Addiction Recovery Blog

Benefits of a Gratitude List in Recovery

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 17, 2016 / by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina



Staying sober is one of the more difficult challenges a person can undergo.  Naturally, for someone who has been addicted to drugs or alcohol, oftentimes the initial rehab period is no vacation. Confronting harsh realities in one-on-one and group sessions, going through hours of self reflection, and managing the physical and psychological stresses are strenuous.  But sticking with the rehab process is another ongoing battle. 

Keeping what is known as a “Gratitude List” is a beneficial tool to aid in preventing a relapse. 

People who remind themselves of all the positive things they have accomplished in their lives so far have a stronger bedrock upon which to build ongoing sobriety.  The goal of a Gratitude List is to help narrow the focus to those progressive elements that have come from getting free of the grasp of drugs and/or alcohol.  Even the process of assembling the list can be therapeutic and beneficial; owning each element as you go along helps burn the good things into your memory. It aids as having a go-to source for reinforcement should times get tough or circumstances cause an increase in stress and temptation. It’s all too easy for people to take for granted how far they’ve come after battling addiction.

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Many people suggest starting and working on a Gratitude List gradually, without the stresses of “having to get it done now” by writing a few items a day before going to bed.  It should only take a few moments to reflect on either the events of the day or thoughts that you may have had that reinforced how you feel about being sober.  It can be anything from meeting up with or running into a friend to a moment that effected you in a positive way; that brought a smile to your face and raised your spirits.

It’s been said that as you continue this practice, the easier it gets and the more aware you become to these moments.  Some even say that it can create a shift in the way you may feel at different times of the day.  Writing all of these thoughts down is ultimately one of the best ways to stay sober and healthy.

Topics: Addiction, Alcohol, Drugs

Russ Kallina

Written by Russ Kallina

Russ Kallina is Aquila Recovery of Virginia's Program Director of Operations.

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