Reading Material

It's very important that we throw everything at getting sober in the early days, and that includes soaking up as much material as you can related to recovery. This Sober Toolbox is a space for telling others about the great books, blogs, podcasts, articles and other resources that have helped you on your way. If you're looking for more discussion, interactions and feedback, head inside our Members Feed. That's where the real-time conversations take place.

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627 Comments
  1. AmyB 3 years ago

    This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol by Annie Grace (she also has a podcast)

    This book has seriously changed my life. It has changed my life more than any other book, therapy, counselor, class, doctor, or addiction specialist ever did, combined.
    One of my initial hesitations with the book was the fact that it contradicts a lot of the central tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous. I did get sober with AA at one time of my life, but never liked that I had to introduce myself as an “alcoholic” like I was a flawed human being and could only be saved with a “higher” power. Well, the truth is that AA operates on the assumption that there is nothing wrong with alcohol, only with alcoholics. If AA works for you that is wonderful, but for some of us that’s not the case.

    There’s something about Annie’s book that almost immediately caused a complete shift in my thinking. She talks about how society and the liquor industry have manipulated us into thinking there is somethings wrong with us if we choose not to drink. When we chose not to drink alcohol we can sometimes be pitied, questioned, thought of as a prude when in reality we are choosing to be healthy and not pour deadly poison into our bodies. Her book introduced me into a complete psychological mind shift.

    She’s genuine and talks about her own experiences. I am so thankful that I found this book and her podcast.

    • hugh mcfadden 2 years ago

      Same here… Fantastic and liberating…

    • Gingergal 3 years ago

      Allen Carr has a very similar approach and has helped me stay sober for 9 months in the psst

    • truthangel 3 years ago

      It has changed mine too . Its painted a whole new picture of alcohol by revealing the deep truth about it. No doctor or counselor could explain it like she does. I tried AA years ago and It wasn’t for me at all. Was sober for 3 years but always felt defective and abnormal. Works well for some though.

  2. 4wards 3 years ago

    The very first book I read was Mrs. D is Going Without- a classic. The Sober Diaries from Claire Pooley is also very good.

  3. Julielynn 3 years ago

    One of the first books I read was Mrs. D is going without. Now iI am listening to the Unruffled Podcast while driving to and from work.

  4. Julielynn 3 years ago

    One of the first books I read was Mrs. D is going without. Now i am listening to the Unruffled Podcast while driving to and from work.

  5. morgan 3 years ago

    DOPAMINE – FEEL GOOD BRAIN CHEMISTRY A must read if feeling low or just setting out on the A/F journey. A wealth of information.

    https://bebrainfit.com/increase-dopamine/

  6. Torontosoberina 3 years ago

    Drinking: A love Story by Caroline Knapp and Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola are two fantastic reads. They are both brilliant writers.

  7. Jocord 3 years ago

    Here is a book written by one of our sober tribe, @Daveh.
    https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/alcoholism-in-a-nutshell/

    • DaveH 2 years ago

      There are three eBooks that can be downloaded freely from my blog. They are “Alcoholism in a nutshell”, “How to help your alcoholic”, and “Understanding and learning from relapse. They can be downloaded here: https://lyingminds.sixboats.co.nz/links/

  8. Seni 3 years ago

    I was very impressed by Amy Liptrot, Catherine Gray and Clare Pooley. Fortunately I could read them in my language, in german. Two wonderful german authors are dominik schottner (he lost his father through alcohol) and Susanne Kaloff (she writes about one year without drinking alcohol, after that experience she stayed sober). I’m searching for more books translated into my language, but they are difficult to find.

    • Metoday 3 years ago

      Hello Seni,

      Nüchtern by Daniel Schreiber
      Blackout by Sarah Hepola
      Timm Kruse

      Warm regards

  9. Sonic 3 years ago

    The sober diaries…brilliant

  10. Susabelle 3 years ago

    I’ve read a few but the following hit home for me. This naked mind by Annie Grace & then the 30 day experiment. Other books prior included Elizabeth Vargus’s story & Gabrielle Glaser’s book “Her Best-Kept Secret”.

  11. 71luck 3 years ago

    First book I read during my rehab was given to me by my support worker. Highly recommend it, although its not your average “rehab” book as its warts and all : “A Million Little Pieces” by James Frey. Not only eye opening, but real, down and dirty, entertaining and not a whiff of any “how to’s…”
    g

    “At the age of 23, James Frey woke up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out and his nose broken. He had no idea where the plane was headed nor any recollection of the past two weeks. An alcoholic for ten years and a crack addict for three, he checked into a treatment facility shortly after landing. There he was told he could either stop using or die before he reached age 24. This is Frey’s acclaimed account of his six weeks in rehab.” From Amazon

  12. JennyR 3 years ago

    I have read Jason Vale, Annie Grace and William Porter, all wonderful and insightful books . I am a new member today and I am 89 days sober 🙂

    • lealor 3 years ago

      Keep going.

    • bikramrunner45 3 years ago

      Congrats on 89 days!! So great! ?

  13. lhilary 3 years ago

    Every day seems to be a milestone for me. I have started this sober journey as a temporary “dry” month and have realized that I can’t remember the last time that I have gone 10 days with out drinking AND, I prefer feeling the way I feel today and have felt for the past 9 days. I get through the tough moments – being alone is the toughest part – by reading other peoples’ posts, drinking a cup of tea with honey (I need the sugar that I am now craving due to lack of the alcohol), going for a walk, breathing deeply or just sitting and being and realizing I didn’t need that glass of wine to get through the moment. Regardless of the degree of each persons drinking, there are certain constants : Better Sleep, Clear Headedness, Empowerment, Optimism, Productivity, Feeling and Being Productive, Looking and Feeling Healthier…NOT feeling like SHIT in the morning! I LOVE wine, I LOVE the rituals that go along with drinking wine…that said, I LOVE the way I am feeling even more!

    • cath1683 3 years ago

      Exactly…

    • lealor 3 years ago

      So true. I just want 7 days. The last month…i get to 6 days then pick up. This is harder then i thought.

    • cath1683 3 years ago

      I so identify with you! I’m struggling to cook, as I loved the ritual of chopping, mixing etc and drinking my huge glasses of wine :/ never had as many microwaved meals ?

    • kaydee 3 years ago

      Well said! Congrats for getting through each day. 🙂

  14. NewStartSteph 3 years ago

    Highly recommend “Kick the drink… Easily!” by Jason Vale. Makes you realise how messed up our beliefs about alcohol are. Seeing it clearly for what it is for the first time in my life. This book may be the one that makes me truly never want to go back.

    • maude023 2 years ago

      I felt exactly the same by the time I finished his book the first time I had stopped drinking. When things got tough after a couple of weeks I reread and it so helped to keep me sober

  15. 75sober 3 years ago

    I struggled in AA with reaching my higher power “as I understood it”. I read a book called ‘We Alcoholics, The Luckiest People On Earth’ pretty intersting approach, it’s a short book but cool for me since i struggle with religion

  16. Kirds 3 years ago

    Definitely ‘This Naked Mind’ by Annie Grace 🙂

    • delgirl68 3 years ago

      I haven’t read her book but I really enjoy the podcasts

  17. SandyA 3 years ago

    I’m hoping to stay sober today, can anyone recommend some good books, blogs or other links that were helpful to your recovery. Thank you.

    • lealor 3 years ago

      The book living sober. Also on you tube their are affirmations for recovery and they sure help me

    • Michael6 3 years ago

      I am finding The unexpected joy of being sober by Catherine Grey helpful.

  18. jamieann 3 years ago

    craig fergusen speaks from the heart on you tube. 12 min. Funny and thought provoking at the same time

    • barnmomma 3 years ago

      Oh my gosh, I’d never heard of him, but this video was awesome! Thanks so much for the tip.

    • Travelbug 3 years ago

      OMG, Hilarious. I just watched this.

  19. Mongoose 3 years ago

    My first books that got me through this sober life of 46 days was Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley, The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray and Glass Half Full by Lucy Rocca. I am in the middle of This Naked Mind by Annie Grace and also Mrs D is Going Without which got me onto this site. I have found these books to be my friends over this initial sober period and made me realise what I am gaining instead of what I am giving up. Complete shift in thinking, so positive in really seeing the benefits of this sober life and really seeing what alcohol was doing to my life and my poor brain. Such humour and humility, I have loved every page and each page has got me stronger and stronger.

    • Sonic 3 years ago

      Read Sober Diaries I’m 87 days AF will read othersx

  20. Siouxs 3 years ago

    http://sobersassenach.com – A blend of book fandom and sobriety!

  21. sonicgirl 3 years ago

    http://www.hipsobriety.com/home/sobrietyisfabulous – Huge positive reinforcement

    • Genesis 3 years ago

      how much does hip sobriety cost? is it really expensive?

  22. Anonymous 3 years ago

    1. ‘This naked Mind’ by Annie Grace – currently listening to the audiobook on audible.

    2. hipsobriety.com – I am currently on week 2 of the 8 week Hip Sobriety School, I also received a scholarship for this course, this can be applied for once you join the waitlist and start receiving emails etc.

    Here is Hip Sobrietys 15 essential books to build a holistic recovery: http://www.hipsobriety.com/home/2016/2/19/the-hip-sobriety-booklist-1-the-11-essential-books-on-n6syb

    2. lauramckowen.com https://www.lauramckowen.com/

    4. Laura and Holly also have a podcast called HOME, you can listen to free here https://soundcloud.com/thisishomepod

    5. Join the sobersphere on Instagram and follow all the kickass sober warriors like Laura and Holly for daily inspo.

    4. ‘Chasing the Scream’ by Johann Hari – this booked changed everything I thought I knew about alcohol and drugs.

    6. Slowly reading my way through ‘A Course in Miracles’ http://acim.org/

    5. Looking forward to reading ‘Nothing good can come from this’ by Kristi Coulter, Finding Joy by

    • becc 3 years ago

      Love “This Naked Mind”!!! thanks for all the great resources.

  23. Anonymous 3 years ago

    I listened to it as well just on audible. I hope it works. feeling like there is more to the little monster though than they make out. ie you feel tired etc when you stop drinking.

  24. ylang-ylang 3 years ago

    http://www.thisblewmymind.com/the-most-powerful-drunk-driving-ad-ever/ – Why we need to be 100% sober on the road.

    • Timidwarrior 3 years ago

      Umm…..wow…this is so confronting. Thank you for sharing this. I fear that if I drink I will purposely drive in to a power pole….Everytime I have those thoughts I am going to watch this…

    • jamieann 3 years ago

      OMG i need to watch this every day

  25. Amy 3 years ago

    I reread Allen Carr’s book for alcoholic woman this past weekend. I feel empowered. This is not an easy time to be a woman and we need to stay strong.

    • lealor 3 years ago

      How are you Amy?

  26. Soberkiwi 3 years ago

    OMG….just seen all my replies to my own ‘wrong post’ – didn’t think they had come up … gawd..admin, feel free to delete some…. awkward….!! (last post…promise..)

  27. Soberkiwi 3 years ago

    I posted the wrong link and it won’t let me change it – but you can find my Sober Doodles on my I.G account which is @soberdoodles

  28. Soberkiwi 3 years ago

    When I became sober, I doodled and shared them with my sober tribe at the time – sharing in case others are starting out and find them useful. I have been sober 6 months tomorrow…..

    http://www.instagram/soberdoodles

  29. Kirsty 3 years ago

    Yes Allen Carr in my opinion is a genius and the one who started the whole approach to quitting not using willpower. His books on smoking and drinking truly changed me. I’ve read others since and The Naked Mind is great but a lot of it is based on Allen Carr’s ideas – which is fine and she refers to him etc. Plus I like how she (Annie grace) goes deeper and explains the science of what happens to the brain on alcohol. Very eye opening.

  30. Ladyhawke 3 years ago

    Raw and honest video from Kevin O’Hara on How to Make the Final Decision to Stop Drinking Alcohol Stick?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzTvJNxinXM

    • @Freeofit 2 years ago

      Have now watched a couple of his. Really useful commentary; talks straight in language I understand. Thanks for sharing.

    • Megnesium 3 years ago

      Thanks for sharing I enjoyed it

    • joanna-c-l 3 years ago

      Very helpful Thanks

  31. Misti1970 3 years ago

    I read the Sober Diaries. I really enjoyed it.

  32. Ellifant 3 years ago

    Very excited that after a long wait, Kristi Coulter has released her book ‘Nothing Good Can Come from This.’ It features her essay ‘Want Not’ which was what started to challenge my ‘drinking thinking’ last year! She is a beautiful writer with wonderful insights…

  33. MJK56 3 years ago

    To date Ive found Kevin O’Hara, Alcohol Mastery videos very useful. I’ve just listened to the utube content and not registered for the mastery course however. The free videos alone have been very helpful.

  34. Anonymous 3 years ago

    “Understanding and learning from relapse” by Stan West. It looks at relapse : why it happens and getting past it. It explains all about triggers and cravings. There’s a free download free on the “Lying Minds” website: https://bit.ly/2OObvs3

  35. Matt 3 years ago

    “Alcohol lied to me” by Craig Beck. He also has some good YouTube videos as “The stop drinking expert” Helped me reframe my thinking about alcohol and made me realise that it is actually a highly addictive poison that is attractivly packaged and marketed to get me hooked on buying it over and over again. Once I understood this I could rationally make a decision not to consume it anymore. It’s been over a year since i stopped drinking and now see alcohol and the alcohol industry in a whole new light and would never go back to it.

  36. Winterz 3 years ago

    I find that some books on alcoholism get too bogged down with the negative aspects. Alternately I really liked the positive messages in ‘ The Unexpected Joy of being Sober’ by Catherine Gray.

    • Nowlearnon 3 years ago

      Yes I listened to the audio version, brilliant book.

  37. Eola 3 years ago

    Spiritual seeking, Addiction and the Search for Truth, Dr. Gabor Maté

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjuwOf1_63g

  38. Anonymous 3 years ago

    We know that a car can’t run on soy milk, or on vinegar. Likewise, if our hearts are meant to strive with love and honesty, why did we feed it with the ephemeral lies of the alcohol? Just some food for thought. x

  39. Eola 3 years ago

    DR GABOR MATÉ > WHY YOU ARE ADDICTED > LONDON REAL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_1XR5DzEnk

    • DaveH 3 years ago

      This lady is a scientist that really understands addiction/alcoholism. It’s always worth listening to what she has to say.

  40. Anonymous 3 years ago

    That is truly a wonderful video!! Thank You 4 days sober.

  41. morgan 3 years ago

    https://www.tarabrach.com/from-human-doing-human-being/ – Tara Brach talk about letting go for a bit. Excellent encouragement if feeling like a failure, a problem.

  42. WinterZee 3 years ago

    My favourite book on alcoholism at the moment is ‘The Naked Mind’ unlike many others books on this subject, it’s very positive and full of lots of interesting research.

  43. Chris C. 3 years ago

    I recently read “The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath” by Leslie Jameson. It is part memoir and part biography of famous writers/singers who struggled with addiction. I found Ms. Jameson’s story riveting but I skipped through some of the biographies when they felt tedious to me.. The author also gives an exhaustive account of Bill W. and the founding of AA. Overall a good read.

  44. Destyni 3 years ago

    Book by John Alaric MY PRISON BECAME A PALACE

  45. Author
    Mrs D 3 years ago

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12074238 – Fantastic article with great quotes from Doug Sellman

    • Jasmaine 3 years ago

      That was a good article Mrs D ….very encouraging when you hear someone who drank 2-3dozen a day stop….those urrrrrrgessss though ….sigh 🙁

  46. SisterC 3 years ago

    I recently read “Integral Recovery – A Revolutionary Approach to the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addiction” by John Dupuy. It takes a holistic approach to addiction and looks at deeper effects of addiction on the brain and the biological, emotional, cognitive and spiritual factors that may need to be addressed. It’s pretty interesting as it’s an evolving practice, and I was able to pick out what I could manage to do. It just gave me another way to understand what’s been happening to me and how my reptilian brain can kick when I least expect it, talking me into old ways!

  47. gingermonkeymind 3 years ago

    This article by Amelia Hill in The Guardian really got me thinking about the drinking culture and motherhood. Like the author, I don’t remember anyone in my mother’s generation bragging about drinking, and I never once heard the other mothers in her circle referring to wine as “mommy juice.” Regardless of the current culture, there is no shame in being sober, but there is so much joy!
    https://www.theguardian.com/global/2018/jun/10/the-secret-shame-of-being-a-sober-mother

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