5 Reasons to Try a Dry Month in Midlife

By Claire Gillespie
Reviewed by Daniel Lew, M.D.
January 05, 2022

For many women in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, drinking is a pivotal part of the social scene. Whether you’re partaking in tailgate parties with beer, a “girls’ night” meetup with cocktails, or date nights where you share a bottle of wine with your partner, drinking can feel like part of the routine. But taking a break from alcohol and trying a dry month, like Dry January or Sober October (or any extended period that works for you), could be beneficial.

Midlife is often a time of change—children have left home, and women find themselves reassessing their domestic partnership, their work, their friendships, and also their health and their relationship with their bodies. “Many women will wake up to the fact that they might be abusing alcohol and want to make a change,” says Jean M. Campbell, a licensed clinical social worker based in Costa Mesa, California.

A dry month can help reevaluate the role alcohol plays in your life, Campbell says. Feeling like it’s time to reassess your relationship with drinking? While there’s not much science on the benefits of a temporary break from booze, those who complete a dry month challenge often report positive feelings about their well‑being. Here are five reasons women in midlife say it’s worth giving abstinence a go.