Health & Wellness

4 Ideas for Having More Fun During Addiction Recovery

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

– Abraham Lincoln, 16th. U.S. President, who one Good Friday evening turned to his wife, and said, “I’m bored just kicking around the house, Mary – let’s go downtown to Ford’s theater and take in a show” – a decision which rapidly paved the way for the incoming 17th. U.S. President

Addiction recovery is a serious business

AA or NA group support meetings, one-to-one therapy sessions with specialist addiction counselors, regular health checkups with your family physician – at all of these particular events or medical appointments, laughing and joking is prohibited by law, and even casually smiling is heavily frowned upon.

Haven’t you read the numerous warning signs regarding happiness displayed in residential rehab centers and outpatient program facilities? You can’t miss them, so don’t tell me that you forgot to read the smallprint.

Yes, for the uninitiated and those who simply don’t know (maybe you’re only just setting out on your personal journey to a lifetime of sobriety, you rookie), addiction recovery is strictly not the place for fun. Of any kind. Whatsoever…

You are in recovery from substance or alcohol abuse. It’s not meant to be F – U – N.

No-one, absolutely no-one, said you can be happy doing it.


What is it with people? Honestly? Just because you’re actively doing something extremely positive about your addiction, and making radical changes to the way you have previously led your life, does that mean you’ve stopped being human?

Does sobriety equal solemnity? Forever?

As a recovering substance addict, have you lost the ability to smile, laugh, or just be plain happy? Ever again? Oh, please…

Now, my path has crossed that of many, many people in recovery from their addiction, and it’s pretty obvious to me that they are some of the most content and happy souls I’ll ever encounter. On the other side of the coin, I’ve met many people, even extended family members, who knew me before as a raging alcoholic and part-time drug addict, who now see me and say, “Oh, not drinking anymore? That’s a real shame for you.”

Nowadays, when this happens, I just smile and walk away. I suggest you do the same.

Here are your 4 Ideas for Having More Fun During Addiction Recovery.

Sports, Exercising & Activities

Recovery can be as enjoyable and fun a process as you want it to be. It’s entirely up to you. In fact, one of the most satisfying parts of any addiction recovery is simply realizing that you don’t need to be high or drunk to enjoy the company of others, and to be able to express that enjoyment in a completely clean and sober way, without the need for any substances at all.

Another realization that comes with recovery is finding that you suddenly have a lot more energy and zip than you used to have. All at once, you’ll not only stop turning your nose up at the thought of doing sports, exercising or other physical activities – you’ll be wanting to do these things. Any physical activity that involves a social or team element leads to enjoyment and fun, such as making new friendships with others whose fitness is important to them.

A close friend attended an outpatient rehab Denver last year, as the final part of her addiction treatment. She was exceptionally impressed with their Nutrient Therapy Services, which she said was an excellent addition to helping her find fitness again. In other words, eat really well, and you’ll have even more energy.

Being Creative

So that’s the body, but what about the mind? Addiction messes with your brain in numerous ways. Finding and maintaining sobriety is the perfect way to help your brain and all its many processes to heal and recover. Soon, your cognitive thinking improves, you become more rational, and you naturally feel more creative. Your brain is simply telling you it wants to do stuff… and creativity can be the perfect avenue for this.

The whole world of creative art is waiting for you, from painting canvases to creative writing, and from sculpture to pottery, and beyond. Perhaps, there is a particular art form you’ve always wanted to try – so try it, and see where it takes you.

Education Never Ends

Many of those in addiction recovery chose to return to school or college in some fashion to improve their education, future job prospects and career development. Taking a course – academic or vocational – helps to keep a positive focus on your life ahead, and is another great way to widen your social circle.


For the recovering addict, there is no better way of “giving back” to society’s vulnerable and those in need than the act of volunteering. Giving back to others in recovery is the ultimate guaranteed feel-good factor – excellent for the mind, body and soul. Additionally, if you feel like you really could learn to smile naturally again, this will surely do it.

There are a wide variety of volunteering avenues to choose from – working with kids and teenagers in recovery from substance abuse, serving the poor and others in need in your community, being a part of community nature walks, or simply visiting elderly folk who sadly, but normally, never get any visitors coming to their door.

In summary, your “4 Ideas for Having More Fun During Addiction Recovery”:

  • Sports, Exercising and Activities
  • Being Creative
  • Education Never Ends, and
  • Volunteering

It is your addiction recovery.

It is your decision how you wish to focus on that recovery.

As old Abe Lincoln once said, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

My advice? Choose to be happy in recovery. Enjoy it and do fun things that put a smile on your face.

Fully embrace your new-found optimism for the future.

In the process, you’ll learn much more about yourself and others.

Lastly, laugh a lot. Smile like an idiot, if you want to.

There really is no law against it.


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