The 7 Best Online Sobriety Support Groups of 2020

Find a community to help you stay on track

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Alcoholics Anonymous

"Founded by Bill Wilson in 1935, AA follows a 12-step program that is based on spiritual principles."

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

"The program aims to help individuals develop the motivation to make changes that serve them better in the long-term."

Best Sobriety and Recovery App: Loosid

"Loosid offers chat groups to help sober people meet one another where they live and make new sober friendships."

Best Secular Group: LifeRing

"LifeRing focuses on the present day rather than the past and promotes the idea that what will work for each person is unique."

Best for Mindfulness: Club Soda

"Club Soda was designed for people who want to cut down, stop briefly, or quit drinking altogether."

Best for Women: Women for Sobriety (WFS)

"The organization offers both online and in-person support groups run by certified moderators and chat leaders."

Best Group Coaching Program: Tempest

"Through the coaching support program, participants will create specific plans designed for their own situations."

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.

These types of groups are best suited to individuals with mild to moderate problems with alcohol or substances or those who are completing a treatment program at the same time.

Sobriety support groups are especially helpful if you struggle with alcoholism in the long-term or are concerned about relapse prevention. With the variety of resources that these communities offer, from apps to chat groups to coaching programs, it's certain that you'll find an option suited to your needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Alcoholics Anonymous Logo

 Alcoholics Anonymous

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

Founded by Bill Wilson in 1935, AA follows a 12-step program that is based on spiritual principles including the following: admitting that you are powerless over alcohol, believing that a power greater than yourself could restore you, and making a list of people who you harmed and making amends to those people.

AA also operates on the tradition that the common welfare of the group 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 by 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 donations are accepted at meetings to help support the organization since it does not accept outside contributions.

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

SMART Recovery Logo

SMART Recovery

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 research into addiction 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 that surrounding addiction, manage emotions that trigger addiction, and replacing 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 on 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 Logo

 Loosid

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 that are 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 logo

LifeRing 

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; rather, you design your own program, as only you know the best path forward and the changes that you need to make.

LifeRing offers in-person and online meetings. There is no cost to join LifeRing, but donations are accepted.

Best for Mindfulness: Club Soda

Club Soda Logo

 Club Soda

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 all over the world and hosts Mindful Drinking Festivals. It also works with the hospitality industry to encourage more offerings to people who are choosing not to drink alcohol.

Club Soda is a great sobriety 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 not an 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

Women for Sobriety (WFS) was founded in 1975 as a not-for-profit organization helping women to 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 resulting low self-esteem, depression, and guilt.

Some of the strategies employed in the group 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

Tempest is a unique sobriety support group that offers an eight-week virtual course to help individuals free themselves from addiction.

The course involves setting an intention for each day or starting with a meditation, as well as weekly lectures with accompanying worksheets and workbooks. Live Q&A calls are also offered, along with a private community to connect with others doing the program. Tempest is designed to complement other detox or 12-step programs rather than replace them.

Tempest's coaching program 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 key to breaking addiction. Through the coaching support program, participants will create specific plans designed for their own situations.

The program 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 coaching program involves looking deeply at the underlying causes of addiction, in addition to the secondary problem (the addiction itself).

The cost of Tempest's coaching program is around $547. However, there is an Equity Scholarship for those living in communities who have been strongly affected by addiction for roughly $197.

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.

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 be a substitute for treatment for addiction.

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 the underlying causes of addiction.

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 These 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.

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