Gen Y and Z TikTok users are reviewing their relationship with alcohol in the form of 'damp drinking'. With 12 billion views on the platform, the movement has tapped into a burgeoning rejection of alcohol and drinking culture, as people prioritise health and choosing their own path.
TikTok's ‘damp drinking’ contributes to a series of online trends – including sober curiosity – that show users renegotiating their relationship with alcohol. With roughly one in three Gen Y and Z drinkers having heard of 'damp drinking', and 55% 'very interested' in trying it, it's clear the movement has surpassed social media and is firmly embedded in real-world habits. Hana Elson, the online creator who coined the term ‘damp lifestyle’, says the movement is all about striking a balance between overindulgence and total sobriety. Damp drinking speaks to a mindset shift among Gen Yers and Zers as they prioritise their wellbeing – with 66% saying mental health is a major reason that they're looking to alter their drinking habits.
Gen Zers are already speaking openly online about the negative impact that alcohol can have on their lives, with #hangxiety garnering over 126 million views on TikTok. However, they're prioritising a balanced lifestyle rather than sticking to a stringent sober regime. Indeed, a growing number of young people are also embracing low- and no-alcohol drinks. Increasingly popular are brands like Kin Euphorics, created by Bella Hadid as a way to socialise without drinking alcohol. As young people increasingly place their health and wellbeing first, they're gravitating towards brands that encourage tempered drinking and innovative non-alcoholic options.