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The Power of 66… Alcohol Free Days

By Janet Gourand August 29, 2023 Health and Fitness

The global wellness economy is estimated to be worth $4 trillion dollars!

We are on an endless and expensive quest for wellness, vitality and youth… yet we drink the toxin ethanol on a daily basis.

We do the yoga, the juicing, the healthy eating and the exercise but at some point, we may need to come face to face with our wine habit, which may be sabotaging all our hard work.

A break from booze will have a positive impact on your looks. You will lose that puffiness in your face, your skin will clear and your eyes will sparkle. The average US woman spends $300 a month on beauty treatments but ditching alcohol is the best beauty treatment of all – and it’s free!

Depression and anxiety meds count for 10% of all prescriptions in the US yet we know that alcohol is a depressant and as for anxiety….

Drinking alcohol is like pouring gasoline on our anxiety!

Let’s face it, alcohol is a toxin, and we owe it to our amazing bodies and brains to take a break now and then.

Could You Take a Break from Alcohol for 66 Days?

Alcohol is insidious, it creeps up on us, and in fact, 20% of social drinkers will become dependent over the years. That’s why an annual dependence check is so important. If you find 66 days without alcohol a breeze then that’s great – no problem, nothing to see here!

However, if you can’t get through 66 alcohol free days or if the very thought of giving up your nightly glass (or two) of wine sends a little shiver down your spine then that’s a sure sign that you need to take a break.

Why 66 Days?

66 days is long enough to change a habit and build a new neural pathway according to research by Dr. Philippa Lally from University College London.

So, if you do want to try out the alcohol free, lifestyle then you will find it SO much easier after 66 days.

Even if you are just sober curious or looking to cut down a bit, the 66-day break will be beneficial. At the end of the challenge, you will find it SO much easier to drink within the low-risk levels of one and a half bottles of wine (or six beers) a week.

10 Quick Reasons Why Taking a 66-Day Break Could Be a Gamechanger

  1. The first 30 days of any alcohol-free challenge are usually the most difficult ones. Hang in there, and it gets easier and easier.
  2. You will have a great reason for not drinking: “No thanks, I’m doing a 66-day Challenge.”
  3. Your mind will clear, and your creativity will get a boost. Most importantly, you may just decide that you love living alcohol free!
  4. After 66 alcohol free days you will have built a new sober “neural pathway,” making it much easier to carry on if you wish.
  5. You will make healthier food choices, feel more like exercising and ditch those extra kilos. Drinking alcohol just doesn’t fit the wellness trend.
  6. The benefits that come in after 2+ alcohol-free months are significant – weight loss, better sleep, clearer skin and fresher looks for a start.
  7. Alcohol is an addictive drug, and 20% of social drinkers will become dependent over the years. Regular breaks to test your dependence are essential.
  8. More and more people are becoming sober curious – why not join them and dip your toe in the cool waters of sobriety? You might just decide to stay!
  9. Your sleep will improve. When we drink, we get only 2 or 3 cycles of REM sleep. To feel rested and refreshed we need 7! No more 3 a.m. wake-ups feeling anxious.
  10. More time! We are all “too busy” these days so ditching the booze will free up extra time. You’ll have more energy in the evening and start to love early mornings! Just substitute your evening wine(s) with a delicious alcohol-free drink.

Health Reasons to Take a Break from the Booze

As we get older, we have to prioritise our health and alcohol is best avoided after 60.

If you’ve been drinking heavily for years then you may be wondering if taking a break from alcohol is even worth it – will it make any difference?

Well, the answer is a big fat yes!

The human body is amazing, and your health will improve as a result of ditching the drink – even for 66 days. Better hydration and improved sleep will increase your productivity and daily wellbeing. Your liver, stomach, and skin will also benefit from not having to deal with the daily onslaught of ethanol.

Let’s break those health benefits down:


Sleep is the foundation of good health. Although we may feel that alcohol helps us to fall asleep, in fact it is preventing us from getting the deep restorative sleep that we need. As the alcohol leaves our body (usually about 2 – 3 a.m.) we will wake up, often feeling anxious and dehydrated. An alcohol-free month will give our bodies a chance to get some proper rest.


The liver is an amazing organ and does in fact recover very quickly. Staff at the British magazine New Scientist had medical tests before and after Dry January and found that liver fat had dropped between 15 – 20%. Liver fat is a precursor to liver damage. Tests on liver stiffness also yielded similar results.


Alcohol is now linked to 7 different types of cancer. The risk increases the more you drink. Just 3 drinks a week raises your breast cancer risk by 15%. Drinking more than one and a half bottles of wine a week puts your health at risk so use this alcohol-free month to “reset” before drinking again within “safe” guidelines.

Blood Pressure

Drinking too much alcohol can cause your blood pressure to rise over time. After 3 – 4 weeks of not drinking, your blood pressure will start to reduce. Reducing your blood pressure can be crucial as it can help to lessen the risk of health problems such as stroke and heart disease.

Gut Health

Alcohol can lead to a leaky gut, and can interfere with how the immune system functions, leading to increased inflammation within the gut and elsewhere in the body. When we consume alcohol our immune system will fight it, as it would fight a disease. Covid taught us that we need to keep our immune system strong and focussed on protecting us from disease.


When you drink alcohol, you lose around four times as much liquid as you actually drank. Therefore, giving up alcohol can help you keep well hydrated, which is in turn beneficial for your brain. Your mood and concentration will be more stable, you will have more energy and motivation – what’s not to like!


Quite apart from the calories in each drink, alcohol is a major driver of overeating. We all know how alcohol weakens our healthy eating resolutions. Suddenly those nibbles at a cocktail party look irresistible. In a recent study people having two alcoholic drinks with food consumed 30% more food than those drinking water.

Mental Health

Alcohol is a depressant and although it will give you a brief chemical high it will leave you feeling down the next day. We often drink alcohol to alleviate anxiety and depression but in fact, it will have the opposite effect.

66 days off alcohol will give you a taste of the benefits of quitting alcohol forever. It will kickstart your health, freshen up your looks, and give you a new sense of energy and purpose. Most importantly you will have tested your dependency on alcohol – if it was a breeze then well done!

If it was really hard or if you just couldn’t do it, then you need to consider your relationship with alcohol and make some changes. Tribe Sober can help.

If you’d like a bit of support to get through the 66 days then sign up for the Tribe Sober #Sober66 Challenge and get online, community and audio support for 66 days from the day you sign up. Opens 1st September.

Listen to the latest Tribe Sober podcast here.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you take regular breaks from alcohol to improve your health and test your dependence? Does the thought of going 66 days without alcohol make you anxious? Were you aware that the low risk guideline was just a bottle and a half of wine a week? Do you often do Dry January but find yourself “white knuckling” it and longing for February?

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Rebecca Bryant

Very interesting data. Didn’t know about the links to breast cancer! I had already decided better skin was my summer project. Investing in good products for basic care, becoming religious about sunscreen, and a solid commitment to no sugar or alcohol. I have never been a regular drinker so the no alcohol is easy. Best idea ever!

janet gourand

Glad you found it interesting Rebecca. I’m sure my decades of heavy drinking contributed to my breast cancer – many of the ex-drinkers in our Tribe Sober community have also been through it. I definitely would have quit sooner if I had known the cancer risk!


Excellent information! I was a drinker of a daily glass of red wine for years. Occasionally it was more than one glass. During COVID lockdown the neighbors in our bubble would bring cocktails over about once a week, and this would be on top of whatever we already poured for ourselves. Afterward we found ourselves drinking 1-3 drinks most days. Recently I got some lab results I didn’t like and decided to make some changes. I stopped alcohol for several weeks. Unfortunately I quit my daily piece of organic dark chocolate at the same time (after reading the Consumer Reports article about heavy metal contamination). It was a tough adjustment! I noticed no difference in sleep, thinking, or my appearance. I now have one glass of organic red wine every other day and organic milk chocolate a few times per week. I already eat a healthy diet but I did quit crackers and chips!

janet gourand

Hi Joan thanks! 20% of social drinkers become dependent over the years and your experience during Covid is a common one. Alcohol is insiduous and it’s so easy to gradually drink more. Well done for recognising that you needed to take a break. If you want to experience significant health benefits then you really need to go alcohol free for longer than a few weeks – sounds like you could easily manage without it so why not try a Challenge like our #Sober66 – here is the info


I didn’t drink the entire time my kids were at home from birth to their teens. Admittedly I drank too much then (divorce, and my struggle to support kids without real support from my X). I have all but stopped drinking and only have a couple of ciders over a weekend. I don’t enjoy wine or beer, and haven’t touched liquor in almost a full year.

janet gourand

Many people step up the alcohol consumption following a divorce so well done you for recognising that you were drinking too much… and stopping!

Albert Motz

I decided to try something similar . I was going to quit for 30 days and re access. At 15 days I decided 30 wasn’t enough that I should go for 90. Somewhere around 45 days I saw such an improvement in my health that I concluded 90 wasn’t long enough. That journey began 35 years ago last Monday When I speak to a group about health I tell them the best thing I ever did for my body was to quit drinking and the best thing I ever did for my mind was to quit TV.

janet gourand

fantastic Albert – that’s why we love our 66 day Challenge – many people report feeling great at the end so decide to go for 100 days, then 6 months, then a year… even 35 years in your case! Amazing – I’m 8 years sober and agree that it’s the best thing we can do for our bodies as we age…. I’m still working on my tv habit ;-)


Very good article and very well explained. Thank you for sharing.

janet gourand

Thank you so much Ivette xx

The Author

Janet Gourand is a writer, a podcaster and a recovery coach. She quit drinking in 2015 at the age of 63. She founded Tribe Sober which enables people to change their relationship with alcohol. Tribe Sober is an international community which offers a membership program.

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