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Whether you’re embarking on a dry month, sober curious, or just looking to cut back on your alcohol intake, Reframe could be a helpful partner in the journey.
This iOS app uses science-backed strategies to teach you about alcohol and what it does to your body. You’ll also be able to benefit from features such as video courses, coping strategies, and daily Zoom meetings with other people working toward sobriety.
We even tested this app to see whether it really works. Below, check out our in-depth review of Reframe and read about its pros, cons, features, and more.
We tested Reframe
Christy Snyder, an editor here at Healthline, started using this app after talking with her therapist about her relationship with alcohol.
“I consider myself sober curious,” she says. “I would recommend [Reframe] for anyone who wants to take a mindful and scientific approach to alcohol consumption.”
She’s been generally happy with her experience, noting that, while it’s definitely not a substitute for therapy or appropriate for people who have alcohol use disorder (AUD), it’s helpful for keeping track of days you don’t drink.
“I really like how science-driven the app is,” she says. “I’ve learned a lot.”
Most notably, she enjoyed its variety of content, including check-ins, goal tracking, healthy coping mechanisms, and more: “I wanted to learn more about the first few weeks of not consuming alcohol and how one’s body and mind may respond.”
Reframe is an alcohol reduction app designed to help you build healthier drinking habits by quitting alcohol completely or simply cutting back. It taps into the power of neuroscience, using an evidence-based behavior change program to help you on your journey. According to the website, the program was developed by mental health and medical experts.
You do have to pay a fee to use Reframe (the app itself is free, and monthly and annual memberships are available). With your subscription, you’ll receive access to features such as:
- educational readings
- daily check-in meetings on Zoom
- courses on how to live well while drinking less
- a toolkit full of coping strategies to distract your mind when needed
Reframe isn’t a substitute for professional help
If you suspect you may have AUD or an alcohol addiction, Reframe is not a substitute for seeking out therapy, medical intervention, detox, or rehab.
If you need someone to talk to or you’re experiencing a mental health emergency, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
You can find out more about alcohol misuse symptoms, treatment options, and more here.
- 7-day free trial
- easy cancellation policy
- science-backed strategies developed by mental health and medical experts
- easy sign-up process
- user-friendly interface
- personalized programs to help users manage their drinking habits
- realistic steps to help users reach goals
- daily virtual meetings available
- available on Apple devices only (Google and Android users can join a waitlist)
- does not accept insurance
- no free version
- requires users to complete tasks to earn “coins” to gain access to additional courses, even when paying for a subscription
Currently, Reframe is available for Apple devices only. You can download the app from the iOS App Store and tap “Start My Custom Plan” to begin.
When you sign up for an account on Reframe, the first thing you’ll do is complete a questionnaire about your relationship with alcohol, such as when and why you drink. The app will use the information you’ve provided to help you identify possible triggers.
“The app is set up to take you on a 160-day ‘journey’ through learning about alcohol and the brain [and] body,” Christy says.
You’ll be assigned “lessons” to read every day. These daily readings help you learn about the science behind alcohol and addiction. As you work through these educational readings, the goal is to be better equipped to understand what’s going on in your mind and body.
In addition to these daily readings, you can access courses, games, and community forums.
Reframe users can benefit from the following features:
- Daily tasks: Each day, the app gives you a short reading assignment that will help you learn more about the science behind alcohol. It also prompts you to log your stress levels and appetite and provides a “daily motivation” prompt. Christy noted that the app keeps track of each day you don’t drink, but there’s a separate tracker for meeting your weekly goals, such as having one to two drinks per week.
- Reframe Courses: Reframe offers courses in the form of both recorded and live videos. These videos cover topics such as the workplace, relationships, and mental health. They’re designed to guide you in building a meaningful life while drinking less.
- Community: You can tap into the 24/7 community feature by posting in forums to give and receive support. If desired, you can join a specialized community group, such as a group designed for parents or for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Toolkit: If you’re craving alcohol and need something to occupy your mind, you can navigate to the toolkit section, which is full of coping strategies to help you distract yourself. You can work through a quick guided meditation, play a game, or create a journal entry.
- Check-in meetings: Every day, Reframe coaches host daily check-in meetings on Zoom. This feature helps you get the face-to-face community support you need. Some meetings are for anyone, while others are for specific communities, as mentioned above.
- One-on-one coaching: Premium users can work with a Thrive Coach via messaging ($99.99 per month) or live video sessions ($249.99 per month). While Reframe isn’t very clear about the credentials and background of its coaches, this option can help you get more personalized support.
Reframe might be a good fit for you if you’re looking to stop drinking alcohol or to cut back on your alcohol consumption. You can use Reframe by itself or alongside other recovery or wellness programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, but it shouldn’t replace professional assistance or support groups.
Christy notes that it’s not for everyone and may be the best fit for those who want to create “mindful drinking habits or learn more about how the brain, body, and alcohol interact with each other.”
However, Reframe is not designed to treat AUD, which is defined as a pattern of problematic drinking and alcohol dependence. Reframe is also not a detox or rehabilitation program, and the site encourages people who are dealing with acute addiction to seek immediate medical attention.
If you aren’t sure where you fall, Reframe offers a quick online quiz that can help you gauge where you are on the spectrum.
According to the app’s website, 91% of Reframe users noted substantial decreases in alcohol use within 3 months, and 81% of users noted substantial decreases in alcohol use within 2 months.
These statistics suggest that if you’re committed to correctly using the app, you may be able to reach your sobriety goals.
In general, Christy says she would recommend it for people who want science-driven approaches to trying out sobriety.
Reframe does not publicly share subscription costs on its website — you’ll have to register to see the prices. A 7-day free trial is available. After that, you can choose between a monthly subscription ($13.99 per month) and a yearly one ($79.99 per year).
Some features, such as courses and workshops, are considered “extra.” If you want to access these features, you’ll need to complete daily tasks to earn coins and “pay” for each course or workshop.
On Trustpilot, Reframe has an average rating of 3.5 stars (based on two total reviews). In the iOS App Store, the app has a rating of 4.8 stars and nearly 18,000 reviews. Reviewers mention that the app helped them become more consistent with good habits as they learned how to take charge of their alcohol intake.
While the online reviews are overwhelmingly positive, some mention issues with the app’s customer service, which has apparently renewed users’ accounts with more expensive subscriptions without asking.
Christy gave it the following ranks:
- 4 out of 5 stars for ease of use
- 1 out of 5 stars for affordability
- 2 out of 5 stars for being easy to find online (it’s currently available only for Apple device users)
|What it’s best for
|$13.99/month or $119.99/year
|yes, 7-day free trial
|“gray area” drinkers looking for coping skills
|• daily Zoom meetings
• coping strategies
• educational readings
• available for Apple devices only
|anyone looking for something simple
|• lets you create and share sobriety clocks
|• hasn’t been updated recently
• lack of accountability partners
|I Am Sober
|free with in-app purchases
|anyone looking for structure
|• allows for easy progress tracking
• helps you build new habits
• helps you find a community
|cost for some features
|free with in-app purchases
|people looking to build a community
|• 24/7 support available
• allows you to connect with sober people nearby
|cost for some features
Is the Reframe app good?
Reframe has a 4.8-star rating based on more than 18,000 reviews in the iOS App Store. Reviewers appreciate the app’s science-backed approach and the variety of features it offers.
Is Reframe for quitting or cutting back drinking?
The Reframe app is a good fit for either of these goals. Some Reframe users are working to quit alcohol entirely. Others only want to cut back their intake. However, the app should not be used as a replacement for Alcoholics Anonymous or professional help from a therapist or counselor.
If you have AUD or are having trouble cutting back on your alcohol intake, it’s likely better to talk with a mental health professional or go to a support group.
What is the best app to help with alcohol use?
Some of the most popular apps to help with alcohol use are Reframe, Nomo, I Am Sober, and Sober Grid.
Reframe is more expensive than some other alcohol reduction apps, but it offers a comprehensive suite of features that were designed by experts to help you build a better relationship with alcohol. If you’re interested in trying it out, you can download Reframe from the iOS App Store.