34 Top Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Discussion Meeting Topics

Are you leading an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and wondering what topic to discuss? Whether you are leading your first meeting or your 100th, here’s a quick guide to the Sober Speak Meeting Topics we like. Of course, there are many more; these are just a few we love to hear about.

Here’s a quick guide to the Alcoholics Anonymous Meeting Topics we like. Of course, there are many more; these are just a few we love to hear about.

Topics for an alcoholics anonymous meeting AA topics

Meeting topics for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings

1. Spiritual Awakening

It’s fun to hear about everyone’s experience with the personality change that brings about recovery from alcoholism in Alcoholics Anonymous. A spiritual awakening, or spiritual experience, is a powerful and profound shift in consciousness that opens up new ways of perceiving the world and one’s own self. There’s an explanation in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Appendix II. Appendix II is where the famous quote by Herbert Spencer says, “There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance–that principle is contempt before investigation.”

2. Step 1

Step 1 meetings bring us back to the beginning of recovery, or for newcomers, introduce them to recovery. The first step reads:


Some AA meeting attendees may have been in a treatment center, others come from churches, or a friend told them about Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s always fun to hear stories about how members of Alcoholics Anonymous surrendered.

3. Slogans

Keep It Simple, Easy Does It, Live and Let Live, Think, etc. These words are commonly spoken at AA meetings or displayed on the meeting room’s walls. If you’ve attended AA meetings, you’ve certainly used these terms or heard them spoken by long-time AA members. A good way to lead off with this topic is to ask how the slogans help you with sobriety and life.

Live and Let Live AA Meeting Topics







4. Serenity Prayer

The Serenity Prayer is recited at most AA meetings. Sometimes during the opening and sometimes during the closing.






This topic opens up the discussion of how this prayer helps each individual. AA members often have personal stories of reciting the prayer during stressful situations or when they lose hope. This can be another powerful discussion.

5. Willing to go to any lengths

Willing to go to any lengths comes directly from the AA Big Book in Chapter 5 How It Works:


The meeting attendees can steer the discussion in a few different directions. Let me know if you need any further assistance.Some may discuss the steps and how we must be willing to do the steps. Or perhaps someone will bring up what lengths they went to get alcohol, and how they probably use to do anything to get the next “fix”. In sobriety, we do the same thing, but instead, we do anything to stay sober.

6. Dealing with difficult people

This is fun, right? Well, it’s a fact of life. We will deal with difficult people. I know I have. This is a great topic to learn how others handle this challenge in life. The discussion can go a few ways such as the Serenity Prayer, we can only change ourselves. Or the slogan, live and let live. Again, we can only focus on our own recovery. There is a story in the back of the Big Book called Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict and in it, this story says:


Acceptance is the key AA meeting topics

Acceptance is the Key

7. Gratitude

Gratitude as an AA meeting topic is an old stand-by. An AA Grapevine article from November of 1957 states that “gratitude and serenity are two sides of the coin of sobriety.” It is often said that a grateful alcoholic is a sober alcoholic.

Gratitude is typically brought up in an AA meeting as a topic during the month of November because that month is considered “Gratitude Month” in AA circles but the topic can be used any time of the year.

8. Tradition 3

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Most alcoholics, including myself, feel very fortunate that the only requirement for AA membership is a desire to quit drinking. Glad no one told me membership requires moral inventory and amends to those I’ve harmed. No social or financial requirements. When did Tradition 3 resonate with you?

Ultimately, there is an infinite number of meeting topics for AA meetings. These are just a few to get you started and thinking. A good way to come up with a topic is to have a discussion about what you are working on in your own recovery, or what you’d like to learn about.

9. One Day at a Time

Heading up a beginners meeting or just interested in Getting Back to the Basics? One Day at a Time is always a fan favorite in Alcoholics Anonymous or any other recovery program. Many newcomers can feel overwhelmed considering life without alcohol. The term One Day at a Time is found in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous on page 85. The phrase is used to remind all of us in recovery that we are not “cured” of our illness and that God simply grants us a reprieve One Day at a Time.

Dr. Bob and Bill W used the term when attempting to sober up Bill D (Alcoholic #3) because Bill D was overwhelmed with the thought of stopping drinking “forever.” Bill and Bob said to the man “you can quit for 24 hours, can’t you?”

Bill D is the “Man in the Bed” portrayed in a painting created for the Grapevine in 1955. Bill D remained sober until the day he died 19 years later.

10. Humility

Humility is closely tied to Step 6 as a topic in AA.

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

If it were me, I would probably narrow down the topic and be pointed regarding it.

Below are some examples.

Is humility the same as being humble? What’s the difference?

What does it mean to humbly ask?

What are examples of humility you have witnessed both in AA and outside AA?

How do you practice humility in recovery?

How does humility relate to recovery?

What does the Big Book say about humility?

What does humility mean in regards to Step Six of Alcoholics Anonymous?

That should get you started on discussing the subject of humility.

11. Serenity Prayer Full Version

Most of us only know the short version of this prayer. Here is the full version.

God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change...
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.


How does this version expand on how we see the prayer? Is it wise just to use the short version?

12. The Promises

We know these so well. We hear them at every meeting and might even know them off by heart.

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are halfway through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change, fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. Are these unrealistic promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will materialize if we work for them.”

Have all of these promises become true for us or only some? Remember that they will materialize if we work for them. There are conditions for these promises to be fulfilled, what are they?

13. Step 9

This was certainly the scariest step for me.

Step 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

The fear of rejection and opening old wounds is, for most of us, terrifying. We may have apologized in the past only to let people down again. Understandably, the people we are trying to make amends to would be cynical. This applies even more so when you are dealing with family members.

Do we have an unreasonable expectation of what can happen?

Merriam-Webster defines amends as “compensation for a loss or injury.”

Did we steal and how will we offer to repay it?

The other big question in this step is how we will decide if making amends will injure the person we want to make amends to, or if it will hurt others.

And of course, are we just using that as an excuse to avoid conflict?

If they say something, can we practice restraint of tongue?

14. Step 5

Step 4 is intimidating as we make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Now in step 5, we have to admit it. This takes rigorous honesty.

Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

While step 9 is the scariest step, step 5 is the one where we face humiliation. The person we confess to will probably be our sponsor – how should they handle this? What if something you admit to offends them.

Given all of this, we have to ask why is this step necessary and what does it do to help us on road to sobriety.

15. Too Busy for Meetings

Sometimes we say we are too busy for Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. I have to say I believe that when you least want to go to a meeting that is when you most need to go.

What effect does this have on our sobriety?

Meetings are a place where we can share our own experiences and listen to the experiences of others.

When we feel too busy for support groups then is our sobriety at risk?

16. Triggers

It is vital to know what triggers a desire to drink. When the triggers strike what do we do?

Phone calls are one of the first things we should think of. Should the next right thing be to look for a meeting because such meetings can help us refocus?

17. Tradition 11

Attraction is often the way new members are drawn to their first A.A. meeting. The eleventh tradition reads:

Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films

The long version says more:

Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think A.A. ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as A.A. members ought not to be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never a need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us.

18. Service

Service is at the heart of recovery.

So, what service can we do? How does it help the recovery process?

19. Online Meetings

Many of these are open meetings. We use these more in these days of Covid, but for a long time, they have been possible for people far away from meeting places or have a physical disease.

How are they better than face-to-face meetings and how are they worse? Does technology improve or weaken the meeting experience?

20. Maintaining Sobriety

The A.A. preamble states

Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

How do we maintain sobriety and how does the A.A. program help? How do we contribute to others overcoming their alcohol addiction? Consider Bill W’s visit to Doctor Bob when he was battling to avoid a drink.

21. Identify, Don’t Compare

We hear so many stories and there is a danger in that particularly for new members. If we compare, we start to say we weren’t that bad or wonder at how “mild” someone’s alcohol abuse was and that makes us question whether we need to attend A.A. groups at all.

22. God of My Understanding

What do we understand our Higher Power to be? We need to have an open mind when considering this topic. The various ideas of people’s higher powers are fascinating.

How do we understand God? Why is the idea of the God of My Understanding important?

23. Step 10

Recovery is a lifelong process

Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

If we are sober now, isn’t that enough? Explore why it needs to be an ongoing process and what might happen if we stop this constant review. How can we make it part of our daily reflection?

24. The Still Suffering Alcoholic

Why should we bother? The world teaches us to look after number one, but in A.A., the primary purpose is to help others achieve sobriety. Is there anything special we can do in a beginner’s meeting to ensure those with an alcohol abuse problem want to come back?

25. Addictive Personality

think that alcoholics are, for the most part, addictive personalities. A large number engage in drug abuse and are also members of Narcotics Anonymous so they can deal with their drug addiction.

Is the A.A. recovery program enough to help the addictive personality across a spectrum of possible addictions?

26. Mental Illness

A.A. acknowledges that some have mental illnesses and says:

There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

How can we deal with people who may have depression, PTSD, or even schizophrenia?

How can we reach out and bring them into a safe place?

More so when they are new members. Remember that it is very different from physical illness.

27. Sponsorship

This is the greatest service we can render the recovering alcoholic. What are the qualities of a good sponsor, and how should they go about being a sponsor? How long should a sponsor have been a member of A.A.?

28. A New Freedom and A New Happiness

We had a drinking problem. Now we can have fun sober. Bill W called this the fourth dimension of existence.

How dark it is before dawn! In reality that was the beginning of my last debauch. I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence. I was to know happiness, peace, and usefulness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.

Is this how we feel? Are we filled with the joy of living? If we are, then why, and if not, why not?

29. Altered Attitudes

In comparison to our past, we have changed dramatically, and our attitudes have been altered. If we have become sober but our attitudes are unchanged, then we might be what is called a dry drunk. We need to achieve emotional sobriety as well.

Have our attitudes altered or not?

If not, why not and how can we ditch the emotional hangover?

How does this affect our interactions in the real world?

30. How It Works

The steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were the first time that step recovery was used. It is now used for other types of substance abuse, but how does it all fit together?

How does each step logically follow the previous one?

Which are the most important steps or are they all equally important?

31. Unity, Service, and Recovery

These are the legacies of Alcoholics Anonymous. Unity is we are a group of people that come together for a common purpose, to stay sober. Service is we are here to be of service to other alcoholics and our communities. Recovery is we continue to pursue recovery in whatever way we see fit. Basically, continue to expand our spiritual lives.

These three legacies are printed on some AA chips (coins).

32. Physical Craving

The AA Big Book reads:

…the body of the alcoholic is quite as abnormal as his mind. It did not satisfy us to be told we could not control our drinking just because we were maladjusted to life, that we were in full flight from reality, or were outright mental defectives. These things were true to some extent, in fact, to a considerable extent with some of us. But we are sure that our bodies are sickened as well. pg. xxiv

Here the Big Book begins to talk about our physical bodies being sickened by drinking too much alcohol. You can discuss how you were both mentally and physically addicted and ask others to share on this as well.

33. Higher Power

In step 2, we come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Discuss how we get to know that Power. What names do you call that Power? How do we get to know our Power better?

34. Forgiving Others

In step 5, we learn to forgive others and see our part in offenses. On page 58 of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, it is said that “often is it while working on this step (Step 5) with our sponsors or spiritual advisors that we first felt truly able to forgive others, no matter how deeply we felt they wronged us.

Summing Up

These are just a few topic suggestions. Many others can help make any A.A. meeting a wonderful experience. The A.A. big book is a rich source of possibilities.

For example, I mentioned only two of the twelve traditions, so there are another ten topics.

Note: All quotes are from the book Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as the Big Book.