Whether you’re in early recovery, later on in your journey, or just thinking about quitting drinking, there’s one thing that many of us learn sooner or later: It is important to keep your recovery toolbox well-stocked. That’s why, as part of our parent company Tempest teaming up with popular sober Instagram account @teedoodler to bring you some great Recovery Month content, we wanted to know ALL about the best recovery tools in YOUR arsenal.
Last week, we shared advice from our community on how to quit drinking for those who are too afraid to try. This week, we’re talking about what to do once you get there. Keeping a robust recovery toolbox is really important because it is how many of us stay sober. We don’t just white-knuckle not drinking; we also make sure to engage in plenty of other activities and interests that fill our lives in unimaginably wonderful ways to replace alcohol with new coping mechanisms.
And so, we bring you this: A list of the top 20 recovery tools that our audience says is crucial to their own recovery. Whether you’re new to recovery or have years under your belt, we can all use a little help sometimes. So check out this list and, hey, maybe try something new for yourself. Then, head to Instagram and tell us: What tools have helped YOU the most so far?
1. Exercise: Things like yoga, HIIT cardio, running, dancing, and CrossFit were some of the more popular recommendations. But, really, any kind of moving your body is good for you!
2. Therapy: Plenty of people recommended therapy to the rest of us, and for good reason. Whether it’s CBT therapy, EDMR therapy, or any other kind… Never a bad idea.
3. Reading: Whether you’re into women’s recovery memoirs (as many of us are), reading old articles on The Temper (we don’t blame you!), or simply scouring the internet for other recovery content, reading is definitely the way to go.
4. Good sleep: Getting a good night’s rest is definitely something that we can all agree on when we start our journey to recovery. A lot of the times, this requires going to bed early with NO apologies. This also includes getting into your comfiest PJs early on in the evening and napping as much as you want, guilt-free.
5. Nourishing food: There are all kinds of food and drinks that people rely on during their recovery process. Some were all about ice cream and cookies, while others relied on healthy eating. And, of course, ALL of the drinks… including kombucha, ginger beer, iced coffee, sparkling water, and, of course, many varieties of tea.
6. Podcasts: Who doesn’t love podcasts? Although we admit to having some favorite recovery podcasts ourselves, there’s tons more out there that you should definitely explore.
7. Instagram: Although some will say that limited social media and screen time is good for your sobriety (and it can be), others talked about how much alcohol-free, recovery, and sobriety Instagram content as an integral part of their own recovery.
8. Sober days tracker: Who loves to track their days? Whether you’re celebrating 30 days without drinking, a year, or 10 years, tracking how long you’ve been sober can be a great joy for many.
9. Alcohol-free drinks: We wouldn’t recommend this to everyone since not all of us can handle an alcohol-free beer or cocktail… But those that enjoy it claim that it really helps their recovery journey. Maybe you can try one in a safe space, like a sober bar?
10. Being part of a program and community: Yes, we have our online communities but many of us also still rely on in-person meetings such as AA and other alternative groups and programs.
11. Journaling: Many of us enjoy journaling as part of our recovery journey. Sometimes, that means journaling about gratitude… Other times, it means just ranting about our day. There’s no wrong way to do this, though, unless you think it’s wrong to have 27 different kind of notebooks.
12. Time with loved ones: The term “loved ones” can refer to anyone in your life that brings you joy. That can mean your family, your friends, your partner, your fur babies, , your sober besties… and anyone else that fills your soul whenever you spend some quality time with them.
13. Pampering: One of our favorite tips was ALL about the pampering, also known as self-care these days. That can include anything that makes you feel luxurious, such as baths, face masks, body lotion, fresh sheets, clean towels, and essential oils.
14. Nature: Loving nature doesn’t always come easily but, trust me, it can be a wonderful part of recovery. Go for a long walk, explore your local park, or simply hang out in your backyard and you might just discover why this is part of many people’s recovery journeys.
15. Long drives with music: Music can definitely soothe the soul, which is why several people recommended good music as part of their recovery tools. Our favorite though? Pairing good music with a long drive where you can just… think and relax.
16. Meditation: Meditation can be a wonderful recovery tool. It’s not always easy for everyone but it’s called a “practice” for a reason. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t start out loving it right away, and keep trying.
17. Tarot: Yes, the tarot CAN be a tool for sobriety. Any why not? Anything that helps you tap into your spirituality is going to be good for you during this time.
18. Making art: Creativity is a big part of recovery. In fact, a lot of rehabs include art programs as part of their healing process. That’s probably why so many people said that making art, including painting, writing, and coloring, as crucial to their recovery.
19. Knitting: Keeping your hands busy is really crucial for many of us, especially in early recovery. But it can also be fun to learn new hobbies, such as knitting. Plus, a bonus here is that all of your knittings can result in oh-so-fun gifts for friends and family.
20. Playing games: Playing games can be a really fun way to tackle your recovery. Those games can be solo (like solitaire card games), video games that you play with buddies, or even board games that you get a group together for. Anything goes!
Recovery tools are as unique as the individual. The best part about this list is that you can pretty much do everything on the list or just pick-and-choose what works for you. Not into knitting or meditation? That’s okay, try exercise and fun with your dog instead. Or spend some time making art or cooking healthy meals. Then again, some of us are all about connecting with our community and reading. There’s no wrong answer when you add one or some (or all!) of these tools to your recovery toolbox.