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Riding the Wave of Mindful Living: Exploring the ‘California Sober’ Lifestyle


American social culture is centered around the use of alcohol and drugs in one way or another. You go to happy hour with your coworkers, go to a winery with your girls, or grab a beer with the guys. These substances have become almost synonymous with socializing and unwinding, from college parties to family gatherings. Media influence, particularly in movies and TV shows, often glamorizes excessive drinking and drug use, portraying them as essential components of a fun and exciting social life.

Additionally, social norms and peer pressure play a significant role, pushing individuals to partake in these activities to fit in and avoid feeling like outsiders. For those who want to abstain from alcohol and drugs, it can feel very limiting. But what if there was a middle area between sober and not sober? A sober-ish, if you will. That’s where California sober comes in.

In this article, we’ll talk about the California sober approach and help you decide if you should try it for yourself.

Well, if I started drinking again, there would be a lot of people bringing me pot because I can’t handle alcohol. . . . I just am not a good drinker. I get a little alcohol in me and I start trying to change the world, and that’s not good. A lot of people are the same way. So that’s why I don’t drink anymore.- Willie Nelson


Defining California Sober

California Sober embraces a more flexible approach to sobriety, where individuals may choose to abstain from certain substances like hard drugs and heavy alcohol use but still incorporate moderate use of substances like cannabis. The lifestyle got its name from where it gained prominence – you guessed it, California!

This approach aligns with California’s more progressive and accepting attitude towards marijuana use, as it was one of the first states in the U.S. to legalize medicinal marijuana in 1996 and recreational use in 2016. However, people from various places worldwide have adopted similar principles and beliefs without being geographically tied to the state.

California sober is all about living life to the fullest while staying mindful of our choices. It’s about finding that sweet spot of moderation and being super self-aware of how substances can impact our lives. People who follow this lifestyle often believe that using substances like cannabis in moderation can still allow them to enjoy some benefits while minimizing the potential adverse effects of heavy substance use. By emphasizing self-awareness and mindfulness, you can build a better relationship with substances without any external influences.


Benefits of California Sober

“I stopped drinking due to some gut health issues and haven’t wanted to go back. Being Cali sober (along with a healthier diet and exercise) has helped me reduce inflammation in my body and thus my energy, sleep, and many areas of health have improved. My symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis have been drastically reduced. It also feels great being able to hang out with friends and party but not wake up feeling terrible for 2 days after.” – Brady Madden

The effects of the California sober lifestyle have not been clinically studied, but the benefits of reducing substance use have. Here are some of the potential benefits of adopting a California sober approach to substance use:

  • Improved Physical Health: When you cut back on substance use, your body will thank you big time! California sober means giving your body a break from those heavy substances like hard drugs and alcohol, which can lead to better overall health. You might notice more energy, improved sleep, and a healthier you!
  • Enhanced Mental Well-being: Mental health matters. Adopting a more mindful approach to substances opens the door to potential mental health benefits. Reduced anxiety, clearer thinking, and a more balanced state of mind could be in store for you. How amazing is that?
  • Emotional Growth: By exploring this lifestyle, you allow yourself to grow and discover more about who you are. It’s like embarking on a journey of self-discovery, and the destination is a more grounded and authentic version of yourself.


Remember, every person’s experience is unique, so it’s all about finding what works best for YOU. California sober offers some rad advantages, but it’s essential to listen to your heart and seek support if you need it.


person holding brown and black penNavigating California Sober

“I decided to go California Sober during the middle of wife’s first pregnancy because I wanted to be more on the same page as her leading up to the birth, and I’ve always felt that alcohol held me back from my true potential. Alcohol always lead me to making bad decisions with drugs, food, and sleep choices, which always lead to me feeling worse in the short-term and long-term. Once I stopped drinking, I ate better, worked out more, and felt better. This lead me to being able to be on the same page as my wife more often, help her whenever she needed, and feel more motivation to be a better human. Now that I have a child, run multiple businesses, and have another baby on the way, it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life in order to be my best self.” – John Shute, MBA

As we talked about, being California sober is still a deviation from the norm of American substance use. Even if you are choosing to incorporate cannabis into your life, there still may be challenges and pressures along the way. Here are a couple of tips on how to rock the California sober lifestyle with ease:

  • Curate a support system: Building a solid support network is like having a team of cheerleaders. Friends, family, or even support groups can be total game-changers. When navigating California sober, having people who understand and encourage you can make all the difference in sticking with it and thriving in your journey.
  • Keep going: The great thing about California sober is it’s about mindfulness, not milestones. If there is a day that you decide to indulge, it doesn’t set you day to Day 1. Use that opportunity to remember why you started the California sober lifestyle in the first place and guide yourself back on track.
  • Always BYO: If you are going to a social event where you know there will be alcohol, like a party or barbecue, bring your own cannabis beverage, CBD water, or other non-alcoholic drink. That way, you can maintain your boundaries without missing out on the social aspects of sharing a beverage with someone.
  • Seek professional help: If you’re navigating California sober and find yourself needing a little extra support, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals. Therapy can be an awesome tool for understanding yourself better, developing coping strategies, and overcoming any roadblocks you encounter.


Overall, the California sober lifestyle is a great way to be more mindful about your substance use by cutting back on drugs and alcohol but still partaking in cannabis. Embracing California sober is a personal choice, so there’s no pressure to fit into any mold or to adhere to any strict limitations. So, whether you choose to explore this lifestyle, take small steps towards a healthier you, or seek professional guidance, know that you have the power to shape your own path to a fulfilling and balanced life. The sun-soaked world of California sober is waiting for you, so ride the wave of mindful living and find your bliss.

**For individuals struggling with substance use disorders or addiction, seeking professional help, such as therapy or support groups, is essential for achieving long-term recovery and well-being.