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For those battling addiction, the story is all too familiar. In fact, it’s almost scripted: (a) head out
for a night on the town with friends, (b) have the first couple of drinks, which leads to (c) even
more drinks and (d) a night that was apparently a blast—at least according to after-the-fact
stories—but a night that you don’t happen to remember at all.
Every partier has a few of these stories: checking your Instagram feed to remember what
exactly you did last night; waking up next to one of those poor decisions; paying credit card bills
for drinks you don’t remember enjoying; apologizing for things you would never have done if
you’d realized you were doing them. It’s a shame, sure. But alcohol and drugs are so
interwoven into the party scene that it’s impossible to have fun without exposing yourself to
these temptations. Right?
Maybe not. A new trend, called “sober clubbing,” is popping up in cities across the world. As the
global culture of young and single adults becomes more concerned with health and personal
responsibility, clubs are sponsoring alcohol-free raves for those who want the party without the
Some, a recent sober party in Sweden, actually require entrants to submit to a breathalyzer before
coming through the door. Once they’re in, they can enjoy an evening of non-alcoholic drinks,
pounding music, a lively dance floor, and—best—the company of others in search of both fun
and sobriety.
Another “sober clubbing” concept goes even farther, attaching the rave format to an even more
ambitiously healthy pursuit. Daybreaker parties, true to their name, begin just as the typical club
scene is winding down. Attendees begin their Daybreaker experience at 6 a.m. with an hour of
yoga. However, this yoga isn’t led by a pony-tailed ex-hippie, and there’s no annoying hum of
ambient music; instead, Daybreaker yoga happens with a live DJ.
After the yoga wraps up, participants enjoy a two-hour dance party—to start their day. The
parties have been successful in New York, Denver, Toronto, Paris, and a host of other cities.
The event organizers attribute their popularity to the simple power of communal dancing;
according to the Daybreak website, dancing with others releases dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin,
and endorphins—which means dancers at Daybreak events get all the brain’s “happy
chemicals” without loss of sobriety or a hangover.
If you’re interested in keeping in the Daybreaker loop to find out when they’ll be near you—or to
try to bring them to your city—there’s an email form on their website.
Happy dancing!