"There can’t be good living where there is not good drinking," the 18th-century founding father, Benjamin Franklin, supposedly once quipped. Most Americans would seem to agree. After all, a majority of adults in this country drink. So, it's no surprise that, for many of us, abstinence from alcohol sounds like an exercise in needless self-flagellation.
Yet my own experience working with recovering alcoholics has been that kicking a drinking habit wasn’t just good for them; it was the best thing that could have happened to them. And recovering alcoholics aren’t the only people to report being healthier and happier after ditching the booze.
There are actually plenty of good reasons to choose sobriety as a lifestyle, whether or not you’re a problem drinker—on the grounds that you’ll feel happier. For starters, consider a few of the joys of life that you may have missed when drinking: