The first time I got sober, I was twenty years old and I remember feeling like I was the only young sober person in the world. Looking back, it makes sense that I felt this way in the beginning. I was surrounded by people much older than me, some who had been sober longer than I had been alive. So, this time around, I decided to surround myself with other young people in sobriety. It didn’t matter how they got sober or why, just that I could relate to where they were at in life. As I come up on three years sober, at the age of 24, I am so grateful for the young sober community that I found on Instagram

Early on in my sobriety, I decided to create an Instagram account that focused on my sobriety and mental health journey. I had the hope that by putting myself out there, others would follow suit and I would feel less alone. Three years later, the online sober community is one of my greatest support systems. I cannot imagine having made it this far without following and befriending these people. So, here are my top 17 young people (ages 18-30) to follow for their authenticity, vulnerability, and willingness to show up as they are.

1. @the_sober_millennial

I very recently started following Samantha and I have zero regrets about it. Besides the fact that we’re the same age and live in the same city, I really respect her sobriety journey. Samantha is in the process of becoming an RN and is a former D1 athlete, and isn’t afraid of using those to shape her perspective and posts. 

She’s just recently seven months sober and her insight is inspiring. Whether it’s about working on feeling comfortable in her body or calling herself out on being “busy rather than productive,” her posts can resonate with anyone. Whether you are years or hours into your sobriety journey, Samantha’s account is worth a follow.

2. @sobersadie

Sadie and I started speaking a few months ago and she has quickly become one of my closest sober internet friends. Messaging her and engaging with her posts never fails to make me smile and ground me in my recovery.

Through posts about her sobriety journey and motherhood, she keeps the journey positive and real for her followers. She uses text posts and photos of herself to share her journey and invites you to come along with her. With a little over 2.5 years sober, she’s not afraid to show the mental and physical changes that can come with recovery. 

3. @the_sober_climb

This account is run by Saratoga (they/she) and focuses on all things sobriety and mental health related. I’ve been personally following Saratoga’s account for close to a year now and watching them grow in sobriety has been so inspiring to me. Besides just watching them become more comfortable in sobriety, I’ve gotten to watch Saratoga grow into herself as well — which is an incredible journey to get to see via social media where we often only see highlights. She has also recently posted about looking at your relationship to social media, which gave me inspiration to truly step back and reevaluate how I choose to show up in that space. 

Saratoga’s account goes from when they had about three months sober to now over a year, and shows the messy and beautiful journey that is early sobriety. So, I highly recommend following along her journey and walking with her on it. Plus, with the inclusion of memes and other funny content, it is a welcome balanced page to look at for both serious and less serious takes on sobriety.

4. @abbeys.road.there

I very recently started following Abbey, and it’s easy to see why her account is so popular! She covers everything from sobriety to body neutrality and regularly shows us her adventures. One of her account highlights is of other sober/alcohol-free people to follow on Instagram so, by following her, you can also find a larger community.
While some of her posts have longer captions covering the depths of recovery on a daily basis, a lot of them are simple and show what it’s like to live a normal life while not drinking. In addition to this account, Abbey also runs a YouTube channel where she talks about all things mental health and sobriety that is linked in her Instagram biography. Abbey’s account has quickly become one of my favorites to see pop up on my feed, and I’m sure you’ll feel similarly.

5. @inaya.zuwena

I found Inaya’s page through the page @1000hoursdrylgbtqia where she is the Sunday host.    She just celebrated two months sober and is taking us along on her journey through “self-evolution,” according to her instagram bio. One of my favorite parts of Inaya’s account is that it is not solely focused on her sobriety. She posts about herself and her life outside of that and truly makes space for followers to see who she is as a person. Personally, I also love that her posts are all photos of her or places that she has been. It creates a sense of humanity through the screen where I feel like I am having more of a conversation than reading text posts and trying to remember what she looks like. 

Inaya’s account is also relatively newer compared to some other accounts on this list, so it is fun to follow along and watch her develop her voice and platform within the sober community. She also got sober during this year, which has been hard for many people, so I highly recommend following Inaya, especially if you’ve found 2020 to be a difficult year for staying or getting sober.

6. @africabrooke

Africa Brookie is a fellow The Temper contributor and a certified Mindset Coach and Speaker with a very popular instagram account. I just started following her relatively recently, but I wish I had found her sooner. Between her podcast, reels, and posts, her account has something for everyone that wants to look deeper into themselves and their lives. In a recent post, she said, “I ALWAYS take into account that I’m walking alongside beautifully complex beings who don’t need to be told what to do but simply need someone to help them REMEMBER that they already have the answer.” This quote perfectly sums up how I feel about Africa and her account. When reading and listening, you truly feel like she is there with you and sees the beauty in the human experience. 

It is also so important to be able to feel that someone enjoys having a presence in the online sober community and even with the large following that she has, her posts still feel resonant and you can feel the gratitude she has for the platform she has cultivated — which I find to be so brilliant and meaningful in this space.

7. @the_unbuzzed

The Unbuzzed is run by Ashley, who describes herself as a bisexual sober babe, eating disorder recovery warrior, and mental health advocate. Like a few others on this list, Ashley sells sober merchandise and posts recipes for her beautiful mocktails. But what I love most about following Ashley is her ability to be vulnerable and to speak on topics that you wouldn’t necessarily think about in terms of sobriety. One recent topic was fatphobia and how that impacts her life. Ashley is relatively new to sobriety with close to four months and it’s incredible to watch her build this community.

The community itself is described as “a community of survivors and thrivers dedicated to normalizing sobriety, eating disorder recovery, and destigmatizing mental health. We are a community of badass babes living life beyond the buzz of booze and binging.” If this is what Ashley has built in just four months of recovery, I cannot wait to see what she does as time goes on.  

8. @theretiredpartygirl 

When it comes to being authentic, Tori is definitely at the top of my list right now. After recently relapsing, she came back and posted about it on her account. Her Instagram biography says that she’s “empowering sober womxn and normalizing mental health.” I can’t think of anything more empowering than seeing someone relapse and be open about it. It can be hard to tell your closest friends when this happens, nevermind thousands of strangers. 

The rest of her account is a combination of sober memes, inspirational content, and sharing information about other sober people. It’s a good reminder that sobriety doesn’t mean that we’re boring and it also doesn’t make us perfect. Life has its ups and downs, and Tori’s account beautifully highlights all of those aspects while letting us laugh along the way.

9. @veggiekins

Remy’s account has over 140 thousand followers on instagram, not to mention the 120 thousand people to follow her on YouTube. And after looking through her account, it’s not hard to see why people follow along with her. According to her bio, she posts vegan and gluten-free recipes as well as things about wellness and mindful living. Her account focuses on her journey with holistic nutrition, being a certified yoga teacher, and her sobriety. Scrolling through the account, you’ll see photos of Remy, stunning photos of her food, and ideas for some serious self-care. 

In a world full of people telling us to constantly push ourselves and keep going, Remy is a welcome change of pace. She is always reminding us to slow down and take care of our bodies and souls. Whether it’s her pre-flight ritual of meditation and herbal tea that she posted back in November or simple quotes like “make inner peace your biggest flex”, Remy is here to remind us that breathing is an essential part of life and sobriety.

10. @unboundteetotaler  

When trying to describe Stefania and her account, I came across her recent introduction post and I think she does a better job than I ever could!

She says: “Alcohol ruined my life and relationships… I finally gave it up on February 2, 2019. My life has improved immensely since then I feel like a different person. I finally feel alive and not a walking corpse. My mental health has been saved by quitting drinking. I started this account with the name ‘A Sober Friend’ because I’ve always had very few friends and zero actual sober friends, so I thought it’d be cool to create a space for other like-minded people who needed a sober friend in their corner. Then… I got tired of sharing my most intimate and dreadful stories about alcohol. So instead, I’ve decided to show what a sober life can look like, what it feels like to not be bound to alcohol and its effects, as well as not being bound to your typical 9-5 daily grind life… So that’s what you’ll see here: Teetotal living, mental health advocacy, stories about how the whole unbound living is going in terms of work culture, and photos of my dogs and cat and coffee… Just here to make connections and show that life without alcohol doesn’t have to be bleak”.

11. @soul_and_mindset 

Jocellyn Harvey is also a The Temper contributor and has a podcast called “Soul and Mindset”. As well as being sober, she is a certified success coach and has a link of free resources in her instagram biography. With a combination of peaceful photos and beautiful graphics, Jocellyn’s account just feels like a calm and welcoming space to be.

Jocellyn has written a book and companion guides to go with it that you can purchase from her to continue (or start) a journey of returning home to yourself. In a space that often speaks about changing, I think it is so important that Jocellyn specifically speaks to the beauty of coming home to yourself rather than moving further away. Her posts also give you things to think about for yourself while providing her perspective, meaning you have something to think about long after clicking the “like” button.

12. @shotstoshakes 

Rachel has very quickly become one of my closest sober people on Instagram. Between sharing each other’s posts and celebrating milestones, I am very grateful to have stumbled across her corner of the internet. She has over two years sober now and posts about all things sobriety and mental health while also taking us along on her fitness journey in recovery.

To quote her: “The shotstoshakes account initially began as a place to document my fitness journey, but evolved into a space where I muse about personal recovery, mental health stigma, the human condition, and how to be present in a world that sometimes feels like it’s on fire.” Personally, I can’t think of any combination we need more right now. 

13. @milliegooch / @sobergirlsociety 

Besides just being a young sober person, Millie also started a well-known account called Sober Girl Society. On her personal page, she talks about alcohol-free versions of different drinks, her upcoming book release (!), and how to enjoy various experiences while sober. That’s all on top of thought-provoking posts about sobriety facts and mental health. 

Over on the Sober Girl Society page, you’ll find some of the posts that are on Millie’s personal. But you’ll also find interviews with other sober women, different quotes, events that they are hosting (when the pandemic isn’t a thing), pins to buy, and other activities. It’s a great place to find other people to follow and help build your circle. It doesn’t hurt that the graphics are fun to look at as well.

14. @samdylanfinch

I started following Sam long before I realized he was sober and only loved his account more when I found out. His page covers topics ranging from sobriety to eating disorder recovery to trauma. Sam is most widely known for his blog “Let’s Queer Things Up!” where he writes about queer identity, mental health, and self-care. 

Sam’s posts are relatable, helpful, and authentic while providing space for us all to grow and be kinder to ourselves. I think the best description of who he is, however, is his own biography from the blog: “I’m a writer and wellness coach that’s passionate about queer joy — with none of the self-helpy bullsh*t. I wrote that thing about people-pleasing that you showed your therapist. I’m much weirder in real life.”

15. @curlfriendnextdoor 

This account is the newest on this list with only nine posts so far! But it has quickly, and quietly, amassed a solid following. After reading through the posts, it is easy to see why. With two weeks of sobriety under her belt, she has insight into her life and drinking that I’m not sure I even have at over three years. She speaks of her family’s past and how they relate to her life now. And her perspective on the last few weeks is a beautiful tribute to the weight that is lifted when people stop drinking. 

To quote her post: “ It feels good to embrace THE PRESENT (in order to secure the future), it feels good to release the veil and embrace Me”. I am so excited to follow along on her sobriety journey and watch her uncover who she is.

16. @sober_otter

Es has a little over one year sober and says that she’s just here to share her human experiences with us. She posts almost every day, which is a little more often than the average account might, so it’s always great to log on and see what she has to say.

Unlike a lot of people on this list, Es doesn’t speak about mental health outside of sobriety. Her account is solely dedicated to her thoughts and feelings around her sober journey on any given day.  She also recently put out a free e-book of mocktail recipes for the summer that you can get from her Instagram biography!

17. @priscilagarciajacquier

Another The Temper alum, Priscila has been sober since August 2017. In her day job, she is a TV and film writer. In her spare time, she discusses recovery, identity, and Latinidad on her Instagram account — and boy is it fascinating stuff! 

Her focus on how weightlifting keeps her sober is something worthy of a read, but while you may coem for that, you will likely stay for her fascinating talks on what Latinx identity means, especially as a white Latina. She has had several episodes on her Instagram live on Deconstructing Latinx Identity with guests, which always leads to a fascinating discussion. On her account, she also talks about the importance of taking breaks for her mental health and her sobriety, and so much more.

When I started my own Instagram account a little over three years ago, I didn’t know that this little corner of the internet would become a beautiful space for me and my recovery. Being connected online to other sober folks has given me the ability to carry the message of recovery. It’s especially great to connect to others my age, and I hope you will too.