Mindful drinking is being intentionally aware of how much we drink and the reasons why we drink alcohol. For many, it can be tough to get into the habit of practicing mindful drinking. Thankfully, there are several mindful drinking apps that can help us create a better relationship with alcohol. Below you’ll find our list of the seven best mindful drinking apps of 2023.
What Does it Mean to Be Sober Curious?
If you’re exploring mindful drinking, you’ve most likely come across the term “sober curious.” Mindful drinking and being sober curious go hand-in-hand because they both involve taking a long look at your drinking habits and asking yourself some important questions about alcohol’s role in your life. Ruby Warrington, author of Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol, explains that being sober curious means challenging the dominant drinking culture and questioning the impulses and expectations that lead us to drink.1
Warrington emphasizes that everyone’s sober curious journey is unique and involves different questions and experiences. For instance, some may ask why they feel more comfortable drinking in social situations, while others may question their level of alcohol dependence and if treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is necessary. Being sober curious addresses persistent worries that often surface when drinking, like “What would my life look like without alcohol?” or “Am I drinking too much?”
The sober curious lifestyle has been a welcomed trend, especially in the U.S., where one in six adults report binge drinking, with 25% doing it weekly.2
The sober curious community has helped shine a light on drinking culture and validated those concerns that so many of us have about our alcohol consumption. Mindful drinking may lead to significant changes in your drinking habits, total abstinence, or no changes at all. The point is to dedicate time and attention to your relationship with alcohol and determine if modifications can make life better.
Benefits of Mindful Drinking
It probably comes as no surprise to learn that mindful drinking can lead to several mental and physical health benefits. First, most who practice mindful drinking end up drinking less, which leads to better sleep, more energy, and a stronger immune system. Mindful drinking also reduces alcohol-related symptoms, like headaches, high blood pressure, and fatty build-up around the liver. Because alcohol can influence how we manage our emotions, lowering your intake can boost your mood and keep anxiety and depression at bay. Finally, many mindful drinkers also report a stronger sense of control over their decisions due to heightened awareness around drinking.3
Best Mindful Drinking Apps of 2023
Here’s our list of the seven best mindful drinking apps of 2023. Each one is classified by its stand-out feature to help you choose the right app for you.
- Best Overall Mindful Drinking App Reframe
- Best App for 1:1 Support Sunnyside
- Best Free Mindful Drinking App TryDry
- Best Alcohol Tracking App DrinkControl
- Best App with Peer Support Dry Days by AlcoChange
- Best App with Gamification Strategies Less
- Best App with Medication Treatment Options LifeBac
Here are the companies reviewed in this article listed in alphabetical order: DrinkControl, Dry Days, Less, LifeBac , Reframe, Sunnyside, TryDry.
Best Overall Mindful Drinking App – Reframe
The Reframe app provides a structured program to help users reduce or quit drinking. It includes educational lessons on the science of alcohol, motivational tools, and community support. Reframe is currently only available on Apple devices, costs $24.99 monthly or $119.99 annually, and comes with a seven-day free trial. Access to one-on-one coaching in the premium version starts at $99.99 monthly.
How Much Does Reframe Cost?
Reframe costs $24.99 monthly or $119.99 annually and comes with a seven-day free trial. A Reframe premium subscription consists of two plans: Messaging Pass for $99.99 a month or a Coaching Pass for $249.99 a month. Reframe is currently only available on Apple devices, but plans on launching an Android version soon.
Messaging Pass – $99.99/month
The Messaging Pass connects you to a Thrive Coach and includes private one-on-one coaching through unlimited direct text, audio, or video messages.
Coaching Pass – $249.99/month
The Coaching Pass also includes unlimited direct messaging with a Thrive Coach via text, audio, and video. This pass also includes three 45-minute live one-on-one coaching Zoom sessions per month.
Reframe Pros & Cons
Reframe Key Features
Reframe earned our Overall Best Mindful Drinking App because it includes several critical components that help improve a user’s relationship with alcohol. Reframe begins with a thorough onboarding questionnaire so the program can be customized to target your personal goals. Educational activities and lessons are gradually unlocked as users complete assignments and progress through each module.
Reframe’s educational materials cover the science behind alcohol to help you understand how drinking impacts mental and physical health. In addition to these lessons, Reframe provides a “Toolkit” with strategies to help beat cravings and other essential coping tools, like meditations, games, and breathing exercises.
Reframe also includes virtual daily meetings via Zoom hosted by Reframe coaches, and community message boards for members to share thoughts and experiences on their mindful drinking journey. The educational elements, the coping strategies, and the community support collectively make Reframe one of the best mindful drinking apps currently available.
To learn more, check out our in-depth review of Reframe.
How to Sign Up for the Reframe App
You can sign up for the Reframe app by downloading it from the Apple App Store. Reframe is not currently available on Android devices, but will be soon. If interested, you can add your name to the Reframe Google Play Store waiting list.
Best App for 1:1 Support – Sunnyside
Sunnyside is an easy-to-use alcohol tracking app that offers one-on-one motivational coaching via text message with human coaches and chatbots. Human coaches provide personalized tips and guidance while the chatbots remind you to log daily drinks. Sunnyside is only available through Apple, costs $12.00 monthly, $29.00 every three months, or $99.00 annually, and includes a 14-day free trial.
How Much Does Sunnyside Cost?
Sunnyside costs $12.00 monthly, $29.00 every three months, or $99.00 annually, and includes a 14-day free trial.
Sunnyside Pros & Cons
Sunnyside Key Features
Sunnyside earned our award for Best Mindful Drinking App with One-on-One Support because of its private texting feature with chatbots and Sunnyside coaches. If you’re looking for more accountability, Sunnyside is the right app for you. Chatbots send texts to remind you to log daily drinks, and human coaches are there to offer more personalized support. You can text “I need motivation,” or “facing a challenge,” and a human coach will respond with tips and strategies to help you overcome cravings or obstacles.
New users log daily drinks for one week so the app can collect data on typical drinking habits and create a baseline to build goals. After your first week, you’ll continue to log drinks with new targets (e.g., first Monday = 4 drinks, next Monday target = 3 drinks). With the help of reminders, notifications, and private coaching, Sunnyside makes it easy for users to commit to their mindful drinking practice.
To learn more, check out our in-depth review of Sunnyside.
How to Sign Up for the Sunnyside App
You can sign up for Sunnyside by downloading the app from the Apple App Store.
Best Free Mindful Drinking App – Try Dry
Try Dry is a free mindful drinking app that helps users track daily drinks and monitor progress. Try Dry also provides tools to help users track their mood, energy, and sleep. The Try Dry app was created by the charity, Alcohol Change U.K., which is the organization that trademarked the term Dry January™. While Try Dry is free to use, they do encourage donations to Alcohol Change U.K.
How Much Does Try Dry Cost?
Try Dry is completely free to join.
Pros & Cons of Try Dry
Try Dry Key Features
Even though Try Dry is free, it provides several important tools and features that make it a comprehensive mindful drinking app. The main screen is your “Dashboard,” where you see your featured stats, like how many dry days you’ve had this week, month, or year. You’ll also see how many calories and money you’ve saved since you began your mindful drinking journey.
To log a drink, you simply click on a day in the “Calendar” section and answer the prompts — did you stay dry, drink, or drink as planned? The “drink as planned” option is helpful because it distinguishes the typical drinking day from a day that you consumed alcohol, but didn’t necessarily plan it. For example, you might do a regular weekly happy hour with friends on Thursday nights (drinks as planned), but notice that you’ve also been in the habit of drinking on Mondays and Tuesdays (not planned). This helps to pinpoint days that you want to curb drinking or be more aware of triggers or cravings.
After you log your drinks or dry days, Try Dry will ask you a series of questions about your experience. For instance, if you had a drink, what was it, how much did you consume, and how did it affect your mood, energy, sleep, and cravings? Try Dry also has a “Notes” section for you to make journal-like entries to help you track other variables that could be contributing to your drinking, like the environment or people around you. The fact that Try Dry encourages users to track their overall well-being, as well as their drinks, makes it a notable free mindful drinking app.
How to Sign Up for the Try Dry App
You can sign up for Try Dry by downloading the app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
Best Alcohol Tracking App – DrinkControl
DrinkControl is a mindful drinking app that features multi-faceted alcohol tracking tools. You can track drinks, money spent, type of alcohol consumed, and the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). Drink Control is currently only available on Apple devices. There is a basic free version, and the premium version costs $3.99 monthly, $11.99 annually, or a one-time payment of $24.99 for a lifetime subscription.
How Much Does DrinkControl Cost?
DrinkControl provides some alcohol tracking features for free, but there is a premium version that costs $3.99 monthly, $11.99 annually, or a one-time payment of $24.99 for a lifetime subscription.
Pros & Cons of DrinkControl
DrinkControl Key Features
If you’d like to focus your mindful drinking practice on creating an alcohol-tracking habit, DrinkControl would be a great place to start. It’s incredibly easy to use and allows you to be specific about the drinks you’re consuming, which is why it earns the award for Best Alcohol Tracking app. Most of the tracking tools are free, but users can get extra features, like customizable tracking notifications, with the premium version.
DrinkControl makes it easy to log daily drinks and identify patterns in drinking behaviors with its color-coded system. You can log a drink by going to the “Today” section or the “Calendar” section and tapping on the current day. When you click “Add a Drink,” it’ll show you a list of images of common drinks, like wine, beer, champagne, whiskey, or vodka. You’ll enter the type of drink, the number of drinks you consumed, the ABV per serving, and the cost of each drink. DrinkControl saves your common drinking choices, making it easier to log as you go. When viewing the monthly calendar, each day gets coded by a specific color: green = dry days, blue = drinking within limits, purple = over your limit, and red = binge drinking.
How to Sign Up for the DrinkControl App
You can sign up for DrinkControl by downloading the app from the Apple App Store.
Best App with Peer Support – Dry Days by AlcoChange
Dry Days is a mindful drinking app that allows users to connect with friends to practice mindful drinking or participate in sober challenges together. You can track drinks, dry days, and the quality of your sleep, energy, and mood. Dry Days is free to download and is currently only available on Apple devices.
How Much Does Dry Days Cost?
Dry Days is completely free to join.
Pros & Cons of Dry Days
Dry Days Key Features
Dry Days wins our award for Best Mindful Drinking App with Peer Support because it makes it super easy to invite friends and collectively practice mindful drinking together. Cutting back on alcohol isn’t always easy, but facing a challenge like this with friends or family can encourage commitment to your sober curious journey. New users can invite friends to download and join Dry Days by going to the main menu in the right-hand corner of the screen and tapping “Share the App.” Dry Days will send a text to your contact with instructions on signing up.
The main dashboard lists your progress through various metrics, like dry day streaks and money saved over the week, month, and year. To check to see how your month or week compares to a friend, simply click on the “Leaderboard” section, and everyone’s dry day totals will be listed. There’s also a “My Journey” section that shows the data logged for each individual day, including the number of drinks, quality of sleep, energy levels, and overall mood.
How to Sign Up for the Dry Days App
You can sign up for Dry Days by downloading the app from the Apple App Store.
Best App with Gamification Techniques – Less
Less is a mindful drinking app that uses a game with an animated ship and captain to encourage users to track alcohol consumption. Sticking to your mindful drinking path leads to smooth sailing, and going over your limits causes storms and rough waters. Less is free to download and is currently only available on Apple devices.
How Much Does the Less App Cost?
Less is completely free to join.
Pros & Cons of the Less App
Less Key Features
The Less app has one vital key feature, and that’s keeping your mindful drinking ship sailing smoothly! Less’ entertaining strategy is why it earned the award for Best Mindful Drinking App with Gamification Techniques. While playing a simple game to track drinks may seem silly to some, gamification methods like this have shown strong scientific evidence for influencing behavior changes around unhealthy habits, like quitting drinking or smoking.4
By achieving dry days and keeping your drinking under your weekly limit, the animated ship on your dashboard will continue to sail smoothly while the waters remain calm and the sun shines. If you miss daily logs or consistently go over your limits, the waters become rougher, and storms appear. In addition to the sailing game, the Less app also has a “Tips” section that includes articles and podcasts on mindful drinking and mocktail recipes.
How to Sign Up for the Less App
You can sign up for Less by downloading the app from the Apple App Store.
Best App with Medication Treatment Options – LifeBac
LifeBac is an app and web platform that offers private coaching and medication treatment options to those looking to quit or cut back on drinking. LifeBac’s program is for those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and those who are practicing mindful drinking and fighting cravings. LifeBac costs $249.00 monthly or $672 quarterly, and both plans include the cost of medication.
How Much Does LifeBac Cost?
LifeBac subscriptions cost $249.00 monthly or $672.00 quarterly. Both plans include the cost of medication.
Pros & Cons of LifeBac
LifeBac Key Features
LifeBac is one of the few companies that offers medication treatment options to those who are not necessarily abstaining from alcohol but hoping to moderate their drinking. The process starts with a comprehensive questionnaire on drinking habits and cravings. Then, you’re paired up with a LifeBac medical provider who conducts an intake evaluation.
If your medical provider believes you’re eligible to treat your alcohol cravings with Baclofen, the medication used to fight cravings, it will be automatically mailed to you for free in discreet packaging. Meanwhile, you’re paired with a personal coach to help you set realistic and achievable goals for curbing your drinking. LifeBac offers unlimited phone/text communication with coaches and medical providers to ensure members are on the right track with dosage and personal support.
What is Baclofen?
Baclofen is an FDA-approved drug that was initially created to treat muscle spasms. In recent studies, Baclofen also showed efficacy in fighting alcohol cravings and anxiety.5
Baclofen works by activating GABA receptors in the brain, which can help patients relax. Because GABA receptors are also activated by alcohol, Baclofen can suppress alcohol cravings when taken correctly.6
How to Sign Up for LifeBac
You can sign up for LifeBac by going to the LifeBac website or by downloading it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.
If you’re thinking about joining the sober curious movement and you’d like to use an app to cut back on drinking, the mindful drinking apps listed in this guide are a great place to start. Reviewing each app’s key features can help you pinpoint what mindful drinking app suits you and your personal goals.
For instance, if you’d like to create a shared leaderboard with friends in a Dry January sober challenge, Dry Days would be a terrific resource. If you prefer a more sophisticated app with tracking tools, games, support meetings, and educational lessons, Reframe is an excellent option. Practicing mindful drinking can take some time, attention, and patience, but with the help of the right app, you can completely transform your relationship with alcohol.
Seven-day Free Trial
$99.99 Monthly for Messaging Pass
$249.99 Monthly for Coaching Pass
|Best Overall Mindful Drinking App|
$29.00 Every three months
14-day Free Trial
|Best App for 1:1 Support|
|Try Dry||Free||Best Free Mindful Drinking App|
|Best Alcohol Tracking App|
|Dry Days by AlcoChange||Free||Best App with Peer Support|
|Less||Free||Best App with Gamification Techniques|
|LifeBac||$249.00 Monthly, including medication costs|
$672.00 Quarterly, including medication costs
|Best App with Medication Treatment Options|