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Let’s Explore Strategies for Healthier Drinking, Together

By Nick Allen
Posted: March 27, 2020

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Hey there, I’m Nick.

I grew up in a household with two parents recovering from alcohol addiction (they’ve given me permission to post this). When I started to drink in my early teens — and it became clear that I too had a tendency to overdo it — my parents spoke openly with me about their journey to sobriety, and helped instill in me an awareness of my own habits. Almost 20 years later, I’ve learned a lot about myself through the ups and downs of drinking.

While complete sobriety has worked for my parents (and many others), it’s never really felt right for me.

Instead, I’ve been exploring alternatives to avoid the negative health and social impacts of drinking, without cutting out alcohol entirely. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve built a system that works for me to continue to enjoy drinking, but with improved moderation. I think there are a lot of people out there like me, so Sunnyside (previously called Cutback Coach) is my way of sharing the lessons I’ve learned with the world.

My journey to better drinking habits

As a technologist with a keen focus on self-improvement, I’ve spent countless hours over the last few years immersing myself in the science of habit formation. I’ve personally benefited from behavior modification strategies to help me exercise more, eat better and reduce screen time, with the help of some fantastic apps.

I’ve also found myself waking up with terrible hangovers and the taste of stale alcohol on my breath more often than I’d like to admit. 

Recently, something clicked. While I’d been able to improve many aspects of my life thanks to the habit formation techniques popularized by Nir Eyal and James Clear, among others, my relationship with alcohol remained unchanged. Taking personal stock on a Saturday morning after a little too much fun the night before, it became clear that while I wasn’t ready to give up drinking entirely, it wouldn’t hurt to build some better habits around my drinking, either. It wasn’t the first time these thoughts had crossed my hungover mind, but this time it stuck — I decided to try to make a change.

Now, a few months into my exploration applying behavior psychology to change my drinking habits, I’m starting this blog to share my findings so far, document the journey, and hopefully help others make some healthy changes too.

What’s Sunnyside all about?

At Sunnyside, you’ll find practical strategies for improving your drinking habits and avoiding the negative effects of alcohol — fewer hangovers, less regretful nights, and lower impact on your health. I don’t claim to have everything figured out, but through a lot of research and experimentation I’ve been able to uncover methods that have thus far worked well for me. Trust that I’ve personally battle tested every strategy you’ll find here, and am happy to share what’s worked (and what hasn’t) for me.

Our blog is meant for anyone who’s ever woken up thinking “I’m never drinking again.” Which is a lot of us.

No matter your starting point, all you need is a desire to moderate a bit more than you do today. My goal is not to push you into sobriety, but rather to suggest strategies for building mindfulness around your drinking patterns, and help you make adjustments to lead a healthier lifestyle when it comes to booze. Just like many of us track exercise, steps, calories and carbs to improve our health, we’ll explore similar, scientifically proven strategies to drink on our own terms. We’ve got this.

Looking forward to exploring together.

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Nick Allen

Nick Allen is co-founder & CEO of Sunnyside. He’s a student of habit change and behavioral psychology, and an avid self improvement enthusiast. He founded Sunnyside after finding few options to help with more mindful drinking, vs an all or nothing approach. Sunnyside is the system he designed for himself, and is now sharing with you!

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