14 Dry January Memes to Make You Laugh Instead of Drink

Here are some Dry January memes that may help you embrace the no-booze sobriety challenge.

Dry January memes to take your mind off drinking

Last year, one in five Americans participated in Dry January, according to a YouGov survey. Giving up alcohol for a month makes sense: After the excess of the holidays, many people are ready to give up their bad habits and start fresh in the new year.

Nearly 90 percent of adults in the United States say they drink alcohol: 55 percent say they drink once a month or more, and over a quarter say that they participated in binge-drinking during the past month, according to the National Institutes of Health. So giving up booze is a good way to improve your health and well-being. (Here’s advice from doctors for Dry January.)

Should you try Dry January?

Even if you don’t think you have a problem with alcohol, doing Dry January could still be a good exercise. Seeing whether you can stop drinking alcohol for an extended period is a good litmus test, says Keith Heinzerling, MD, MPH, an internist and addiction medicine specialist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and the medical director of the UCLA Center for Behavioral and Addiction Medicine.

“Lots of people say, ‘I can stop drinking anytime I want,’ but for many people, it’s easier said than done,” he says. “Dry January can give you a fresh perspective on this, helping you see exactly how much alcohol is playing a role in your life.” (Still unsure? Here are the signs you need a Dry January challenge.)

It won’t be easy, but humor is one thing that can help keep you motivated and feel connected to others who are going through the same thing, he says. So to help you laugh your way through the month, we’ve rounded up the best Dry January memes.

Getting started is the hardest part

Often you don’t realize how much you actually drink until you try to quit, Dr. Heinzerling says. The first day is often the hardest because you’re still adjusting. But remembering all the reasons you want to take a break from alcohol can keep you motivated in the face of temptation. (Need some inspiration? Here’s how Dry January saved one woman’s life.)


Pickled people?

People joke about drinking so much they “pickle” their organs, but there is some truth to the dark humor. Alcohol causes systemic inflammation and affects your whole body—from your digestion to your circulation to your brain—leading to both short- and long-term complications with your physical and mental health, Dr. Heinzerling says. (Here’s the damage that happens to your body when you binge drink.)


Pushing the pushback

Tell people you’re giving up alcohol for any period of time, much less an entire month, and you’re likely to get peppered with questions. Make sure you know how to set boundaries for your mental health. It’s an important step to protect your well-being when dealing with pushy people.


Hangovers are the worst kind of boring

The only people who find drunk people hysterical are other drunk people. Yet, many people feel like they can’t be themselves without a little liquid courage. If you feel like alcohol has become a part of your personality, you might be drinking too much. “Dry January is the perfect way to break the habit of using alcohol as a crutch and learn healthier ways to manage your anxiety, feel comfortable in social gatherings, and be able to relax after work,” says Dr. Heinzerling.


The benefits start immediately

Going sober, even just for a month, has a number of physical benefits. “One of the great things about this challenge is how quickly you can start to see positive health changes,” Dr. Heinzerling says. “Within just a few days of not drinking, you’ll have lower blood pressure and heart rate, improved blood sugar regulation, better sleep, and less anxiety and depression.” It can also improve your relationships, finances, and mental health.


A month is a month

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If Dry January feels too intimidating, you can always try Dry February. Whichever month you choose, make sure to use these 14 expert tips for a successful Dry January. One way to take your mind off booze is to take up a new hobby, Dr. Heinzerling says.


No, not R2D2!

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Everyone has different reasons for doing Dry January. Not wanting to end up like garbage R2D2 is as valid as any of them. Once you’ve made your decision to go dry, be sure to take care of yourself in other ways. It’s not enough to remove a bad habit, says Dr. Heinzerling. To truly change, you need to replace it with healthy habits.


Deep breaths

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It’s normal to have many uncomfortable feelings surface when you’re no longer using alcohol to deal with them. But processing negative emotions is important for an overall healthier and happier life.


Keep a good streak going

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Many people find that they enjoy the benefits of sobriety so much that they decide to continue Dry January longer. For a little inspiration, check out these recovery quotes that will motivate you to stay sober. The whole point of doing a challenge like Dry January is to focus on breaking bad habits and create a healthier relationship with alcohol, Dr. Heinzerling says.


There’s more than one way to stay dry

Dry January usually means forgoing the booze, not skipping the showers! Washing up isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Make sure you’re not making any of these common showering mistakes.


It’s a one-way relationship

When you first give up drinking, you may experience intrusive thoughts about alcohol, especially when you see something that reminds you of drinking. Try not to ruminate on what you’re missing and focus on all of the benefits you’re gaining, instead. For instance, another perk of quitting alcohol is that it becomes easier to start and maintain other good habits, like daily exercise and healthy eating, leading to even more health benefits, Dr. Heinzerling says.


Toast with sparkling cider

You may be surprised by how much free time you suddenly have when you quit drinking. This is the perfect opportunity to try out some different hobbies, like cooking or even mixology. There are many delicious alcohol-free drinks to try. Make this an opportunity to try these alcohol-free ways to unwind.


Don’t even think about it

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One of the biggest challenges of doing an alcohol fast is dealing with how it changes your relationships and other social interactions. Planning ahead and having a solid support group can help, Dr. Heinzerling says. Feeling overwhelmed by Dry January? Try these simple tips to limit your alcohol consumption and keep your streak going.


Can I get a tiny umbrella?

No one wants to be “that guy,” but figuring out what to order instead of your usual cocktail can be tricky. There’s no need to ask for a juice box or a Shirley Temple. Try one of these eight non-alcoholic drink recipes that taste like the real deal.


Share your Dry January experience

Have you tried Dry January or another period of sobriety? We’d love to hear about it. At The Healthy, we believe that sharing your knowledge and experience about a personal health issue or challenge can take you one step closer to feeling better about or solving that issue for yourself. You can use the field below or this link to share your own experience and thoughts about Dry January.

We may use your story in future content that may help other people who are attempting a sober lifestyle or a Dry January. We want to know why you made that decision, as well as your obstacles and roadblocks, how you dealt with them, and who helped you on the way. What worked? What didn’t? If you have tips and advice, bring it on! And if it helps to tell your story, please submit a photo that we can share with other people.

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Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen has been covering health and fitness for many major outlets, both in print and online, for 13 years. She's the author of two books, co-host of the Self Help Obsession podcast, and does freelance editing and ghostwriting. She teaches fitness classes in her spare time. She lives in Denver with her husband, four children, and three pets.