Can Music Improve Your Mental Health?

listening to music

The idea of using music to affect your mood won’t surprise you if you’ve ever felt more invigorated after listening to your favorite rock anthem or had a heartfelt ballad move you to tears. Some studies suggest music can have a surprising array of mental health benefits, including the following advantages. Release Stress and Tension If you’ve ever gone to a day spa for pampering treatments like a massage, you may have felt instantly relaxed by the soothing background music. Or, perhaps you’ve used gentle instrumentals during your regular yoga or meditation practice to set your intention and help put […]

Does Sober Living Improve Your Recovery?

sober living

While completing an accredited treatment program is an essential first step in getting clean and sober, it’s only one part of the continuum of care. You also need a plan for where you’ll go and what you’ll do after you get discharged from an inpatient rehab center. Many people in the vulnerable early stages of recovery find they need the additional structure and support found in a transitional living facility. What does this entail, and what benefits can you expect to discover? What Is Transitional Living? Newly sober people may find that a return to the “real world” after living […]

Tips for Treating Yourself on Valentine’s Day (Without Drinking)

valentine's day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you have Feb. 14 circled on your calendar, you might be wondering what you can do to celebrate the holiday without drinking. Here are some of our favorite tips for treating yourself, even if you don’t have a date. 1. Step up Your Self-Care Game If you struggle with your confidence, your self-care strategies may suffer as a result. Take Valentine’s Day off for a day of indulgence. Enjoy a nap, watch your favorite romantic comedy or treat yourself to a long, relaxing bubble bath. Order delivery or takeout from a […]

How to Be a More Present Parent in Recovery

being a present parent

What made you choose to become a parent? While juggling responsibilities like changing diapers, cooking nutritious meals, doing laundry and homeschooling, you might lose sight of the answer to this question. Parenting is a thankless, 24/7 job, and you can never take a day off. If you start getting overwhelmed, you can feel less motivated to embrace the joys of parenthood. Once you’re pursuing recovery, how can you be a more present parent? 1. Put Down Your Phone You may carefully monitor your kids’ screen time, but do you keep track of how much time you spend staring at your […]

Are You Ready to Be a Sponsor?

recovery sponsor

As you’ve probably experienced firsthand, many people who are recently discharged from addiction treatment have questions or concerns between 12-step group meetings. Being able to talk to someone who has dealt with the same challenges can be invaluable in helping a newly sober person prevent a relapse and work toward their goals, but how can you tell whether you’re ready to take on the responsibility of recovery sponsorship? What Does a Good Sponsor Do? The concept of sponsorship wasn’t originally part of the 12-step model, but as the program evolved over time, people working through the program started reaching out […]

Characteristics of a Dysfunctional Family

dysfunctional family

In an ideal world, your family members would be your staunchest supporters – people you could count on to be in your corner through thick and thin. Unfortunately, for many of us, that isn’t the case. Family dysfunction is a prevalent problem that creates a shaky foundation for relationships. However, if you grew up in a dysfunctional family, you might not recognize the hallmarks of this environment. The American Psychological Association defines a dysfunctional family as one in which “relationships or communication are impaired and members are unable to attain closeness and self-expression.” A family is dysfunctional if they regularly […]

Rebuilding Trust After Addiction Treatment

rebuilding trust after addiction treatment

After you successfully complete an accredited addiction treatment program, one of your top priorities will likely be repairing damaged relationships with friends and family members. While it’s essential to apologize to people you harmed in active addiction and demonstrate your commitment to change, this process can’t happen overnight. You will need to be patient and understand that your loved ones will require time and space to heal and move forward. Having a loved one who struggles with a substance use disorder can be an emotionally challenging experience. As drinking or drug use became a higher priority in your life, you […]

5 Fascinating Documentaries About Addiction and Recovery

documentaries about addiction and recovery

The holiday season is upon us, and those of us who are lucky enough to have a break from work during the weeks ahead might be searching for some entertainment options. If it seems like you’ve exhausted your Netflix watchlist in COVID-19 quarantine, why not try one of these riveting documentaries about addiction and recovery? 1. Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery Russell Brand, who played over-the-top rock star Aldous Snow in the comedies Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, made this film to tell the real-life story of his self-destructive path through heroin addiction and how […]

The Anxious Person’s Guide to Self-Forgiveness

self-forgiveness

The ability to forgive yourself for your mistakes is an essential skill emotionally mature people should strive for. However, while you might be very gracious in letting go of feelings of anger or resentment toward others, you might be overly harsh on yourself – especially if your anxiety causes you to second-guess your decisions. How can you learn self-forgiveness and improve your mental well-being along the way? The Value of Self-Forgiveness We tend to justify our bad behavior in the desire to sweep complex emotions under the rug. The ability to forgive yourself doesn’t mean you’re letting yourself off the […]

Tips for Moving Forward After a Job Loss

job loss

The economic downturn that resulted from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to lose their homes and jobs. If you’re one of the millions of people who have found themselves suddenly unemployed, how can you learn to cope with a job loss? 1. Give Yourself Time and Space to Explore Your Feelings Losing your job can be demoralizing. Your confidence levels may be at an all-time low, and you could be feeling the sting of rejection. These emotions are natural, and to move on, you need to process your grief. Don’t wallow in negativity, but be kind to yourself […]