"Alcohol can reduce anxiety immediately after intake," says Clyde W. Hodge, Ph.D., a professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "It also has antidepressant properties." Problem is, this temporary lift is followed by a mood hangover. Hodge and his researchers found that mice consuming a moderate amount of alcohol every day for 28 days seemed bummed out after 2 weeks of abstinence. What happens, says Hodge, is a reduction of new neurons in the part of the brain that appears to regulate mood.