09 Jun 2017
Sober Activities

Sober Activities: What to Do Sober for fun

When we get sober, we have to find a new way of living. This applies to our lives as a whole. We make new friends perhaps, interact with family differently, change our habits, and may have to find new sober activities and hobbies. For many people, especially early on, finding recovery activities that they enjoy can be difficult or seem overwhelming.

Sober Activities and What to Do Sober

This investigation is an important one, and we all could use a little extra help! Here we have a few ideas for ways to have fun in recovery both alone and with friends. These are things we’ve enjoyed investigating ourselves, with our clients in treatment and sober living, and with our own friends and sponsees. Hopefully you can find something in here that is beneficial to you and keep the mind open to further investigation. First though, let’s talk about the importance of finding new sober activities and ways to enjoy ourselves in recovery.

Why This Matters

Before finding recovery, we often do everything with drugs or alcohol in our systems. Many people build their social life and hobbies around using and don’t know what to do sober to have fun. The truth is that we can likely find a new way to do the things we once enjoyed doing intoxicated, but we also may search for new things to do. When we get sober, we get in touch with ourselves and may notice that we are interested in doing things that we never really got around to doing.

Recovery isn’t just about doing stepwork and going to meetings. Sometimes we need to break up the monotony and have some fun. Furthermore, recovery really is a lifestyle change in which we find a new way to engage with our lives and those around us. This includes looking at our work, family life, and how we have fun. We didn’t get clean and sober to be boring; we recover to have a life!

Group Activities for Recovering Addicts

Here we have a few ideas for group activities for recovering addicts that we’ve found to be fun in our lives. Maybe some of these sound more appealing than others, but keep an open mind. You may surprise yourself by enjoying something you didn’t know you liked!

Hiking & Camping

This may have been something you did while drinking or using, or perhaps you were not really an outdoorsy person. According to Harvard Health, getting outside has many benefits for our mental and physical health including increased concentration, better mood, and faster healing physically (and perhaps emotionally?). You don’t have to be a wilderness expert to enjoy some time in the great outdoors.

Use an app like All Trails to find hikes near you or search for some local camping spots. Find some friends interested in going and see how it goes! Disconnecting from electronics and spending time with friends without interruption can be fun and help us deepen our relationships.

Casual Sports

Whether or not you’re a sports person, perhaps you’d enjoy some casual sports like bowling or miniature golf. We have taken our clients to play mini golf and they’ve had a great time. We also attended a sober bowling night once a week for a while and had a lot of fun. Now we’re not golfers and are pretty bad at bowling, but still had a ton of fun.

With activities like these, the point is that you’re out and doing something and able to interact with others. You don’t need a huge group to go play some mini golf or hit the bowling alley. It’s also not about how good you are, although a little friendly competition never hurts!


Whether you live in a city full of tourist attractions or out in a more rural area, there are always sights to see! You can look online for fun and cheap places to visit in your area, and make an adventure out of it. Maybe it’s a few hours or maybe it’s a day trip. We’ve done things like going to free museums, visiting Death Valley, and going to a new beach. Venture out to try something new!

Crafts & Projects

Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, you probably have some creativity somewhere inside you. Try some arts and crafts time or take up a project with some friends. This can be something like painting something, building something for your home, or creating something like jewelry or music together. We’ve had quite a few clients get together and play music and even record it!

Eating Fellowship

This is an idea that long precedes us or this post, but it’s a wonderful way to interact with your sober friends. Grab a bite to eat before or after a meeting. It could be at a restaurant or maybe you have a potluck-style meal at someone’s house. You can even make it a regular occurrence and incorporate a movie night or game night if it fits right with you and your friends.

Group Activities for Recovering Addicts

Ideas for Solo Fun in Recovery

Of course, we need to find ways to have fun in recovery by ourselves as well. Sometimes our friends aren’t available or we just need some alone time. Here are a few ways we like to take time for ourselves and have some fun in recovery.

Go on a Walk

This may not sound overhelmingly fun to you, but it can be great. Again, exercise is great for our mental health, and even a short walk helps with this. Go somewhere new to take a walk. Maybe it’s a hike in nature, or maybe it’s taking a new route around your neighborhood. You can listen to music, put on a podcast, or walk in silence and use it as a practice in being present. This can be fun, give us something new to do, and has the added benefit of being good for us both physically and mentally!

Get Creative

We already mentioned this in the group activities section, but find a way to be creative! Maybe you’re not the best artist or painter, but that’s okay! You can do something like finding a coloring book, building something, writing poetry, or picking up an instrument. One of the things I try to remind myself is that I never know if I’m going to like something until I try it. Give a few creative outlets a shot and see if any spark some interest or passion.

Read a Book

Yes, we know this also may not sound like a great deal of fun for everyone. However, getting into a good book can be wonderful. Whether it’s a novel, a biography, or a self-help book, try to find something that sounds interesting to you. I wasn’t a huge reader before getting sober, but in my recovery I’ve found that I really love reading and find it relaxing. It doesn’t have to be a book that’s super serious. Allow yourself to enjoy reading whatever you’re reading!

Treat Yourself

You deserve to be treated. Regardless of your financial situation, look for a way to treat yourself to some love! Maybe this means taking a bath, going to a movie, or shutting off your electronics to relax for a bit. You deserve to be cared for, especially by yourself. Find something to do that sounds fun and let go of the voice that sometimes arises that tells us we don’t deserve that. You do!

About the Author
Changing Tides Treatment is an addiction treatment facility in Ventura, California. In addition to the common treatment offerings, Changing Tides offers nutritional counseling, encourages outdoor adventures, and offers a holistic model of treatment. Visit them at www.ChangingTidesAddictionTreatment.com.

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