Recent studies have shown a whirl of trends (such as Sober Curious) indicating that both millennials and Gen-Zers may be drinking less than previous generations. Some reasons hint towards these younger generations having a better idea of what it’s like to live a balanced life.

For example, it was found that more millennials consider their mental and physical health an essential expense as compared to other generations. Therefore, saving money on alcohol might be at the forefront of their financial habits. Those who lead positive lifestyles by engaging in a mindful activity or physical exercise may also have a better sense of balance, therefore, alleviating the need to seek stress-reduction habits through substances.

American Addiction Centers conducted a survey of 3,400 millennials and Gen-Zers about their lifestyle and drinking habits and discovered that almost 2 in 3 in the Old Line State (60%) said if given the choice, they’d rather go to the gym than to the bar for an hour. Further, the survey found that a substantial 69% of millennials and Gen-Zers said they find heavy drinking culture boring, which may explain why so many would rather lift dumbbells than drinks!

When compared across states, it appears millennials and Gen-Zers in Utah are more inclined towards balanced lives with 82% saying they’d pick a gym workout over going to a bar. Comparatively, 69% of those in Wyoming would opt for the bar instead.

Infographic showing survey results across the nation

Considering Millennials had the highest social media usage reach among adults in the US, many habits, trends, and behaviors may be adopted by influence from these platforms. Therefore, it’s perhaps no wonder that more than a quarter (27%) said they’re encouraged to replicate the healthy lifestyles portrayed by social media influencers online. In fact, 80% of Millennials and Gen-Zers said they encourage their parents to live a healthier lifestyle too.

A separate survey by found that 1 in 3 Americans who use social media platforms say influencers are strong advocates for addiction awareness and substance use prevention. And given the wide spectrum of their following, more than a third of respondents also believed celebrities have a social responsibility to promote a clean, substance-free lifestyle.

American Addiction Centers also discovered that finances may indeed contribute to younger people not drinking as much: more than three-quarters think it’s cheaper to live a healthy lifestyle than it is to participate in heavy drinking culture. Millennials and Gen-Zers are re-evaluating their practical relationship with alcohol with more of them considering it less of a necessary expense.

It’s easy to attribute our changing lifestyle habits to the pandemic over the last year but when asked, 77% of millennials and Gen-Zers said even if there hadn’t been a year of lockdowns and other restrictions, they still wouldn’t have a strong desire to continue partying.

In fact, nearly half (46%) of respondents said they look forward to the post-workout buzz after exercise more so than they enjoy being tipsy after a few drinks. However, 16% said they do toast a good workout session with a beer afterward.

One-third also said they tend to look forward to a workout session with their friends more than a night out drinking.

Finally, when asked what they’d do instead of going on a big night out involving heavy drinking, nearly half (40%) said they would rather have a game night with friends, while 29% would prefer to sit back and watch Netflix for the night. Sixteen percent would rather go on an outdoor walk or hike,12% said they’d enjoy spending time with family and 3% said they would rather do a mindful activity, like journaling or meditating.

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