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15 “Dry January” Tools To Keep You Alcohol Free

Kayla Matthews 19-01-2015

There are tons of health crazes out there, but “Dry January” might be one of the healthiest ones yet!


Of course, abstaining from alcohol for one month only might not do that much for your health in the long run, but it’s an admirable goal nonetheless – especially if you keep it up throughout the rest of the year.

If you want some inspiration to keep your Dry January going strong, or if you’re trying to quit drinking alcohol altogether, check out these 15 websites and mobile apps that can help you meet your sobriety goals.

Rethinking Drinking (Website, Free)

Rethinking Drinking site

Acting as a repository of information, Rethinking Drinking is a website made possible by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Perfect for individuals who want to learn if they typically drink too much or too often, Rethinking Drinking offers handy calculators, strategies, and support.

With the site’s cocktail content calculator, you’re able to input your drinks’ information and keep better track of how much alcohol you’re consuming. This is a great way to prevent drinking passively and over-consuming alcohol, especially for those of us who are “social drinkers.”


Additionally, the site offers a “Planning for change” feature that allows you to list out your specific goals and either print or email them to yourself so you can stay motivated after leaving the site. You can also download and print “Drink tracker cards” that will help you manage your drinking everywhere you go, even if you don’t have an online device with you.

Free to access and use, Rethinking Drinking is a valuable resource whether you’ve decided to quit drinking altogether or simply want a strong finish for your Dry January.

Twenty Four Hours A Day (iOS & Android, $4.99)

twenty four hours a day app

Designed for individuals who like the 12-Step format, Twenty-Four Hours a Day is an information-packed app featuring daily thoughts and meditative prayers to help you resist the times when you’d like a drink. While this app is likely to be more helpful to people seeking recovery from a serious alcohol problem, the casual drinker could certainly find many uses for it as well.


The app sends a new, sober-living message to your phone each day, but it also offers a search function so you can look up motivational phrases whenever you want. Plus, if you’re suddenly in need of some anti-alcohol inspiration, simply shake your mobile device and the app will send a random sobriety message to your screen.

The Fix (Website, Free)

the fix site

Presenting a new take on addiction information, The Fix is an online magazine and resource center for individuals in recovery, as well as people who want to learn more about alcohol and its abuse.

The Fix offers a mix of entertainment, news and treatment center reviews, in addition to inspirational stories and changes in treatment models. Uniquely, The Fix features an “Ask the Expert” section, which allows anonymous users to pose complicated questions about addiction or the recovery process and have them answered by professionals.


Additionally, The Fix has a wide social media presence, so you can engage with fellow followers and be a part of the site’s many drug and alcohol discussions and news updates. Or, if you have a personal story relating to alcohol or drugs, you can share it with the Fix’s editors.

AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker (Android, Free)

alcodroid app

One of the top sobriety apps of 2014, AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker combines individual data with powerful visualization technology to graph and monitor your alcohol consumption. This customizable app records recovery goals, charts your progress and features a blood alcohol concentration calculator.

Included in the native app is a daily drink diary, which encourages users to track drinking habits and identify trends. You can also share your progress and successes with your friends via the app’s social media features.


Best Rehab Center (Website, Free)

best rehab center site

Like the Twenty Four Hours a Day app above, this website would likely be most useful to someone who has a serious drinking problem. However, if you want some additional facts, testimonials or articles to inspire your continued Dry January, you can find all of those things here, as well.

If you’re having some trouble enjoying your Dry January because you have friends who aren’t participating in the event, you can check out the site’s guide to sober activities (or simply find some new friends Beat The Loneliness: Find Friends & Let The Internet Help You Feeling lonely? Virtual friends won't make that feeling go away. The best cure is to meet people and make friends in real life. This can be really tough, but the Internet can help you! Read More who share your interests).  If you’re a college student abstaining from alcohol, you can also participate in Best Rehab Center’s essay contest to win $500 in scholarship money.

Note that while using the website is free, rehab is not. If you want information about actually attending rehab, you can reference the insurance or contact pages.

iDrinkSmarter (Android, Free)

idrinksmarter app

A free app for both iOS and Android devices, iDrinkSmarter is designed for individuals who want to reduce alcohol consumption for Dry January or otherwise. The app includes a sobriety tracker, drink tracker, and BAC calculator to gauge your level of intoxication.

Perhaps the most beneficial feature of this app is its “buzzkill” alarm, which indicates to you and your buddies when it’s time to cut back by issuing a visual or audio message when nearing your limit.

According to this Telegraph article, drinking too much in February is a common problem for Dry January participants, so this app could be a good post-January safety tool to keep on your phone.

Hazelden (Website, Free)

hazelden site

A member of the Betty Ford Foundation, Hazelden’s digital collection of recovery resources is a valuable addition to your other support tools and apps. Accessible via free registration, Hazelden’s resources include peer support communities, podcasts and a digital magazine.

You can also reach out to peers locally or internationally with iCare cards or eMedallions, as well as check out the latest addiction research. The site also features a thought, meditation and prayer for each day, so you can get some light inspiration if that’s all you need.

Additionally, the site offers a plethora of mobile applications for both iOS and Android, one of which is the Twenty Four Hours a Day app mentioned earlier. Essentially, this site is a one-stop resource to direct you further into sobriety, be it until the end of January or for life.

My Daily Journal [No Longer Available]

my daily journal app

Tracking your progress and thoughts throughout Dry January is one of the best ways to keep yourself motivated. My Daily Journal for iPhone and iPad is a clean, user-friendly journal in which to write your thoughts, record struggles and keep photos, if you so choose.

Featuring automated backups to Dropbox and the option to add more journals (for an additional fee of $0.99-$4.99), My Daily Journal can help anyone abstaining from alcohol keep track of their alcohol-free month (or months). Included social sharing functions enable quick and easy publishing of journal entries you’d like to share, while passwords keep your more personal entries safe from prying eyes.

Check Your Drinking (Website, Free)

check your drinking app

Whether assessing personal alcohol consumption or that of a friend’s, Check Your Drinking provides a rapid evaluation of alcohol use and norms based on personal consumption data. Note, however, that while taking the quiz is free, it does require consent for anonymous data entered to be collected and analyzed for research purposes Cool Research Projects That Could Change the Future Will mega-corporations like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Intel go on to give future generations the world we can only imagine now? These exciting research projects say that it is a promise they will keep. Read More .

Check Your Drinking drafts a graphical report of your alcohol use compared to individuals in your age group, which can help you understand if your drinking behaviors in a normal month are average or otherwise. Other eye-opening statistics include your average yearly spending on alcohol, daily calories consumed from alcohol and an overview of your drinking patterns.

If you’re wondering if Dry January is actually making a difference for you, try calculating how much you drink in a normal month and then how much you drank in Dry January.

DrinkControl (iOS, $4.99)

drink control app

Understanding moderation (and how many drinks are too many) is difficult unless you have bartending experience. Often, it’s difficult to know how many ounces of alcohol per drink type (liquor, beer, wine, etc.) are in your drink, particularly if it’s mixed. If you’re considering cutting back on alcohol even after Dry January, this could be a good app for you.

DrinkControl keeps you on track with sobriety and moderation goals 5 Critical Mistakes To Avoid When Setting Goals Goal setting is a great way to cut down on procrastination and boost productivity. If you don’t have goals, you don’t have direction. Without direction, it’s easy for you to feel lost and confused. Fortunately,... Read More through its calendar and statistical reporting function. Easily add drinks consumed and their respective costs to the app, which then calculates alcohol content and total alcohol spend. Combined, these features help keep you accountable for your drinking habits and aware of the monetary consequences of heavy drinking.

For whatever reason, GooglePlay lists the app as being free, while iTunes charges $4.99 for it. Therefore, iOS users might want to consider one of the other apps or websites listed here instead.

Recoverize (Website, Free)

recoverize site

Recoverize is a unique web application that allows you to easily track how many days you’ve gone without a drink, interact with  peers via chat boards and practice meditation if you so choose.

Unlike other peer networking tools, Recoverize features a daily speaker via online audio and includes an audio library of past “speaker tapes” if you want to listen to multiple daily speakers in a single day.

The site’s digital magazine, Sober Times, and unique meditation mode set it apart from similar websites. In meditation mode, users listen to calming sounds while watching breathtaking imagery, inducing a meditative state for those who need to Zen out and ignore drink cravings.

Recoverize does not currently offer premium features; however, meditation mode is accessible with or without a free account. If you want to learn more about meditation, check out these meditation tools and resources Meditation Made Easy: Tools & Resources To Aid Your Well-Being If you have come to the conclusion that meditation is a method to calm your mind and achieve well-being worth trying, then we can help you with resources and tools. Read More .

AA Speakers To Go (iOS, $4.99) [No Longer Available]

AA speakers to go app

Attending an AA meeting can be both motivational and inspirational, largely due to the speakers there. AA Speakers To Go is a helpful sobriety app for those who can’t always make it to an AA meeting, or who aren’t serious alcoholics. Containing a mix of humorous, heart-wrenching and enlightening speeches, this app is a great motivator for Dry January or for staying sober in general.

Featuring more than 400 “Speaker Tapes” and more than 500 hours of audio and a diverse assortment of speakers, AA Speakers To Go allows users to sort speakers by name or rating and save a favorites list for easy reference. You can also search for your state to find speakers from your area.

Additional options, like presentations and workshops, can be purchased within the app for a fee (from $2.99-$9.99).

Meeting Finder [No Longer Available]

meeting finder app

This app locates 12 Step meetings both in your local area and across the U.S. It covers the top 12 Step programs like AA and Narcotics Anonymous, and lets you search for meetings based on specific preferences like women only, men only, open meetings, etc.

While it’s unlikely that you’ll need this app for Dry January, it could help you see what the life and reasons behind a completely sober person are. If there are local, open meetings available in your area, you might consider popping in and learning more about why attendees chose to give up alcohol. One handy feature of this app is that it includes a map and directions for how to get to each meeting. (Check out this article for some other ways to meet new people 10 Effortless Ways To Meet Interesting People While Traveling When traveling, it can often be difficult to meet like-minded, interesting people to spend your days and evenings with. With the right tools and some enthusiasm, it can be an effortless exercise. Read More .)

If checking out a 12 Step meeting isn’t something you’re interested in, you can also benefit from the app’s daily meditations.

Addiction Survivors (Website, Free)

addiction survivors site

If personal stories are what motivate you best, Addiction Survivors may be just what you need to finish out Dry January successfully.

The site is essentially a categorized discussion forum, with a section specifically on alcoholism and alcohol abstinence. These forums are meant to be a supportive community for people who struggle with drinking, or have friends and family who do.

Check out the Friends and Family thread if you want to read a wide variety of personal accounts, questions and supportive answers to help you stay away from booze.

Saying When (iOS, Free)

saying when app

Developed by Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Saying When is a free app that assists users in creating a recovery plan and sticking to it. Though not available for Android devices yet, the app is based on clinical outcomes and designed to be results-driven.

The app’s clean, user-friendly interface is packed with helpful features, such as an urge-tracking feature and a coping skills manual. After filling out a quick self-assessment and creating personalized goals, users are reminded not to drink, can view goal progress and track alcohol consumption.

In terms of staying sober for the rest of January, this app is useful in that it helps you understand why you drink, and the times when you’re most vulnerable to it. As a result, you know when to ‘say when’ and can better manage your drinking – and the reasons behind it.

The Future of Sobriety Technology

These 15 digital resources are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sobriety aids. A-CHESS, an app designed to help users abstain from alcohol use, is the first of its kind to undergo clinical trials and could offer a preview of recovery technology to come.

Though still in development, A-CHESS has helped achieve surprising results with over 50% of users abstaining from alcohol for at least 12 months. Uniquely, the app features an emergency button that immediately links the user to a friend or provides distractions to prevent relapse. For now, developers are still testing the app and hope to make it available for both Android and iOS devices.

If you could create a recovery app tomorrow, which features would you include?

Image Credit: Viktor Hanacek

Related topics: Addiction, Habits, Health.

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  1. Anonymous
    July 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Kayla,
    Some really amazing resources here - I would also like to suggest reading memoirs of successful recovering alcoholics.
    They can be inspiring and are a real demonstration that sobriety is something that you can enjoy with enough self care and work.

  2. Jurgis
    April 5, 2015 at 9:23 am

    Hey Kayla,

    Great article!

    By the way DrinkControl for iOS has also free version in the App Store (limited in features in the same way that DrinkControl for Android is limited to). DrinkControl paid version provides extras like setting up your own favorite drinks, exporting data to MS Excel, disabling in-app ads and more.

    Jurgis, author of DrinkControl app.

  3. dragonmouth
    January 19, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    "There are tons of health crazes out there, but “Dry January” might be one of the healthiest ones yet!"
    There have been many studies done that show the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption so there's no need to join the Temperance Union in order to stay healthy.

    • Kayla
      January 19, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Hey! Thanks for reading!

      You're right - it's possible to consume minimal to moderate amounts of alcohol and still live a healthy life. However, there's also no harm in cutting alcohol completely and studies have suggested that even moderate and light alcohol consumers can experience better heart health by eliminating alcohol from their diets entirely.

      My opening sentence is not meant to be a disclaimer to never drink booze again ever, I'm simply trying to point out that, out of all the potentially harmful health fads, a fad that encourages people to stop drinking is quite healthy.

      Also, if you read the second sentence, you'll see that I also point out the realistic health expectations of only sobering up for one month.

      Happy to answer any further concerns.