Even on a good day, it is possible to get lost in the sea of information available online about substance use disorders. The Internet is at once an indispensable tool and an overwhelming force when it comes to recovery resources.
You want to absorb as much as you possibly can.
You read a new article and chat on a different forum—and are often exhausted by repeating this pattern over and over again. Wouldn’t it be nice to turn the screen off once in a while?
That feat is easier said than done, especially when learning about addiction or your loved one’s addiction is such a high priority. Fortunately, in this information age, there is more than one way to do your research.
Take a step away from the computer and give these other mediums a chance. This post will highlight the most inspirational podcasts and books tackling the big subject of recovery.
Podcasts on Recovery
While the concept of a book needs no introduction, podcasting is a relatively new medium, albeit an increasingly popular one. Podcasts are on-demand Internet radio programs that are generally either the monologue of a single speaker or a conversation between a host and one or more guest speakers.
In other words, a podcast is for radio what Netflix is for television. However, most podcasts are completely free.
The simplest place to listen to a podcast is on your smartphone. All you need is a dedicated app. An iPhone user can listen to and download podcasts via iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Android has these and other options (minus iTunes). If you would prefer another means, any tablet or desktop computer can also play podcasts.
Listening to others talk candidly about their recovery can be a productive pause from hyper-focusing on your own situation. Take a look at these popular podcast productions that explore these topics in a fresh way.
- Recovery Elevator. Recovery Elevator is an online community for individuals seeking support for alcohol addiction. Four hosts—Paul Churchill, Tyrell Laurie, Mike Noll, and Maddy Laroya—run the community based on their experiences in recovery or loving someone with a drinking problem. They also curate a podcast, appropriately named “The Recovery Elevator podcast.” In it, speakers share their individual recovery stories while attempting to answer common questions people have as they work towards building a successful sober life for themselves. For example, one episode attempts to answer the question, “Is any amount of alcohol healthy?” Another asks, “Is tracking continuous sobriety important?”
- AA Beyond Belief. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is often criticized by non-religious people who see it as overly related to organized religion. The traditional 12-Steps don’t resonate with them. AA Beyond Belief is a community of agnostics who follow the 12-Steps in a secular way. The AA Beyond Belief podcast covers issues related to the 12-Steps, as well as topics such as substitute addictions, mindfulness, creativity in recovery, and the value of friendship as a source of sober support.
- The SHAIR Podcast. SHAIR (Sharing Helps Addicts in Recovery) is an online community offering recovery coaching and peer-to-peer support. The SHAIR Podcast features interviews with various individuals in recovery sharing their stories of addiction and what strategies they’ve used to stay sober. This program features a diverse array of perspectives. Nonetheless, family, AA, a strong faith in God, and a creative outlet for expressing emotions are often cited within the podcast as instrumental parts of the recovery process.
- Far from Finished. Far from Finished is a podcast emphasizing the idea that the need to seek recovery also opens the opportunity to create a new life for yourself. The program aims to share individual stories that show change is always possible for those who are actively seeking a path to wellness. Gratitude, open-mindedness, and the value of giving back to others are common themes in many of the episodes.
- Recovery Unscripted. This podcast covers relevant topics through conversations with a variety of influential and knowledgeable figures—including authors, clinicians, executives, and leaders within the recovery community. Listeners are encouraged to join the discussion, discover new truths, and be inspired by the compelling stories of hope that accompany recovery.”
Put “recovery podcasts” or “sober podcasts” into any search engine for a myriad of other related programming.
Books on Recovery
For those who prefer a more traditional medium, the ever-reliable book is an option! The vast self-help and motivational genres offer many avenues for exploration. Narrow the search to books on addiction and recovery and you will still find many titles.
Look below for examples of books to motivate and inspire you—available as hardcovers, paperbacks, digital books, or audio books to accommodate a wide range of reading preferences.
- Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. Drunk for the first time at age 11, author Sheff shares his descent in other substances: pot, cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, and crystal meth. This bestseller paints a vivid picture of the lies substance abusers tell themselves to deny they have a real problem. Pay special attention to the sequel, We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction, focused on Sheff’s rehab experience and continuing efforts to stay clean.
- Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel. Wurtzel struggled with severe depression as a young woman, which led to the development of her addiction to alcohol. Her memoir is a poignant expression of the longing and emptiness experienced by many young women with mental health issues, and how they attempt to fill that void with mind-altering substances.
- Saving Jake: When Addiction Hits Home by D’Anne Burwell. The book focuses on Burwell’s son Jake, who he began abusing OxyContin as a teenager. Jake dropped out of college and ended up homeless on the streets of Boulder, Colorado. This heartbreaking yet hopeful memoir looks at how a child’s addiction impacts the entire family.
Do you want more books? Visit your favorite search engine and enter terms like, “books about recovery,” “inspirational memoirs,” or “addiction and recovery biographies.”
Allow yourself a moment—or several—to indulge in these stories. Exploring new perspectives can help you better understand what to expect from the recovery process.