Sober Living

AA Daily Reflection: What Is It and How Does It Help in Recovery?

Medically Reviewed By:

Dr. Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., M.S.

Last medically reviewed March 4, 2024

AA Daily Reflection

Key Points

  • AA Daily Reflections is a resource from Alcoholics Anonymous to help with ongoing recovery from addiction.
  • Daily Reflections support more positive thought patterns, which can help with the challenges and obstacles of sobriety.
  • Daily Reflections are helpful but not a replacement for formal addiction treatment.

Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction can be a long and arduous process with obstacles to overcome along the way. For some, transitioning to everyday life can be the most overwhelming aspect, but 12-Step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) build connections between recovery peers and offer resources to help, including AA Daily Reflections.[1]

What Are AA Daily Reflections?

AA Daily Reflections are affirmations based on principles from “The Big Book,” also known as Alcoholics Anonymous: How Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism. This is the most famous and primary resource for AA that includes the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions involved in the Alcoholics Anonymous program.

The Big Book was written in the 1930s, but more recent literature has expounded upon the original ideas with alternative approaches and updated concepts, including the AA Daily Reflections. Instead of reading The Big Book in its entirety, you can get the concepts in smaller doses from the reflections.

The AA Daily Reflections don’t center around the 12 Steps. They’re focused on the ongoing challenges of recovery to build a foundation for success, including hope, experience, strength of community, and essential AA practices in everyday life.

The reflections are more casual and approachable than The Big Book’s high-concept writings, so they’re easier to use as a way to stay focused on recovery day to day. In addition to the Daily Reflections, there are also reflections from an AA member derived from a quote in The Big Book.

What Are AA Daily Reflections Used For?

AA Daily Reflections are individual reflections that can be used as a daily habit to strengthen their resolve in recovery. They’re essentially shortened sections of The Big Book distilled to their basic concept, allowing people in recovery to retain the concepts easily and get more out of the supporting literature and meetings.

Daily Reflections should be read once a day to maintain focus on sobriety. When challenges to sobriety occur, such as relapse triggers or stressors, Daily Reflections can help you address them in healthy, constructive ways and overcome them.

How Do AA Daily Reflections Help in Recovery?

AA Daily Reflections – combined with other tools for lasting recovery – can be crucial in staying on the path to sobriety. Here are some benefits of AA Daily Reflections:

Inspiration and Spirituality

AA was built on religious concepts, but the program itself is nondenominational. All the program asks is that you commit to something greater than yourself, whether that’s the Christian God, another religious figure, the universe, or simply your loved ones.

However, there’s a benefit to engaging in spiritual activities in recovery. People may call upon a higher power to get through their challenging times, leading to decreased alcohol misuse and improved overall well-being.[2]

AA Daily Reflections can be used alongside prayers and meditations that promote self-reflection. They offer positive insights and inspiration to improve oneself, leading to feelings of mental and emotional relief.


Daily Reflections help to redirect mental energy, such as anxiety or a preoccupation with cravings, into positive thought processes that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. When your mental focus and energy are aligned with positive ideas, you can adopt a healthier perspective on your circumstances and recovery.[3]


Positive words aren’t just thoughts but are spoken aloud to shift your thought processes. AA Daily Reflections rely on this internal mental process to bring more positive thoughts and feelings, allowing you to open yourself to the possibility of greater things happening naturally.

This can be helpful not just for substance abuse but also for mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, and trauma. Focusing on positivity and well-being retrains your brain to minimize negative thought patterns and replace them with healthier ones.

Symptom Relief

Addiction is more than a physical and mental condition – it can have an emotional cause. People struggling with addiction may struggle with mental health problems, past trauma, negative patterns of thoughts or behavior, and more, which they may mask with drugs and alcohol.

Your emotional and mental state affects your behaviors, decisions, and how you cope with life’s challenges—especially in recovery. AA Daily Reflections can help you refocus your thoughts and emotions and overcome negative behaviors that may threaten your recovery.

For example, complex emotions are common with addiction recovery and several mental health conditions, including aggression, frustration, anger, shame, guilt, resentment, depression, and anxiety.

Often, these emotions are disproportionate to the situation, but reflections encourage you to take a step back and gain perspective, set aside negative thoughts and emotions, and focus your mind on more positive outlets.

Where Are AA Daily Reflections Found?

The Alcoholics Anonymous Daily Reflections are posted on the website each day for easy access. You can also purchase the Daily Reflections book by AA to read affirmations whenever the mood strikes.

Daily reflections in recovery

Examples of AA Daily Reflections

Good Orderly Direction

“It is when we try to make our will conform with God’s that we begin to use it rightly. To all of us, this was a most wonderful revelation. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God’s intention for us. To make this increasingly possible is the purpose of A.A.’s Twelve Steps, and Step Three opens the door.” – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 40

“All I have to do is look back at my past to see where my self-will has led me. I don’t know what’s best for me, and I believe my Higher Power does. G.O.D., which I define as “Good Orderly Direction,” has never let me down, but I have let myself down quite often. Using my self-will in a situation usually has the same result as forcing the wrong piece into a jigsaw puzzle—exhaustion and frustration.

Step three opens the door to the rest of the program. When I ask God for guidance, I know that whatever happens is the best possible situation. Things are exactly as they are supposed to be, even if they aren’t what I want or expect. God does for me what I cannot do for myself if I let Him.”

The Keystone

“He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

“A keystone is the wedge-shaped piece at the highest part of an arch that locks the other pieces in place. The “other pieces” are Steps One, Two, and Four through Twelve. In one sense, this sounds like Step Three is the most important Step, that the other eleven depend on the third for support. In reality, however, Step Three is just one of twelve. It is the keystone, but without eleven other stones to build the base and arms, keystone or not, there will be no arch. Through daily working of all Twelve Steps, I find that triumphant arch waiting for me to pass through to another day of freedom.”


“Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence, we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation.” – Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 563

“Prior to A.A., I often felt that I didn’t “fit in” with the people around me. Usually “they” had more/ less money than I did, and my points of view didn’t jibe with “theirs.” The amount of prejudice I had experienced in society only proved to me just how phony some self-righteous people were. After joining A.A., I found the way of life I had been searching for. In A.A., no member is better than any other member; we’re just alcoholics trying to recover from alcoholism.”

AA Daily Reflections to Support Recovery Success

Taking the first step to seek help for addiction is an incredible accomplishment. However, recovery takes work and effort long after formal treatment is complete. AA Daily Reflections helps you reflect on different aspects of your journey and draw support from the larger community—even those you’ve never met who’ve walked the same path.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Wrote the Daily Reflections?

The Daily Reflections book was written by AA members, which makes it especially insightful and useful. You’re getting guidance and wisdom from people in similar circumstances with similar challenges.

What Is AA-Approved Literature?

AA-approved literature reflects sobriety, group consciousness, and goals to avoid contradictory information and uncertainty. It includes The Big Book, the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, the Daily Reflection book, and other literature that aligns with the AA philosophy.

Are the AA Daily Reflections Useful in Addiction Treatment?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a peer-led organization that supports addiction recovery, but it’s not a formal addiction treatment on its own. AA membership, meetings, and literature should be used as a complement to conventional addiction treatment.

There is a Better Way to Live. It's Time to Get the Help You Deserve.

Take the first step in getting your life back. Speak with our admissions team today.
Contact Us


[1] Treatment, C. for S. A. (1999, January 1). Chapter 4-Twelve-step-based programs. Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved from 

[2] Heredia, L. P., & Sanchez, A. I. (2016). Vulnerability to alcohol consumption, spiritual transcendence and psychosocial well-being: test of a theory. Revista latino-americana de enfermagem, 24, e2702. Retrieved from

[3] American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Apa PsycNet. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from