Can You Be Sober and Still Have Fun?

sober friends having fun in the beach

Well, can you? This is an absolutely valid question. So many of us starting out sobriety have identified many of our hobbies and activities with drinking or getting loaded. So, what’s left? And whatever is left, won’t it be boring- like playing Bingo with a bunch of old folks? (p.s – don’t knock Bingo! Hear me out, okay?)

Coming into my own recovery, I was so curious of what fun would look like to me. Lets face it, the last few years of my addiction really had nothing to do with having fun. I was no longer ‘partying’, my use wasn’t social and the lifestyle I was leading had more to do with survival than it had to do with figuring out what kind of fun I could incorporate into my life. I really didn’t know where to start in those early days.

They say the opposite of addiction is connection. Becoming connected was the first step I had to take towards being sober and still having fun. Once I allowed myself to connect a little bit to others, especially those who had an already established recovery, I could begin to follow their lead. Eventually I would get invited out to bowling nights, community dinners or a movie. As I gathered more sobriety time myself, I started finding things that would pique my own interests – a band would come through town that I enjoyed. “Ok! Let’s go to a concert!” The holidays would come around. “You guys want to check out this haunted house I heard about?” Or I’d realize I had enough pocket money to go to an amusement park or a weekend road trip with friends. The relationships formed and the events came with them.

Any of these activities in and of themselves are just fine, but the point behind all of them was that I found the people who I enjoyed doing them WITH. It was less about the content of the activity and so much more about the friends who I could laugh with, share mutual interests with and count on to be there to participate in them with me. The connection was EVERYTHING.

Today in my recovery I am blessed to have a job where I work as an alumni and activity coordinator for Stairway Recovery Homes. One of the main focuses we have with Stairways is to not only provide safe housing, an introduction to the 12-steps and support sustained recovery, but to also create lasting community with each other. I actually get to show people who are new in recovery HOW TO HAVE FUN SOBER! Amazing, right?


In just this past year we have held countless bonfires on the beach (complete with s’mores!), movie nights, a karaoke night, a talent show, relay races, started a sober softball team, gone snowboarding, pool parties during the summer holidays, seasonal events during the winter holidays, bowling, comedy shows, and even bingo nights.

These fun events we plan definitely generate a buzz within our Stairways community and extended recovery community. However, the heart and soul of what I do is giving back. Once every 3 months we go out to Skid Row and take care packs and Narcan out to the people living there. It is an event that is set apart from the others. We love showing people how to have fun in recovery, but we also love to plant the seeds of being of service to others. Whenever we do outreach events, the overwhelming response I get from the people who have participated is that they loved it, felt a deep sense of gratitude and they wish we could do it more often.

So to answer the initial question, yes. Unequivocally, yes you can be sober and still have fun. You can also be sober and gain a community unlike any other. You can also be sober and find that your definition of fun changes and you feel fulfilled by giving back to others. And yes, you can even have fun playing Bingo.

Stairway Recovery Homes has multiple sober living homes located in Los Angeles, CA. We provide quality recovery homes for both men’s sober living and women’s sober living

About Heidi Marcz

Director of Alumni and Case Management Heidi has been working in the field of addiction for the past 4 years, has a RADT and moonlights as a blogger and Brainpaint Neurofeedback Technician. If asked, there is nothing in the recovery field that Heidi won’t do to learn more or to be of service to the newcomers. As alumni and outreach coordinator, Heidi feels she has the unique opportunity to keep continuity in the community- even after people have finished their initial SUD programming. Events range from seasonal activities, fundraisers, service events and special interest activities. Heidi is excited to perpetually generate more community cohesiveness, fun & gratitude for others and herself.