6 weird triggers – and what to do about them!

6 weird triggers and what to do about them


You turn on the radio and that song comes on. You know the one I’m talking about right? The one that reminds you of THAT night. Memories, emotions and feelings all come flooding back like a bad dream.

Unfortunately, part of beating an addiction is dealing with triggers.

Triggers can lead to a relapse so it is vital you understand how to get past them. Most people have to deal with triggers. But, sometimes we hear about really weird triggers that people just may not have prepared for.

Here are the 6 weirdest triggers we’ve heard of and how we recommend you deal with them:

1. The fridge

The fridge can contain all sorts of trigger horrors so you have to keep your wits about you! All joking aside, many foods have the ability to make you remember certain times you’ve eaten specific food whilst also drinking alcohol. 

What can you do about it: clean out your fridge of any meals or foods that trigger specific feelings associated with drinking.  

2. Certain smells

No doubt there are plenty of smells in your life that make you remember times that you have drank too much. Sometimes it can be the smell of a bar or even the smell of someone smoking. Our body associates smells with memories so it is natural that smells can make you feel like you want to have a drink.

What can you do about it: Smells are probably one of the hardest things to straight up avoid during recovery. Your best bet is to get yourself out of the room or situation into something new. Going outside is a good idea here!

3. Very specific songs

Who doesn’t have songs in their life that mean various things? Unfortunately, when it comes to drinking and having an alcohol problem, there are likely songs that trigger an emotional response. It could be that even specific genres cause you to feel like grabbing a drink and we need to be consciously aware of this.

What can you do about it?

Well the simplest thing is to just switch the song that is playing! Now, that is one method but the other approach is to approach the song in a proactive way. Once you’ve identified that this specific song or genre triggers you, you can then intentionally play it and get used to it. Make sure you’re in a position to deal with it and you can soon start enjoying your favorite songs again!

4. An outfit

Sometimes you’ve got a special outfit that you used to wear when you went out and that can be the reason you feel triggered. Other times you’re just so used to drinking in specific clothes that you can’t avoid seeing that special shirt without thoughts of using flooding back to your headspace. The thing is though you want to use that outfit again and you should be able to!

What can you do about it?

The simplest thing to do is to give away the outfit. Simple enough but it doesn’t help if you want to wear the clothes again. Another option is to slowly integrate parts of the outfit back into your life. Just take parts of the outfit and wear them when you feel good – this process shouldn’t take too long!

5. A favorite TV show

When you’re struggling with addiction, you likely find comfort and solace in watching TV. The pandemic has made this much worse for most people, not that relaxing with TV is bad. This can result in your top shows being linked with your drinking habit – not ideal when you want to fire up Netflix and watch another episode of Friends. Another thing to consider is that many TV shows have alcohol prominently featured too.

What can you do about it?

Similarly to dealing with music issues, you need to find a way to gradually expose your favorite shows back into your life. Set yourself up to be ready and then test the show intentionally to see if you can desensitize yourself to it. 

If the show just comes on and you’re not ready you might have to reach for the remote and turn it off.

6. Your best friend

This one’s doozy! 

What can you do if your best friend is literally the problem you need to deal with? Many best friends lead us down paths that aren’t good for us. Specific friends can trigger or cause us to want to reach for that bottle even quicker than we realize. It’s not that most of them mean to do it, it’s just that your life has changed now and they don’t understand how their drinking now affects you.

What can you do about it?

Have an honest conversation. Start with this approach to help your friend understand how their behavior is jeopardizing your sobriety. Your friends need to understand that sobriety is your number one priority right now and that they can cause you to relapse. One you’ve had the courage to have these conversations, you will gradually improve the likelihood of them triggering you.

Sometimes however, you will need to cut ties entirely until you feel really ready to have the relationship. Make the call if you have to!

Some of these triggers are super weird but some of them might seem normal for you and that’s ok! 

Depending on your unique situation, you may or may not have had to deal with any of the triggers we’ve mentioned. 

So, what do you think? Did we miss any?

Nick Roberts
Nick Roberts
Scroll to Top


Get Your Free 30 Day Recovery Toolkit

New Course Launch!

The Ultimate Addiction and Recovery Course is now available. Ready to get sober from home? $19.95 for a limited time