101 Helpful Tips on How to Stay Clean and Sober

101 Helpful Tips on How to Stay Clean and Sober


Here are some tips for staying sober. Click image for full size.

101 Helpful Tips on How to Stay Clean & Sober

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1. Don’t underestimate your disease. Every single person does at first.

2. Take care of yourself spiritually. Be mindful of your connection to your higher power today.

3. Ignore the dismal relapse rates. You are creating your own success.

4. Make a zero tolerance policy with yourself concerning relapse. Don’t even allow your mind to go there.

5. Avoid fundamentalism, even in recovery. Rigid thinking and dogma can undermine your sobriety.

6. You are creating a life of recovery and you are responsible for ALL OF IT. Yes, others can help you. Their “help” is mere advice. It is up to you to recover.

7. Don’t confuse enthusiasm for action. Figure out what you need to do to stay sober and then do it.

8. Listen to what the relapsing addicts keep preaching. Then do the opposite.

9. Take care of your social network. Reach out to others in a meaningful way.

10. Figure out a way to help other addicts or alcoholics.

11. If you attend 12 step meetings, find one to start chairing. Consider H&I meetings (taking meetings into jails and treatment centers).

12. Use mindfulness and a heightened awareness to overcome ego. Use meditation to overcome self.

13. Practice forgiveness. Forgive all your past transgressors. Forgive yourself. You must do this to get long term relief from resentment.

14. Be aware of diminishing returns, and spread out your recovery efforts (i.e., don’t focus on just “spiritual” growth).

15. Rearrange all the furniture in your house. Anything to get through the night sometimes.

16. Clean your house from top to bottom. Same as above.

17. Go for a long walk.

18. Adopt a pet and care for it.

19. Eat a gourmet meal.

20. Cook a gourmet meal.

Photo by fotofacade

21. Practice the arts. Paint, draw, sculpt, sing, dance. Etc.

22. See a therapist.

23. Work on a puzzle.

24. Connect with someone else who is hurting.

25. Start a project that is bigger than yourself.

26. Revisit an old hobby.

27. Teach someone something. (Anything!)

28. Learn something new each day. (Anything!)

29. Write in a daily journal.

30. Stretch yourself spiritually by suspending disbelief for a day.

31. Write a letter to your addiction where you say farewell to it.

32. Join a recovery forum online.

33. Start a free blog over at blogger.com and tell the world about your progress in recovery. Figure out your own tips on staying sober.

34. Reconnect with your family and spend time with them.

35. Go back to school.

36. Learn a new skill or trade.

37. Sponsor a newcomer.

38. Make a commitment to chair a meeting each week.

39. Celebrate the recovery of a friend.

40. Spend time with your family.

Photo by rene_ehrhardt

41. Email the spiritual river guy and tell him your problems.

42. Celebrate your clean time with a cake.

43. Write out a gratitude list.

44. Read through your old journal entries and see how much you’ve changed.

45. Try a new form of meditation (or make up your own…there is no “wrong” here). Some of the best tips to stay sober come from within.

46. Write out a to-do list and cross each thing off as you accomplish it.

47. Always have a big goal in the back of your mind that is challenging for you, but would make your day if you met it.

48. Practice balance. Challenge your daily habits.

49. Practice humility. Always be in “learning mode.”

50. Forgive yourself and move on with your life.

51. Sit down and write 2 goals out for yourself: one big one and one little one. Keep the paper in your pocket.

52. Inspire someone else to grow. Challenge them to be a better person in some way. Encourage them through your own success.

53. Learn to relax. Find your quiet place of rejuvenation and return to it often.

54. Elevate your consciousness. Watch your own mind and see how it responds to events. Repeat often. Learn.

55. Find the beauty in life. Appreciate all of it. Be grateful for beauty itself.

56. Ask yourself with each decision: “Is this the healthiest choice for me right now?”

57. Quit smoking cigarettes already.

58. Be grateful for existence.

59. If you go to the same AA meetings all the time, switch it up and go to a completely new meeting.

60. Write a poem about how you are overcoming addiction.

Photo by fotofacade

61. Turn off your television and read a book. Better: read recovery literature. Best: write your own recovery literature.

62. Use overwhelming force to conquer a goal.

63. Learn how to stay sober through creation of a new reality. Don’t settle. Create the life you really want in recovery.

64. Write your bucket list. Then, act.

65. Figure out your life purpose.

66. Write out a fourth step and share it with your sponsor.

67. Take care of yourself physically. Exercise. Take a walk. No excuses.

68. Keep your priorities straight. Physical abstinence is number one. Simple and effective.

69. Keep a high price on your serenity. Don’t sacrifice it for just anyone and their whims.

70. Use a sponsor for stage 2 recovery. Let them guide you through holistic living.

71. Take care of yourself mentally. Go back to school. Get that degree.

72. Find your own path. It is your responsibility to do so.

73. Practice humility and stay teachable. Always be learning.

74. Go to long term treatment and be done with it. Best decision I ever made.

75. Don’t pin your hopes on a short stay in rehab. It takes more than that.

76. Call your sponsor.

77. Get a sponsor.

78. Use a zero tolerance policy when it comes to self-pity. Never allow it for yourself ever again. Ever. It is poison.

79. Read recovery literature.

80. Join a recovery forum.

Photo by rene_ehrhardt

81. Use outpatient treatment if that works for you. Take it as seriously as possible and connect with the others in your group.

82. Meditate.

83. Pray.

84. Go out for coffee with a friend in recovery.

85. Find your passion.

86. Work out.

87. Join a church.

88. Volunteer.

89. Take care of yourself emotionally. Don’t get knocked too far off your square.

90. Stay vigilant against potential relapse. The disease can find many routes (gambling, prescription drugs, sex, etc.).

91. Go to a meeting.

92. Don’t pin your hopes on long term treatment. It takes a lifetime of learning for alcoholics and recovering drug addicts to recover.

93. Use long term strategic thinking. Care for yourself, network with others, and pursue conscious growth.

94. Don’t ask “why me?” Instead, ask “how can I create the life I really want now?”

95. Call a friend in recovery.

96. Sit down and write out a gratitude list.

97. Don’t live in fear of relapse. I wasted 5 years on this. Embrace the creative life and know you are strong in recovery.

98. Get extreme. Figure out what you need to do to stay sober…then double it and add ten. That’s how hard you have to push yourself.

99. Raise the bar. Stop settling. Use your talents as a gift to the world and make a difference in some way.

100. Live consciously. Set deliberate goals and go after them with overwhelming force.

101. Embrace the creative life in recovery and live holistically.

So those are my staying sober tips….anyone got any more?

If you found this helpful, please share it with others.


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  1. No one can do this on their own. Social connections between people are the best thing there is in life, we are social creatures after all. I need help as well, as I have just relapsed. I think that being able to ask for help and accept it is the strongest part of recovering, it takes so much strength and will to be able to do just that. You are already getting better by asking for help. I am willing to try and help, because I know helping others is the best part of life. And it in turn helps me. I have faith that you can get better, because you want to. That’s what it comes down to, the will. If you have people who depend on you, then use that as a strong reason to get better. Think of them, and think of yourself. Imagine your life with them and with you sober and happy about it. Know that it is in you to get there, that you just have to make that decision and stay diligent. Be stubborn about sobriety, and you will be sober. Keep your head up, and stay strong. There are people willing to help you, and you Can stay sober.

  2. I do not believe it is possible to do it solely on your own. Everyone needs some kind of support, especially when the dependency starts to poison your thought process. I am trying very hard to stay sober too, and I just overdosed a few hours ago. There are people willing to help, and you asking for help is such a strong thing. It is admirable that you are willing to ask for it, it takes such strength to do just that. Knowing that you want to stay sober is also a strong reason to stay sober. It ultimately comes down to the want, the desire to stay sober or not. If you want to stay sober, then ultimately you Will. I suggest finding reasons, possibly a new one everyday, writing them out in the morning and as many times a day as you feel you need to. The list will keep growing, and you will start to realize how much more you will get out of life by staying strong and not giving in. Know that Every Day, Every Choice Matters. So make good ones. 🙂 That is some advice my teacher gave me, and it helps a lot. I know that you can do this, so please stay strong!!!

  3. HELLO SO I AM WHAT I THOUGHT UNIQUE i stayed sober a week felt good felt positive my liver enzymes are high …i need to get my shit together i have a foster sponsor now i need help getting to more meetings i clean the closet sculpt paint rearrange etc….i have coda issues big time stay with an abusive relationship…i drank today not a lot at LL BUT COME ON…. sio hard for me to end this relationship and begin mine with myself….im gonnna have a major go tomorrow ..actually now 🙂 any advice i am 41 hormonal as well health issues not the perfect hottie depression coda they all are a big ugly mid life ball of wax

  4. i agree i am adopting a pjilosophy i believe in some way that i just moved here …i have to do all different steps different people might as well make it an adventure…hahah

  5. Here is my story… I grew up with addicts and swore that I would never be like that…Well, it all started in my teen years with ExPeRiMeNtInG…I began smoking weed as a junior in high school and my life took a drastic spiral down to death’s front door. I quit high school and would only associate with people like myself, that liked to medicate to have a good time. I was kicked out of my house and stayed with people that didn’t mind if I was high, and encouraged it. So, my smoking weed then led me to experiment with everything besides herion. Years later, I really wanted a change in my life. So, I met this guy, that seemed to have it all together besides his addictive behavior. After a month of dating I was pregnant and moved in with him. All the drinking and drugs were put down briefly while we were pregnant. We fought a whole lot and seperated. I still had this deep urge to have something to cover up all of the pain and weakness I was feeling. I didn’t like who I was and was sooo ashamed in the path I had chose. Two years after my son was born, I had a wisdom tooth removed and had gotten a dry socket. It was super painful, I began taking pain meds and before I knew it, I was hooked. I found people who shared the same interest in pain meds as I. I felt like I was untouchable and pain free. (physical and emotional) Boy did my world turn very dark very quick…as time went by I needed more and more to numb the raging inside of me. I couldn’t keep up with my son, my family, my jobs, my whole life…I remember laying on the couch crying and praying to God for Him to get this crap away from me. I was scared to death of withdrawls, just as they would begin, I would of rather died then feel like that. I kept praying and even moved to the country to run away from the drugs…lol that didn’t work, they just followed me. I came back to the city to get them every 3 days. I met this man that had a huge quantity of them monthly, so we began to date and feel in love with eachothers pain. We moved in together and had a beautiful daughter that I know was a gift from God!! She could see right through me and I could not hide anything from her. I was soooo sick of this life of running and hiding. Night after night, for months, I sobbed in the shower praying for God not to forget about me. One day after work, I felt that it was finally the time for my soul to be set free!! I dropped everything where I stood and let the Lord take over my life. When I couldn’t even get up to take a shower, I felt Him take me to the shower each night and wash me…it was AMAZING!! As time went by, little by little, I felt better and better. Although I love my daughter’s father, I knew I had to start my life from scratch. The temptation was too great and after reading a passage in the Bible, I knew this chapter was closed. I don’t know a whole lot but one thing I do know is God is alive and loves deeply. I feel like all of my pain and sorrow is being healed through the Lord. I am sober and am finally understanding the whys…If this reaches 1 person and gives them HOPE I will be truly thankful again to the Lord our God!! Take care all and God is LOVE!! 🙂

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