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10 best sobriety books for Dry January or to help you quit alcohol for good

These sobriety books will help you stop drinking

Best sobriety books
Katherine Robinson
Senior Lifestyle Editor
Updated: 11 January 2024
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Are you one of the 8.5 million people taking part in Dry January this year? Or maybe you're thinking beyond that and your 2024 plans include saying goodbye to alcohol once and for all?

The benefits of banishing the booze are manyfold. We spoke to Richard Piper, Chief Executive of Alcohol Change UK, who told us:  "A month off alcohol leads to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes risk, as well as lower cancer-related proteins in the blood. Plus, taking a break from drinking gives your immune system a boost, and gives you more energy, better sleep, brighter skin, and stronger hair and nails.

Top 5 sobriety books at a glance

"Alcohol can affect your mental health and influence feelings of stress, low mood and anxiety. Stopping drinking for a time will help to relieve these feelings, improving your mood and reducing anxiety."

Although there are plenty of delicious alcohol-free drinks available these days, drinking still remains a big part of our culture, and quitting, or just even cutting down can be tricky.

If you're looking for something to assist you in your journey to an alcohol-free life, there are many helpful books out there to help you give up booze.  "The ‘Quit lit’ genre is becoming very popular for many people looking to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol," says Richard. "Many people tell us they’re a useful tool in helping them stick to their goals."

5 top tips for quiting alcohol

From Richard Piper, Chief Executive of Alcohol Change UK

  • Sign up for Dry January. Whatever your motivations for taking a break from drinking, taking part in Dry January, from Alcohol Change UK, will double your chances of achieving them! You’ll get access to the free Try Dry app, daily motivational emails, and an active online community. Taking part in a challenge is likely to feel much more rewarding and will teach you new skills you can build on.  
  • Consider alternatives to alcohol. If the aim is to cut back longer-term, you’ll want to give yourself opportunities to practice going out without drinking alcohol. Think about how you’ll handle those social situations where normally you would drink alcohol and consider instead trying alcohol-free alternatives like alcohol-free beers, wines or spirits, and hone those ‘drink refusal skills’ by practising what you’ll say if you’re offered an alcoholic drink.
  • Plan some activities to look forward to. Many of us use alcohol as our go-to way to have fun, de-stress or treat ourselves. So, planning in some fun things to do during Dry January that don’t involve alcohol, like going for a run, an escape room with friends, or just watching a movie, will make it a whole lot better, and can bring longer-term benefits too.
  • Be in the here and now. As you progress through the month, you may feel your enthusiasm starting to wane. This is natural as your attention begins to move onto other things. Mindfulness can be a useful way to keep your attention focused on your goal.
  • Expect slip-ups! Be prepared for what your tricky moments may be over the month. And if you do have a slip-up, be kind to yourself. It doesn’t have to be the end of your dry month. What matters is how you respond.

He adds: "There are some great quit-lit books out there so it's worth having an explore. Our book is called Try Dry, the official guide to a month off booze and has a whole host of useful tips and tricks for being successful in your dry month.

"Our free Try Dry app is also a fantastic tool for anyone looking to stay dry. You can use it each day to record not drinking to help keep you motivated. Try Dry also includes a reflections journal which can be a great mental check-in each night to increase your chances of success."

We've compiled an edit of the best sobriety books, written by those who've managed to wave goodbye to alcohol as well as experts in the field. They're useful in giving you a helping hand in joining the likes of alcohol-free celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Blake Lively in a sober life.

How we chose the best books about giving up alcohol

  • Personal recommendations: Where possible, we included books that the HELLO! Online shopping team have read and loved.
  • Reviews: Where it wasn’t possible to have read the book ourselves we included titles that had a high number of positive reviews from verified shoppers.
  • Variety: From memoirs and funny reads, to handbook-style informative books - we tried to include titles to help everyone in this roundup, whether they’re looking to cut back on drinking or quit alcohol forever.
  • Allen Carr’s Stop Drinking Now: The Original Easyway Method

    Allen Carr’s Stop Drinking Now: The Original Easyway Method

    The celebrity-favourite addiction quitting method

    Allen Carr’s manual to stop smoking helped millions of smokers ditch tobacco and celebrity fans of his Easyway method include Sir Anthony Hopkins and Anjelica Huston, who dubs it “nothing short of a miracle”. Stop Drinking no applies the same method to problem drinking. The book explains why you feel the need to drink, and injcluided simple step-by-sep instructions to help stop. Many readers report that they bought the book to cut down and ended up stopping altogether.

  • Sober On a Drunk Planet by Sean Alexander

    Sober On a Drunk Planet by Sean Alexander

    The ultimate quitting alcohol manual

    Sean Alexander has penned a quitting booze manual with a difference - he puts it to us that it isn't just people who know they have a problem who stand to benefit from giving up alcohol – it's everyone. His book explores eight critical areas of life that will drastically improve when you give up alcohol. He promises that you'll be shocked at discovering how drunk society really is, why alcohol has been holding you back, and the life-changing transformations that occur when you go alcohol-free. A gripping read.

  • Glorious Rock Bottom by Bryony Gordon

    Glorious Rock Bottom by Bryony Gordon

    The honest and uplifting sobriety memoir

    Journalist Bryony Gordon opens up about her 20-year journey to going sober after years of alcoholism, in a book that's been called: "a sobriety memoir like no other." Of the honest memoir, Bryony said: "I hope this book helps even just one person to know that they are not alone - be that someone who has lost themselves in alcohol, or someone who loves someone who has lost themselves in alcohol."

  • Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol by Holly Whitaker

    Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol by Holly Whitaker

    The sobriety book Miranda chose on 'Just Like That'

    We have to include the sobriety book Miranda chose for herself on one of the episodes of And Just Like That. Now a New York Times bestseller, we're not surprised this was Miranda's pick. Holly Whitaker is the founder of the first female-focused recovery program and someone who has gone on the sobriety journey herself - so who better to learn from?

  • The Sober Diaries: How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living by Clare Pooley

    The Sober Diaries: How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living by Clare Pooley

    Best funny sobriety book

    Less of an instruction manual and more of an inspirational tale, The Sober Diaries has been dubbed "Bridget Jones dries out". In it, Clare Pooley, a high-flying Cambridge-grad, career woman and mum of three kids, opens up about her transformation to sober life. Maybe the best option for those who are questioning their drinking habits but not quite ready for a self-help book, Clare weaves in research and advice such as: 'How do I know if I'm drinking too much?' and 'What do I say to friends and family?' for a much softer approach.

  • Alcohol and You: How to Control and Stop Drinking by Lewis David

    Alcohol and You: How to Control and Stop Drinking by Lewis David

    The action plan sobriety book

    A definite self-help book, this one is for those who like a plan of action to stick to. Core learnings include how to self-diagnose alcohol dependence, medications and strategies to help deal with cravings, as well as providing details for the best, free support to help maintain your progress over time.

  • The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray

    The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray

    Amazon's most gifted sobriety book

    A Sunday Times Bestseller, The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is a reminder of exactly why so many of us choose to stop drinking. Celebrating all the joys of being sober, this book may be the best first port of call for anyone semi-interested in banning the booze. Inspiring and educational thanks to the help of neuroscientists explaining the science behind the effects of alcohol, even if the sober life is one you've not given too much thought to, we're sure this book will get you thinking.

  • Alcohol Explained by William Porter

    Alcohol Explained by William Porter

    The definitive guide to alcohol and alcoholism

    Dubbed a handbook for those wanting to quit drinking, and even medical students learning about alcoholism, Alcohol Explained details exactly what alcoholism is, the effects alcohol has on the body, and how to overcome it. This is another one for anyone looking to strictly change their life for the long term.

  • Love Your Sober Year: A Seasonal Guide to Alcohol-Free Living by Kate Baily & Mandy Manners

    Love Your Sober Year: A Seasonal Guide to Alcohol-Free Living by Kate Baily & Mandy Manners

    The seasonal sobriety book

    If you're attempting to quit alcohol for longer than just Dry January, sober coaches Katie Baily and Mandy Manners can help. They offer positive and empowering ways to harness your power, exploring how old wisdoms, new science and the female experience can help guide you to sobriety.

  • The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace

    The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace

    The 30-day plan for quitting alcohol

    The Alcohol Experiment introduces readers to a new way of thinking while offering a 30-day programme for those wanting to move away from alcohol. It asks you to look closer at why you drink, what you get out of it and whether it’s really the alcohol that’s giving you what you want. In this book, Annie Grace - the bestselling author of The Naked Mind - offers the tools to take control of your drinking for good.

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