New year, new you - why Dry January is taking off

Dr Henry Yeomans recently conducted a qualitative study of Dry January which showed that participants report experiencing immediate physical, psychological and emotional benefits from taking part.

The research suggests that Dry January could help inform future government health campaigns, as it may be more effective to focus on the positive effects that come from abstaining from alcohol, rather than the negative effects of drinking. The work was published in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy and has made the news in the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph Australia.

The study found that participants noted a number of personal benefits to Dry January including sleep quality, appearance, energy levels, weight loss, levels of self-esteem and their discovery of strength and willpower.

Dr Yeomans says “Participants generally feel that they are gaining something rather than losing something by abstaining for one month. Dry January is not, therefore, about self-control or self-denial. It is about self-formation.”

Read the full article on the University of Leeds website.