A helpful piece of literature can be an amazing thing – especially when it comes to your sobriety and spirituality. Alcoholics and addicts need all the help they can get with recovery which is why we’ve laid out 10 great books about sobriety and spirituality. With the help of these books, you continue your own path to recovery.
- The Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous Big Book
The AA or NA ‘Big Book’ is the seminal text for their respective 12-step programs. The books contain the 12-steps of AA or NA, the 12 traditions, how the program works, and personal stories of those who have successfully worked the program.
One of the most important parts of recovery is having a plan and the Big Book gives you that plan. The 12 steps and traditions of AA and NA have helped thousands before and can help you too. You don’t have to be a regular in 12-step meetings to glean lessons from the Big Book. If all else fails read the inspirational personal stories found in the back of the books to show yourself long-term sobriety is possible – even if you feel hopeless.
- Daily Reflections: Alcoholics Anonymous
Daily Reflections are a way to slow down and take a hard look at your recovery program. Daily Reflections by AA is a spiritual guide for every day of the year. Daily Reflections offers words of encouragement, ways to feel and show gratitude, and quotes that will have you thinking. The reflections generally start with a quote and a brief paragraph on how you can interpret that quote. This daily pause in your life has helped many addicts and alcoholics get through their days, one at a time.
- Under the Influence / Beyond the Influence: Katherine Ketchum
Under the Influence was a groundbreaking book that took alcoholism and addiction out of the shadows and into a national conversation. Released in 1984, the book was one of the first major publication to link alcoholism, not to a defect of person, but a defect of brain chemistry. The book explores why alcoholism can happen, what’s going on in alcoholic or addict’s brain, and concrete steps to find long-term sobriety.
Beyond the Influence was released in 2000 and is essentially an update of Under the Influence. Beyond the Influence focuses on new breakthroughs in addiction and alcoholism. Both books help addicts feel empowered and ready to beat their addictions.
- Unf*ck Your Brain: Faith G Harper
This book may have a graphic title, but it has proved very beneficial for recovering addicts. Unf*ck Your Brain is not primarily focused on addiction recovery but the issues most recovering addicts face like anxiety, depression, rage, and more.
The book is full of dirty jokes, curse words, and other features not traditionally found in a recovery handbook, but its quirkiness tackles the issues head-on. You can learn about how your brain can get off track, ways to cope with triggers and impulses, how to deal with trauma, and a host of other lessons. Use Unf*ck Your Brain to deal with the symptoms of PAWS and other issues that could derail your recovery.
- This Naked Mind: Annie Grace
Annie Grace addresses sobriety and addiction in a unique way that makes This Naked Mind a must-read. The book doesn’t just focus on the science of brain chemistry or spiritual steps, it focuses on the type of society that produces addicts and alcoholics and our relationship with addictive substances.
Have you ever wanted to quit drinking but felt like you’d be losing an old friend or that your old buddies would make fun of you for it? This Naked Mind explores the relationship we have with alcohol and how to end that relationship.
- Awakening Joy: James Baraz
If you’re sober but unhappy – what’s the point in being sober? Awakening Joy sees happiness as not something you chance across but something you can work for and that anyone can achieve. Though not applied directly to addicts, the 10 steps to awakening joy are useful for many addicts to help bridge the divide between sobriety and sobriety with happiness.
- Beautiful Boy: David Sheff
Beautiful Boy is the true story of David Sheff watching his son battle meth addiction. Though the book is written by a non-addict, it shows the other side of addiction. When we’re in full-blown addict mode we can shatter the lives of everyone around us and not even realize it. Sobriety always starts with the individual but knowing the importance of relationships and how much others can suffer from your addiction is important to help maintain sobriety.
- Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation: Mark W. Muesse
Meditation and mindfulness have proven beneficial to thousands of alcoholics and addicts. Learning to get outside of yourself, to calm your mind down, and to appreciate the world around you are all important parts of recovery. Practicing Mindfulness guides you through the mediation process and can help you achieve inner peace.
- Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions: Russell Brand
Literature about addiction and recovery can be dull but Russell Brand goes after addiction with humor, sincerity, and his own heartstrings. Brand doesn’t just talk about addiction to drugs and alcohol, but many other addictions we may be unaware of. Brand sees himself not as an example of greatness but an example of awfulness which he considers a great qualification to write about recovery – we agree.
- In the Realms of Hungry Ghosts: Gabor Maté
Gabor Maté spent years working with addicts on Vancouver’s Skid Row and details his learnings and in In the Realms of Hungry Ghosts. Maté offers a holistic approach to recovery and explores how addiction may not be what we think. A great work contemporary work on addiction, In the Realms of Hungry Ghosts, can help addicts see their recovery in a different way.
There are plenty of great books available to help you on your spiritual journey, but these are some of our favorite. Pick out one of these books from your local bookstore or library to help further your build to path your long-term sobriety and spiritual fulfillment.
Chris Clancy is the in-house Content Manager for JourneyPure’s Digital Marketing team, where he gets to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and researcher, with strong working knowledge of hospital systems, health insurance, content strategy, and public relations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two kids.