Twenty Activities That Are More Fun When Done Sober

Young women having fun sober — riding bike near beach

I hear so often among young adults and even my peers that drinking and social drug use is the “cool” thing to do. When I go to music shows and events, I’m always amazed by how much alcohol people consume.

There is a pretty flagrant misconception that one has to be under the influence of mind-altering substances to have fun. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Life is best enjoyed with an alert mind, a healthy body, eyes open, and a memory that’s sharp and clear.

Twenty Activities That Are Best Enjoyed Sober

To prove that you don’t need to drink or use drugs to have a good time, here are twenty activities that are more fun when done sober:

  • Volunteer your time for a worthwhile mission. There are countless benefits to giving back to the community. People feel quite good after volunteering their time. And the benefits to the community are enormous.
  • Take time to “declutter.” People sometimes turn to drinking or drug use because their personal lives are a bit of a mess. Take a day to clear old files off your computer and phone. Spruce up the room. Do the laundry. Take the trash out. You’ll be amazed at how great you feel if you take some time to declutter.
  • Exercise. This is absolutely an activity best done sober. Furthermore, exercising releases endorphins, which is a sort of natural high by itself. There’s a great article in Very Well Mind that goes into the science behind exercise for addiction recovery.
  • See a movie. Who wants to see a film drunk or high? Not only will the movie not make any sense, but you won’t remember it a few hours later.
  • Take a long, hot bubble bath. Not only is this activity best done sober, but can we say stress relief? Emphasis on relief? A good bubble bath is one of the best drug-free stress relievers out there.
  • Make decisive steps towards finding a sober partner. If you are single and in addiction recovery, or you just want to avoid drug use or drinking as a social activity, take some time each week to find a sober partner. Go on dates. A sober lifestyle is great on one’s own, but it’s even better when one has a partner who is also committed to the lifestyle.
  • Read a book. Reading opens the mind and engages thought like nothing else. (Note, try reading non-fiction. This way, you’re enjoying the pastime of reading and learning new things at the same time).
  • Go out with your guy friends or girlfriends, but do it sober. Get your friends on board with leaving drinking and drug use out of the evening’s activities. Just try getting the gang to go out without using substances and see how different the experience is.
  • Go for a scenic walk. Even if you live in the middle of a city, “urban green spaces” are now up and coming. And, an article in Nature discussses the benefit to our mental health that something as simple as a walk through nature can provide.
  • Host a sober karaoke night. Does anyone actually sing better when they are drunk or high? Doubtful. Host a karaoke night, but tell your friends to leave the “liquid courage” at home.
  • Visit a museum, art gallery, or national monument. There’s so much to this world. And we blind ourselves when we use drugs and alcohol. Take a trip to a museum or monument and do so with a clear head. You’ll learn so much about art, history, culture, and the very nature of humankind.
A girl photograph is taking pictures outside.
  • Learn a new skill at work. Rather than spending weekday nights out boozing, why not work extra, learn a new skill, and get a promotion? Advancement in one’s career helps us meet financial goals, and that’s something worth working towards.
  • Plant a garden. Taking care of plants, vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, and so on takes us right back to our ancestral roots. And few things beat the satisfaction of eating home-cooked and home-grown meals.
  • Call your parents, grandparents, or a favorite aunt or uncle on the phone. A lovely chat with a family member not only helps us stay on the straight and narrow, but this is a great way to see that lots of people care.
  • Go on a hike. Exercise, fresh air, beautiful landscapes, and a disconnect from the urban rat race. How could this not be best enjoyed sober?
  • Go on a road trip. Seeing a new city, state, or geography is a great way to hit the reset button. It breaks the doldrums. And yes, a road trip is totally best done without drugs or alcohol. What use is going to a different state if you don’t remember it when you get back?
  • Take a trip to the beach. We all know the physical and mental benefits of a good dose of sun-filled vitamin D. A pleasant walk on the beach or a few minutes spent basking in the sun can turn a bad day around.
  • Play a team sport with your buddies. As I mentioned earlier, exercise is an excellent activity for physical and mental health. Make exercising even more fun by getting your friends involved in a team sport.
  • Go through your possessions and clear out anything you don’t need anymore. Donate usable items to your local Salvation Army or Goodwill. This is another excellent way to let go of the past and to focus on the future.
A musician is playing guitar.
  • Learn a new hobby, such as how to play a musical instrument. Focus your attention on creative and positive acts and endeavors, not negative ones.

Peer pressure to drink or use drugs can feel pretty overpowering. And for those of us who are in recovery, we too can experience moments of cravings for drugs and alcohol. But in both of these instances, our minds are incredibly narrow, focused on one, tiny activity that seems so significant to us.

We have to jump away from that slippery slope. We have to open our eyes. We must see that the world offers so much for us. The beautiful thing is, everything before us is best enjoyed and experienced with a clean body and a clear mind.


Reviewed by Claire Pinelli, ICAADC, CCS, LADC, RAS, MCAP



After working in addiction treatment for several years, Ren now travels the country, studying drug trends and writing about addiction in our society. Ren is focused on using his skill as an author and counselor to promote recovery and effective solutions to the drug crisis. Connect with Ren on LinkedIn.