Have you ever wondered how to have fun without drinking?
When I was thinking about quitting alcohol I worried about this a lot.
Back then, my entire social life revolved around booze. I couldn’t imagine not drinking – it was what I did for fun. Sober, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do the same things, hang out with the same people or ever have a really good night out again.
If you’ve been worrying about this exact same thing, today’s video is going to be perfect for you:
My key tips:
Focus on the facts
When you’re wondering how to have fun without drinking, it’s really easy to make generalisations. We often look back on drinking episodes through rose-tinted glasses, or say things like ‘it must’ve been a good night if I can’t remember it!’ Now’s the time to stop doing that.
Start challenging the assumptions you’ve made about alcohol. We’ve all been to bad parties where it didn’t matter how much we drank, it still wasn’t fun. Or perhaps we drank too much and ended up missing out.
If alcohol was the secret to having a good time, surely it should work no matter what? Don’t fall for these myths and illusions. If you need any help separating fact from fiction, check out my online course here.
Be aware of the brainwashing
Alcohol companies often sponsor things that make us feel good, so we start to make the link between watching football and drinking beer – or watching a comedy show and drinking wine. You’re being trained to think the two must go together, when they absolutely don’t!
Why is it that we think we need to drink in order to have a good time, when some of the funniest – and most entertaining – people don’t drink? There are tons of sober comedians:
E.g: Lee Mack, Sarah Millican, Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Rob Delaney, Jim Carrey, David Walliams, Russell Brand, Billy Connolly, Frankie Boyle, David Letterman, Simon Amstell, Ross Noble, Daniel Kitson, Frankie Boyle, Frank Skinner, Jimmy Carr, Elf Lyons, Eleanor Conway, Eddie Murphy.
Be positive and look at what you might gain
I’ve always loved going to the theatre and seeing live music and comedy. When I first quit drinking, I had no idea that these events would actually be better sober.
When you’re fully present and engaged (rather than thinking about your next drink!) you’ll actually have MORE fun.
Sobriety is an excellent truth filter for your life. There will probably be things that you don’t enjoy quite so much when you go alcohol-free. And that’s ok. It’s all good information about what the real you enjoys.
Sobriety isn’t just a matter of quitting drinking; it’s about figuring out who you really are and creating a life that’s genuinely fun and happy – one that you don’t need to numb out from.
Now I’d love to hear from you…
Let me know about the amazing, fun experiences you’ve had stone cold sober. Help me prove this ‘fun = drinking’ myth to be complete nonsense!
I love this Kate! I went to the fringe last year and had a great time too. It’s been 2 months since my last drink and my best sober outing so far has been a wedding last weekend. I had such a good time, danced till my feet hurt and then drove everyone home at the end. Felt very smug the next day as everyone else suffered with hangovers!
That sounds like a great wedding Laura! Congratulations on your 2 months 🙂
Thank you for this video! I am just over 2 1/2 years sober and I can confirm this is ALL true! Sobriety was a slow learning process for me and it took me a few years of battling my own “internal demons” to prove that I can actually have way more fun sober than when I was drinking. This was huge for me because the fear of no longer having fun sober was what was holding me back. It was something I needed to experience before I could be convinced. Two and a half years later, the longer I am sober, the more I am convinced I don’t need alcohol to have a good time.
You make such a good point here. It was the fear of no longer having fun sober that held you back. I think so many people experience that same fear – and are pleasantly surprised to find things work out just fine 🙂
I’m glad to see it took a long time for some people to feel whole again. I have been sober 6 months but often depressed and sad because I am lonely. Even though I am married and have a full time job I feel extremely lonely. I don’t have a social outlet and I dont want it to be in AA. Thanks
Hey Kate, I’m 35 days sober today and in that time I have had a girlie night out and a girlie break away in a luxurious hotel! Before each of these events I was so anxious as this was my first time doing things like this sober in over 20 years!! On both occasions I can honestly say I had so much fun especially on the hotel break I ate amazing food had luxury treatments went on walks both days and just explored our surroundings! I havnt laughed as much in a very long time and each day I felt so refreshed. On both occasions I spent very little money compared to when I did these things while drinking! I also was able to do so much more as alcohol hadn’t stole my time! I highly recommend the sober life and it’s complete and utter false that you can’t have fun while sober believe me you will have so much more fun and you will be fully present in the experience.
What inspiring post Lorraine – your break away sounds absolutely perfect! I can totally understand your anxiety beforehand – but I’m pleased to hear you had such a great time 🙂
I completely agree! I am 32 days sober and just got back from a wonderful girls trip. I enjoyed life music, great food, and quite time reading and running while my friends where still sleeping in. I am so excited to see where this journey will take me
Hello I am 53 and in my 10th month of sobriety right now. I have been to three concerts this summer sober, and I have to say the experiences far surpassed my expectations. I really, for the first time, was able to see ALL of the musicians on the stage, pay attention to what each was doing, FEEL the music and be transported without any chemical aid. I also had no beers in me so I did not have to run out of the show in search of a bathroom. I experienced two of these concerts with my teenage daughter, so how much better was it for her to see me sober enjoying myself?! There are other things I am avoiding (some parties, other events) but I expect to have an exit plan should I end up uncomfortable at any future event.
Live music is one of the best natural highs ever 🙂 What a great example you’re setting your daughter Kelly!
I am currently drinking too much a couple of times a week which is effecting my health and job. My roommate is a every night 6 or 7 beer drinker and always wants me to come sit with her and have “a” beer……Which always turns into more. I have considered moving but I am not sure this is the answer…..?
It might help, it might not. It’s important to remember that you are your own person: I’m sure you have your own beliefs, passions and opinions that are quite different from your roommate’s. Choosing whether or not to take a drug like alcohol is entirely your decision. Whilst you might find it helpful to move (and live in an alcohol free setting) the more important action needs to come from you deciding that you aren’t going to drink, and deciding that you really do want to make change happen. Does that make sense? Also – why not talk to your roommate? She might be happy to drink elsewhere.
I completely agree that this is my own hurtle to clear. As far as her not drinking at home, not happening….she has a lot of social anxiety and will not drive after drinking. Thanks so much for responding.
Hi Kate, another brilliant blog, I have seen George Ezra, been to a couple of theatre shows, all the better for being sober, remember every little detail, and was able to drive home, win win,
That sounds fun! I love jumping in my car afterwards, no waiting around for taxis!
Hi Kate! Graduate of Jan ’18 and 232 days AF today. In June I went to a family wedding, and afterwards my sister told me she was impressed by how I was able to have fun, and BE fun, while not drinking. And now she is trying out AF too, for six weeks. I don’t miss it at all, other than the occasional pop up thought associated with some activity, but I quickly move on, playing the movie forward if I need to. I am sleeping well, feeling great- I will happily never go back! Thanks again, Elle
Hi Ellen, it’s good to hear from you! You must have made quite an impression at the wedding if your sister is trying out AF living too 🙂 Congratulations on your 232 days!
Hi Kate, I am currently taking a “break from booze”! I just wanted to thank you so much -you have been a HUGE inspiration to me. I feel like you talking about me to me!
Thanks JoAnn, I’m pleased to have helped. Keep going – it’s worth it! ❤️
Hi. I’m Patricia from Canada. I been working on my sobriety for about 8 months now with periodic slips. I recently drank and just kept feeling like I was missing out. This is probably the biggest struggle with my sobriety. So I drank a couple of nights ago. After crying and texting people my hurt and anger I woke to the realization that drinking for me is far from fun. This is a real learning journey but I must consistently remind myself the false pretenses that society puts on our minds. Alcohol is a drug. It effects me very negitively. I’m going to keep working on my goal of long term sobriety because I know I won’t regret the life I will gain.
It sounds as if you’ve learnt a lot from this experience. What you’re really “missing out on” are those horrible feelings of remorse the next day. That’s it. It’s easy to forget that because we live in such a pro-booze world, where alcohol is romanticised and glamorised all the time. Keep going Lillian. If you need any more support to make sobriety stick, my stop drinking course could be right up your street: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Kate, for me this is your most inspiring words of wisdom yet. I totally agree and have attended a couple of music festivals and been to gigs sober this year. I’ve been so much more aware and engaged with the bands, danced more and experienced things I’d have missed before when either queuing at the bar or toilets. But I do need the reminder as only been Alcohol Free (I don’t really like the negative association of “sober” – which just came up as “so beer” on my predictive text!) since the New Year. Thank you
Thanks Alison, I’m pleased this resonated with you. Congratulations on your sobriety and well done for going to the music festivals! They’re awesome 🙂
I’m at a point in my life where id like to give up drinking….most things, socially…involve drinking, (although I realise they don’t have to… )and I’m actually becoming sick of it and the thought of having to drink!
I want to become strong enough to socialise and not have to drink…. so today is my first day! I’ve got a few social occasions coming up and I feel quite determined to NOT drink and actually enjoy myself!
Wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted x
Good luck Jo! Go for it – you won’t regret it. If you need any help to stop drinking – and actually feel good about it – I’d be happy to help. (It can be really challenging figuring this stuff out on your own.) My online stop drinking course starts again soon, there are some more details here: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I have just started my road to being sober this week, I’m sick of hangovers and also have two small children. I have found my weekends are ruined because I normally have a hangover so I’m not 100% there!! I’ve decided for now the sober life is for me. Find you really inspiring so thank you xxx
Thanks V, I’m glad to have inspired you. Taking a break from drinking could be a great place to start. That way you’re simply test driving sobriety and seeing what you think of it. If you need any support to make sobriety stick, my stop drinking course could be right up your street – it’s a step by step guide to creating an alcohol free life you love: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
I am 14 days AF. Yesterday I had an intense craving to go hang out at a bar and let the good times roll….but I thought about it…and those good times quickly turn sour. So I went for a walk on the beach instead and felt such joy and happiness over this decision. Thank you, Kate. Your blogs are spot on.
Well done Anna – you made the right decision! You must have felt great afterwards 🙂
Hi from the Edinburgh Festival too!
I agree, much better sober – I’m dry for over 400 days now & I’m so very aware of all the drinking going on around me. Not envious but aware.
A fab sober first for me to report:
Justin Moore, northern (Manchester) comedian, said he was tea total & asked if there were any more of us out there. I stuck my hand up… “just the one…?” He said, “what’s your name?”
“Did you used to drink Jane?”
‘That’s a conversation killer isn’t it..? They can’t wait to start asking you why!”
Doesn’t translate on paper but it was a funny moment where just me & the bloke on stage were bucking the trend & happy in our choice.
I think I feel the beginnings of… pride? In my decision to quit.
I love this post Jane. I am off to google Justin Moore… 🙂
Sorry correction. Justin Moorhouse X
Hi Kate. Just came back from attending my high school reunion in Montreal It was a 2 day weekend affair. I had a fantastic “AF” time. ( I am 56 days AF today). A lot of the activities were at the local pub. But I limited my time at that venue and instead went to the afternoon outdoor ceremony in the park, went on a tour of our old school, and attended the Sunday brunch. I attended the Saturday night dinner and dance and of course there was some drinking – but no one seemed to drink much. Folks just wanted to talk and reminisce. I must say most of the “heavy into partying gang” from high school did not even show up to the reunion. Probably they thought it would be too boring!!
Sounds like you handled that weekend brilliantly! I’m delighted to hear you had a good time, reunions can be challenging sometimes! 🙂
I am 15 months alcohol free and I owe it all to you after watching your summer reset video last year 🙂 this video makes so much sense and is so true My life is so much better without alcohol in it and the cherry on the top for me is the knock on effect for my husband. He’s been a big drinker in his life and has now been alcohol free for 6 months . Thank you Kate. You were and are an inspiration x
That is my dream…for my husband to follow suit. I’m sure it’s so much easier to do this with your partner. “Be the change you wish to see”. I am leading by example and hoping for my husband to join me on this journey. So happy for you
Thanks Claire – many congratulations on your 15 months!
Could you please post the link for the Summer reset video again please? I would love to watch it.
Michelle . xx
Hi Michelle, that free video workshop closed some time ago and is not available to view. I’ll probably run it again next year, but if you need some more immediate help and support, the best thing would be to enrol on my coaching programme. Then we can help you stop drinking properly. The next class starts soon: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
‘Magic Joy Juice’!! I love that description – stealing it!
Thanks, Kate – Edinburgh is on my list for next year x
I’d highly recommend it – so much fun 🙂
I know I drink far too much for various reasons, but I really don’t want to stop drinking totally as I love food and wine. I just wish I could have a glass and not a bottle. Or stave off the feeling of boredom as five o’clock comes round and I know that I’ve an evening stretching out without a glass of wine in my hand. I have had brilliant nights out without drinking, but my social life seems to revolve around drinking even though I frequently want to change that. Each week I plan every week to have 4 non drinking days, which I do usually manage, but then the gloves are off for the other 3 and Saturdays are many times spent with a hangover. Do you have tips for me? I don’t really drink much apart from wine and an odd pint of cider. I’ve downloaded your guide so hoping that helps. I think bottom line is I don’t want to be tee-total, I just want to be balanced! I am a generally balanced person. I’m also not working at the moment, looking for work but it’s hard to find what will fit in with my husbands job and our puppy.
Hi Jo, only you can know if moderation is right for you. However, having coached hundreds of women through this process, I’d say that in general, moderation does not work. At least not for the kind of women who read this blog. This post here explains more: https://thesoberschool.com/control-drinking/
I think if you’re bored at 5pm, that’s a sign that something in your life needs to change. It isn’t a sign that you need to take a mind altering, poisonous drug just to pass the time. And if you love your food then great – join the club! I’m a real foodie too. Your sense of smell and taste get much better in sobriety, so you’ll enjoy your food even more.
I strongly recommend you take a break from booze. Test drive sobriety properly, be open minded and who knows – you might just discover why so many people here love it! I’ll leave you with one final blog post to read: https://thesoberschool.com/good-enough/
I’m feeling really positive this time, have been trying sobriety out and I love how happy I feel but end up going back because of the pressure to drink when going out, and end up in the same cycle of feeling ill and depressed after one glass turning into binge drinking!!! I love these blogs and feel really inspired I am looking forward to making the most of the bank holiday weekend AF !!!!
It can be hard to stick to your sober goals when you’re under pressure from other people. This is where it can really help to a sober tribe around you who’ve got your back! If you’d like some extra support to stop drinking (and actually feel really good about it) I’d be happy to work with you via my online course. (It’s a group coaching programme so you get access to my private online community too.) Here are some more details: https://thesoberschool.com/course/
Went on my very first sober vacation. Best vacation ever! I remembered every conversation. Felt great each morning. Your video on the pluses of a sober vacay was my secret weapon for by passing on all of the abundant alcohol on the cruise ship. Thank you!!
I am going away with a group of ladies in September for a weekend…this is really going to test me as there will be alot of alcohol consumed I don’t want to drink as I am alcohol free now for the last 3 months and I really don’t want to be tempted..any tips?
Take something yummy to drink for yourself and some snacks. Take a book or your smartphone to stay plugged into recovery info. Don’t be afraid to share with your friends about your recovery:)
Thanks for the advice Liz it is going to be a real test need all the tips I can get
Really motivating ! I loved seeing which comedians/ ennes don’t drink!!! So interesting 🙂
Could you comprise a list of other ‘celebs’ who don’t drink as well , I would be really interested to know. I guess we think ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ attending parties with a glass of champagne in their hand whereas in fact a lot of them have struggled just like ‘us’ and/or have simply chosen not to drink
Thanks Laraine – I’ve actually written about celebrities several times before. Just use the search bar on my website 🙂
Great info Kate!, Funny I was just in Edinburgh for vacation a couple months ago. I loved it there. I couldn’t help but think of all the pubs u passed walking down the street there! Omg. So many.
I was drinking at the time but have had quite a mind shift lately and don’t feel the desire like I used too. It’s a process. But it’s working.
Thanks for all your great info.