Favorite Sober Activities

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 8:51 AM, December 13th, 2016
Favorite Sober Activities: Playing Music with Friends

There are many fun activities teens and families can do together without using alcohol or other drugs.We asked our teens and parents to tell us their favorite sober activities. These will enhance your life while keeping you safe and substance free.

Favorite Sober Activities to do with Others

Whether you are with your family or friends, these activities can add enjoyment to your life.

  • Volunteer – You can ask your local place of worship for specific ideas or make a call to a favorite charity or cause. Check out homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and animal shelters.
  • Plan a Game Night – It sounds cheesy, but game nights can be great fun! Pull out an old favorite or grab a new game to try.
  • Play a Sport – Join a local team or grab friends or family for a pick-up game in the park or back yard. Skiing, canoeing, roller skating, and paintball are great ways to be active and sober.
  • Join a Music Group – Community choirs and instrumental groups are a great way to meet people and be creative. If you don’t want an organized group, grab your instrument and jam with sober friends.
  • Go to the Movies – Movies take up time and have great snacks!
  • Learn Something New – Is there something you’ve always wanted to know how to do or a topic you are interested in? Sign up for a class  at a local college or university, a YMCA, or even a place of worship. Join with a friend or meet people there.
  • Walking Tour – Many cities have walking tours of historical areas or buildings. You may be able to sign up with a guide, or there might be a downloadable version available to use on your own.
  • Plan an Potluck – Invite friends over for a potluck dinner. You can assign each guest a course or type of food to bring or leave it up to chance.
  • Play Video Games – Invite sober friends over to play video games.
  • Go to a Mutual Support Meeting (like AA, NA, or Smart Recovery)

Favorite Sober Activities to do Alone

Sometimes you just want to be alone.

  • Exercise – Go for a run, take up yoga, or check out a class at a local fitness club.
  • Read – Make time to read a book you haven’t read in a long time or a new one you keep hearing about.
  • Craft – Knitting, painting, and crafting are great forms of stress relief. They keep your hands and mind occupied.
  • Meditate – Learning to meditate can help you calm your mind. There are many apps (one client recommends Buddhify) you can use to help you learn even if you don’t want to take a class.
  • Learn Online – Sign up for an online course through a college or university or check out a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses), which are free courses often taught by professors at some of the nation’s best universities.
  • Be in Nature – Visit a local park or nature preserve, many have hikes and learning opportunities as well.
  • Pick up an Instrument – Have you always wanted to play guitar or piano? Now is your chance! Sign up for music lessons to learn a new instrument.
  • Journal – Document your progress and feelings. It can be helpful to reflect on your sobriety if you hit a rough patch later on.
  • Listen – Find new music or a new podcast. Ask friends, family, and teachers for recommendations.
  • Write – Do you have a favorite TV show, book, or movie? Try your hand at FanFiction.
  • Make a List – How many sober friends do you have? Make a list and call them to plan an activity. If you don’t have many friends on your list, keep trying activities to meet new people.
  • Enjoy the Season – Try ice skating outside. Plant flowers. Take a bike ride or swim. Go on a hike to enjoy the trees.

Make a Plan of Action

Choose 3 things to try in the next week. While some of these sober activities may sound boring or hokey, trying something new can be a great way to keep boredom at bay. Even if you expect an activity to fail, having a new adventure (with friends or by yourself) can make for a great story later!


ASAP is Cincinnati’s premiere outpatient treatment center for teenagers and their families struggling with substance use.


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