7 time Juno award-winning artist Serena Ryder celebrated 4 years of sobriety this past fall (CONGRATULATIONS!). We admire how Serena has used her platform to talk about her decision to stop drinking alcohol, as well as her choice to partner with Libra Non-Alcoholic Beer. Both moves have helped normalize sobriety and made others on a similar path feel less alone.

Knowing that many of you are currently doing Dry January, we connected with Serena to ask her what her top tips are for making it through the month (and beyond).

  1. Let your friends know about your choice so they can support you! 
  2. Have some yummy alternatives stocked up in your fridge! (My fave is Libra Pale Ale.)
  3. Go out and dance!! Dancing is the best medicine there is …and the great thing about going out to dance is that nobody is actually watching you—they’re there for themselves too! Breaking a sweat is so healthy on SO many levels. I know often we’ll have some drinks to “blow off some steam” but we all know it never ACTUALLY works. In fact, it does the opposite and bottles more steam inside . The best way to blow off steam is to actually sweat it out! Try like ONE song and TRY and tell me you don’t feel sooo much better afterwards. Go somewhere to dance, or dance at home. I love doing both.
  4. Start a routine — pick one thing that’s new and fun and add it to your day. I find that drinking used to be a way for me to deal with uncomfortable feelings but our inner child is the one we need to actually take care of. I’ve started doing arts and crafts to satiate that part of myself and give it a voice. 
  5. Meditation!! I know we’ve all heard this a billion times but that is because it actually works! Find at least 3 minutes a day to sit and pay attention to your breath or even listen to short, calming guided meditation. It’s amazing how much space your busy brain can take up in your life… give yourself a little break with a few deep breaths.

Stopping drinking was a total game-changer for Serena. “It made my life better,” she told us, in a 2021 interview. “Whenever I incorporate something that makes my life feel better, I know that I want to keep it as a part of my life…even just having more balance… taking a little breather from drinking brings a lot of clarity.”

If you are one of the many Canadians doing Dry January, and are noticing that things are more manageable without alcohol, we encourage you to keep going! See what happens after 2 months, 6 months… If you are one of the many people who started Dry January but ended up drinking, go easy on yourself. Tomorrow is always a new day. “Take it one day at a time and say, I’m not going to drink today.”