It has never been a better time for recovering alcoholics with the wealth of programs and tools available to assist with their goal to stop or curtail drinking. Among these tools are hundreds of mobile apps that help every step of the way.
We’ve listed 20 of our top picks that do their best to support alcoholics get started with a recovery program, stay sober or curtail their drinking binges, and connect to a supportive community of friends.
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS 12-STEP PROGRAM RESOURCES AND AIDED
Alcoholics Anonymous – The Big Book (iOS, $2.99)
Instead of toting around this life-changing tome, you can bring with you everywhere in digital audio and text book format in a single app. It’s this multimedia experience that makes it doubly useful and usable. Content is divided in neat chapters so you can jump into your favorite sections in a few clicks.
Field Guide to Life (iOS, $4.99 for first volume)
Despite its relatively high costs, this award-winning app should be more than worth it for the high quality tools and evidence-based program it provides to newly recovering alcoholics. The first year is often the hardest but the Field Guide to Life is there to assist you every step of the way by teaching core recovery principles across three volumes: The Basics, Owning It and The New You.
One Day At A Time (iOS, Android, $1.99 on both)
Feeling a little lost in your current recovery step in Alcoholics Anonymous? This app gives a much-needed refresher. You can even read about the past steps if you need that extra reminder during times you feel particularly lost or lacking in control. Plus it spurts out prayers and inspirational messages like a font of friendly advice.
Recovered (iOS, free)
This popular recovery podcast has designed programming around the 12 steps for alcoholic addiction. It provides the listening episodes for free to stream or download to be played offline. Convenient functions such as playbacks, favorites and episode search further enhance the podcast experience.
Saying When (iOS, $1.99)
Designed and developed by experts at The Centre of Addiction and Mental Health, Canada’s leading addictions and mental health hospital, this app provides a detail program on how to quit or cut down on drinking. The program can work on its own without ever attending meetings or opening up to a group of strangers, as it is with traditional AA programs, and is an alternative for those that want to take the self-help route.
AA MEETINGS AND SOCIALIZATION
iPromises Recovery Companion (iOS, free)
Share meetings and access shared meetings with this comprehensive recovery helper app. Among its many features is the ability to use your iPhone’s GPS to locate the nearest local AA offices in the US, Canada and many other countries. It also lets you add friends and keep contact with them so you can help each other out in your road to alcohol abuse recovery.
Anonymous Sober Recovery Chat (iOS, free)
With a community of more than 20,000 alcoholics and addicts, this social app lets you meet and chat with your sober peers from Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs. Connecting and relating with other recovering alcoholics will go a long way in keeping you focused. It is completely anonymous and no registration is required.
Rebos Sober Neighborhood (iOS, free)
Life without alcohol drinking may at first seem a bit drier, but there are tons of other sober activities to enjoy. The Rebos Sober Neighborhood app expands your social circle to include plenty of non-drinking friends who want to have sober fun with you. The location-based network lets you connect with individuals near you, build a profile to help attract like-minded friends, and a chat system to get the social ball rolling.
A.A. Speakers (Android, $1.00)
Nothing beats attending an AA meeting, but the AA Speakers app gives you a wealth of speeches and workshops AA meetings and conventions. It also includes audio books from the AA program. With hundreds of hours of inspiring audio tapes, this app lets you take one step further in your recovery as if you never left the comfort of your local meeting.
Days (iOS, free)
Days has two main strengths: Discreetness and tracking multiple sobriety dates. Its app name does not scream “I’m a recovering alcoholic!” which gives you increased privacy from smartphone snoopers. It can also track up to 20 multiple sobriety dates if you are struggling with more than one issue aside from resisting the siren call of liquor.
I am Sober (iOS, $1.99)
Alcohol recovery can feel like a day-to-day struggle, which is where I am Sober comes in to make the daily grind much more bearable. Daily achievement notifications from this sobriety tracking app reinforces your will to keep off the bottle, with special notifications and unlocks for reaching key milestones like 7 days, 1 month and more. It has also recently added a savings tracker to put a layer of financial satisfaction to your recovery journey.
MEDITATION AND OTHER CRAVING STOPPERS
Sobertool – Alcoholism and Addiction (iOS, free)
If you get an itch to have a tiny sip, Sobertool is designed to nip that nagging craving in the butt. A series of simple questions will lead you to a message to help you stay on the sobriety track. More importantly, it enlightens you more about the underlying issue behind your craving. Other features include a sobriety rewards system and support finder tool.
Stop Drinking with Andrew Johnson – (iOS, Android, $2.99 on both)
Relax and visualize your recovery goals with help from hypnotist and stress-management coach Andrew Johnson. Through the app, Johnson helps you mute out the devilish calls of alcohol and enter a state of tranquility. The idea is to bring peace into your soul and eliminate the destructive habit to numb pain and stress with alcohol.
SOBRIETY WRITING JOURNALS, READINGS AND AFFIRMATIONS
My Spiritual Toolkit (iOS, free)
Writing down you thoughts and feelings can be tremendously therapeutic for your sobriety. My Spiritual Toolkit is a sobriety journal app that lets you write entries on-the-go. You don’t need to be worried about your entries suddenly leaking to the Internet. Privacy is protected with encryption and secure storage systems similar to those used by banks, so you can be completely honest with each entry.
Recovery & Sobriety Quotes (iOS, $1.99 to download)
Feeling down and out? Then you might be better off dropping two bucks on the Recovery & Sobriety Quotes app than a Starbucks drink. The spiritual pick-me-up is immediate. The app’s insightful zingers bring encouragement, re-affirmation and even a gentle kick in the butt for even thinking about giving up on your hard-earned sobriety.
Happy Apps Sobriety & Freedom (iOS, $0.99 to download)
Spoken affirmations are like little bright lampposts that light up your path to sobriety. Now you can have them handy and ready to play in seconds with the Happy Apps Sobriety & Freedom app. Play, listen then repeat until you feel the good vibes. It boasts deep customizability with user-controlled options for session length, sounds and music accompanying the affirmations, and whether you want to hear a male or female voice.
Joe and Charlie (iOS, $2.99 to download)
The creators of this namesake app met decades ago and became close friends as they helped each other remain sober. The pair created study sessions based on the “The Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous — an essential tome for recovering alcoholics — providing additional wisdom for listeners. Their unique perspective and wise words serve as a delightful complement to the standard AA curriculum.
Today’s Step (iOS, free with purchasable upgrades)
If you seek a steady stream of daily messages, inspirational stories, affirmations, meditation and exercise videos — then this diverse app is for you. Despite its depth of content, it is easy to navigate and content can be shared with friends who are also in recovery. Today’s Step strives to become a robust support system for recovering alcoholics, and is valuable enough even when using the free version.
ALCOHOL INTAKE CONTROL AND TRACKERS
DrinkControl (iOS, free with $2.99 to unlock full features; Android, free)
Some recovering alcoholics strive to simply reduce their intake instead of quitting completely, which is where DrinkControl comes in. The app takes alcohol intake tracking into a fascinatingly accurate science so that glasses, bottles or cans can be converted into standard units of alcohol. As long as you log your consumption correctly, you can stick within your limit and avoid cheating.
Control Alcohol (iOS, $4.99)
Do you lack self-discipline in watching your alcohol intake? Maybe a little hypnosis conditioning from British hypnotherapist Darren Marks can help. The audio app claims to help the listener access a deep hypnotic state to unlock improved control over your drinking, whether it is to stop completely or reduce consumption. The sessions also help you relax, release limiting beliefs and decisions and sleep better.