Sober curious? We have the buzz on cancer and alcohol (and why you might want to quit).

Posted: January 5, 2022






Mental Health



Sober curious? Maybe you've seen alcohol-free bars popping up around the world lately. Or perhaps you’ve wondered why friends who championed Dry January are feeling their best selves. Want in on the (in)action? Step into our virtual office.

Going alcohol-free can do a (good) number on your mind, body, and soul, cancer or not. When you give up alcohol, it allows you to focus on the rest of your health. And now that being sober is “lit,” there's no shame in the game. 

The relationship between cancer and alcohol makes #SoberLife more appealing.

You don’t have to look too hard to find studies showing a correlation between cancer and alcohol. According to the American Cancer Society, alcohol use is a significant risk factor for cancer, evident in at least 6% of U.S. cases. Tobacco products rep the nickname “cancer sticks,” but alcohol finds itself mingling with the socially acceptable substances. Imagine calling all your friends over to the bar for “cancer shots” – yikes. 

When you’re in treatment, drinking can interfere with your medicine or procedures, such as messing with your already-fragile liver during chemo, or making side effects worse.

Side note: Your experience is unique, of course. As long as you’ve got the a-okay from Doc, a glass of wine here and there won’t hurt. 

What does it mean to be “sober curious”?

Being sober curious is on trend with people becoming more cautious about healthy consumption in general. Also called “sober sometimes,” the sober curious movement doesn’t mean participants never touch a bottle of wine again, but they may be more intentional before doing so. 

Ruby Warrington coined the phrase “sober curious” and is the author of Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol. Her passion + scientific approach shows what life can look like without alcohol as a crutch (spoiler alert: it’s fantastic). 

"The more time, money, and energy people are putting into their overall well-being, the harder it becomes to justify the overall toxicity and health risks (particularly mental health risks) of drinking."  - Ruby Warrington, Sober Curious

The benefits of a sober lifestyle will far outweigh any FOMO. 

When you decide to pursue your sober curiosity, you might feel like you're missing out on late nights at the bar or BBQ beers with the bros. But in the long run, your health and well-being will benefit far more than any of those small moments. 

Anyone who has gone without touching alcohol for a short amount of time knows that you don't miss much (ask anyone who’s been pregnant). 

When you take a break, you may experience some of these benefits, including:

  • Better sleep

  • Lower anxiety

  • Increase in energy

  • Improved sex life

  • Weight loss

  • Improved immune system

  • Saving money (always a plus)

  • Deeper connections and healthier relationships

I don’t know about you, but these are all things we’re striving for on the reg. And when dealing with cancer, the impact is x100. 

Too hard to stop drinking? That’s okay.

Quitting anything you’re used to doing is challenging. If you struggle with cutting down on drinks, even for a few days at a time, accountability is your BFF. 14 million adults in the U.S. are dependent on alcohol. Problematic drinking can lead to alcoholism, dependency, and more. There's no shame in asking for help. 

As you know, you can always post about your experience and struggles anonymously in the buddhi conversation forum. You’re not alone in this.

There are alternatives to alcohol for social and daily use.

Cannabis Products

Many people turn to CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol - the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) instead of alcohol for relaxation, pain relief, and more.  

Cannabis products can give you the calming effects that people often seek from alcohol without a hangover’s nasty side effects. And with legalization gaining momentum across the U.S., we’re seeing better quality options for getting a fix. 

THC vs. CBD: Note that THC gives you a high, so if you don’t want that, opt for CBD oil. CBD is legal in the U.S. and can be part of your daily routines. We love high-quality CBD oil, like House of Wise’s full-spectrum, hemp-derived products grown and blended in Colorado. 


Party time? Fancy-dinner-drink time? A mocktail is your BFF. Mix up your faves, but hold the liquor. Looks like a Moscow mule, tastes like a Moscow mule, but doesn’t have the adverse side effects of a Moscow mule. Here are some fun mocktail recipes to give you inspo (we can’t wait to make the watermelon margarita). 


Think about the “why” behind your drinks. Is it to feel relaxed? Energized and loose? There are ways to get those feelings besides ingesting something. Enter: activities. Here are some ways you can replace drinking time with a better move that’s good for your health.

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