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How Can Apps Help You Stay Sober?

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If you’re on this blog, you probably know that Workit Health offers online treatment for substance use disorders via our app. But most apps don’t include clinicians and medication. So you may be wondering how other apps can help you stay sober. My answer is that you’d be surprised. Not only can apps help folks with substance use disorders achieve recovery, but they can help you build an expansive support network that spans the globe—giving you around-the-clock recovery support without the cost of a treatment center.

Modern recovery looks different from sitting in church basements or a 90-day treatment center. While those pathways have their place, digital solutions offer a more accessible solution with less of a financial burden, making it a more appealing option to more folks. In this blog, we’ll look at the key ways apps can help achieve and maintain recovery, provide an extensive list of apps, and even talk about how apps can help build your bank balance.

How apps help you stay sober

There are a wide variety of apps on the market providing a range of benefits, such as:

  • Instant access: find recovery communities from your smartphone while sitting on the couch.
  • Social networking: apps provide social connection opportunities.
  • Less expensive: apps are a cost-effective way to find recovery support. Some are free or have a small subscription fee.
  • Learn skills: apps are an accessible way to develop coping skills.
  • Education: some apps provide educational resources, teaching you about how to achieve recovery and give you a better understanding of substance use disorders.
  • Track progress: apps often have counters, keeping a log of how long you’ve been in recovery and celebrating your milestones.
  • Meeting locators: most apps contain meeting locator tools to find in-person and online meetings near you.
  • 24/7 support: if someone is asleep in your hometown, you’ll be able to find someone online around the globe who’s available to talk.
  • Positive reinforcement: by reading and hearing other people’s recovery stories and supporting folks who are struggling.
  • Access to medical and therapeutic support: some paid recovery apps, like Workit Health, provide access to recovery groups, medication management, and access to a doctor all through an app in the comfort of your home.
  • Earn cash: some apps use something called contingency management which is a way of rewarding you (financially and otherwise) for achieving your goals. So not only do you achieve sobriety, but your bank balance also benefits.

25 apps to help you stay sober

We’ve listed 25 apps below that can help you stay sober, including meditation apps, sobriety counters, crisis support, recovery support groups, and contingency management.

Meditation apps

While not strictly a sobriety tool, meditation is a vital skill to learn in your recovery.

  • Calm: an app with meditations in as little as a few minutes to 20 or 30 minutes which can be used to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, enhance focus, and work on self-improvement goals
  • Insight Timer: a free meditation app with thousands of guided meditations for sleep, times of stress, and courses to develop your meditation practice.

Suicide/crisis apps

  • Suicide Safety Plan: this app provides access to professional support to collaboratively develop a safety plan for folks experiencing a suicidal crisis. You’ll find information on warning signs, coping strategies, contacts, crisis lines, reasons to live, safety measures, and more.
  • Chill Pill: find peer support and a way to ask questions and receive guidance. You can even share anonymously.

Sobriety apps, counters, and behavior trackers

  • SoberGrid (iOS & Android): more than a sobriety tracker, this app is a global sober network of people in recovery providing 24/7 peer support. Features a burning desire alert that shows when you need immediate support.
  • I Am Sober (iOS & Android): tracks sobriety days and milestones, helps you build new habits, and has a withdrawal timeline to understand what to expect in recovery. You can even make daily pledges.
  • Sober Time (iOS & Android): allows various display modes to keep you inspired in your recovery journey.
  • We Connect: find peer support, counseling, and wellness planning, that also works on contingency management rewarding you for achieving your goals
  • SoberTool (iOS): Harvard-educated recovery counselor developed this tool using proven techniques that help you stay sober.
  • Sober Time (app). Sober calculator and community that helps track your recovery.
  • Affect: find Zoom meetings, a recovery program, and rewards for achieving your goals.
  • Quitzilla (iOS & Android): Sobriety counter and behavior change tool. This app allows you to track your behaviors, analyze them, and help you break them.
  • Nomo (iOS & Android): The app allows you to share sobriety clocks and shows you a breakdown of your progress.
  • Simple Habit (iOS & Android): helps keep track of your recovery, makes you accountable to your goals, and builds healthy recovery habits, like meditation.

Community groups (online and apps)

  • SoberGrid (iOS & Android): more than a sobriety tracker, this app is a sober network of people around the world who are in recovery. Features a burning desire alert that shows when you need immediate support.
  • Sober Sidekick (iOS & Android): offers instant sober support and advice as well as a clock feature.
  • LOOSID (iOS & Android): helps to connect you to a sober community and keep track of your recovery.
  • Reddit Recovery offers message boards and a virtual support hangout.
  • Harm Reduction Works (Facebook link): A harm reduction-based self-help/mutual aid group originally conceived as an alternative to abstinence-only types of organizations such as 12-step groups.
  • HAMS (Facebook link): A support group that seeks to provide harm reduction for alcohol resources
  • HAMS for Drugs (Facebook link): A group focused on harm reduction support for those who use any drugs (both legal and illegal) that aren’t the focus of the other HAMS groups.
  • Life After 12-Step Recovery (Facebook link): A Facebook group for people who have left or are leaving 12-step recovery but still want peer support (not an AA bashing group).
  • Living Sober (Facebook link) An international community run by Mrs D in New Zealand, but available globally..
  • Recovery Dharma (Facebook link): A peer-led Facebook community that uses Buddhist principles and practices for people seeking recovery support.
  • SHE RECOVERS Together (Facebook link): An online community of women and nonbinary individuals in all types of recovery.

For more detailed resources, including medication, advocacy, and mental health resources, you may find our Addiction Recovery Resources Guide helpful.

A future free of addiction is in your hands

Recover from addiction at home with medication, community, and support—from the nonjudmental experts who really care.

Olivia Pennelle (Liv) has a masters in clinical social work from Portland State University. She is a mental health therapist, writer, and human activist. Her writing has appeared in STAT News, Insider, Filter Magazine, Ravishly, The Temper, and Shondaland. She is the founder of Liv’s Recovery Kitchen, Life After 12-Step Recovery, and Tera Collaborations. She lives near Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Instagram @Livwritesrecovery and @teracollaborations

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