5 Ways to Find Your Sober Tribe

Everyone knows that you become more like the people you spend the most time with. This is particularly true for individuals who spend time with destructive, negative or unhelpful people.

If you’re someone suffering from an addiction to alcohol, you must therefore choose your friends, or your ‘tribe’ very carefully.

It’s unrealistic to think you can go your entire life being surrounded by sober people.

However, if you choose to spend time with people who understand your addiction, you’ll be much better equipped to find the strength to stay sober yourself.

In fact, finding a tribe of peers has been historically proven to be a key component in aiding recovery from a number of addictions [1].

Being with your sober ‘tribe’ will give you the right kind of support who understands your addiction and encourages your recovery.

Whether you just need them present when you’re in an environment where alcohol will be present, or just there for whenever you need to speak to them, it’s important that they’re real friends who you can trust.

However, it’s not always easy to find trusted, responsible friends.

So, here’s a list of five ways that you can find your sober tribe: [2]

1. Join a Real Life Recovery Group

In the digital age, the idea of joining a real-life, in-person group might seem daunting to many.

However, it’s one of the most trusted and traditional ways to recover.

The truth is, you’re much more likely to recover if you’re surrounded by people on a frequent basis who may offer help, support and advice. They’re also likely to have experienced or are still experiencing the same things as you.

Whether it’s a traditional, well-known group like the AA or somewhere else, there are groups all over the world and country who will welcome you with open arms.

With a quick google for local groups in your area, you could be joined up to the next session in a matter of minutes.

2. Alcohol-Free Hobbies and Activities

The positive effect of taking part in hobbies and activities should not be underestimated.

They help with your mood, health and overall wellbeing, and should be considered even if you’re not suffering from alcoholism.

However, they’re also an amazing way to find a group of like-minded, sober people!

Not only will you make friends, but you’ll replace all the time you used to spend drinking with healthier habits.

Here’s a list of sober activities and hobbies you could take up:

  • Going to the gym
  • Yoga
  • Drawing or painting
  • Theatre (attending the theatre or performing in it)
  • Travelling
  • Surfing or paddleboarding
  • Hiking
  • Baking

3. Give Meet Up.com a Try!

I know what you’re thinking, is an online website really going to help me find my sober tribe? How will I know what they’re like? Or if they’ll have the same interests as me?

Well, meet-up.com is an online forum that prioritises helping people find other people who have similar, shared interests. Whether it’s yoga, painting, cooking or surfing!

Each of these activities is classed as a ‘meet up’ and according to MeetUp.com, there are literally thousands of them [2], so there literally aren’t any excuses.

What’s even better about meetup.com, is that there are loads of soberly themed meetups and activities, all with hundreds of individuals who have joined them.

You can even search for local meetups and individuals by setting your radius by a mile. If you’re struggling to find an activity that interests you locally, you’re even able to start one yourself.

It might be a bit intimidating at first to join a new meetup or even start one, but it’s important to remember that everyone in the meet up was in your position at some point. You’re all literally in the same boat!

You’ll end up finding a bunch of new people who are not only interested in what you’re interested in, but you’ll find a brand new group of sober friends who will support your recovery and have a good laugh along the way.

4. Surf the Web and Social Media for your Online Tribe

Although social media has its dangers and negative points, it’s always been a great way to connect with old friends and meet new people. That’s why it was invented after all.

There are plenty of ways you can meet sober people online, without the use of websites such as meetup.com.

You can easily search for blogs, Facebook pages and groups, Twitter pages and Instagram accounts where individuals who are suffering from addiction might be able to offer friendship, help or advice.

Often, individuals currently undergoing recovery will post their stories and struggles via a post, story or reel. Even if you don’t engage with these individuals, simply following them and listening to their stories, it’ll make you feel inspired and encouraged to stay sober.

Or, you could start posting your own stories and struggles. This might attract other individuals who are looking for their sober tribe and support too!

There’s also a load of really supportive online events hosted on social media via live stories.

5. Stop Hiding your Struggles and Be Open about your Sobriety

Although it might not be obvious to some, one of the best ways to find sober friends is to be open about your sobriety.

If you’re open and honest about your struggle, or just that you wish to remain sober, then you’re much more likely to find yourself surrounded by other people who feel the same way.

Whether you decide to tell your friends and family that you now wish to stay sober or bring it up in a passing comment, you should make it known.

You could even make a post online, telling the world that you’re not sober and proud of it. This is likely to attract other sober individuals who relate to you, and once they interact with you then things will likely snowball.

The more people you meet, the more people you’ll meet!

How to Stay Sober When You’re Out with Friends Who Do Drink

Below is a list of ways that will help you stay sober when you’re with your non-sober friends:

1. Create Boundaries and Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Although saying ‘no’ might sound like an easy thing to do, everyone knows that in reality, it’s often difficult to say no and put your foot down.

This is especially true for someone who’s previously suffered from an addiction to alcohol and is being offered a friendly, harmless drink. However, to them, this one drink could create more harm than the person offering them the drink could even begin to imagine.

However, finding the strength to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ will make it much easier when you’re offered a drink.

Or, simply say ‘no’ to the opportunity to hang out in a bar or pub, where you know alcohol will be present. You might not simply trust yourself in that environment yet, and that’s okay.

You need to learn, understand and stand by your boundaries. Doing so will provide you with more strength and confidence than ever before, by knowing that you’re prioritising your health.

Making a habit of saying ‘no’ to things that conflict with your overall goals and desires will not only help you with your addiction but in so many other aspects of life too.

2. Internal Manifesting and Mantras

We all know that manifestation has become a bit of a buzzword recently.

However, the power of having some mantras in your head whilst you’re out in an environment with alcohol can be really effective.

Mantras are a great way of changing your thought patterns to think more positively and confidently.

There are lots of different types of mantras out there. Some are simple, and some are less so. The brilliant thing about internal mantras is just that; they’re integral.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t want anyone else to hear them or know about them, because they won’t. So it doesn’t matter if you’re worried about what someone else would think of them; whatever works for you, works for you.

You can also use these mantras and sayings in your day to day life, too. They’re not only useful for when you’re in an environment where you’re going to be exposed to alcohol, but when you’re pottering around the house and walking the dog.

3. Find Venues with More than just Alcohol

If you’re out with your friends who are drinking, then try to find bars and places to go where they have more going on.

For example, there are some bars with mini-golf courses on them, bowling alleys, dart boards and pool tables.

This will give you other things to do with them, and drinking will become a background activity, rather than the main event.


[1] Azrin NH. Improvements in the community-reinforcement approach to alcoholism. Behav Res Ther. 1976;14(5):339–348. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

[2] https://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/blog/5-ways-find-sober-tribe/

[2] https://www.meetup.com