Being sober can be a scary prospect. Much of our social behaviors involve the use of substances in one form or another. Even if you’re not an addict, living a sober lifestyle can seem like a difficult feat.
However, once you give up drinking or drugs, your life will change for the better in a multitude of ways. Whether you’re an addict or you are simply looking to improve your health, here are 14 reasons sobriety makes your life healthier, more fulfilling, and more fun.
1. You sleep better.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of good sleep. When you’re sleep-deprived, you feel cranky, foggy, and unhealthy. Alcohol and drugs aren’t conducive to good sleep – they can keep you up late at night, make it hard to fall asleep when you want to, or make you sleepy during the daytime. When you’re sober, you’re able to stick to a healthy sleep schedule and wake up feeling refreshed every day.
2. Your diet improves.
When you’re under the influence, it’s all too easy to give in to cravings for something greasy, sweet, or salty. It’s much easier to eat well when you’re sober. You have fewer cravings, and you’re not surrounded by temptations like bar food.
3. Your weight stabilizes.
It’s easy to down a lot of empty calories with just a few drinks. Combine the calories in alcohol with the aforementioned junk food cravings and you’ve got a recipe for weight gain. When you’re sober, you’ll probably find that you stop gaining weight (and maybe even lose a few pounds) without really trying.
4. You avoid alcohol- or drug-related health problems.
Nobody likes to think that they might end up with liver disease or other substance-related health problems. But people are diagnosed with these diseases every day, and if you abuse alcohol or drugs regularly, chances are high that you’ll eventually be one of them. When you’re sober, you don’t have to worry about developing life-threatening complications from your habits.
5. You have more free time.
Drinking and drugging take up a lot of time and energy. You have to spend time acquiring your substance of choice, using it, and then recovering from its effects. Sobriety gives all that time back to you. You can use it to work on your hobbies, learn new skills, spend time with your loved ones, work out, or anything else you please.
6. You have more money.
Alcohol and drugs are expensive. It’s much easier to stay financially fit when you’re sober. Besides saving all that money in the first place, you’ll be in a better state of mind to make good financial decisions. And having that extra cash opens up a whole world of new opportunities – you could decide to save for a house, take a vacation, or go back to school, for example.
7. Your relationships get stronger.
When you’re sober, you have more time and mental energy to spend on the people who matter most to you. Without the distraction of wondering when you can go get drunk or high, you’ll be able to stay physically and emotionally present with others. You’ll probably find that the important relationships in your life mean more to you than drugs or alcohol ever did.
8. You get sick less often.
Alcohol and drugs are terrible for your immune system. When you don’t put anything unhealthy into your body, you won’t be so vulnerable to colds and stomach bugs.
9. Your memory improves.
Have you ever woken up unable to remember what happened the night before? It’s a bit unsettling. Even if you don’t tend to black out under the influence, alcohol and drugs can make your memory foggy and unreliable. When you’re sober, you’ll feel sharper and more alert, and you’ll remember things better.
10. You have more energy.
Between messing up your sleep and taking a toll on your body, alcohol and drugs can make you feel pretty bad if you use them regularly. Cutting out these substances can make you instantly feel years younger. You won’t have to nurse any more hangovers or take afternoon naps to get through the day.
11. You’re more productive.
It’s not hard to see why people get more done when they’re sober. When you’ve got high energy levels and lots of free time, it’s easier to stay focused on work, school, and personal projects.
12. You have more fun.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but drinking or using drugs really isn’t that much fun. Think about it – being intoxicated might feel good for a while, but are you really enjoying yourself? Being sober lets you push your boundaries and have fun in ways that aren’t possible when you’re drunk or high. You can travel to different places, try new things, and just be present in your life – and that’s always more fulfilling than checking out with a drink.
13. You can find healthy ways to deal with problems.
The basic disease model of addiction says that plenty of people use drugs or alcohol to medicate their problems away. If this sounds like you, you might be surprised to find out how much more effectively you can deal with things sober. It might feel like drinking or using drugs makes your problems go away, but as anyone who’s struggled with addiction knows, this is just an illusion. When you commit to sobriety, you can actually solve your problems instead of ignoring them.
14. You rebuild your self-image.
How do you feel about yourself when you’re drinking or using drugs? Do you respect yourself and your decisions? Maybe not, especially if your substance use has become a problem. Getting and staying sober can change the way you look at yourself. You won’t have to think about yourself as a person with no self-control or someone who says stupid things when drunk. You’ll also build your self-esteem by sticking with your decision to stay sober.
Sobriety isn’t boring or painful. In fact, being sober can make your life more fun and rewarding than it’s ever been before. While it’s not easy to stop drinking or using drugs, especially if you’re battling addiction, the decision to get sober will change your life forever, so consider making a commitment to sobriety today – you’ll be glad you did.
If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.
Author Bio: Bill Weiss is an advocate of long-term sobriety. As a member of the recovery community, he feels it is important to spread awareness of alcohol and drug misuse in America. Being personally affected and having family members struggling, it is a personal quest of Bill’s to bring the facts about substance misuse to light, informing America on this epidemic.
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
20 thoughts on “14 Reasons Being Sober Makes Your Life Better”
Great list Bill – I’m just shy of 5 months sober and I’m really enjoying the benefits of not drinking. My behaviour when drunk was pretty terrible; I had this knack for saying shocking things or doing physically dangerous stunts (climbing walls, trying to get out of moving cars etc…). These actions damaged my relationships and, looking back, probably made me quite scary to be around – it wasn’t all done in good humour, a lot of of it was emotionally intense and not fun in any way.
I got a few wake up calls in 2019, all centred around getting into physical altercations (with characters I knew were unsavoury..). This culminated in ‘coming to’ on Christmas Day with 2 black eyes and a face swollen beyond recognition. I knew then this had to end.
I am enjoying sobriety so much now, and something that I find interesting is the ‘snowball’ effect where the positives seem to contribute to one another i.e. better organisation, more money in the bank, better performance at work, better friendships, better sleep. They all seem to feed into one another, so the net benefit is massive, all things taken into consideration.
I hope I can stay on the sober path and will continue to review how I’m dealing with stress, changes in mental health etc. But.. I feel better already. Thanks for the article!
Wait what? what mate, all this above there is all humbug if not completely the opposite. Sobriety and aws leads to depression insomnia and year long debilitating state, anhedonia, boredom and damn near suicidal idealization… I saw this in me and others i know.
I don’t know why there are so many articles like this with a clear agenda that aren’t giving people an accurate view of the entire process, or even speaking of early withdrawal symptoms properly. let alone PAWS.
I keep looking for valid points on it online and sick of finding this generic crap about how life is wonderful.
Maybe you think life sucks because your an addict and alchoholic Locke. Which is perfectly fine. The fortunate ones are the ones who find their way to a great treatment facility.
After almost two years without drugs and alcohol, plus doing everything in my power to live a normal, healthy, and positive life, I can safely say that life without drugs is depressing, boring and that sobriety held me back!
With drugs I feel better. I Eat better. I’m more emotionally stable. I’m more social. I’m more active. I’m less sick. I’m more alert. I care more about family and friends. I get more creative and many more positives.
After I’ve now tried both lifestyles over a long period, my conclusion is that I will never quit drugs voluntarily again. Drugs give my life more purpose.
Even my girlfriend (that never used drugs, and never drinks) agrees that I’m a much better person when I’m high.
I’m more attentive, caring and in her words “you’re who you are meant to be, but when sober you’re kinda boring, depressive, and you always want to sleep”.
I think that most people like you, try to sugar-coat your new and depressing lives, so you can try and convince yourself it’s better. I really don’t buy it, but if you’re really, genuinely a happier person without drugs, then by all means, I wish you the best! Just don’t try to convince people that the pain/boredom will pass, because it almost never does.
I’ve seen so many people get sober, and even after 10 years, some say that life isn’t worth living, and the rest just think it’s boring and depressive.
The only negatives for me are money, and the police. If I die a few years sooner, so what? At least I’ll die happy, and not bored, depressed and antisocial.
I thought that list was really well written. Quite the mix of comments on here lol. Was expecting so see mostly all people saying they thought it was a good read. I feel things do usually get better and life does get better sober. Maybe not including weed. Another thing that’s tough though is it would be nice to be mostly sober and still enjoy drinks here and there without drugs but for a lot of us drinking leads to drugs and a couple casual drinks can end up a bender. So it’s overwhelming but some people have to realize drinking isn’t an option at all. Which is overwhelming !
A lot of extreme comments here. I’m going to fall somewhere in the middle. When I got sober and beat my addictions my life didn’t magically get better, It just stopped being worse. A lot of my problems disappeared but I eventually began to realize that I had sacrificed all the extreme lows in my life but none of the highs seem to ever come back. Yes sobriety is good for your sleep, finances, productivity and free time (and work life in my case). I found after becoming sober that people wanted to be around me. Now I have a new problem. All these things mean nothing to me anymore. I’m just play acting in my own life. I’m not sad, I’m not happy, I’m not angry, I’m not anything. I’m not going to advocate that anyone deep dive back into drugs or anything like that, It won’t help to make things worse. I just think we should be more honest about sobriety to people who were addicts/alcoholics etc. Some of them will live amazing sober lives and enjoy every second of it. For others, I don’t know the percentages, their lives will become simpler and their problems dry up and disappear. But they might be stuck feeling nothing for an undetermined amount of time, possibly a very long period of time spanning years.
I used to be a stoner pothead you name it. My life has been full of drugs and whores. I had fun of course but wrestling has taken all that away and I feel better now. I think people who think life without drugs is boring haven’t found other things to do. If you don’t learn how to live your life, continue using drugs
I’ve been sober for 2 years now and all I can say is life SUCKS! I’ve been going to therapy and getting various help with medication since my first week sober, but nothing has helped. I went to AA, got a sponsor, got a counselor, and now take a handful of pills every day for depression and anxiety, but it’s all crap. I may have had problems with my drinking, but I miss that life more and more every day. You see, my wife made me quit. She said I could have her or alcohol, but not both. Naturally, I chose her because I love her, she’s my best friend. Now, 700+ days later, I’m more miserable than ever. I’m angry nearly every day and dream about alcohol many times a month (I can even taste it in my dreams). I have several hobbies too, including coding regularly, but now that I’m sober, nothing feels meaningful or “worth it.” I’d give anything to go back to my better, drinking life. However, since my wife is my best friend, I continue to try to find happiness away from alcohol. In the end, though, I’ll probably go back to drinking, leave my wife and move far, far away from everyone. I’ll code a lot (it pays pretty well) and drink myself to death happily.
Jose makes a very good point. I just learned last week that boredom can contribute to anxiety, which is also linked to alcohol use… The Surprising Link Between Anxiety & Boredom You Need To Know About
For those having a hard time with the boredom of sober living check out our blog post on… 7 Sober Hobbies to Help You Overcome Drug and Alcohol Addiction
Wow… interesting read and some depressing comments. I am now 45 and starting taking drugs and drinking at around 15. I went to rave parties for years, growing up in Sydney when Sydney was fun (before lockout laws killed the nightlife). I don’t regret any of it, I had the best times. I never used needles but I’ve smoked, snorted, taken acid, pills and always drank. Drinking often leads me to bad decisions… like drink driving to go and get a bag of coke, which by the way in Australia is $300 a gram! And it’s crap. I’ve just made an appointment with my doctor tomorrow (phone consult thanks to COVID and lockdown) to see if I can get a Medicare plan for some free sessions with a psychologist. Any way I don’t know if I want to stop drinking (drugs are only occasional now) or if I can. And I wonder what life will be like… I fear boring! And I f*** love wine….
I’ve used drugs and alcohol for more than half my life. I’m 31. 2 years ago I became physically dependant for the first time. Went through my first withdrawal. Let me tell ya (if you are reading this you already know) it was literal HELL on earth. Nothing else compares to that physical and mental pain. And I’ve been through it countless times since. I never thought it would get me. It did. The drugs consumed my life. I didn’t even enjoy it at the end. I came so close to losing so much that I spent so much working for. I was. to let it go. I wanted to want to be sober for so long. Even after getting sober. I wasn’t happy. I was quite miserable to be honest. 2 3 months out I still can’t sleep. Low energy. Speedy mind. Overwhelmed. I didn’t think I’d ever feel an inch of happiness. Today. My dad out slow. Depressed. By the end of tonight I felt a bit of my old self. The good part. And that’s what brought me here. I googled. When you finally appreciate being sober.
I’m still new to this. But. There is hope. That one day at a time is so hard to grasp. But so true.
First and foremost, I wanted to say congratulations on your sobriety and thank you for sharing as this can bring hope and light to those reading this post. I am happy to hear that you are starting to feel like your old self. Recovery can be a long and hard fight but always remember it is worth it all. Like you said you will begin to appreciate your sobriety but most importantly you will begin to appreciate your journey. Wishing you all the best in your recovery.
I’ve met a lot of people who’ve said sobriety sucks and have never given AA or NA a try. Its not the only way to get sober mind you, but it beats staying home every night and doing nothing. And its not a cult. People who say that have never tried it before. It’s a group drunks and addicts trying to stay sober. We do a lot of things together to keep each other sober.
Thank you for sharing. You are right going to an AA or NA meeting can be a great way to use your time and reduce boredom. In addition, it is a beneficial way to gain support from individuals who can relate as they are going through what you are going through. I am glad to hear that you have a positive experience attending.
Good read, but some rather depressing comments here. I truly believe that you have to WANT to be sober for YOU, not for anyone else, not for fear of losing someone but for you and your sanity, and I don’t think until you truly cross that threshold that you can truly appreciate being sober in the first place. Many of us have spent years consuming, it’s become many peoples norm in how they function day to day, they have more positive than negative memories associated and built up over these years and perhaps they haven’t truly hit the inevitable bottom, the near death experiences that others have as a result of unbridled consumption. I’m not afraid of boredom, boredom is but a way of saying “I need something to get by right now” it’s the inner addict talking, it’s an attempt to justify and glorify the substance. I watched my father leave this world at 50 due to his drinking, my aunt at 56 and I almost left this world at 31 due to it. I somehow someway survived that experience and for the next year chose a different substance, it too had nothing good to give and I finally realized……I absolutely hate being buzzed, I had associated so many negative experiences with the feeling. I had truly hit rock bottom in that mindset, and maybe that’s why I and others appreciate sobriety more than some. It’s not instant gratification and doesn’t magically make your life ultra amazing just by virtue of sobriety alone, but you have to want it for you first and foremost, it’s a step and don’t believe you can be coerced into a life of (healthy) sobriety.
Wow Tyler. Thank you for sharing, that was well said!
You are completely right when saying you have to want to be sober for yourself. When getting well for someone else it can lead to resentment in the relationship and higher chances of relapse. I am glad to hear that you have been able to appreciate your sobriety and hope that your message is an inspiration for other readers in recovery.
I’m 71 years old and quit drinking about three months ago. I had been drinking way too much way too often since age 16. I’ve lost a big part of my life, time, energy, and activity to alcohol. These last three months have not been fantastic, but in balance so much better than when I was drinking. More energy for sure and more time for sure and a quest to find things that are productive and meaningful to do is there but I am slowly finding sober things to do with sober people and it’s so much better in balance.
Congratulations and thank you for sharing! I am glad to hear that you are feeling more energetic and are finding ways to occupy your time. May your comment bring hope and motivation for others reading this blog.
Wishing you nothing but the best in your journey of sobriety.
I definitely got many benefits from quitting alcohol and s fit body, Better sleep and no blacking out and getting hurt or hurting those I love around me. But I can’t say my life got better, Health yes but mentally I wasn’t worse off but now i see myself as really boring. My friends who have known me as the party girl and now sober say I’m more settled or seem content but I just feel like there’s nothing, A very calm feeling which feels odd. I can’t date because it’s rare to find anyone who does not drink, I go out and after a few hours I’m bored and friends are tipsy and I just miss that feeling of joining in so I didn’t go out or see friends for months. I still know my love affair with Alcohol feels good but after a while it’s just damaging but I miss it even 5 months sober and on my death bed I’d order pina coladas and go out pissed lol It’s hard but for health alcohol just ages our bodies and mind if we abuse it and let’s face it if we are going sober it’s because we have a problem.
Thank you for reading and responding to our blog post. Also, congratulation on taking that step and remaining sober.
May I recommend that you can consider attending an AA meeting or SMART Recovery as ways to support your recovery/sobriety. Many individuals have found the support and mutual aid valuable.