29 Things to Do Instead of Drink Alcohol

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

Table of Contents

It can seem like alcohol plays a part in almost everything these days. Hanging out with friends, going to concerts, or even grabbing a bite to eat can all end up involving drinking—even when it wasn’t part of the original plan.

Because alcohol is so prevalent, it can sometimes be hard to imagine how you’ll spend your free time without it. How can you find new hobbies when you’re trying to cut back on alcohol? What do sober people do for fun?

If you’re on the hunt for new sober activities to add to your life, you’ve come to the right place. Below, discover 29 of the best things to do instead of drinking alcohol.

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Photo by Dari lli on Unsplash

1. Start Cooking

If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook, now is the perfect opportunity. Try baking, meal prepping, or any other food-related activities that spark your interest.

2. Volunteer Somewhere New

Almost nothing feels more rewarding than helping others. Whether it’s at a soup kitchen or animal shelter, volunteering means making a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

3. Learn How to Play Cards

Try a game of cards! Texas hold ‘em, five-card draw, and kings in the corner are all excellent games to start with.

4. Create Some Art

Take up painting, drawing, sketching, or even digital art. Rediscovering your creative side is a great way to find inspiration in sober daily life.

5. Board Games

Board games are a surprisingly fun way to fill your time and share some laughs with loved ones. Try a game of chess, checkers, monopoly, or whatever you’ve got lying around.

6. Read Anything That Interests You

Get into reading! There’s a non-fiction book out there for nearly anything you’d ever want to learn about. And if you prefer to escape through fiction, there are countless fantasy books you can get lost in instead.

You could even try dipping into some quit lit—books about sobriety by people who have been through the same thing.

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Photo by vadim kaipov on Unsplash

7. Dance

Check out YouTube for some dance tutorials to try out at home.

8. Write In a Journal or on a Blog

Share your thoughts with yourself in a journal, or with the world through a blog.

9. Try Gardening

Do you have an affinity for plants? Spend some time in your yard gardening during the warm season.

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10. Go on a Hike

Take a hike at your local trails. Even if you feel like you live in the middle of nowhere, you likely have some beautiful nature-filled parks somewhere nearby. And regular exercise may actually make it easier to stay sober!

11. Head to a Workout Class

Try a workout class like kickboxing, CrossFit, or other aerobic fitness activity at your local gym.

12. Do Some Yoga at Home

For a cheaper workout option, you can do some yoga in the comfort of your own home. All you need is a YouTube video tutorial and a mat, and you’re set!

13. Escape Rooms

If you and your friends are looking for fun things to do sober, visit your local escape room. Most locations offer a variety of different-themed rooms that will challenge your problem-solving abilities and teamwork skills.

14. Amusement Parks

If you’re looking for a weekend activity that doesn’t involve drinking, head to a nearby amusement park for roller coaster rides and good eats.

15. Movies

With movie theaters open again in some areas, it’s the perfect time to get absorbed in any new films you’ve been wanting to see.

16. Roller Skating

A local roller rink is a great place to have fun (and get a workout in) completely booze-free.

17. Rock Climbing

If you love a challenge, rock climbing is the perfect physical activity to try out in your free time.

18. Invite Friends Over for Sports Events

Are you a football, soccer, or even an MMA fan? If so, invite your friends or loved ones over the next time you plan to watch a live event.

19. Go to a Live Music Event

Many cities host live music events or shows. Check out your local listings to see what’s coming up in your area over the next few weeks.

woman hiking among green mountains
Photo by Holly Mandarich on Unsplash

20. Camping

Camping is a perfect way to break away from the busy world, be present with friends and loved ones, and reconnect with nature.

21. Try New Restaurants

Visit local family-owned local restaurants to get a taste for different cuisines.

22. Meditation

Laying off drinking means you’ll have extra time for self-care sober activities. Meditation is one way to strengthen your mind, promote relaxation, and work on becoming the best version of yourself.

23. Get a Massage

With the money you save from cutting back on alcohol, take some time for a self-care day, and get a massage at a spa.

24. Take a Hot Bath

Hot baths are another stellar self-care tool to help you feel your best.

25. Spend Time With Your Pet

Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or even a rodent, spending time with your pet is good for the soul.

26. Reorganize a Room in Your House

Reorganizing a room in your house can help you refresh your energy and give yourself a change of scenery.

27. Travel to a Nearby City

You don’t have to go to another state or country to take a vacation. Instead, what about visiting a nearby scenic city for the weekend with some friends?

28. Try a New Video Game

If you were ever a gamer, now’s the perfect time to get back into it.

29. Reach Out to Friends and Loved Ones

When all else fails, why not spend some time catching up with people close to you?

Social support can make a big difference in the way you feel each day.1 Even a casual conversation with a friend can be incredible for boosting your mood and helping you feel connected to the world around you.

Sticking to Sober Activities

If you’ve been looking for alcohol-free ways to spend your spare time, there are tons of things you can do.

You can try physical challenges like rock climbing, sober hobbies like painting, or even dedicate extra time to self-care. In any case, your life doesn’t have to be boring without alcohol.

For more resources on sticking to sobriety, Ria Health can help. When you sign up, you’ll gain access to anti-craving prescriptions, coaching meetings, and more—all from your smartphone.

Learn more about how it works today.


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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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