflect and listen to your body for long-term change. 

You can log your emotions and the situation with the food you eat or drink. This method promotes awareness and self-compassion, which can be helpful as you learn to do the same with drinking. 

15) MyFitnessPal: Diet and Exercise Journal

MyFitnessPal offers the traditional diet and exercise tracking, where you focus mostly on numbers. You can log your foods by scanning barcodes or inputting your own recipes. Plus, you can add your workouts or connect your step tracker. 

This app can give you a clear picture of your eating habits and exercise. This might be helpful for Dry January since you can see just how many grams of sugar are in that mojito. Or it can help you see how your workouts are affected by your drinking, as you can compare the nights you drank to your workouts the day after. 

The only thing to be careful with here is that the primary focus is on numbers, so it’s not recommended for people with a history of yo-yo dieting or disordered eating. Better apps in that case would focus on mindful and intuitive eating. 

16) Eventbrite: Stay Social

Worried that you’ll lose your social life if you cut back on drinking? Download Eventbrite and discover everything your town (or those nearby) has to offer. 

From workshops to art exhibits, and concerts to outdoor adventures, this app’s got everything for everyone. Avoid boredom and sitting on the couch alone by scrolling through the events instead of Instagram. 

If your friends don’t want to join you, don’t worry. Plenty of people show up to these events looking to make friends with similar interests. It might even help you meet people who don’t drink at all, making your social life during Dry(ish) months much easier. 

Don’t pass up this app; socializing and keeping ourselves interested in a hobby is essential for mental health. Connections boost our moods, and finding something that excites you can make a craving for alcohol seem very far away. 

17) WikiLoc or AllTrails: Take Advantage of Nature

Long gone are the days of frustratingly folding maps or blindly following poorly marked trails in the wilderness. WikiLoc and AllTrails give you every detail you need to make your hike smooth, including pictures of waypoints, difficulty levels, detailed maps, and trail reviews.

Even if the wilderness doesn’t sound appealing, just think of the research supporting that any green space (including house plants) can boost your mental health. That means a better mood, and likely, fewer stress cravings. Several studies even show that nature reduces depressive symptoms, just as antidepressants.

With WikiLoc or AllTrails, you can push yourself out of your comfort zone while releasing endorphins and boosting your sense of self-esteem. The more you climb, the more likely you are to feel proud of yourself. 

If you’re totally against sweating it outdoors, think about a relaxing drive and stop in nature for a restful day and picnic. 

18) Duolingo: Keep Busy with Language Learning

Want to keep your brain busy during Dry January? Pick up a new hobby that will simultaneously boost your brain health. 

Duolingo offers hundreds of languages to choose from and can keep you focused on the excitement of learning. Just imagine going to Italy for your next vacation and ordering your favorite pizza or pasta in their language. 

Who knows? You might even get the inspiration to visit a totally new country you never would have considered before. Just imagine wandering through the medieval castles of Slovakia asking questions to your native guide like a pro. Or, ordering the best pierogi you’ve ever tasted from a babcia (grandma) in a small mountain village in Poland.

The reason why Duolingo can be helpful for Dry January is thanks to the high level of engagement needed and the possibility of enhancing your thinking abilities. For example, research shows that learning languages can improve your memory and critical thinking skills. 

Plus, the mental discipline and focus skills you develop can spill over into other areas of your life, like your drinking goals. 

BONUS: Helpful Resources to Get You Through Dry January.

And of course if you haven’t already, save your spot for Sunnyside’s official Dry(ish) January Challenge. With Sunnyside and these tips, your Dry(ish) January can reach new levels, helping you develop life-long healthy habits. 

Sign Up for Dry(ish) January

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