36 Best Resources to Help You Start the Recovery Process

addiction healing how to recover from addiction Apr 30, 2023

"You don't have a seizure disorder," the doctor said, "you're an alcoholic."

I’d like to say that was the moment I knew I needed help: sitting in a doctor’s office after my third seizure, trembling and sweating, my butt sticking to the parchment paper underneath my hospital gown, broke, afraid, drunk. 

I’d like to say I walked out of that hospital knowing exactly what to do. But I didn’t. 

At the time, I had few resources at my disposal. Alienated from my family, trapped in a teaching job that felt like a pressure cooker, I was alone—and I wasn’t ready to give up on the idea that I might drink “normally” one day. 

Additionally, I wasn’t prepared to explore the idea that I had an addiction, to begin with—I walked out of that doctor’s office thinking how crazy is it that I have a seizure disorder?!

Alcoholics Anonymous was, therefore, not my first choice. And it shouldn’t be. There are many roads to recovery—and I’ve explored all of them. 

When I did start looking, I had no idea where to begin. So I tried everything—rehab, 12-step programs, therapy, moderation management, spirituality, etc. But it would be years until I finally found something that worked for me. 

My hope is that no one ever feels the way I did again. My hope is that these words bring you one step closer to the healing you so desperately seek.

Whether you struggle with substance abuse, an eating disorder, or something more benign—like relentless self-criticism—my hope is that you find your way back to wholeness.

This guide contains everything you need to know about taking the steps to heal from addiction—no matter which kind. I encourage you to take what you like and leave the rest—and to experiment until you find that particular combination of things that brings relief at long last. 

First Steps

It begins with willingness.

That’s all you need—the willingness to get better. You need to entertain the possibility—nothing more—that what lies beyond addiction might be better than here. If you don’t have the willingness, start with the desire to have the willingness.

You’re already well on your way. 

The following consists of my recommendations for recovery. They are only suggestions—feel free to ignore them entirely and skip to the resources available in this guide. 

1. Cultivate Awareness

The first step towards recovery entails becoming aware of our suffering. I prefer to call it “discovery” because a) it connotes dynamism, and healing requires action, and b) it entails an interactive process of exploration and revelation. 

To heal from addiction, we must recognize that it’s there, to begin with. So much of the time, we don’t know that we’re suffering. We’ve simply become acclimated to the dysfunction. As a result, we distance ourselves from the suffering and, in so doing, exacerbate its calls for attention. The result is unresolved trauma, fragmentation, and constriction of the Self. Healing is, in a way,  putting the pieces back together again. 

We begin by greeting our addiction with compassion—after all, it was once an adaptive mechanism meant to serve us. Like a winter jacket in the summer, it no longer does. When we recognize our suffering, we accept that it is a part of us, beckoning it closer so that we might offer compassion—the same compassion we would suggest to another person in pain. As Kristen Neff explains in Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, “compassion involves the recognition and clear seeing of suffering. It involves feelings of kindness for those suffering so that the desire to help—to alleviate suffering—emerges.” 

Before we resolve resentment, we must invite it in. 

Thankfully, there is a time-tested practice of recognizing suffering: meditation.

Most people think of meditation as a stress-relieving practice or a manifestation hack. Though such approaches may proffer some use, they mistake the process for the goal.

Meditation is a practice of bringing conscious awareness to what ordinarily evades. It has no moral or transcendent value. Seated meditation is not the goal but empowers us to practice mindfulness. 

And it works: the practice has been proven to increase cortical thickness, strengthening the area of your brain responsible for rational decision-making. When you rewire your brain and expand your consciousness, you regain the power of choice. You access the awareness that you need to heal. 

Most importantly, mindfulness has been shown to ease addictive behaviors, introducing awareness where there once wasn’t. 

So consider adopting a practice of meditation. Start with five minutes a day—but show up for yourself.

Like brushing your teeth, meditation works best when done regularly—rather than once a week for an hour.

2. Go On a Dopamine Fast 

I first heard about the dopamine fast in Anna Lembke’s influential book on addiction, Dopamine Nation

Lembke recommends a short period of abstinence as a “test” of recovery, in which one practices detoxing from highly stimulating substances and behaviors, including (but not limited to):

  • Addictive technologies (social media, internet gaming, etc.) 
  • Psychoactive substances 
  • Behaviors (gambling, overeating, etc.) 
  • Addictive foods (sugar, salt, trans fats, etc.)

When you engage in a dopamine fast, your brain “resets” its dopamine balance, diminishing tolerance and easing addictive patterns.

You can experiment with this idea by temporarily cutting certain things from your life. The key is to remind yourself that you will return to business as usual as soon as your given period is over. 

Lembke recommends a month of dopamine fasting for best results—but for our purposes, any length of time will do. The point is to get a feel of what life might be like without your chosen behavior. And if you can’t cut your behavior (after all, it is an addiction), consider cutting something else to see how you fare with fewer triggers. 

Naturally, it will be difficult at first—painful even—but you may start to notice a different perspective creeping in.

Please note: if you have an alcohol or benzodiazepine addiction, you must go to detox to engage in abstinence. The risks of quitting on your own can be lethal. For help, please reach out to me directly. 

3. Look for Guidance

This step is often the hardest for many people—but it helps more than you can possibly imagine.

Searching for guidance is much simpler than it sounds and comes in many forms. You can talk to someone you know in a 12-step program, for instance, or join a Facebook group that caters to people like you. You don’t have to make a public post or even reach out to anyone—merely being around others working on your issue has proven beneficial. 

Additionally, your guidance doesn’t have to come from someone you know. You can listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos, or follow influencers focusing on recovery.

Research suggests that parasocial relationships can be just as effective in decreasing loneliness and promoting well-being as in-person relationships—shocking, I know, but it does work. 

So look for someone who has what you want and simply observe. No need to do anything—just watch.

Next Steps

“Next steps” is a misnomer. 

There is no real “starting point” for recovery—it’s different for all of us. However, many people find that supplementing their efforts with helpful research promotes change—and research indicates that listening to podcasts, reading books, and exposing yourself to new ideas is a powerful catalysts for growth. 

To that end, evaluate the following resources as potential starting points for your recovery. Remember: any action you take is a step forward.

The Best Podcasts 

This list includes some of the best recovery podcasts I’ve encountered. I’ve listened to all of them and can vouch for their efficacy.

The Bubble Hour

The Bubble Hour is a recovery-focused podcast from bestselling author Jean McCarthy. This podcast discusses the “pink bubble” effect of early recovery—how to cultivate joy in your recovery.

I recommend this podcast for anyone who doubts their ability to have fun in recovery and those in early sobriety. 

Recovery Happy Hour 

This beautiful podcast is brought to you by Tricia Lewis—an incredible author and compassionate interviewer who shares the stories of those healing from alcohol abuse and alcoholism.

Her podcast focuses on bridging the gap between heavy drinking and alcoholism; she speaks with plenty of people who don’t identify as alcoholics but sought relief from heavy drinking successfully.

I highly recommend this podcast for anyone dancing the line between the two.

10 Percent Happier 

Dan Harris had a panic attack on public television—and he wants you to know about it.

After years of smoking and drinking excessively, the leading newscaster found himself in a rut.

So he quit his job to pursue spirituality and mindfulness—and brought us this incredible podcast.

Funny, joyful, and incredibly enlightening, Ten Percent Happier is ideal for anyone who wants to introduce mindfulness into their lives and heal from compulsivity. 

The Addicted Mind 

From hit author of The Naked Mind, Annie Grace comes a podcast that tackles addiction from a clinical perspective, providing research-backed tips for overcoming it.

The podcast explores addiction from a unique and modern viewpoint. It’s ideal for spiritual skeptics and non-conformists.

A Sober Girl’s Guide

This podcast is ideal for any young woman seeking a better life.

Jessica, a young woman living it up in Los Angeles, shares heartening stories and pro tips for navigating recovery as a young person.

This podcast is ideal for people in recovery—and those young at heart.

Mindvalley Show

Although this podcast isn’t specifically geared towards those in recovery, Vishen Lakshmi has openly shared his struggle with compulsive behavior and discusses it often with his incredible guests—from author Gretchen Rubin to actor Matthew McConaughey. 

This podcast helped me immensely when I was trying to heal from behavioral addictions—and I suspect it will help you too.

That Sober Guy

Shane Ramer is dedicated to helping men quit drinking—and he’s good at it.

With over two million listeners, this podcast is among the most popular on this list. Shane discusses everything from macho culture and its impact on addiction to healing from shame and resentment. 

I highly recommend this podcast for any men seeking recovery—and those who love a man in addiction.

The Best Books 

Books have been an integral part of my recovery. 

From This Naked Mind to Quit Like a Woman, the following titles represent some of the best books about addiction and recovery. 

Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Drinking 

Allen Carr’s book is considered the most successful quit-drinking book ever. It offers a unique method that doesn’t require willpower, removing the will to drink quickly and painlessly.

It’s an incredible book that has changed millions' lives.

Dopamine Nation 

Anna Lembke is an addiction specialist with a bone to pick. 

In this book, she chronicles the many temptations of modern society—and how dopamine-infused industries have made us sick.

She provides easy and accessible solutions—all backed by extensive research.

This Naked Mind 

This Naked Mind is the book that started the sober-curious movement.

In this book, Annie Grace presents the clinical and psychological components of alcohol use—using the latest science—and proposes a methodology that removes our psychological dependence on alcohol—a must-read.

Quit Like a Woman 

Holly Whitacker argues that our traditional recovery modalities do not cater to the needs of women—and she proposes an alternative way.

This book is a combination historical account of addiction, a personal memoir, and a self-help book, and it has provided me with more tools than I can count.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts 

Prepare to rethink everything you’ve ever learned about addiction.

In this powerful study of addiction, Gabor Mate offers his industry-leading expertise to resolve the problem of dependence—on a personal and social scale. 

High Achiever: The Incredible Story of One Addict’s Double Life

Tiffany Jenkins tells the story of how her life fell apart—though it looked intact from the surface.

This book is a memoir, so it won’t teach you how to overcome addiction—but it will bring the connection and guidance you need on your way out. 

Codependent No More 

If your addiction is in any way related to a person, this book is for you.

Codependent No More is a fantastic examination of codependency from the perspective of a codependent. 

This modern classic teaches you exactly how to unhitch a person's hold on your life—sustainably and for the long term. 

The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober 

Catherine Gray has written a memoir for the ages.

This book discusses her hilarious and unbelievable forays into addiction—and her road to recovery, peppered with unexpected joys and beautiful moments.

It’s an excellent book for anyone in doubt that recovery is worth it. 

Spirit Junkie

Gabrielle Bernstein struggled with an eating disorder, drug and alcohol abuse, and relentless self-criticism before becoming one of the most celebrated recovery coaches and teachers.

This book represents her guide on developing self-love as a road to recovery—it’s poignant, funny, and mighty. 

Alternative Resources

There are many more resources you can leverage on your journey to recover—the possibilities are endless.

One of the best things I ever did for myself was connect with influencers and YouTubers in the discourse around recovery.

TikTok has become a powerful resource for people all around the world. I recommend checking out the following:

  • RecoveryCoachCamille (me!) 
  • Beyond.Sober 
  • DazeeMaee (makeup and recovery)
  • MainlineHarmReduction 
  • And more! 

The Big Leap

Once you’ve decided on taking the giant leap, it’s time to consider your options.

While you’ve likely heard of AA, numerous other resources are out there for you to benefit from.

Consider the following treatment and healing modalities. And remember—experimentation is key.

The Best Therapies 

The following represent some of the best therapeutic models available. 

Consider each before making your decision.

Holistic Medicine 

Holistic medicine is more of an attitude and less of a therapy.

It focuses on providing whole-body solutions to traditionally isolated problems.

Part of the problem with the “disease” model of addiction is that it limits us to considering addiction from only one perspective.

A holistic practitioner will examine your brain, body, and mental states to provide curated solutions for your addiction. 

Addiction Counseling 

A substance abuse counselor is a trained expert who provides advice and support tailored to your needs.

Although many counselors specialize in substance abuse disorders, you can likely work on them with anything you like. Consider checking out Psychology Today for more information on where to find the best addiction counselor near you. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy 

DBT is a type of skill-based therapy that focuses on providing actionable solutions to the problems of addiction and mental illness. 

DBT changed my life, introducing me to all the coping skills I missed as a child and significantly improving my recovery.


Medication is an excellent option when it comes to substance abuse. There are many more options available than ever before, including Naltrexone, a medication that inhibits the release of dopamine when you drink or engage in your target behavior.

Remember that taking medication does not negate your sobriety. Consider asking a psychiatrist how they can help you.


EMDR is a therapeutic method that leverages binary stimulation to help you process trauma and brutal memories.

While I wouldn’t recommend this method to anyone early in recovery, it’s an excellent resource for those looking to dig deeper.

The Best Programs 

You’ve heard of AA—but have you heard of Recovery Dharma?

Finding the right program for you can be challenging with so many options.

Consider the following available programs to find a meeting in your area.

Remember, you don’t have to commit to anything except yourself. 

12-Step Programs

Born in the 1930s, Alcoholics Anonymous is the oldest, time-tested method for achieving recovery. 

There are meetings for everything from workaholism and sex addiction to cocaine and codependency.

While it can be difficult for some due to its Christian roots, emphasis on spirituality, and rigorous methodology, it got me sober and has helped millions do the same.

Remember to take what you hear with a grain of salt—no one program has all the answers, and nothing is perfect. 

Moderation Management 

Moderation management is a popular alternative to AA that aims to teach its members how to moderate their alcohol consumption.

While I’ve never tried it (I honestly don’t trust myself with alcohol), I’ve heard great things from friends.

Remember that moderation can be extremely difficult for some people, so consider attending a meeting or joining the Facebook group before committing. 

SMART Recovery 

Smart recovery stands for “self-management and recovery training.”

This program aims to leverage the power of research-backed methods to develop a roadmap to recovery. 

It was created by AA defectors who believed that, rather than accepting powerlessness, they needed to reclaim their power.

I recommend this program to anyone having difficulty with that same issue.

Recovery Dharma

Recovery Dharma is a secular, Buddhist philosophy-based recovery program that meets in cities and towns worldwide.

This is my preferred program, as there is a meditation component, and the members are always very open-minded.

I recommend this program to those seeking spirituality without religion.


Rehab should never be the last resort.

Take it from me: it’s sort of fun.

If you suspect you can’t do it on your own—or it’s not safe to do it—don’t be afraid to consider a rehab center.

Many are free and subsidized by the government, though you can opt for a more posh atmosphere if you want equine therapy and acupuncture.

Think of it as a vacation—with some severe self-work involved.

Alternative Therapies

While these represent some of the most research-supported methodologies for healing from addiction, countless others exist. 


  • Cold Water Therapy: Check out the Wim Hof method to learn how cold water therapy can help you heal from compulsive behavior and find joy in the day-to-day
  • Yoga is an excellent way to get back into your body and learn to listen to what it wants.
  • Ketamine Therapy: With the increasing availability of medically assisted psychedelics, ketamine therapy has become a hit.  Remember to try this out with a doctor or trained professional.
  • Ibogaine Therapy: Ibogaine is a recent addition to the market—and you’ll have to find a practitioner who administers it—but it’s been proven with extensive research to benefit those struggling with addiction. 
  • Psylocilbin Microdosing: Many people swear by shrooms—and the microdosing craze is popular among those in recovery for a reason. Remember to try this out with a doctor or trained professional.


So, What Should You Do?

When I walked out of the hospital, I was thirsty. 

I went to the nearest bar, sat down, and drank six Blue Moons. 

But you know what? The idea was planted. Despite my incredible capacity for denial, I knew, on some level, that something needed to change.

Although my big moment came much later, I was already on my way.

And so are you.

Please book a session here for more support and a free recovery consultation.


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