Quit Lit: 11 Sobriety Books To Help You Ditch Drinking For Good

Lifestyle
8th January 2024

From memoirs and self-help, to science-based discussion around addiction, these sobriety books take an eye-opening look at the psychology of drinking and mental health, and share practical ways to help you kick the booze for good.

All the best bars are serving up a huge range of delicious mocktail options these days, and staying sober socially is now more accessible than ever – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. While we’re all aware of the health benefits of cutting down on our alcohol consumption, as a society, there’s no denying that we’re still obsessed with drinking.

If you’re sober curious, giving up drinking beyond Dry January might seem like an impossible task. However, the ‘quit lit’ genre is a relatively new category of books that’s helping readers (women in particular) to reassess their relationship with alcohol. Whether you’re thinking about quitting drinking for good, or are trying to better understand your relationship with alcohol, these eye-opening books will give you a glimpse of what life could look like without alcohol, and what it takes to stay alcohol-free.

Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol

By Holly Glenn Whitaker

If you’re a woman looking to reassess the role of alcohol in your life, this book needs to be at the very top of your reading list. In it, Holly Whitaker shares how she went from a ‘normal drinker’ (how many of us would describe our relationship with drinking) to being addicted. Her decision to finally quit led her to discover the role of the patriarchy within the drinks industry, and the lack of recovery support that’s tailored towards women, in a disruptive look at how drinking culture affects women in particular.

Witty and highly relatable, it’s a fantastic exploration of women and our ongoing entanglement with wine.

sobriety books
sobriety books

Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget

By Sarah Hepola

Sarah Hepola’s story of her frequent blackouts from drinking is an honest and quick-witted account of her relationship with alcohol.

Blackouts might become a regular occurrence if you drink a lot, and in this book she demonstrates why blackouts aren’t in fact the hilarious sign of a good night out – instead, the alcohol is taking away your power. Completely dismantling the idea that alcohol gives you confidence, this is an honest, raw, and laugh-out-loud memoir for anyone exploring the reasons behind why they drink.

Glorious Rock Bottom

By Bryony Gordon

In this eye-opening read, Bryony Gordon re-lives the most terrifying and darkest moments of her twenty-year addiction to alcohol and drugs, and shines a light on the deep connection between addiction and mental health issues.

Exploring all aspects of her recovery – from self-acceptance and friendship to hope and pride in staying sober, this uplifting sobriety memoir tells the story of how hitting rock bottom was the moment that changed, and saved, her life.

sobriety books
sobriety books

This Naked Mind

By Annie Grace

Lifting the lid on the lies around alcohol that keep us all trapped drinking, This Naked Mind introduces the idea that cutting back on alcohol (or giving it up completely) is all about reprogramming your thoughts to change your perspective. Exploring the psychological, social and cultural aspects of drinking, the book explains how it’s not the person that’s the problem, it’s the alcohol that’s addictive, and will help you make sense of why you’ve been hooked for so long.

If you’re looking for a science-based book that will change your mindset around your drinking habits, this is a great place to start. It’s a sobriety book that’s changed the lives of many, and is recommended by coaches and therapists alike.

Sober Curious

By Ruby Warrington

‘Sober curious’ is a phrase that’s become increasingly common these days as we question why it is that every weekend, every awkward social situation, and at every end of a long workday – we feel compelled to drink. Why does one glass of wine always turn into a bottle? Why do we keep doing it even if it makes us feel terrible? And what would happen if we finally stopped?

Packed with expert interviews, research and personal experiences, this sobriety book explores how much better our lives could be if we were to stop drinking altogether – whether we think we have a “problem” with alcohol or not – in a judgment-free takedown of the myths that keep us drinking.

sobriety books
sobriety books

Nothing Good Can Come from This: Essays

By Kristi Coulter

In this honest and quick-witted essay collection of what happened when she stopped drinking (and all the things she’s noticed since), Kristi Coulter paints a portrait of her life in transition to sobriety in a frank, funny and feminist voice.

A memoir told in chronological essay form, this is an entertaining read from someone who quit drinking and was brave enough to write about it – relatably and truthfully.

The Sober Diaries: How One Woman Stopped Drinking and Started Living

By Clare Pooley

A brave and honest story of Cambridge-grad, career woman and mum, Clare Pooley, this inspiring story gives and inside look to her transformation to a life of sobriety.

A year that started with her quitting booze and then being given a breast cancer diagnosis, by the end of the year she’s alcohol-free and cancer-free, with a richer, healthier and more rewarding life than ever before. Upbeat, funny and positive, Sober Curious is a sobriety book for anyone looking to be inspired to give up alcohol and live life to the full.

sobriety books
sobriety books

The Sober Girl Society Handbook: Why Drinking Less Means Living More

By Millie Gooch

A sober survival guide and memoir, The Sober Girl Society Handbook is the book you need if you’re looking to feel fulfilled, happy, and in control of a life without drinking.

Offering practical tips and advice on how to stay sober curious in a world obsessed with alcohol (and why you should), it’s a relatable and informative sobriety book for anyone looking to reassess their relationship with alcohol and make a positive, permanent change.

The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober

By Catherine Gray

Packed with feel-good advice and colourful messaging around just how much better life is without alcohol, The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober takes a deep dive into what happens when you quit drinking, delving into the science behind what it does to our brains and our bodies.

Empathetic and relatable, if you’re looking to learn more about the benefits of staying alcohol-free, you’ll love this book, whether you’re sober curious, or have already ditched the drink.

sobriety books
sobriety books

Mindful Drinking: How Cutting Down Can Change Your Life 

By Rosamund Dean

Cutting out alcohol altogether isn’t for everyone, but if you’re sober curious then drinking more mindfully is a great way to start reducing you consumption.

With realistic and practical advice to help drastically change your drinking habits, Mindful Drinking will help you stop “drinking without thinking”, offering up ways to make alcohol-free days more joyful, improving your mood, your skin, your sex-drive, your bank balance and your body.

We Are The Luckiest: The Surprising Magic Of A Sober Life

By Laura McKowen

In the midst of early sobriety, after a struggle with addiction, Laura McKowen realised that she, even with all her pain and anxiety, was lucky. Lucky to have woken up from her addiction, lucky to be able to really feel her feelings, and lucky to have the opportunity to change the course of her life.

A look at all the blessings that come with living an honest life, this straight-talking sobriety book discusses shame and personal challenges, facing the facts in a refreshing, non sugar-coated look at life lived alcohol-free.

sobriety books

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