Booze Free: 6 Books about Sobriety to Get You Motivated

Even before I decided to stop drinking for good I’d begun getting stuck in with books about sobriety.

Books about Sobriety

Living a life alcohol free was a completely foreign concept to me until a few years ago.

Without meaning too, I’d created a life that revolved around drinking.

A lot of the time it seemed really fun. I’d go out after work for drinks with colleagues, dates in cosy pubs with wine and weekends were for boozy brunches with friends and nice evening meals with more wine.

But sooner or later it became less about having fun and more about drinking to cope.

“I don’t drink like everybody else, I drink to forget things about myself.” Ed Sheeran

I was drinking to ease my anxiety. And I was anxious a lot. And the next day hangovers, and often lack of memory from the night before, made me even more anxious.

For this – and many other reasons I often write about – I decided to stop drinking.

I know my life is better without alcohol. But it’s also very different and sometimes my motivation wanes.

Recently, I have found myself “meh” about this sober thing. I was full of thoughts like “is this it?” “Will my life be like this forever?” Regular readers will know that this is not like me. I tend to be so positive it can be annoying (especially on instagram). Sorry not sorry.

But seriously, thoughts like this are not conducive to a happy alcohol free life.

I confided to my lovely friend Cath how I was feeling. Her response “you need to some sober literature” reminded me just how powerful books about sobriety had been on getting me started.

I love to read (see my post about life changing books for more recommendations) and reading books about sobriety help to normalise not drinking for me. They show me I’m not the only one going through this and offer new perspectives. I recently finished Unwasted on Cath’s recommendation and it was brilliant. I’m currently working through May Cause Miracles by Gabby Bernstein on Holly from Hip Sobriety’s recommendation in her list: 13 Books to Build a Holistic Recovery. So, I thought I’d put together a list of books a little review of each to inspire you if you’re feeling a bit low about not drinking.

6 of my favourite books about sobriety:

1.The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray

books about sobriety

Lovely Cath’s brilliant debut book. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is a game changer if you want to stop drinking – or are curious about a sober life!

Everyone deserves to have Catherine hold their hand as they navigate the new world of not drinking – whether exploring alcohol-free periods or going for full-on sobriety – and this book enables just that. Wise, funny & so relatable – it comes with my highest recommendation.





2. The Sober Diaries by Clare Pooley

books about sobrietyI loved Clare’s book so much and finished it in two days! I also interviewed Clare on the blog so if you fancy finding out more, you can read her not drinking diary.

This book is the bravely honest story of a year in Clare’s life. A year that started with her quitting booze and then being given the devastating diagnosis of breast cancer. By the end of the year she is booze-free and cancer-free, she no longer has a wine belly, is two stone lighter and with a life that is so much richer, healthier and more rewarding than ever before. She has a happier family and a more positive outlook. Sober Diaries is an upbeat, funny and positive look at how to live life to the full.





3.Unwasted: My Lush Sobriety by Sacha Scoblic

books about sobrietySacha discusses her out of control drinking in an honest and yet humorous and light hearted way. She doesn’t gloss over or the dangers she got in to, but there is a nice balance between the drinking and her sobriety.

It’s beautifully written and I found her move into recovery, and how she described her relationships with the people around her and her changing relationship with herself inspiring and true to life

I’ll have to admit I skipped past her relapse fantasies, I found them dull and mildly irritating (there’s some resistance there somewhere!) That aside, it’s a great read if you’re after a new sobriety memoir!

4.BlackOut: Remembering the things I drank to forget by Sarah Hepola

books about sobrietySarah has written a very accessible memoir for the modern drinking woman. It’s honest, poignant and at times I laughed out loud. I couldn’t put this down and read it in two days straight. I had it on my kindle and was picking it up at every opportunity. Her tale of reinvention really resonated with me. On the outside her life must have seemed glamorous, but the reality was very different.

A must read for anyone who suffered with blackout’s. It made me feel more normal, that I’m not alone and begin to understand the science of why I blacked out. 


5.Drink: The Deadly Relationship Between Women & Alcohol by Ann Dowsett Johnston

books about sobrietyA mixture of memoir and report, I read this just before I stopped and I’m so glad it came into my life. The book does as it says on the tin, Dowsett Johnston explores the global epidemic of the reality of women’s risky drinking.

It is her story, but she weaves together anecdotes and research perfectly. It’s a powerful book and one to read for yourself if you want to stop drinking, have stopped drinking or are trying to support anyone stopping.




books about sobriety6.This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Rediscover Happiness & Change Your Life: Volume 1 by Annie Grace

This book by Annie Grace is often described as a game changer by people on their not drinking journey. It is by far one of my favourite books about sobriety, but it is very different from the three prior books I’ve recommended.

This Naked Mind offers a new solution, it’s a report style book packed with surprising insight into the reasons we drink, it really began to open my eyes to the overwhelming role of alcohol in our culture.

“Annie Grace brilliantly weaves psychological, neurological, cultural, social and industry factors with her extraordinarily candid journey resulting in a must read for anyone who drinks.” << Amazon said it better than I could.

Please read This Naked Mind if you haven’t already. It might just change your life.


If you’re more of a listener than a reader, you can use my link to get a free audiobook with Audible. Just remember to cancel before the end of your first month if you don’t want to get charged and carry the trial on. If you’re still not sure which audiobook to choose after reading this, check out my post: 5 audiobooks to keep you occupied.

I’d love to hear what books motivate you? Comment below, chat to me on instagram or send me an email.

Let’s stay connected! L xx

books about sobriety
books about sobriety

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  1. Jules
    July 28, 2017 / 1:11 PM

    I’m currently reading Dana Bowman’s “Bottled”. Came out in 2015 (I think), and it really has helped me. She reminds me of myself in many ways and it’s a comfort. Her story is basically about how her drinking escalated after she had kids. Very sad, but also a great story of how she worked so hard to regain her sobriety. She is funny and irreverent. Highly recommended.

    • Girl & Tonic
      July 31, 2017 / 9:15 AM

      Thanks Jules, I’m going to give this a read x

  2. July 28, 2017 / 2:54 PM

    I had quit drinking – without an end goal, unclear if it was for right now or forever- just before I found out I was pregnant. I’m still pregnant, so obviously not drinking right now, but leaning more towards never going back. Someone told me once that you got a point in not drinking where you just feel relieved, and I’m there. It’s nice to direct my time towards things I enjoy and places I want to be rather than drinking to enjoy things I don’t. But the whole culture -hell, even things that I wrote – tells you that you want to be drinking. I haven’t read anything about NOT drinking, I guess it didn’t occur to me that it existed, but might pick one of these up on Kindle.

    • Girl & Tonic
      July 31, 2017 / 9:16 AM

      Tell me about it. The things I wrote about drinking, and reposted, wow! Best of luck with the pregnancy x

  3. William
    January 23, 2018 / 12:52 AM

    Just finished The Naked Mind about a week ago and it truly is a life changer. I will reread this a few times to really get my subconscious to take this in. I have struggled with moderation since I started drinking 25 years ago and honestly can say I think that drinking is behind me now, in large part because of thia book.

  4. Mary
    May 17, 2018 / 10:41 AM

    Just finished the Sober Diaries, which really resonated with me. Clare Pooley is my age, with 3 kids like me, and has a very similar drinking history to myself. Unlike Clare, I only decided to ditch the booze this April, (45 days ago to be precise), but in that time, I’ve read The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober, which I found very thought provoking, and Alcohol Explained, ( quite factual, but interesting nonetheless) . I’m now looking for my next read….

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