Finding Spirituality in Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery is a time for the individual to grow and change. While addiction recovery is meant to be positive, it can have ups and downs.  

For this reason, many individuals lean on spirituality to aid them in their recovery journey.  

Spirituality can provide a sense of hope and meaning to a person’s life. For some people, that means practicing a particular religion; for others, it could mean following a set of beliefs. 

The great thing about spirituality in recovery is that there is no one definition. Spirituality can be whatever that individual wants it to be so long as it helps them on their journey to sobriety. 

What Is Spirituality?

There is no universal definition of spirituality, as it means something different to everyone. Generally, spirituality refers to the search for meaning and purpose in life, making it a universal human experience. 

As well as connecting with something bigger than oneself, it may also involve cultivating a connection with nature, the universe, humanity, or a higher being.

Because many people experience the world differently, they connect and respond to spiritual experiences differently. 

While some enjoy the typical place of worship like a church or a mosque, others practice spirituality by spending time in nature.  

As a result, the definition of spirituality and how people go about it can change over time. As people grow through their spirituality, the definition will evolve as they gain new perspectives and experiences in life. 

Spirituality vs. Religion

In many recovery programs, spirituality plays a significant role. Most programs let the individual define spirituality since spirituality is so personal. Through this term, an individual can experience a sense of meaning or connection with a higher power. 

In addition to being connected to nature and the universe, spirituality can also refer to a connection to all living things. Whatever connection defines spirituality means something to each individual.

On the other hand, religion is a more structured and defined way of practicing spirituality. Religion typically includes following tradition, rituals, and organized leadership.

Spirituality in Recovery

A study conducted by Dustin Pardini from the University of Alabama showed that those with higher religious faith or spirituality coped much better with stress, anxiety and created a more optimistic life.

Nearly every aspect of life is positively impacted by spirituality. Studies show that having a spiritual practice can also benefit your physical health. 

During a spiritual journey, people will become more mindful of self-care and cultivating self-love while practicing healthier habits like a better diet, starting to exercise, or getting more sleep.

Other benefits of spirituality include: 

  • Increase empathy and compassion towards others
  • Ability to work through negative emotions and experiences 
  • Send of purpose 
  • Enhance connection and relationships with others

How to Create Spiritual Practice in Recovery

So how can you create spirituality during your recovery? First things first, it’s essential to choose a practice that works best for you. 

Remember that no one person is the same. Everyone is different, which means they will have a different version of spirituality in recovery. With that in mind, here are some ways to get you started. 


Gratitude is a strong theme throughout recovery. Practicing and incorporating gratitude in your recovery process is a critical step to harnessing spirituality.   

Focusing on positive and helpful things in life helps people stay focused. Although recovery from addiction can be emotionally challenging, cultivating a sense of gratitude can help remind people of the benefits of spirituality while in sober living


Mindfulness consists of living in the moment and thinking of the present. The act of mindfulness is characterized by being aware of your surroundings, your thoughts, and your senses. 

Doing so has been seen to reduce anxiety, depression, and fewer. Staying in the present and not dwelling on the past or future can help improve your peace of mind, happiness, and gratitude.  


Yoga is one of the oldest traditions dating back almost 5,000 years ago. It’s an essential part of many 

religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.  

The great thing about yoga is that you don’t have to follow a religion to participate. It can be used as a mindful practice that involves stretching, breathing, visualizing, and movements.

Another positive of yoga is that you don’t have to attend classes to practice yoga. You can do it from the comfort of your own home by using videos online.

If you’re starting, make sure to start small with beginner workouts and simple poses. The more and more you do it, you can gradually work your way up to the more incredible difficulty.


Journaling is one of the most neglected tools people can use to practice spirituality. Journaling can help you reflect on daily experiences and reconnect with yourself after a long day, week, or month.  

Writing out your feelings and thoughts allows you to remain mindful. Taking a few minutes to write about your day and experiences can help: 

  • Make sense of experiences 
  • Cope with anxiety 
  • Reduce stress 
  • Prioritize important things 
  • Identify negative thoughts and behaviors  
  • Better understand yourself   

Spirituality with SoCal Sunrise Recovery Center     

Spirituality can play a significant role in your road to recovery. You can make it anything you want it to be, whether that’s converting to a particular religion or being one with nature.  

If you or someone you love is in need of addiction treatment, contact SoCal Sunrise Recovery Center today. Our staff is prepared to create a custom treatment program aligned with your goals. 

Don’t hesitate to get help for you or your loved one. Call today.

Clinically Reviewed By

Dawn Masick, LMFT

Dawn has experience dealing with various relational, emotional, and psychological struggles. Dawn’s training has prepared her to work with children, teens, young adults, adults, couples, and families. She has undergone training in DBT, TF-CBT, and Family Therapy.  Other competencies include dealing with ADHD, mood/anxiety disorders, parenting challenges, addiction, PTSD, co- dependency, and relationship issues. I have experience in residential, school-based mental health, children’s community mental health, victims of crime (VOC), and private practice settings.

Dawn has been committed to guiding clients through their trauma, coming alongside them in their healing, and supporting them as they navigate life changes. Dawn’s passion is working with clients struggling with trauma in substance abuse and mental health.