September is “Recovery Month

By: Tanya Kramer 

The word “recovery” is a broad term.  This next list is focusing on podcasts and books that help individuals better understand addiction, how to reframe addiction, and opportunities to listen to meaningful stories from people who are in recovery.

  • Podcast Recovery Elevator – Quit Drinking Now with Paul Churchill. This was a recommendation from someone who was early in their recovery.  Upon listening to the podcast, I appreciated how each episode presents the story of a different person’s journey from addiction to recovery.  I see this as a valuable resource for people in any stage of addiction to hear that someone going through their similar experience was able to work toward and be in recovery.  I think this podcast can give hope, the type of hope someone might get from an AA meeting when listening to a speaker’s story.  So, if someone is not comfortable trying an AA meeting, this might be a place to start or supplement with AA.
  • Podcast How to be Reframable with Kevin Ballack  and Reframe app. I first noticed this on social media and appreciated the visuals used to help reframe lifestyle choices.  The podcast is new (April 2023) and it highlights the “Reframe” app which has been around for a couple years.  The podcast shares stories of recovery, provides coaching for recovery, psychoeducation, and folds in tools such as journal questions to think or write about.  The Reframe app can help individuals evaluate their relationship with alcohol and make decisions around managing or changing drinking choices.  Both the app and the podcast use science to tell the story of the impacts of alcohol on the body and the mind.  The Reframe Model encourages people to “embrace a compassionate approach to change”.  This podcast talks to people who are using the “Reframe Tools” to change their relationship with alcohol.  I really was impressed by the visuals and for this reason alone, I see this as a unique resource for those reconsidering their relationship with alcohol.
  • Book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction” with Gabor Mate, MD. I have a dear friend I have known for almost 20 years who has been in recovery for that same amount of time.  This person helped me understand how difficult addiction is and how much healing has come within recovery.  This person told me that reading this book by Gabor Mate’ was the first time they felt like a professional who speaks about addiction “really gets it”.  Of course I was intrigued and picked up the book for myself.  It is a beautifully written book holding all individuals with deep compassion and understanding, knowing how people often use substances to cope with suffering.  The book shares many salient stories of addiction, recovery, and mental health.  Gabor Mate’ has a way of acknowledging the human within the disease and provides his perspective of compassionate care to those struggling with addiction. 
  • Quit Lit (Literature) – There are a number of websites where you can find this genre of books by women about quitting drinking, such as:

Best Sobriety Audiobooks For Women 

The Best Quit Lit Books For Women Going Alcohol Free

Quit Lit

If you examine each of these lists, there are a number of books that keep showing up.  I have referred clients exploring their drinking patterns to these book lists and I have heard positive feedback on a number of these titles.  I might specifically recommend “The Naked Mind” by Annie Grace (who also has a podcast called the Naked Mind), “Quit Like a Woman” by Holly Whitaker, and “Sober Curious” by Ruby Warrington.  I appreciate the approach of being strength based and some of the approaches used in these books bring in the history of drinking and how for women it was initially a sign of empowerment.  I recognize how confusing that might be to someone with a drinking problem, but sometimes understanding the false social construct can help provide clarity that there are other things at play when struggling.  One book helps readers refocus on their life priorities to see if drinking fits or not when prioritizing life goals.  I recommend this genre of books because of the different approaches each author takes and my hope in sharing this is that readers will find a book that speaks to them and meets them exactly where they are in their own “sober curious” journey.

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