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What Does a “Damp Lifestyle” Mean, and Is It For You?

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If you’ve been scrolling through social media lately, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the damp lifestyle movement.

This new trend has been making a buzz on TikTok and across the web—and those who’ve climbed aboard have seen incredible benefits for their health, energy, and mindsets. But what makes a damp lifestyle different from other “drink less” movements, and is it something worth trying?

Here’s what you need to know about damp lifestyle drinking, including what it is, its benefits, and how it can help you reshape your relationship with alcohol. 

What Is a Damp Lifestyle?

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Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels

In a damp lifestyle, alcohol is no longer something to overuse at late-night get-togethers or as a stress-coping mechanism. 

Made famous by TikToker Hana Danly, this trending movement is all about aiming for mindful, moderate drinking—with a focus on avoiding binging. In other words, it offers a newer, softer approach to what it means to live a life without the harmful effects of alcohol.

How Does It Fit In With Sober Curiosity or Mindful Drinking?

When it comes to moderation movements, the gist is usually the same—and that is to drink less. However, each one tends to have its own unique focus. For example, mindful drinking means staying conscious of why and how much you’re drinking, which often leads to less alcohol use.

Sober curiosity is more about exploring what it feels like to be sober or drink very little. People joining this movement don’t ditch the booze altogether, but might skip drinking for periods of time. Along the way, they might attend sober events and learn more from others who’ve cut alcohol out of their lives.

A damp lifestyle embraces aspects from many “drink less” movements—such as mindfulness and exploring the “why” behind your drinking. But beyond that, it involves looking at coping tools, structural lifestyle changes, and mindset shifts to help you find a middle ground, without having to quit entirely.

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Benefits of a Damp Lifestyle

Curious about giving a damp lifestyle a try? Here are some of the positive changes you can expect to see:

1. You’ll Reexamine Your Relationship With Alcohol

In the first few days and weeks, you’ll likely find yourself reassessing your relationship with drinking—and, more importantly, why you want to drink in the first place.

For example, maybe you’ll realize that the main reason you end up drinking a lot is because… well, everyone else is doing it. Or maybe you’ll find out that your drinking stems from the anxiety you feel in certain social settings. 

When you make the switch to damp drinking, you’ll also get the chance to answer questions for yourself like:

  • What does moderation look like for me?
  • What do I want my drinking limit to be?
  • Should I avoid alcohol when I’ve had a rough day or am in a bad mood?
  • Which types of drinks can help me avoid going overboard?
  • How often should I grab a glass of water during a night out?
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Photo Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels

2. You’ll Have More Energy

Regular drinking (even if you’re not binging) can take a serious toll on your energy levels. That’s because any amount of alcohol can disrupt your REM sleep and lead to you feeling groggy the next day.1

Fortunately, a damp lifestyle can offer you better sleep, fewer hangovers, and more energy to do what you truly care about—like exercising, spending time with loved ones, or working on any other goals you’ve been wanting to tackle.

3. Your Physical and Mental Health Will Improve

With better sleep and more energy, this new lifestyle can help you feel an immediate boost in your well-being. But on top of that, it can improve your gut health and help your body absorb more crucial nutrients from the food you eat. 

Better physical health isn’t the only positive shift you’ll see, however. By avoiding heavy drinking, you can sidestep alcohol-induced anxiety and support yourself in staying calmer and more content each day.

How to Try a Damp Lifestyle 

If damp drinking sounds interesting to you, you might wonder: How can I try it for myself

Dialing back your alcohol use can be tricky. But one small step that can help is participating in a “damp” month. For example, instead of going sober during Dry January, you could switch it up and try Damp January instead. 

This allows you to reap many of the benefits that come with drinking less, but without the overwhelm of an “all or nothing” approach. 

Tips for Getting Started

To make jumping into a damp lifestyle easier, here are some tips that can help:

  • Gain some insight by reflecting on your current drinking habits. For instance, maybe you don’t actually enjoy drinking after work each day, but it’s become a habit over time. Examining the when and why behind your alcohol use can boost your motivation to cut back.
  • Set the tone of your nights out with a mocktail or nonalcoholic beer. In one recent video, Hana Danly says there’s one top concept to remember as you switch to drinking less: “How you start a night is how you end a night.”
  • Consider skipping out on the shots. Drinks with high alcohol content—like tequila or vodka—can hit a lot harder than lighter mixed beverages. By avoiding shots, you can stay more clear-headed when you do decide to drink.
  • Keep less alcohol in the house, and swap it for something new. This way, you can make it inconvenient to participate in any old drinking rituals.

More Help for Your Drink-Less Journey

Starting a damp lifestyle is a great way to reassess your relationship with drinking, and it can bring you plenty of health benefits along the way. But if you’ve been struggling to reduce your alcohol intake and could use some extra support, online programs like Ria Health can help. 

When you sign up, you’ll get to work with our team and explore your alcohol use habits. From there, we’ll help you choose the most beneficial goal for you—whether that means cutting back or going sober altogether. 

Book a call today to learn how we can connect you with recovery coaching, anti-craving prescriptions, access to medical professionals, and more, all from your smartphone.

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Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Alicia is a Minnesota-based freelancer who writes for Ria Health and various other brands in the health and wellness space. Beyond addiction and recovery, she also covers topics relating to general well-being, mindfulness, fitness, mental health, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing with her three-legged cat, trying new workout routines, and spending time with her loved ones.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.
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