If you want to understand or limit your drinking habits, Sunnyside may be able to help. Read our review and our testers’ experiences to learn if Sunnyside is right for you.

person is holding an iPhone with the screen facing them. On the screen is Sunnyside's app, open to the tracking drinks portion. The image is provided by the tester, Beanie.Share on Pinterest
Designed by Jackie Cruz; Image Courtesy of Beanie

Drinking is a common pastime, and there’s nothing wrong with a few drinks now and then.

But consuming alcohol can be habit forming and contribute to physical and mental health concerns if you often drink to excess.

Being mindful of how much you drink can help you moderate your drinking and help you maintain a positive relationship with alcohol. The Sunnyside app contains numerous easy-to-use tools that can promote mindfulness around alcohol consumption and has a community of others who have the same goal.

Sunnyside at a glance

What we liked

  • reminders from the app
  • planning and tracking tools
  • active community of users supporting other users
  • easy to use
  • access to other health resources
  • available on iOS and Android

What we didn’t like

  • expensive
  • messaging may not feel helpful to all
  • few mindfulness tools
  • must pay full price for full access after free trial
  • must share phone number and profile from App Store
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What is Sunnyside?

Sunnyside was founded by Nick Allen and Ian Andersen in 2020 under the name Cutback Coach as a response to increased alcohol consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Allen, he grew up with parents in recovery from alcohol use disorder and understood the importance of sobriety.

But he believed there was a way that people could still enjoy alcohol while being mindful of their consumption. He felt that the right tools — such as a community focused on a similar goal and positive habit-forming techniques — could help people set themselves up for success.

Sunnyside is an app available for iOS-compatible device, available for download on the App Store. Sunnyside is also available on the Google Play store, making it compatible for Android.

It costs $99.99 per year to use, and with it, you’ll get access to a variety of tools to help you be more mindful about your alcohol consumption.

One of the app’s most notable features is daily automated text messages and app notifications that help you easily track how much you drink each day and your progress for the week. The volume of messages may feel overwhelming to some users.

Sunnyside also has an active community feature within the app allowing people to share stories about their reasons for wanting to be mindful of their drinking habits.

You can share your posts or stories and give your support to others in the app. But you’re typically limited in how often you can interact with another user’s posts.

The app also helps you set your drinking goals a day or week at a time.

Some app users can get a consultation for medications meant to help people with alcohol use disorder and receive treatment through their insurance.

A bit about our testers

Some names have been changed at the request of testers.

We had two testers give the Sunnyside app a try.

Tim Jewell (he/him) is a writer and linguist based in Chino Hills, California. He’s a fan of craft beer and distilled spirits like bourbon and scotch, but he’s always been careful about his relationship to alcohol. (Full disclosure: He also wrote this article.)

In his own words, Jewell isn’t a superstitious person, but a fortune teller in Venice, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, once told him to “stay away from alcohol,” and he took that as a sign to never drink more than he could handle.

“I don’t drink often, but I notice that I sometimes drink several days in a row or have drinking habits that detract from my overall sense of well-being long after I’ve finished drinking,” Jewell said.

Beanie (they/them) is a bit reserved but opens up once they feel comfortable with people. In social settings, it’s especially hard for them to be themselves. Alcohol has helped in the past with this.

Beanie hoped to use the Sunnyside app to “try and drink more mindfully, limit the amount of times I drink because I can, and focus on why I want another drink.” They’re also in therapy to work on their social anxiety and are becoming “better (but still awkward) around new folks.”

Features of Sunnyside

Courtesy of Beanie

Sunnyside’s main feature is the ability to build out a detailed weekly plan for drinking. The app uses some creative and engaging methods to incentivize tracking with little pressure.

Beanie was impressed by the tracking feature, saying that “tracking was pretty easy. You could text emojis of wine, beer, sake, etc. and the app transferred it to the tracking mechanism. That was pretty fun.”

What Beanie didn’t find helpful, though, is when they missed a day of logs, the app “assumed” that they had zero drinks. “For a mindfulness app, that didn’t seem all too mindful to ‘assume’ I hadn’t had anything to drink. It’d be more helpful if someone checked in to see if I’m OK or why I didn’t log.”

Users of the app also receive automated daily messages to help track consumption as well as hold themselves accountable. There were also pre-chosen questions and prompts that connected you to a human coach.

Courtesy of Beanie

Beanie used this feature when they felt like they weren’t getting something because the app wasn’t working too well for them.

The prompt was “I’d like to learn how to get the most out of Sunnyside.” A coach responded to the message a few minutes later, sending a long paragraph response on the features Sunnyside has and how to get the most out of them.

Jewell enjoyed the daily messages, saying that they “allowed me to easily log how many drinks I had on any given day without even needing to open the app or feel the shame of having to report my drinking to a person/sponsor.” Beanie, however, felt that the messaging fell flat, and that it was almost robotic.

Sunnyside also leaned heavily on making a community available for people to share their experiences and support others in the community.

Courtesy of Beanie

“The community seemed pretty tight,” Beanie said. “Every day in the app, a prompt came up and you could choose to journal on it or write a sentence or two. You had the option to share with the community and get extra love if you needed it. I loved that.”

Jewell also said that “it was refreshing to be a part of a digital ‘support group’ of sorts with a certain level of anonymity.”

Both testers also had overall positive experiences with the design and usability of the app, but the more personal benefits they got from the app varied.

Cost of Sunnyside

It costs $99.99 per year for full access to Sunnyside’s features.

You can also pay $12 for monthly access to Sunnyside or $29 for a 3-month subscription. A 15-day free trial is available, which is what both of our testers used. However, with the end of the free trial, you don’t have access to the progress you’ve made unless you make an account and pay the full price of Sunnyside.

“When I tried to access my profile after my trial was over, the screen was whited out and showed the annual payment option as the only way to regain access to my results,” Beanie said. They said it felt a bit unfair to not be able to see the progress they had made and to only have the option to subscribe annually.

Getting started with Sunnyside

To get started, download the Sunnyside app from the App Store on an iPhone or other iOS-compatible device, or from the Google Play store for Android-compatible devices.

When you open the app, you’ll be asked to set up a weekly plan. The app will walk you through each of the following steps to build a customized plan:

  • your name
  • your main reason for wanting to improve your drinking habits
  • key areas that the app recommends working on
  • other high level goals you want to focus on
  • your current drinking habits
  • your email address to receive regular communications for tracking drinks and receiving information
  • how much you typically drink during each day of the week
  • personal details like your sex assigned at birth and age

The app will then request your phone number so it can send you text messages. Note that the app will also send a detailed plan for achieving your drinking goals to your email.

If you’re still not sure if you want to commit, you can ask the app to walk you through the science behind its approach and how its programs are structured.

Reviews and reputation about Sunnyside

Sunnyside has a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the Apple Store based on over 1,000 reviews, at time of publication. Most of the reviews are 5 stars, and users like that the app helps them stay accountable for drinking and think about how many drinks they’re having.

Sunnyside released the app on Android on April 24, 2024. They don’t have active reviews at the time of publish.

Ratings that are 3 stars or below discuss how the app keeps sending text messages even after they’ve canceled their free trial or subscription. Some even mention how they were still charged, even if they canceled before the end of the free trial. Sunnyside’s customer service seem to be on top of it, though, and most users are able to get a refund.

One user wrote that they didn’t find Sunnyside worth it, but that it could be helpful for some. They edited their review a week later and mentioned they received a refund. Though Sunnyside’s terms and conditions mention that all fees are nonrefundable, its FAQ page mentions that they’re “nice about refunds if [the app] is truly not right for you.”

Our tester Tim loved the app and found it easy to use. He liked how easy it was to log drinks any day without needing to open the app, and without “shame of having to report my drinking to a person/sponsor.”

Jewell and Beanie also loved the community aspect of the app. Jewell said it “allowed [him] to publicly post about [his] drinking consumption goals for other users to read and support others who openly shared their goals and mindset.” Beanie loved how if you shared with the community, you were able to “get extra love if you needed it.”

The only downside Jewell found was the number of texts he received from the company.

Courtesy of Beanie

Beanie didn’t find the experience to be too good or bad either way. “The experience I had with Sunnyside was pretty mediocre,” they said. “For a mindfulness drinking app, there wasn’t much to be mindful about … it wasn’t much hands-on with things to keep in mind on drinking habits.”

While tracking their drinks made Beanie more aware of their drinking, “Another push or quote/phrase to keep in mind when drinking would be a lot more helpful to not have that drink.”

When Beanie didn’t drink or log drinks a couple days before their trial ended, they got a text saying Sunnyside would “assume 0 drinks for yesterday.” “Assumptions, especially when you’re trying to be more mindful about drinking, aren’t really helpful,” Beanie said.

Sunnyside vs. competitors

Price per yearFeaturesFree trial?1:1 support available?
Sunnyside$99.99– automated messaging
– active user community
– access to health resources
yes (2 weeks)yes
I Am Sober$39.99– active user community
– connect with other users directly
– goal-setting tools for motivation
yes (1 week)yes
Reframe$119.99– robust drink-tracking calendar
– science-based courses
– active user community
yes (1 week)no
DrinkControl$24.99– basic, metric-based tracking tools
– robust habit-building activities
– tools for data analysis and export
yes no

Who is Sunnyside best for?

Sunnyside is best for people who want to reduce their drinking or create more mindful habits about their alcohol consumption.

Courtesy of Beanie

Jewell noted that the app seemed most useful for “people who want to reduce their alcohol consumption or be more mindful of their drinking and how it intersects with their mental and physical health.”

Sunnyside also appears to be good for people who want to manage their drinking in a way that’s easy, convenient, and supported by a community. “If you’re looking for an online community and need a place to easily track your drinks, I’d recommend Sunnyside,” Beanie said.

When to not use Sunnyside

Sunnyside is meant for people who drink casually. It is not for people with alcohol use disorder, who are dealing with health-related effects of alcohol consumption, or who need strong support for reducing or abstaining from drinking.

Beanie doesn’t recommend the app for “anyone who needs one-on-one coaching or who wants a more involved approach” due to the mostly automated, anonymous, and overall hands-off approach of the app.

Neither of the testers felt strongly enough about the app to use the app more extensively beyond the free trial period.

Courtesy of Beanie

Beanie called the experience with Sunnyside “mediocre” and felt that “there wasn’t much to be mindful about. It could help out some people, but it just wasn’t right for me.”

Beanie used one of the prompts Sunnyside provides when they didn’t feel like they were getting the most out of the app. The answer they got was one they described as “generic, robotic-like. It made me more disconnected from the app because it didn’t feel personal at all.”

Jewell ultimately decided not to continue using the app because it was “expensive, overwhelming with information, and came off as having a cheesy tone.”

Frequently asked questions about Sunnyside

Sunnyside has been positively reviewed by many people who have used the app to drink more mindfully and engage in a community of like-minded people who want to improve their relationship with alcohol. However, based on our testers’ experiences, it may not fit well for everyone.

It is not recommended for people with alcohol use disorder or who need the support of a professional to help them quit or manage their drinking habits.

You can cancel your subscription by logging in to the Sunnyside website, clicking “manage subscription,” and then “cancel.” You can also cancel by texting “STOP” to the Sunnyside number and follow the prompts it gives you.

If you downloaded the app from the Apple Store, you’ll need to cancel through the App Store.

  1. Click on your name/account profile in the top right corner.
  2. Click on “subscriptions.” Sunnyside should be under “active” subscriptions.
  3. Click on the Sunnyside banner, then hit “cancel.”

Some users report that when texting the Sunnyside number to cancel, they still get texts about tracking drinks. You can contact customer service to stop this from happening, though.

If you do a free trial, it’s important to cancel your trial before the end date so that you don’t get charged.

Sunnyside’s terms and conditions mention that the service is nonrefundable. However, on its FAQ page, it mentions that it’s “nice about refunds if it’s truly not right for you.”

You can cancel your subscription before your free trial ends or 1–2 days before you’re billed for your subscription.

Anecdotal reports suggest that mindful drinking may have benefits, such as:

  • confidence that comes with control over decisions
  • more engagement in social situations
  • increased creativity in trying activities that don’t include alcohol
  • increased awareness about feelings in situations that might otherwise encourage drinking

Reframe and Sunnyside have their own merits based on your goals — neither is necessarily better than the other.

Reframe is more focused on education and customization, while Sunnyside is more focused on tracking and community.

Reframe is also more expensive than Sunnyside, but it’s important to note that Sunnyside is more expensive than many other competitor tools.

Sunnyside costs $99.99 per year.

You can also pay $12 per month or $29 for 3 months.

There’s a free 15-day trial of Sunnyside. But there isn’t a free version that you can use after the free trial period ends.


Sunnyside may be a good choice for people who want to drink more mindfully. It isn’t a good option for people with alcohol use disorder who are seeking professional help. Mindful drinking can have a variety of health benefits, and Sunnyside specializes in helping people achieve those results.

But the cost of the app may be too prohibitive for some. Neither of the testers felt that the app provided enough value for the price in spite of the easy tracking tools and strong community.