From sober social networks to boozeless bars, a significant portion of society is ditching the drinks in favor of clear-headed connections. The burgeoning sober subculture could help thousands of former addicts stay social while staying sober.

Often people in recovery find themselves needing to say goodbye to old friends because they are too closely associated with the substance abuse lifestyle they’re trying to leave behind. Severing those ties can be emotionally difficult. It also leaves a social void in the life of the person trying to remain sober. That void can be terrifying, lonely, and lead to relapse, especially for people who previously enjoyed a highly social lifestyle. Finding new activities and a new group of like-minded, sober friends could help keep a recovering addict on a sober path. Fortunately, the sober social scene is flourishing.

The businesses and organizations featured in this post highlight the variety of fun social activities you can have while living a sober lifestyle.

Dry Bars & Restaurants

The Other Side

The Other Side is an alcohol-free bar in Crystal Lake, IL. Founded by Chris Reed and three friends, all of whom are in recovery, The Other Side holds events from concerts to comedy nights. It is a place where people as young as 17 can stay out late and socialize without drinking or using drugs. The founders want it to be a place for fun not for preaching.

Brillig Dry Bar

Brillig Dry Bar is a popup bar in Ann Arbor, MI. Brillig provides a unique, fun atmosphere, which includes small eats and hand-crafted, non-alcoholic cocktails. Brillig dispenses its unique brand of fun during special events at Mighty Good Coffee. Brillig’s founder, Nic Sims, is also a professional chef, a graphic designer, and entrepreneur. She sees Brillig as a way to reciprocate the support she received from the recovery community.

Redemption

Redemption is a vegan, sugar-free, wheat-free, and alcohol-free restaurant and bar in London, UK. Its founders Catherine Salaway and Andrea Waters created Redemption to provide health-conscious people a place to have a night out and socialize without being tempted to compromise their healthy lifestyle. Redemption aims to have a zero or even positive environmental footprint by using locally sourced ingredients at both of its locations whenever possible. 

Meditation Parlors

MDFL

MDFL is a mediation studio in New York City, NY. While this may not seem like a typical social activity in the traditional sense, the mere existence of such a place speaks to the growing number of people seeking mindful alternatives to spiritual wellness. Founded by Ellie Burrows and Lodro Rinzler, this modern meditation studio allows people to drop-in for some mindful meditation in a non-religious environment.

Meditation Bar

Meditation Bar in Austin, TX was conceived by Cathy Bonner, Lauren Foreman, Joene Grissom, and Leslie Strickler. It is meant to replace the local watering hole as the place where the community gathers. As such, it focusses on classes and group meditation.

Sober Social Networks

Smart Party

Smart Party is an alcohol free social group in New York City. Organized by Lynn Early this diverse group of “conscious creatives” is open to anyone over 21 who enjoys life without alcohol. The group gathers for social activities including: yoga, dances, and parties.

Clean Fun Network

Directed by Jimmy Hamm and MJ Gottlieb, Clean Fun Network (CFN) is a social network for people who find fulfillment in a clean, healthy lifestyle and in meeting other people who share the same interest. It offers an app to notify members of impromptu gatherings, dating, trips, or other events. It also has a website where members can interact and develop friendships.

Sober Special Events

Juice Crawl

Juice Crawl organizes social events focused on healthy living. A Juice Crawl event is similar to a pub crawl, accept participants sample beverages from multiple juice bars instead of bars serving alcoholic beverages. Juice Crawl touts its events as causing a, “Hangover that leaves you feeling healthy & energized!”

Day Raves

The Daybreaker dance party occurs three times a month at venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan, NY. Two things set this hip-hop/rave style dance party apart from others. It is alcohol free and last from seven to nine—IN THE MORNING! The party also features pre-dancing yoga and massages.

Another sober morning dance party, Morning Glory holds events in New York and London. It too offers yoga and massages, but this party has more of a hippie vibe than Daybreaker.

The Shine

Founded by Light Watkins, The Shine is an alcohol free variety show. It organizes events in Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, and London, UK. These events feature live music, films, food, meditation and storytelling. They also feature “The Shine On Challenge.” This unique feature sees $400 of the proceeds given at random to one of the attendees. The attendee is told to use the money for charitable purposes.

Going sober doesn’t have to mean accepting a boring life with no social interaction. The sober culture is booming, especially among young adults. Don’t worry if none of the businesses, organizations, and events listed here are in your city. They are just a small example of the types of outings you can find in the new sober social scene. With a quick Google search, you will likely find similar businesses or organizations celebrating sober living in a city or town near you. If you don’t find anything, start your own. You likely aren’t the only person in town looking for a social connection that doesn’t involve the use of drugs or alcohol. Plus, it may turn into a tremendous business opportunity.

If you or a loved one have an addiction to alcohol, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.

The Burgeoning Sober Subculture