Daybreaker is a new morning dance party built entirely around sobriety, happiness and healthy living. It’s not about being holistic, or fit, or even just doing your body good – it’s about experiencing the pleasures of being human and moving in your own body without the use of drugs.
That concept – an entirely sober rave, with an angle on yoga and dancing – has never quite been this hip, which is why Daybreaker has taken 16 cities by storm and is among the first of a wave of many dance parties designed for sober living.
Daybreaker markets itself as a way to enjoy life through your body’s own natural chemicals, rather than the chemicals we arrange and ingest in order to feel artificial pleasure. These chemicals and neurotransmitters are:
- Dopamine, most commonly released during exercise to motivate and reward you.
- Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, released during cuddling and hugging.
- Serotonin, a mood regulator and the key ingredient to happiness.
- Endorphins, which act like morphine and dampen the effects of pain in a variety of situations.
These are all natural indicators your body utilizes to tell you you’re having a good time – and they’re all triggered through dance and intimacy. But before we delve into why having a good time while pursuing long-term sobriety is essential for anyone in recovery, and anyone else abstaining from addictive substances, let’s get down to what Daybreaker as a rave means.
What Is a Rave?
Raving was a concept long before the era of electronic dance and nightclubs, back when it solely meant to be ecstatic about something. Yet from that word came the modern rave, a festival incorporating the works of several DJs who mix live sets with the focus on getting the crowd moving. The genres don’t really matter – from acid house to speedcore, drum and bass, dub techno and more, there are at least about two dozen possible kinds of music to be found at a rave.
What the rave scene is also famous for is its party drug reputation. While not all raves are rife with drug use, the illegal use of ecstasy at nightclub raves is common enough to warrant a negative association between raves and certain branches of law enforcement. While it’s the often the biggest and loudest dance party of the last three generations, raves tend to be about letting loose, having fun, and forgetting yourself in a maelstrom of dance, music, lighting and fog machines.
Daybreaker sets itself apart by distinctly cutting a gash into two common identifiers of a rave – the nightclub scene, and drug use. By promoting sobriety and an early morning dance routine versus a nighttime musical thrashing, it attempts to juxtapose the fun and raw energy of a rave with pure wholesomeness, camaraderie and mindfulness – values some might see as tenets of sobriety.
The Idea of Partying Sober
It’s not just about being sober, and then heading to a party. When you’re sticking by the side of sobriety and dedicating yourself to your recovery, then the idea of a party is, well, a bad one. But partying sober is more than possible – you just have to choose the right party. Don’t hit the clubs or the bars and expect to be having a good time while constantly remembering that you’re trying to limit yourself.
Instead, attend a sober party. Sober partying has been a growing scene in the past few years, and it’ll become more popular as the need for better recovery and a better understanding of shameless recovery grows.
Dance Is More Than Intoxicating
Regardless of whether you’re in recovery or just looking for a good time without the pressure of grabbing a drink or something stronger, dancing is one of the best things few people do often enough. Aside from the pure physical benefits of getting moving and losing yourself in the beat enough to work up a sweat and then some, dancing is a way to express yourself, boost your self-esteem, let your creative juices flow and express pure joy beyond most other forms of exercise.
Dancing in a group amplifies the effect for most, taking the eyes off you and putting you in a situation where you get to move and connect with dozens of other people; friends and strangers alike.
Daybreaker began as a social experiment to test the idea, and has grown into an actual reproducible movement. It encourages people to break the rules of their schedule, start the day with a dance party rather than end the week with one, and harness the joy and pleasure of a rave as energy for the entire day, regardless of when you’re joining in to party.
“Getting High on Life”
Daybreaker is far from the first time we’ve explored the philosophy of actively enjoying and finding pure pleasure in life as it is, without addiction. Sacrificing an addiction isn’t meant to reduce your life to that of a simple ascetic, devoid of the basic pleasures of life and all the perks of hedonism, it’s meant to save your life and improve it in every way imaginable. Addiction, for all the pleasure it brings, is ultimately a massive social and emotional burden, a burning hole that tears through your life until nothing is left but ash and soot, and the faint will to rebuild it all.
Life after addiction isn’t about keeping yourself from remembering what it’s like to feel good, but it’s about feeling good without all the shame, the guilt, and the negative effects of addiction. It’s about enjoying raw life, seeing the bright side to things, and realizing how refreshing it is to be grateful and optimistic rather than steeping in cynicism and pain in-between highs.
Daybreaker is the world’s first organized and marketed rave to a completely drug-free community, designed specifically to promote sober living rather than promote drug use or avoid the subject altogether. And it will most definitely not be the last time such an event gets organized.