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The Emotional Hangover In Recovery

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Once an addict or alcoholic enters recovery they think that their hangover days are over. For the most part, they are correct, but nobody warned them about the emotional hangover. The emotional hangover has some of the very same characteristics of a real hangover but the fix is a little different. How does one in recovery get an emotional hangover and do you treat it?

Signs & Symptoms Of An Emotional Hangover


  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Body Aches


  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Sadness/brief depression

Anyone can really add to the list. Stress affects the body and mind in many different ways; these are just some of the basic feelings most people in recovery can identify with. Most of us will experience emotional or even physical aliment after an argument with someone close to us. Newly sober people, or even addicts and alcoholics that are not working a program of recovery, are more likely to experience symptoms as a result of their actions.

How Do You Fix An Emotional Hangover?

This part is simple; we make it complicated. Remember that we’re human and make mistakes. If we keep repeating the same mistakes the consequences will get bigger. The idea is to become aware of negative behaviors and actions before that happens. Through self-inventory taking, talking with other alcoholics and addicts, and meditating on the corrective actions to take, your emotional hangover will begin to subside.

As long as we are trying to do our very best in whatever recovery program we have chosen to involve ourselves in, we will grow and learn how to be and how not to be. An emotional hangover can be a good thing if we use it how it is supposed to be used. It’s our moral compass telling us that we are uncomfortable with our situation. If we put action towards bettering ourselves and our lives, we will see less and less of these emotional draining sessions. As addicts and alcoholics we are to steer clear of resentment, anger, selfishness, co-dependant behaviors, and drama. We must because we are the great creators of chaos and if we continue down our destructive path with no changes, our emotional hangovers will become real ones.

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