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Go Sober for October

Try a month without alcohol and raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support:



Have you got what it takes to be a Soberhero?

This October Macmillan Cancer Support are challenging you to give up drinking alcohol for a month to raise money to help them support even more people facing cancer.

Macmillan’s website has all the details of how it works, plus a load of resources to help you hit your fundraising goals.

Sign up today with Macmillan Cancer Support

And remember, it’s not just a great opportunity to support Macmillan’s essential work. Who knows? It could even inspire you to take a different approach to alcohol in the future too. Use our guide below to get you started on your sober journey!

What to expect when you go sober for October

If you’ve decided to take up Macmillan’s sober challenge you might be surprised how quickly you start to notice some of the benefits of cutting out alcohol, which can include…

  • a better night’s sleep. Alcohol can mess with your sleep pattern meaning you spend less time in more restful deep sleep1. Hangover-free and refreshed you’re likely to have…
  • more energy to take on the world, making this October the perfect opportunity to kick-start a new fitness regime. And if getting in shape is your goal you might be pleased to have already started to notice some…
  • weight loss. Due to their high sugar content many alcoholic drinks are pretty calorific, and regularly adding lots of extra calories on top of your recommended daily intake can make it difficult to lose weight. And as you become a little lighter on the scales you should find that there’s…
  • a few extra pounds in your wallet. Cutting out expensive rounds at the bar or bottles of wine on your weekly shop could quickly have a positive effect on your bank balance, giving you a bit of extra scratch to try a new activity, join the gym or update your autumn wardrobe.

Find out how alcohol affects weight loss

Our top 3 tips for a successful Sober October

  1. Get the facts on alcohol. Understanding what effect alcohol has on your mind and body can help motivate you to stay on track. From heart health to anxiety and depression we’ve got the info in our Health Effects of Alcohol section.
  2. Refresh your drinks. Sparkling mineral water is great – but there are many other alcohol alternatives out there. Why not make a mocktail, try an alcohol-free beer or even one of the new alcohol-free ‘spirits’?
  3. Tackle your triggers. It pays to understand what prompts you to have a drink (from a stressful day to putting the kids to bed) so you can stay in control and avoid old habits.

Resources to help you stay on track

How to cut down: your one stop shop for tips and advice on staying sober this October.

Reasons for cutting down: need some extra motivation? Find it here.

Drinks trackers and tools: from an app to log your weak spots to a calculator which shows you how many calories are in drinks we’ve a tool to help you through your sober month.

Go beyond Sober October

Raising money for charity is a fantastic way to spend an alcohol-free month. But what happens when it’s all over?

One thing you might find is that your tolerance to alcohol drops. So it might take less alcohol for you to feel its effects. This is important to bear in mind if you choose to drink after October.

Learn about alcohol tolerance

Best of all, a month off could be your chance to make lasting changes in the way you drink.

The fact is that alcohol consumption is linked to seven types of cancer2, and the more you drink the more your risk increases3.

Find out more about alcohol and cancer

It's also a good idea to make sure you're in the know about how your regular drinking relates to the UK's Chief Medical Officers' low risk drinking guidelines.

And remember, just a few small changes to the way you approach alcohol could have a big effect on your long term health, and how you feel.


(1) Roehrs, T. and Roth, T., (2001) Sleep, sleepiness, and alcohol use. Alcohol research and Health, 25(2), pp.101-109.
(2) V. Bagnardi, M. Rota, E. Botteri, I. Tramacere, F. Islami, V. Fedirko, L. Scotti, M. Jenab, F. Turati, E. Pasquali, C. Pelucchi, R. Bellocco, E. Negri, G. Corrao, J. Rehm, P. Boffetta, and C. La Vecchia, Light alcohol drinking and cancer: a meta-analysis Ann Oncol mds337 first published online August 21, 2012 doi:10.1093/annonc/mds337

(3) Turati, F., Garavello, W., Tramacere, I., Pelucchi, C., Galeone, C., Bagnardi, V., Corrao, G., Islami, F., Fedirko, V., Boffetta, P., La Vecchia, C. & Negri, E. (2013). A Meta-analysis of Alcohol Drinking and Oral and Pharyngeal Cancers: Results from Subgroup Analyses. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 48, 107-118. Last reviewed 23/02/2016
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