Keep up to date with all the research from the
Hello Sunday Morning team.

2020 – Faster Horses Research

Faster Horses

Research Summary

The purpose of the research is to uncover behaviours and attitudes to alcohol consumption in Australia – reporting back on changes over time, or by geographic/demographic/other cohorts.

2019 – The economic impact of changing our relationship with alcohol: the Daybreak program

Alistair Furnival, Catherine McGovern, Evaluate Consulting

Research Summary

Daybreak helps Australians to change their relationship with alcohol with access to an on-line peer community, habit changing activities and supports, and one-on-one chats with health coaches. This paper analyses Hello Sunday Morning’s Daybreak, including comparing the Daybreak app as a standalone intervention against a broader program including the app coupled with counselling. The core conclusion of this review is that the Daybreak program provides a return on investment to the broader economy in the range of 2.49:1 for every dollar provided by the Federal Government.

2019 – A Digital Intervention Addressing Alcohol Use Problems (the “Daybreak” Program): Quasi-Experimental Randomized Controlled Trial

Robert J Tait, Raquel Paz Castro, Jessica Jane Louise Kirkman, Jamie Christopher Moore, Michale P. Schaub, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University, Swiss Research Institute for Public Health and Addiction, University of Zurich

Research Summary

Alcohol use is prevalent in many societies and has major adverse impacts on health, but the availability of effective interventions limits treatment options for those who want assistance in changing their patterns of alcohol use. This study evaluated the new Daybreak program, which is accessible via mobile app and desktop and was developed by Hello Sunday Morning to support high-risk drinking individuals looking to change their relationship with alcohol. In particular, we compared the effect of adding online coaching via real-time chat messages (intervention group) to an otherwise self-guided program (control group). 

2016 – Victorian participation in Hello Sunday Morning: Benefits, barriers and strategies when giving up alcohol


Research Summary

Preventing harm from alcohol is one of VicHealth’s five strategic imperatives identified in our Action Agenda for Health Promotion to improve the health of all Victorians. To achieve this goal, VicHealth is committed to influencing drinking cultures to encourage more Victorians to drink less. This research sought to explore how participation in Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) impacts drinking behaviour among Victorians, and the motivations, barriers and enablers experienced by Victorian HSM users during their engagement with the program. VicHealth funded the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (part of Turning Point at the time) to undertake this research, with results finding that HSM is likely to be an effective mechanism both for reducing an individual’s drinking, and for changing the way that people think about alcohol – both important steps towards re-shaping cultures of drinking.

2015 – Online self-expression and experimentation as ‘reflectivism’: using text analytics to examine the participatory forum Hello Sunday Morning

Nicholas Carah, Carla Meurk, Daniel Angus, University of Queensland


Hello Sunday Morning is an online health promotion organisation that began in 2009. Hello Sunday Morning asks participants to stop consuming alcohol for a period of time, set a goal and document their progress on a personal blog. Hello Sunday Morning is a unique health intervention for three interrelated reasons: (1) it was generated outside a clinical setting, (2) it uses new media technologies to create structured forms of participation in an iterative and open-ended way and (3) participants generate a written record of their progress along with demographic, behavioural and engagement data. This article presents a text analysis of the blog posts of Hello Sunday Morning participants using the software program Leximancer. Analysis of blogs illustrates how participants’ expressions change over time. In the first month, participants tended to set goals, describe their current drinking practices in individual and cultural terms, express hopes and anxieties and report on early efforts to change. After month 1, participants continued to report on efforts to change and associated challenges and reflect on their place as individuals in a drinking culture. In addition to this, participants evaluated their efforts to change and presented their ‘findings’ and ‘theorised’ them to provide advice for others. We contextualise this text analysis with respect to Hello Sunday Morning’s development of more structured forms of online participation. We offer a critical appraisal of the value of text analytics in the development of online health interventions.

2014 – Rethinking social marketing: towards a sociality of consumption

Marie-Louise Fry, Journal of Social Marketing


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how members of an online alcohol reduction community learn, construct and engage in alcohol reduction consumption consistencies. Design/methodology/approach – Blog data from 15 individuals participating in the online community of Hello Sunday Morning were collected and analysed. Informants also participated in a series of in-depth interviews to gain a self-reflective perspective of alcohol reduction action, activities and interactions. Findings – The findings indicate learning of new alcohol reduction consumption consistencies occurs through three modes or learning infrastructures: engagement, imagination and alignment, enabling a collective sense of connection in the creation of new alcohol-related rituals and traditions, competency of practices and transmission of values and norms beyond the community. Research limitations/implications – The results underscore the need for social marketers to recognise learning of alcohol reduction behaviour is continually negotiated and dynamically engendered through socially reproduced conditions, responses and relationships. Originality/value – This study contributes to the transformational potential of social marketing situating behaviour change as a social interaction between actors within a dynamic market system. Keywords Culture, Alcohol, Behaviour change, Habits, Community of practice, Responsible drinking Paper type – Research paper

2014 – Profiling Hello Sunday Morning: Who are the participants?

Nicholas Carah, Carla Meurk, Wayne Hall, University of Queensland


Background: To profile the demographics, goals and alcohol consumption of participants in Hello Sunday Morning, an online forum discussing experiences in abstaining from alcohol. Methods: All participants in Hello Sunday Morning were invited to enter demographic, self- reported goals and alcohol consumption data. We report on data from 3037 participants. Main outcome measures are age, gender, country of residence, self-reported goals and alcohol consumption measures (AUDIT). Results: 64% of Hello Sunday Morning participants were under the age of 40. Participants were more likely to be female and riskier drinkers than other treatment seeking populations. Conclusions: Hello Sunday Morning attracts a unique population of heavy drinking participants. Future research is needed to examine whether participants’ self-reported alcohol consumption changes after participation.

2013 Research report: Measuring blog engagement and social impact

James Morrell, Nicholas Carah, Daniel Angus, University of Queensland

In this study, three separate but similar analyses were conducted in order to determine which factors influence the content produced by HSMers. The main aim of this research was to determine which factors influence the content produced by HSM users.

HSM FARE research video

In this brief presentation, Dr Nicholas Carah explains the outcomes of the evaluation conducted by the University of Queensland funded by FARE.

June 2012 - One Sunday at a time: Evaluation Hello Sunday Morning

Ben Hamley, Hello Sunday Morning, Dr. Nicholas Carah, University of Queensland

The aim of this research was to evaluate the social impact of HSM. The objectives of the project were to build an evidence-base for the effectiveness of the program.

2011 Research report

Ben Hamley, Hello Sunday Morning, Dr. Nicholas Carah, University of Queensland

The aim of this research was to evaluate Hello Sunday Morning and understand how participants use Hello Sunday Morning to change their own drinking practices and the drinking culture at large.

An analysis of Victorian Hello Sunday Morning blog content

Amy Pennay, Georgia Rankin, Sarah MacLean

HSM is a blogging website that supports people to stay sober for a self-determined period of time. Those who sign up instantly have a platform and network to discuss their transition to abstinence, creating an environment that enables people to change their drinking behaviour and attitudes associated with alcohol. Despite HSM seeing rapid growth in its uptake, little research has been undertaken to investigate the impact of HSM in altering drinking behaviours and attitudes. The aim of this project is to therefore analyse how participation in HSM impacts drinking behaviour among Victorians and to explore the motivations, barriers and enablers experienced by Victorian HSM Users during their engagement with the program.

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