Best Books to Read After Rehab

You’ve made it through rehab! Now what? Substance abuse treatment centers should prepare you for sober living, but sometimes it still hits you hard. You’ve been used to numbing your emotions and not taking responsibility for your life. Having to learn how to feel and to take care of yourself — to really care for yourself — isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Time to study up and get reading! Learn from the tales and advice of the people who have walked this road before you; it makes things just a little bit easier. Whether you’re looking for a workbook or laughter and inspiration, there’s something for everyone in this list.

  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindfulness and meditation are buzzwords in virtually all substance abuse treatment centers. But if you still struggle to understand these concepts and how you can apply them to your recovery, pick up this book. It has the potential to change your life!
  • Full Recovery: Creating a Personal Action Plan for Life Beyond Sobriety by Brian McAlister. Your recovery journey doesn’t stop just because you check out of a rehab center. It’s an ongoing process. This book is full of actionable advice that can keep you moving forward and inspired.
  • Dry: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs. Have you ever been at an AA meeting or a group therapy session listening to the personal stories of other recovering addicts and thought, “Wow, OK, I am doing pretty good,” and felt hopeful about your future? If not (or even if you have), this memoir gives you a chance to do just that. Not for the faint of heart, Burroughs’ memoir may yet give you the inspiration you need to keep your chin up for another day.
  • Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks, and Weirdos by Bucky Sinister. Yes, the title is a little kooky, but the premise is one that many recovering addicts can relate to: how to make the most of a 12-step program when you don’t believe in a higher power. Author Bucky Sinister peppers in plenty of laughs along the way, which is sure to get those good ol’ dopamine pathways firing!
  • Cosmos by Carl Sagan. Do you ever get overwhelmed about events in your life? This book will make you feel small and extraordinary at the same time. An exploration of the universe, Cosmos puts life into perspective and is a surprisingly philosophical read. Billions of years of events have converged and led to your existence; make the most of it!
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey. If there’s one thing that substance abuse treatment centers teach, it’s that recovery is an opportunity to start fresh. And if you want to hit the ground running, this is the book for you. It helps to drive home important values that will help you optimize your time and happiness. And for newly recovering addicts, it’s the perfect way to get some tangible tips for dealing with life that don’t involve substance abuse.

It doesn’t matter what kind of reading material you find inspirational, as long as you stay inspired and continue improving your life. There’s always something new to discover, learn and experience!

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