Best Online Sobriety Support Groups

Find a community to help you stay on track.

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Sobriety support groups are aimed at those looking to manage alcohol addiction or substance abuse. The groups may be faith-based or secular, promote abstinence or moderation, meet in-person or online, and involve structured coaching and programs or only understanding and support.

Sobriety support groups are beneficial if you struggle with alcoholism in the long-term or are concerned about relapse prevention. Research has shown that support groups and 12-step programs are effective for increasing alcohol abstinence and may even be more effective than other treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. A 2008 study also showed evidence that a peer-support community focused on self-determination can have a significant positive impact on recovery from substance addictions.

With the variety of resources available, these communities offer, from apps to chat groups to coaching programs, you'll inevitably find an option suited to your needs.

The 7 Best Online Sobriety Support Groups of 2021

Best Overall : Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)


 Alcoholics Anonymous

 Alcoholics Anonymous

Key Specs
  • Membership fee: Free, donations accepted
  • Structure: In-person and online meetings
Why We Chose It

Free to anyone who wishes to participate, Alcoholics Anonymous is known for its 12-step process and welcoming community.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Long history of support with people who have alcohol addiction

  • Free to participate in meetings

  • Offers both in-person and online meetings

Cons
  • Requires regular attendance

  • May not be suitable for those who can’t commit to its 12-step program

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an international association for anyone who has ever had a problem with alcohol. It is open to anyone regardless of gender, age, or background and is available worldwide.

Founded in 1935, AA follows a 12-step program based on spiritual principles, including the following:

  • Admitting that you are powerless over alcohol
  • Believing that a power greater than yourself could restore you
  • Making a list of people who you harmed and making amends to those people

AA also operates on the tradition that the group's common welfare comes first, and the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking. Ultimately, the goal of the group is to carry its message to alcoholics who are still suffering.

You can find an AA group near you by using the local resources locator on the AA website and searching by your zip code or postal code. AA also runs online groups and meetings for those who do not wish to attend in person.

There is no fee to join AA, but members accept donations to help support local groups since they do not accept outside contributions.

Best CBT-Based : Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART)


SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery

Key Specs
  • Membership fee: Free, donations accepted
  • Structure: Online forum, in-person and online meetings
Why We Chose It

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) aims to support through self-empowerment and motivation with a focus on education and mental health.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Based heavily on addiction research

  • Strong psychological focus

  • Offers both in-person and online meetings locally

Cons
  • May not be ideal for those not familiar with CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) offers global support meetings for recovery from addiction through self-empowerment. The goal of the program is to promote abstinence from alcohol and other substances through positive lifestyle changes. It's designed to empower individuals and transform lives from self-destructive to positive, constructive, and enjoyable.

The premise of SMART is that addiction serves a purpose in coping in the short-term with life problems but turns into a long-term problem. It's based heavily on addiction research and focuses on a four-point program involving the following components: motivation to change, coping with urges, managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and living a balanced lifestyle.

The program has a strong psychological focus by helping individuals develop the motivation to make changes that serve them better in the long-term, change beliefs surrounding addiction, manage emotions that trigger addiction, and replace addictive behaviors with more enjoyable activities.

Meeting facilitators follow a structured program focusing on mental health and education. They are not focused on the past but the present and future.

SMART meetings are free to attend, but donations are accepted near the end of every meeting.

Best Sobriety and Recovery App : Loosid


 Loosid

 Loosid

Key Specs
  • Membership fee: Free
  • Structure: Social network (app), hotline support groups, in-person events
Why We Chose It

Loosid offers a variety of online tools for support and provides interaction with others to encourage connections and networking while enjoying a sober lifestyle.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Offers app and social networking 

  • 24/7 hotline support groups

  • Offers resources and recovery tools

Cons
  • Depending on your location, there may not be a large network in the dating section of app

Loosid is a community for people looking to thrive and enjoy fun events and activities while abstaining from alcohol and other substances.

With Loosid, this includes "Boozeless Guides" that direct you to places you can go where there will be no pressure to drink alcohol, such as restaurants, events, and travel spots. The company also offers a sober dating community for those who are single and looking to met someone.

The group's motto is "Sober shouldn't be somber," reflecting the idea that people can still have fun even while not drinking alcohol or using other substances. This is best for people who feel as though their life will be lacking excitement if they are sober.

Loosid offers chat groups to help sober people meet one another where they live, make new sober friendships, and find people to do activities that don't revolve around alcohol. In addition to its social components, Loosid also works as a recovery app, with a Sobriety Help feature to help individuals work through a recent relapse and how people can maintain sobriety.

The company also offers six hotline support groups available 24/7 on the following topics: urges, bad days, early recovery advice, recent relapse, weekend/holiday issues, and just needing help. These hotlines are operated by community members who share what has worked for them.

The Loosid app is free to download.

Best Secular Group : LifeRing


LifeRing

LifeRing 

Key Specs
  • Membership fee: Free, donations accepted
  • Structure: Online and in-person meetings, email groups
Why We Chose It

LifeRing offers online and in-person meetings that promote self-empowerment rather than belief in a higher power, making it a good alternative to faith-based recovery groups.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Does not require participants to follow a step-by-step program

  • Promotes self-help and self-empowerment

  • Offers social networking

Cons
  • May not be ideal for those looking for structure of step-by-step program

LifeRing promotes an abstinent lifestyle through self-empowerment rather than belief in a higher power. Its three principles are sobriety, secularity, and self-help.

While members may also attend different groups or follow other sobriety teachings, some people come to LifeRing after finding that other programs did not work for them. LifeRing focuses on the present day rather than the past and promotes the idea that what will work for each person is unique.

Prominent within the LifeRing philosophy is the idea of the "Sober Self," or the part of you that has the power to overcome addiction. While this part of you may be weakened and overpowered by the "Addict Self," it is still there and can be re-awakened.

Therefore, the goal of LifeRing is to strengthen a person's Sober Self and weaken their Addict Self by connecting with others and sharing encouragement, advice, and strength. LifeRing does not require you to follow a step-by-step program; instead, you design your own program, as only you know the best path forward and the changes you need to make.

LifeRing offers online meetings and email groups. There is no cost to join LifeRing, but donations are accepted.

Best for Mindfulness : Club Soda


Club Soda Logo

Club Soda

Key Specs
  • Membership fee: Online community is free; courses start at about $50
  • Structure: Facebook and Slack groups, in-person events, courses
Why We Chose It

Promoting a mindfulness approach to sobriety, Club Soda offers live events worldwide to help connect people who want to cut down, stop briefly, or quit drinking altogether.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Growing network worldwide

  • Hosts in-person events

  • Offers searchable guide to alternatives to drinking alcohol

Cons
  • No inherent support built into program, best as a supplement to another sobriety support group

Club Soda bills itself as the "Mindful Drinking Movement" and was designed for those who want to cut down, stop briefly, or quit drinking altogether. It offers a "How to Drink Mindfully" program and also a one-month reset refresher course. Club Soda also published a book, "How to Be a Mindful Drinker," and has a monthly podcast with tips to change your drinking, events, and interviews.

Club Soda is based in the U.K. but has members worldwide and hosts Mindful Drinking Festivals. It also works with the hospitality industry to encourage more offerings to people who choose not to drink alcohol.

Club Soda is a great group option if you are looking for live events that you can attend, a mindfulness approach to sobriety, as well as a searchable guide to alternatives to drinking alcohol. Club Soda might be best used as an add-on resource to other sobriety groups or 12-step programs since there is no inherent support group built into the program.

Club Soda courses cost around $50 each, and donations are accepted from members.

Best for Women : Women for Sobriety (WFS)


Women for Sobriety Logo

Women for Sobriety Logo

Key Specs
  • Membership fee: Free, donations collected
  • Structure: In-person meetings, online forum, phone support
Why We Chose It

Women for Sobriety focuses on strategies that prioritize self-empowerment to overcome addiction and uses positive affirmations and mantras for self-value and emotional growth.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Support groups run by certified moderators

  • Focus on self-empowerment

  • Volunteers serve as phone contacts for those who need more individualized support

Cons
  • Some may find it difficult to commit to the program’s 12 Acceptance Statements

Women for Sobriety (WFS) was founded in 1975 as a not-for-profit organization helping women recover from substance use. The organization offers both online and in-person support groups run by certified moderators and chat leaders. If you wish to speak to someone one-on-one, there are also phone volunteers who can help you.

The program's foundation comes from a sociologist who believed that addiction among women could be traced to loss of identity, competing roles in society, and low self-esteemdepression, and guilt.

Some of the group's strategies include positive reinforcement, cognitive restructuring, relaxation, diet, and exercise. With these tactics, there is a focus on self-empowerment to overcome addiction.

The program is based on 13 Acceptance Statements encouraging spiritual and emotional growth. When these mantras are internalized, they provide a new way of thinking. Members are asked to wake up 15 minutes early each day, go over the 13 acceptance statements, and think about each one. Then, they are to choose one statement to focus on for the day.

There is no cost to attend meetings. However, silent donations are collected at all meetings, and the suggested amount is about $2 to $5.

Best Group Coaching Program : Tempest


Tempest Logo

Tempest Logo

Key Specs
  • Membership fee: Starts at about $59 a month; coaching starts at $199 (for four sessions)
  • Structure: Online community, virtual support groups, daily emails, courses, one-on-one coaching sessions
Why We Chose It

Tempest offers 24/7 support and access to coaches that can help personalize a plan and help you stay on track to achieve recovery from addiction.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Holistic approach to recovery

  • Offers educational resources, and one-on-one coaching sessions

  • Private online community

  • Only digital recovery program clinically-proven to reduce symptoms of alcohol use disorder

Cons
  • Pricey

Tempest is a unique membership-based sobriety support group focused on helping individuals free themselves from addiction.

The basic level of membership, named "Core" ($59/month), offers 24/7 access to a private online community and virtual support groups/events, as well as building your own personalized Tempest Recovery Roadmap and daily affirmation emails. Their "Intensive" level is available as an add-on for a one-time payment of $399 and offers a four-week intensive, clinically proven program to help change your relationship with alcohol forever. 

Tempest members also have the option to sign up for Accountability Coaching. For $199, you’ll receive four sessions with a trauma-informed Tempest coach to help identify your goals and create a plan to stay on track and achieve them.

Tempest's membership focuses on the underlying causes of addiction and how they show up in people's lives, how addiction affects all areas of your life, and why creativity, meaning, and purpose are crucial to breaking addiction.

Tempest operates under the assumption that addiction is the result of trying to escape from something else but that alcohol eventually becomes a problem on its own. For this reason, the membership programs involve looking deeply at the underlying causes of addiction, in addition to the secondary problem (the addiction itself).

Visit their website for membership discounts when you sign up in-full.

Final Verdict

Finding support while you’re dealing with addiction or alcohol use disorder can be challenging and overwhelming. Friends and family members may offer help but a structured group or program can be more effective in providing a plan that can keep you on track toward your goal of recovery. Online sobriety groups can offer you a good support system. It provides a safe space for sharing your experiences and challenges, while also offering a new network to connect with as you try to live a sober lifestyle. Many of the online groups here offer 24/7 access to an online community and resources and tools that can help motivate and guide you. Best of all, most of these online sobriety groups require no membership fees. Which one you choose will ultimately depend on your personal needs and goals.

Compare The Best Online Sobriety Support Groups

Company Price Structure
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Best Overall
Free, donations accepted In-person and online meetings
Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART)
Best CBT-Based
Free, donations accepted Online forum, in-person and online meetings
Loosid
Best Sobriety and Recovery App
Free Social network (app), hotline support groups, in-person events
LifeRing
Best Secular Group
Free, donations accepted Online and in-person meetings, email groups
Club Soda
Best for Mindfulness
Online community is free; courses start at around $50 Facebook and Slack groups, in-person events, courses
Women for Sobriety (WFS)
Best for Women
Free, donations collected In-person meetings, online forum, phone support 
Tempest
Best Group Coaching Program
Starts at about $59 a month; coaching starts at roughly $199 (for four sessions) Online community, virtual support groups, daily emails, courses, one-on-one coaching sessions

FAQs

What Are Online Sobriety Support Groups?

Sobriety support groups are organizations dedicated to helping those seeking a sober life connect with other like-minded individuals and find ways to jumpstart their new lifestyle. Sobriety support groups are not the same as treatment facilities and should not substitute for addiction treatment.

Is an Online Sobriety Support Group Right for Me?

A sobriety support group might be right for you if you are seeking a connection with others who are also looking to maintain sobriety, as well as resources specific to the addiction recovery process.

How Are Online Sobriety Support Groups Structured?

Sobriety support groups can be structured in a variety of ways. Some involve a series of steps through which members must progress to complete the program. Others use apps or coaching programs to help members work on specific goals or psychological techniques to manage addiction's underlying causes.

How Much Do Online Sobriety Support Groups Cost?

The cost for sobriety support groups ranges from free up to hundreds of dollars, depending on the program. Those with one-on-one components or structured coaching aspects will generally cost more, whereas groups that meet in-person and are led by former addiction sufferers tend to be free (with suggested donations).

Do Sobriety Support Groups Accept Insurance?

Sobriety support groups generally do not accept insurance because they are not treatment facilities. However, most groups are free of charge or have nominal fees.

How We Chose the Best Online Sobriety Support Groups

The best sobriety support groups were chosen based on the history of the company or organization, the variety of resources offered, accessibility to the general public, and focus on a niche aspect of sobriety support. When choosing a sobriety group, it's best to consider the specific needs you are looking to address. While Loosid and Club Soda are more geared toward socializing, LifeRing and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are focused on recovery.

Additional reporting by Stephanie Valera.

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2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Boisvert, R. A., Martin, L., Grosek, M., & Claire, A. J. (2008, December). "Effectiveness of a peer-support community in addiction." doi: 10.1002/oti.257