AA Discussion Meeting Topics (309)

Note:  In order to be as helpful and inclusive as possible, some of these are repetitive as in “Turning it Over” and “Step Three,” which basically is turning it over, or in “Economic Insecurity” and “Money,” which encompasses economic insecurity.  Sometimes saying the same thing in a different way helps me see it differently.  I’ve also bolded the topics that are, to my knowledge, slogans.

  1. Acceptance
  2. Accepting My Alcoholism
  3. Act As If
  4. Action
  5. Addictive Personality
  6. Adversity
  7. Agnostics (We Agnostics)
  8. Amends Beyond “I’m Sorry”
  9. Amends, Making Hard Amends
  10. Anger
  11. Anniversaries
  12. Anonymity
  13. Asking for Help
  14. Attitude
  15. Attraction not Promotion
  16. Balance
  17. Being Alone
  18. Being Considerate of Others (in and out of AA)
  19. Being Useful
  20. Big Book (Using the Big Book)
  21. Boredom with the Program
  22. (The) Bottom is Where You Stop Digging (you hit bottom when you stop digging)
  23. Breaking My Anonymity
  24. Bring the Body and the Mind Will Follow
  25. But For the Grace of God
  26. Carry This Message
  27. Change
  28. Changing Routines, Changing People, Places and Things (to avoid drinking)
  29. Character Defects
  30. Choice
  31. Clarity of Thought
  32. Codependence
  33. Compassion
  34. Complacency
  35. Completely Giving Myself to This Simple Program
  36. Contempt Prior to Investigation
  37. Courage
  38. Courage to Change the Things I Can (Serenity Prayer)
  39. Cravings
  40. Cunning, Baffling, Powerful
  41. Decision Making
  42. Dealing with Difficult People
  43. Denial
  44. Dependence
  45. Detaching, Detaching with Love
  46. Disappointment
  47. Discipline
  48. Disease Concept
  49. Do the Next Right Thing
  50. (The) Doctor’s Opinion (from the Big Book)
  51. Don’t Drink and Go To Meetings
  52. Don’t Quit Before the Miracle
  53. Drinking Occasions
  54. (A) Drug is a Drug
  55. Drugs (Problems Other Than Alcohol)
  56. Drunk Who Brought You In Will Take You Out
  57. Dry Drunks
  58. Easy Does It
  59. Economic Insecurity
  60. Ego (ego deflation from Step 5, ego puncturing from Step 7)
  61. Eleventh Step Prayer (Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi)
  62. Emotional Balance (from Step 10)
  63. Emotional Hangover (from Step 10)
  64. Emotional Sobriety (Emotions)
  65. Enjoying Life (Having Fun Sober)
  66. (The) Exact Nature of our Wrongs
  67. Expect a Miracle
  68. Expectations (Unreasonable Expectation, Pre-Planned Resentments)
  69. Experience (Sharing Our Experience)
  70. Experience, Strength and Hope
  71. Faith
  72. Fake It Till You Make It
  73. (The) Family Afterwards
  74. Fear
  75. Fear of Failure/Fear of Success
  76. Feelings and Emotions
  77. Feeling Different
  78. Fellowship
  79. First Drink Gets You Drunk
  80. First Things First
  81. First Thought Wrong
  82. Fixing Me, Not You
  83. Forgiveness
  84. Forgiving Others
  85. Forgiving Ourselves
  86. Foundation
  87. Fourth Dimension (from page 25 in The Big Book)
  88. Freedom
  89. Freedom from Bondage
  90. Friendship
  91. Fun
  92. Gift of Desperation
  93. Gifts of the Program
  94. God as I Understand Him
  95. Gossip
  96. Gratitude
  97. Greed, Gluttony, Having Enough
  98. Group Membership (belonging to a group, having a “home” group)
  99. Growth
  100. Growth through Pain
  101. Guilt
  102. Handling Failure
  103. Handling Success
  104. Happiness
  105. Happy, Joyous and Free
  106. Higher Power
  107. Hitting Bottom
  108. Holidays
  109. Honesty (Rigorous Honesty)
  110. Hope
  111. How do you maintain your spiritual condition?
  112. How do you work the steps?
  113. How easy does it (working the program, staying sober) get?
  114. Has has your concept of a higher power changed in sobriety?
  115. How Have You Changed?
  116. How Important Is It?
  117. How it Works (Twelve Step Recovery)
  118. How were you introduced to AA?
  119. Humility
  120. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (HALT)
  121. I Am Responsible
  122. Identify, Don’t Compare
  123. If God is in charge, why do we sweat the small stuff?
  124. If it’s not practical, it’s not spiritual
  125. If nothing changes, nothing changes
  126. Improving the Quality of My Sobriety
  127. Insanity
  128. Insidious (Patiently Waiting for a Chance to Ensnare)
  129. Instincts
  130. Integrity
  131. Inventory (Taking My Own)
  132. Inventory (Taking That of Others)
  133. Isolating
  134. It Is What It Is
  135. Jealousy
  136. Joy, The Joy of Living
  137. Keep Coming Back
  138. Keep it Simple
  139. Keeping it Green
  140. Let Go and Let God
  141. Letting Go (of Outcomes)
  142. Letting Go (of the Past)
  143. Letting Go (of People, Places and Things)
  144. Life on Life’s Terms
  145. Literature as a Tool (Using the Big Book, Twelve and Twelve, meditations, etc)
  146. Live and Let Live
  147. Living in the Real World
  148. Living in the Moment, Living in the Present, Living in the Now
  149. Living with Myself in Sobriety
  150. Lonliness
  151. Loss
  152. Love
  153. Maintaining Sobriety
  154. Meditation
  155. Meeting Makers Make It
  156. Meetings
  157. Mental Blank (page 42 of the Big Book)
  158. Mental, Spiritual and Physical Disease
  159. Mental Illness (Problems Other Than Alcohol)
  160. Moderation
  161. Money
  162. More will be Revealed
  163. No Pain, No Gain
  164. Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes
  165. One Day at a Time
  166. Online meetings
  167. Organized Religion
  168. Other Addictions
  169. Pain
  170. Pass it On
  171. Patience
  172. Pause when Agitated (Big Book page 87)
  173. People Pleasing
  174. Perceptions vs. Reality
  175. Perseverance
  176. Persistence
  177. Physical Illness (Problems Other Than Alcohol)
  178. Powerlessness
  179. Practicing These Principles in All Our Affairs
  180. Prayer
  181. Pride
  182. Pride in Reverse
  183. Primary Purpose/Singleness of Purpose
  184. Principles Before Personalities
  185. Priorities
  186. Projection (Thinking About Outcomes that are in the Future, Good and Bad)
  187. Progress, Not Perfection
  188. Progression
  189. Promises
  190. Rationalization, minimizing and justifying, self-justification
  191. Recovered or Recovering?
  192. Recovery (Getting Better)
  193. Regret (We Will Not Regret the Past, Promises)
  194. Relapse
  195. Relationships
  196. Relaxing, Relaxation
  197. Remember What You Would Have Settled For
  198. Remembering Your Last Drunk
  199. Remorse
  200. Resentment
  201. Resolutions
  202. Responsibility
  203. Restless, Irritable and Discontent (RID)
  204. Restraint of Tongue and Pen
  205. Rituals of Sobriety
  206. Road Rage
  207. Rule #62 (from Tradition Four)
  208. Sanity
  209. Secrets (You’re Only as Sick as Your Secrets or Your Secrets will get You Drunk)
  210. Self Acceptance
  211. Self-Centeredness
  212. Self Esteem
  213. Self Pity
  214. Self Seeking
  215. Self-Will
  216. Selfishness
  217. Serenity
  218. Serenity Prayer
  219. Serenity Prayer long form
  220. Service
  221. Sex
  222. Sharing (talking or telling my story) at Meetings
  223. Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired
  224. Slips
  225. Slogans
  226. Sobriety Dates
  227. Spiritual Awakening
  228. Spiritual Axiom (from Step Ten, page 90, 12 and 12)
  229. Spiritual Malady (from page 64 of the Big Book)
  230. Spiritual Part of the Program
  231. Spirituality
  232. Sponsorship
  233. Staying Away from the First Drink
  234. Staying in the Now
  235. Step One
  236. Step Two
  237. Step Three
  238. Step Four
  239. Step Five
  240. Step Six
  241. Step Seven
  242. Step Eight
  243. Step Nine
  244. Step Ten
  245. Step Eleven
  246. Step Twelve
  247. Stick with the Winners
  248. Strength (Sharing Our Strength, What is Your Strength?)
  249. Stress (Coping with Stress)
  250. Suggestions (Taking the Suggestions)
  251. Surrender
  252. Taking Risks
  253. Taking Things for Granted (before and after sobriety)
  254. Telling on Yourself
  255. “Terminal” Uniqueness – feeling unique can kill me
  256. Think it Through (think the drink through to the end)
  257. Think, Think, Think
  258. This Too Shall Pass
  259. Time (Time Takes Time)
  260. To Thine Own Self Be True
  261. Tolerance
  262. Too Busy for Meetings?
  263. Tools of the Program
  264. Tradition One
  265. Tradition Two
  266. Tradition Three
  267. Tradition Four
  268. Tradition Five
  269. Tradition Six
  270. Tradition Seven
  271. Tradition Eight
  272. Tradition Nine
  273. Tradition Ten
  274. Tradition Eleven
  275. Tradition Twelve
  276. Triggers
  277. Trust
  278. Trust God, Clean House, Help Others
  279. Turning it Over
  280. Turning Point (we stood at the turning point)
  281. Twelfth Step Calls (going to see someone who is asking for help and/or drinking)
  282. Twenty-four Hours a Day (one hour, one minute at a time)
  283. Unfinished Amends
  284. Unmanageability
  285. Using the Program Instead of Using Alcohol
  286. Using the Telephone
  287. Utilize Don’t Analyze
  288. Wait to Worry
  289. We are not a glum lot (from page 132 of the Big Book)
  290. We of the Program
  291. What Convinced You That You Had a Problem?
  292. What is AA?
  293. What do You do to Stay Sober?
  294. What do you love about AA?
  295. What have you gained from the program?
  296. What outside forces keep you from drinking?
  297. What Step are you on?
  298. When others are drinking (and potentially dangerous, what do you do?)
  299. Who supported you to get sober?  To stay sober?
  300. Why Are You Here?
  301. Why did you get sober?
  302. Will power
  303. Willing to go to Any Lengths
  304. Willingness
  305. Wisdom to Know the Difference (Serenity Prayer)
  306. Wreckage of the Past
  307. Yets
  308. You may be the only Big Book a new person sees.
  309. Your last drunk.

92 thoughts on “AA Discussion Meeting Topics (309)

  1. Thanks for the topic list. I started a womem’s group several months ago. What we do is everyone puts a topic in the basket, the chair picks the topic from the basket & we all share on it. This list will keep us going for a while.


  3. I thought I would look through the internet to see if I could find a topic for my meeting tonight.As was said ,sometimes that second moment of silence can be a killer lol.Thanks alot for compiling these!I”ll look like a very thoughtfull drunk tonight. Please accept my appreciation for sitting down and putting these topics together.
    Thanks again,Bernie

  4. Thank You! I have been chairing a discussion meeting for over 2 years now and am always trying to think of “different” topics. This list had several different ideas.

  5. A.A has been wonderful to me and i have lots of friends i have one question can the need for approval be a topic for a meeting that is one of my many character defects i have only been in a year dec 6 2008 is my sobriety date please let me know thank you ps going to meetings is a great stress reliever

  6. These topics are wonderful! In May, I chaired my home group for my 24th anniversary, and I was so glad I had these!

    • I was told I was a people pleaser in my beginnings. I strive to make positive changes in my life today.
      Now I have found their is no way to please everybody. Also I find when helping another alcoholic. I may be to tough on them. I came in in 92 and I was ready to listen and do what was asked of me to stay sober.

  7. Wonderful comprehensive and thoughtful list. thank you for the hard work – seems in all you do. I am chairing a 7am this morning and was stumped. Now I have MANY I want to use. Thanks.

  8. I would like to thank you;so much for the wonderful topics.Ihave a bad memory as a result of brain damage from alcohol.and allways forget a topic for my aa group closed discusion meeting thankyou i put them in my favorites file.one day at a time.

  9. I have heard there is a list of topics from the first early AA meetings that focused on discussion rather than the steps. Does anyone know where to find it.thanks elizabeth

  10. My husband and I have recently moved out of the country and are hungry to start a topic discussion meeting similar to the one we left back home.
    This list has helped immensly.
    Thank you from Mexico.

  11. Huge hit tonight! Friday before the Holiday; chose the topic expectations = guaranteed resentments disappointment! Excellent meeting. Thanks for PASSING IT ON!! xo

  12. Thank you for the topics. I am writtin’ them on popsicle sticks so we can have everyone grab one and talk on that topic or just the chair pick one and we can share on it.

  13. How about Trust Your Intincts ie: I trust my intincts when my intincts tell me to stay away from People Places and Things that may bring me to a drink!

  14. Thanks so much for putting this together… one of my character defects is procrastination… I’m chairing a meeting in an hour and
    am suppoed to bring a topic… haha! God bless you!

  15. I thought I would look through the internet to see if I could find a topic for my meeting tonight.As was said ,sometimes that second moment of silence can be a killer lol.Thanks alot for compiling these!I”ll look like a very thoughtfull drunk tonight. Please accept my appreciation for sitting down and putting these topics together.
    Thanks again,Bernie


  16. You have got to be an alcoholic, no one else would have this many suggested topics. Isn’t there one that say’s “keep it simple” on here? Just Kidding, thank you this will be very helpful.

  17. thank you so much for making this list. I totally panic when faced with leading a meeting and picking the topic. You’ve given me so many ideas.

  18. My brother needs help he killing his self by drinking a lot. Our mom past in November 2011 and that the only way for him to deal with it but its killing him. He already have health issue .
    I love my brother very much its killing me to see him like that Help.

  19. SEX, I have yet to see a discussion about sex. When I suggested sex, everyone in the group thanked me for it. Each one had a story. After the meeting they shook my hand.

  20. i’m curious about this. i’m a younger person who likes to drink (emphasis on likes)…i’m not someone who gets aggressive, violent, or any malevolent repercussions, maybe just acts stupid at the most part… I consider myself an alcoholic…i don’t harm anyone and am a respectful person no matter what my state is…however, the only thing people see is my harm to myself…that’s about it…i don’t offend people, don’t hurt people, don’t do anything like that; just my friends’ concerns…but i enjoy it…it’s my own choice and i like it…i’ve thought about the idea of why i indulge myself sometimes and to be the most honest sometimes, i think people suck…i think i’m an amazing person and, after meeting the tons of people i have, i don’t think anyone has the right to share my company with…maybe i’m too selfish…maybe i’m too sure of myself….i’m starting to find a dark side of myself and would like some advice…i think my kidneys are starting to hurt daily…i enjoy it though…i think there’s a sense of suicidal tendencies definitely involved that i actually enjoy…it’s on of the many conundrums i’m looking at…i don’t want jesus to save my life, i’m just looking for like-minded people…


    • I used to think this way too, “if im not hurting anyone else than what does it matter” was my actual thoughts about life. Today, being on the other end of things, I realize that watching someone you love harm their-self is like a literal hell, its an agonizing pain to endure. So in actuality, by harming yourself, you are hurting the ones you love regardless if you intend on doing so. I think it takes time and knowledge to recognize this, it took me 20 years to learn this lesson. When the tables get turned and the shoe is on the other foot is when you will truly understand. You are not a bad person for thinking the way you do, fact that you are here and asking questions, speaks volumes to your intentions to soul search and become the best version of yourself. I hope this helps and I hope that you figure things out. Wishing you the best on your journey!

  21. wonderful topic list i am charing a closed meeting tonight came to the library to research a topic for a closed meeting so newcomers can understand the difference in open and closed meeting what do you suggest thank you sherry c.

    • I suggest that you tell them that closed meetings are for alcoholics and those who think they may have a drinking problem only, and that anyone can attend open meetings. Not much more to say about it than that!

  22. this is a great list of topics and I thank you for taking the time to get them together as I am chairing a meeting for the next 3 months you have enough info for the next 3 years lol but I am very greatful thank you soooo much it is well appreciated

  23. I know you put a lot of effort into this list, which I appreciate, as well as your enthusiasm. However, I would caution that some of these “topics” have no place in an AA meeting. Several are from the “treatment center” industry such as “Triggers”; Some are just old party-line stuff that has crept into the rooms and you will NOT find literature support for — and in fact will find in the literature the exact opposite- such as “Do The Next Right Thing” — like I know what that is! I need God for guidance, not my mind (where the problem centers). or “Keeping It Green” — the BB makes it plain that at certian times we will have no mental defense, that we are unable to recall the suffering and humiliation of even a week or month ago. If just remembering my last drunk worked, I would not need AA. And “What Brought You Here?” Really? Ummm …. drinking!! What did you do to stay sober today? Uggh – worst topic ever. Totally ego-feeding and sets up the illusion that I have anything to do with whether or not I drink. Alcoholics have lost the power of choice in drink. We never get that back. I’ve never understood why anyone gets stumped for a topic. Do you own a Big Book or Twelve & Twelve? Maybe there’s one or two lying around your meeting place? Open it, read from it. Bam. Guaranteed topic that is the accurate message of AA.

    • Thanks for your comment and your opinion. I disagree that some of these have no place in a meeting, and that we must rigidly stick to the books to be “accurate.” But thanks.

  24. I’m confused. You said that the Third Step was about turning it over. I don’t think that’s right. Isn’t it about making a decision?

  25. Wow this is awesome. I woke up this morning thinking I should google “good topics for an aa meeting” and maybe start building a random topic selector for my online home group website thing, and you’ll never guess who was the number one response 😉

    I hope you don’t mind, and will cease and desist immediately if you do, but I’ve taken your list and made a random topic selector out of it for our chatroom thing.

    got you in my feed reader now … looking forward to reading more 🙂

    Hugs, EdB

  26. Wow. An exhaustive study and a fine list. Thanks so much for all your efforts, and your continued efforts to update. I am a last minute speaker for tonight’s meeting, and this has given me the ideas I needed!

  27. To the person that suggested SEX, this is just a suggestion, but a topic like that should be personal, like with a sponsor. Not in an open forum – especially at a Newcomers or Open Meeting. That can be very uncomfortable & should stay within the same sex. Like the old quote says, Take your mess to your Sponsor & the message to the meeting.

    • Go to a meeting as often as you can….and then some!!
      Talk about whatever you have to WHATEVER you have to. This is a process, a journey, something you should never take for granted!
      Its none of your business what someone else thinks.
      This is life or death!!

    • Melissa,
      After a decade of meetings on Step 4, most of which never mention the sex inventory, I respectfully disagree with the idea that sex relations can’t or don’t make for a good meeting topic. There is plenty of message to share on the sex inventory that is 100% solution. For instance reminding others that the formation of a safe and sound ideal is something between the individual and their HP. It’s also a great time to discuss motives in the things we do. Sometimes it is hard for new comers to grasp practicing the principals in all affairs. Here too is opportunity to show that checking of motives builds esteemable character traits. For example watching out for unintentionally throwing out intrigue in meetings or in fellowship. The nitty gritty details can be spared for a sponsor while the ideas may serve a purpose at the group level. I agree with you in so far as certain details being best left to a sponsor.

  28. i came looking for a list of topics because i dont trust my own mind sometimes to decide what to choose, and found that i waas in the right ballpark. and much more in your site. thanx for your 12th step internet.when i am most troubled it seems i am called to chair a topic meeting. i nod inwardly and say yes and then fret and go through mental gymnastics before just saying itll be okay its just a meeting and even when i screw up i can still be of service to someone.

  29. A drug is a drug is a drug is an NA saying …………………………………..,,,( it kind of breaks the aa
    4 th tradition of our primary purpose….. )

    • Thank you for this, but I disagree. The message that any drug is OK because it’s not alcohol is dangerous, in my opinion. People, especially newcomers, need to hear about abstinence. My opinion only.

  30. “Do the next right thing” is not a slogan. It actually, somehow, came from pre-school jargan. Sequential order. It’s poor gramar and and actually has not been around that long. Maybe 6 years or so if that. I’m glad to notice (in the past couple months) that some people at meetings are making a point of saying ‘do the right thing’. I’ve asked the women I sponsor to please don’t say ‘do the next right thing’. We are always to try and do the right thing.
    I also noticed there were many un-highlighted slogans which have been around since the beginning of AA.
    In response to the comment above! It’s more than just your opinion, that drug use is not ok! Bill Wilson addresses this issue. Pick up the book “Launguage of the Heart”. There are many letters written by Bill over the years that are in this book.

  31. Thank you for your comment. I know, however, that they were saying “do the next right thing” 35 years ago when I started AA. In my experience, AA is very regional in some ways. I also think of the meaning a little differently than you describe. I use it for when someone expresses something like “I don’t know what to do.” Do the NEXT right thing should narrow that down. Like, brush your teeth, pay your bill, scoop the cat litter box. The NEXT right thing is the next thing that needs to be done. I hope I expressed that well.

    • At my first chair last week for a beginners meeting that was my topic. Do the next right thing. I was taught/suggested to make my bed every morning. When you come home and your bed is made,it is positively welcoming. That simple task rippled throughout my life. Do the dishes. Hangup your clothes ( although sometimes not but you’re allowed ). The IRS sent me a letter that would have sent me into a PANIC. I did the next right thing. I called. It was not an issue. Resolved. Great that you shared this simple easy way of living. Cheers

  32. I’ve taken on the commitment of running a beginners meeting. My first time taking on a chairperson commitment. My home group has shortened the chair length to 6 weeks. The list of topics here have been very very helpful for coming up with topics for experience strength and hope. Thank you for compiling this list.

  33. Great list – thanks everso!

    Two topics that I was happy to find discussion on:

    1. The Spiritual Malady http://www.barefootsworld.net/aaspiritualmalady.html

    2. The “curious mental blank spot” – http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=10555
    “The Big Book tells us in no uncertain terms: “The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. …[N]either he {/she] nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His [/her] defense must come from a Higher Power.”

  34. I use this list all the time, and have for several years. Thanks fro keeping this updated!
    What about, “Take what you need and leave the rest”

  35. Thanks for this list. I am bringing a meeting to the salvation army tonight and got some great inspiration for a topic meeting! Thanks for creating this

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