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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Sobriety

In Elemental. More on Medium.

There are real physical, psychological, and social benefits for people in recovery

Photo: Ryan McVay/Getty Images

Scott Lapollo runs up to a popular path encircling a reservoir at the edge of Boston and smiles at the sight of hordes of other runners doing laps.


The Nuance

The evidence is mixed on whether taking a month off drinking makes a difference

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

Every week, the Nuance will go beyond the basics, offering a deep and researched look at the latest science and expert insights on a buzzed-about health topic.


Illustrations: Sammy Stein

Why people are giving up drinking, even when they don’t have a problem

On a warmer-than-average Thursday evening in February, 40 women gathered in Philadelphia’s industrial-chic Front Street Cafe for happy hour — but instead of ordering rosé or craft beer, they sipped artisanal mocktails and locally brewed kombucha. Billed as an event for “sober, sober-sometimes, or sober-curious women,” the first 15 minutes or so were stilted. People were nervous, conversations got stuck in small talk mode, and nobody could order a round of shots to fast-track things to insta-party. But before too long, the room was buzzing with conversation and laughter. And yet, nobody was getting buzzed. “I used to think I…

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