28 Positive Affirmations for Recovery from Addiction

Coach reviewed by Jeffery D. Whitfield, CSAC, ICS, CCTP, IDP-AT on September 12, 2022

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Have you ever stopped to think about your self-talk during your recovery journey? If so, you might notice that some thoughts can be critical and even harmful at times. Negative thoughts are a common experience, but that doesn’t change the fact that they can be a challenging obstacle in recovery.

Fortunately, there are ways to change your self-talk for the better—including the use of positive affirmations.

Below, we’ll cover why affirmations are so powerful, as well as 28 recovery mantras to boost yourself throughout your journey.

How Sober Affirmations Can Make a Difference

believe in yourself written on wall
Photo by Katrina Wright on Unsplash

It’s common to deal with negative thoughts in recovery from alcohol use disorder (or any addiction). In particular, you may struggle with self-stigma, uncertainty, or low self-confidence about yourself and the future. In times like these, recovery affirmations can help.

But what exactly are affirmations?

Put simply, they are words or phrases that can help you shift your thoughts to a better place. They can remind you of your self-worth, reduce your stress, and help you steady your emotions.

They can also:

  • Reshape your negative beliefs into positive ones.
  • Remind you that you are capable and worthy.
  • Shift your subconscious thoughts, which can shift your future actions.
  • Change the way you feel about your life in the present moment.

The Science of Positive Affirmations for Recovery

Affirmations might sound a little strange at first, but science shows just how powerful they can be.

One small 2016 study found that self-affirmation helped participants improve their working memory and inhibition—two abilities related to executive function.1

Another 2015 meta-analysis found that positive affirmations helped people embrace health-related information, intend to change, and improve their future behavior.2

One theory behind the benefits of affirmations is that they affect specific neural pathways, which can change the way we process and interact with the world around us.3

Affirmations in Mental Healthcare

Although positive affirmations might sound like a new idea, challenging and changing negative self-talk has been around for a long time. In fact, it even exists in certain mental healthcare settings.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is one setting where therapists help clients change their negative beliefs. The goal is to address unhelpful thought patterns (or cognitive distortions) and shift them towards thoughts that are positive, realistic, and helpful. This might be done through conversation, journaling prompts, and affirmations.

Overall, this type of therapy is helpful for a variety of mental health-related struggles, and it shows just how powerful our beliefs can be.4

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28 Positive Affirmations for Recovery

Here are 28 affirmations to help you shift your thoughts and stay positive in sobriety.

woman in yellow shirt embracing herself
Photo by Vanessa Kintaudi on Unsplash
  1. I can do anything I put my mind to.
  2. I’m taking small steps every day to improve my life.
  3. I forgive myself for my past mistakes.
  4. I don’t need alcohol to feel happy.
  5. I am confident in myself and my ability to achieve my goals.
  6. Sobriety is helping me shape a better future for myself.
  7. I’m proud of the changes I’ve made.
  8. I trust the way my path is unfolding.
  9. I deserve to be happy.
  10.  I embrace and accept mistakes because I can grow from them. They no longer knock me down.
  11.  My struggle with addiction doesn’t define who I am.
  12.  I respect myself and my loved ones.
  13.  I am stronger than I give myself credit for.
  14. I have the courage, strength, understanding, and determination to succeed in recovery.
  15.  I know that it’s okay to ask for help when I need it.
  16.  I deserve acceptance and love.
  17.  I honor my body by choosing what is healthy for me.
  18.  The problems I face aren’t too big for me, and I’m capable of solving them.
  19.  Peace can be found in the present moment. I don’t need to look elsewhere.
  20.  I have all I need for happiness within myself.
  21.  I am healing.
  22.  I give myself the space to process my emotions with self-compassion.
  23.  I treat myself like a friend who I really care about.
  24.  There is beauty in being alive.
  25.  I am brave enough to face discomfort.
  26.  I prioritize the relationships that uplift me and support my recovery.
  27.  I feel safe enough to connect with and open up to the people in my life.
  28.  My recovery is giving me the chance to live the life I deserve.

The Bottom Line on Positive Affirmations for Recovery

Your thoughts and beliefs affect your feelings, actions, and the lens through which you view the world. That’s why recovery affirmations are so powerful. They can help you shift your mindset and remind yourself that you are strong—even if you don’t feel like it sometimes.

To get started, you can try some of the recovery mantras covered in this post. Or you can jot down a list of unique affirmations that resonate with you, your struggles, and what you hope to change. After practicing them for a while, you might be surprised to see the difference they can make.

More Resources in Recovery

If you’re struggling to establish new ways of thinking in recovery, online counseling is one way to get help.

At Ria Health, our weekly coaching meetings give members new tools to meet the challenges of recovery, including CBT-based strategies for shifting older thought patterns. Our coaches can also help you establish new routines, manage triggers and cravings, and set achievable goals along the way.

Learn more about online coaching with Ria Health, or get in touch with us today.


Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

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Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Alicia is a Minnesota-based freelancer who writes for Ria Health and various other brands in the health and wellness space. Beyond addiction and recovery, she also covers topics relating to general well-being, mindfulness, fitness, mental health, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing with her three-legged cat, trying new workout routines, and spending time with her loved ones.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.
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