Figuring out Fun: A Guide to Joyful Recovery

Natasha Magino
Beautiful couple playing outside

Starting recovery is not a farewell to joy; rather, it's an invitation to redefine what fun means in a way that aligns with a healthier, more fulfilling life. Recovery marks the beginning of a transformative chapter, offering the chance to explore new and meaningful avenues for joy and fulfillment. In this blog, we'll delve into the diverse ways adults can discover, embrace, and revel in the richness of life after addiction.

Pursuing Passions

In recovery, people often rediscover and embrace passions with therapeutic benefits through engaging hobbies. For example, Holly Jespersen, Senior Manager of Executive Communications at Shatterproof, known for her adventurous spirit, revisited an old passion during her early days of sobriety. She reflects, "In my early sobriety, I got back into community theater and was in two musical productions. Staying busy [in the evenings] helped during those moments. I could not be home alone at night – I was too uncomfortable in early sobriety. Doing these shows gave me purpose and a community of like minded people.” 

Fitness and Wellness

Holly on a paddleboard

Engaging in exercise is not just about physical health; it's a cornerstone in the recovery process. Yoga promotes stress reduction, enhances the mind-body connection, and builds flexibility. Team sports foster social support, improve physical fitness, and boost self-esteem. Simple activities like walking or jogging also provide mental clarity and support weight management.

Beyond community theater, Holly Jespersen embraces outdoor adventures and fitness, challenging herself with activities like paddleboarding, spin classes, and travel. Her insight: "I have so much fun in recovery. It's way more fun than my old life. It is like I lived in black and white before and now my world is in color.”

Social Connections

Supportive communities, both physical and virtual, play a vital role in creating a sense of belonging during recovery. Examples include SMART Recovery, Unity Recovery, WEconnect, SOS Virtual Recovery Meetings, The Phoenix community, and the Sober Grid App.

Sober events and celebrations also become crucial for joy and connection without substances. Comedy nights, milestone celebrations, movie nights, holiday gatherings, and volunteer opportunities contribute to fostering positive experiences and reinforcing the idea that joy and connection thrive without substances.


Mindfulness practices, particularly meditation, contribute significantly to recovery. Tips for incorporating meditation into daily routines include starting small, choosing a quiet space, setting a routine, focusing on the breath, using guided meditations, setting intentions, exploring different techniques, using meditation apps, and joining a meditation group.

Dating Yourself

Taking time for oneself is a crucial aspect of recovery. Solo dates exploring personal interests and treating yourself with kindness become empowering experiences. From artistic explorations and dinner dates to wellness days, music exploration, photography expeditions, cultural immersions, DIY workshops, and solo travel adventures – these activities nurture self-love and personal growth.

A Beginning, Not an End

In summary, recovery is not a farewell; it's an embrace of a fulfilling and meaningful life. We encourage you to explore all the different avenues that could potentially bring joy during recovery.  Remember, recovery is not the end; it's a beginning filled with possibilities for fulfillment.

Woman in a support circle

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