Reframe is an app designed to help users quit or cut back on drinking alcohol. It provides an educational program, progress tracking, motivational tools, and access to a support network. Reframe is available only on Apple devices, costs $24.99 monthly or $119.99 annually, and comes with a seven-day free trial. Premium membership with access to one-on-one coaching starts at $99.99 monthly.
Rating of the Reframe App
I have dedicated a considerable amount of time and attention personally using and reviewing each mindful drinking app to ensure that consumers are getting the information they need to make confident purchases. I’ve conducted hours of research on mindful drinking, alcohol tracking systems, and the sober curious movement to identify the most important elements that should be available in each app. Reframe is an all-encompassing mindful drinking app that offers incredible educational tools to help users better understand their relationship to alcohol, which is why it earned 5 stars in our Additional Tools & Resources category. However, because Reframe has only been around for a few years and we’re still monitoring the company’s success, it only earned 3.5 stars in our Reliability & Longevity category.
Pros & Cons of the Reframe App
The Reframe app provides a structured program with multiple tools to help members curb or quit drinking. Reframe’s behavioral change strategies are built from science-based research and include things like games, meditation, and journaling. The onboarding questionnaire is easy to follow and results in a personalized program that targets each user’s unique goals. Unfortunately, there is no free version of the app, it’s only available through Apple, and the cost is hidden until you register for an account.
How to Sign Up for the Reframe App
You can download the Reframe app by going to the Apple App Store or by visiting the Reframe website. While Reframe isn’t currently available on Android, they plan to launch the app in the Google Play Store soon. Android users can register on the Reframe waitlist if interested.
What Is Reframe?
The Reframe app provides a structured program to help users quit or reduce drinking. It offers educational and motivational tools and community support through message boards and virtual meetings. Reframe is currently only available on Apple devices, costs $24.99 monthly or $119.99 annually, and comes with a seven-day free trial. Access to one-on-one coaching in the premium version starts at $99.99 monthly.
Reframe’s registration begins with a questionnaire about your drinking habits so it can develop a customized program that targets personal goals. Once complete, your program is generated on the “Daily Task” tab, which is Reframe’s main screen. The “Daily Task” tab lists four-five activities to complete each day, including things like quizzes, journal entries, and educational lessons. If you’ve registered for extras, like courses, workshops, or challenges, you’ll also see these listed here.
Remember that Reframe doesn’t provide free content, so after you complete the onboarding questionnaire, you’ll be asked to choose a subscription plan before gaining access to your personalized program.
“Toolkit,” “Forum,” and “Discover” are the other main sections of the Reframe app. The “Toolkit” section has an easy access “Cravings” button at the top that immediately sets a clock to 20 minutes, which is how long an average craving lasts. As the craving-mode clock counts down, you’ll see a list of games, breathing exercises, meditations, reading materials, and TED talk videos to distract you while your craving subsides. The “Toolkit” also offers writing activities, coping strategies, thriving tips, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) exercises.
The “Forum” section is where you’ll find the community message boards to post comments on your experiences and interact with other members. “Discover” has all other resources, like links to the Zoom check-in meetings, challenges, workshops, and courses.
All activities and educational materials are gradually unlocked as you progress through Reframe’s 17-module program. You can’t jump to the next module until you’ve completed the current one. Members “graduate” to different levels of their journey, which begins at the “Novice” level, then moves onto “Apprentice,” “Learner,” “Genius,” and “Expert.” As you complete tasks and activities, you also earn “ReCoin Rewards.” These reward coins can be used to “purchase” extras, like workshops and courses, or Reframe merchandise, which includes T-shirts, journals, and water bottles.
Who Is Reframe Right For?
The Reframe app provides many helpful tools for anyone wanting to understand their relationship with alcohol and identify why they drink. It’s also great for those needing a structured program or extra support during a cut-back challenge like “Dry January.”
Those Who Want to Examine Relationship with Alcohol
If you want to explore your relationship with alcohol, Reframe is an excellent choice because the program delivers educational materials and activities that help users discover why they drink. Identifying the environments, situations, or emotional triggers that lead to alcohol consumption is an essential first step in transforming drinking habits, and Reframe provides that path on day one.
Need a Structured Program
Reframe tells you precisely what you need to accomplish each day to stay on track and earn rewards. Other apps, like I Am Sober, might suggest daily activities or lessons, but there’s no curated path or levels to reach. Reframe’s 17-module program is perfect for those who need more structure and organization on their sobriety journey.
Challenges like “Dry January” and “Sober October” are becoming increasingly popular trends amongst health-conscious people. Whether you’re doing the challenge alone or with a group of friends, it can be very helpful to have some support! Reframe can give you the tools you need to make it through the month and might even inspire more long-term goals.
Who May Want an Alternative to Reframe?
Because Reframe is solely focused on quitting or cutting back on drinking, it’s not necessarily the right fit for those who may be attempting to refrain from multiple habits, such as alcohol, drugs, and nicotine, at the same time. Those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) should also seek alternative treatment and support.
Quitting More Than One Habit
If you’re just focused on quitting alcohol, Reframe is a great choice. However, if you’re hoping to quit more than one unhealthy habit simultaneously, like cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol, I Am Sober may be a better option. I Am Sober’s free version allows you to register with two addictions, and members with the premium version can register up to ten. I Am Sober offers motivational tools, progress-tracking systems, and message boards to connect with others with similar addictions.
To learn more, check out our in-depth review of the I Am Sober app.
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
Reframe specifically states on its website that the app is not designed to treat Alcohol Use Disorder. If you struggle with alcohol dependence, apps like WeConnect may be a better option. WeConnect hosts free sobriety support meetings via Zoom multiple times throughout the day. If you’re looking to treat AUD in person with a licensed mental health professional, using our online therapist directory can help you find a specialist in your area.
To learn more, check out our in-depth review of WeConnect.
What Users Are Saying About the Reframe App
The Reframe app has 4.8 out of 5 stars from 15K reviews in the Apple App Store. Many reviewers mentioned the value of the educational readings on the science of alcohol and the amazing Reframe support team. However, there were also several complaints about the hidden subscription costs and the fact that you must earn coins to unlock additional content.
Understanding the Science Behind Alcohol
For many Reframe users, understanding the physiological impacts of alcohol can make a big difference. Reviewers mentioned that the educational program helped them make more informed decisions about their drinking habits, and I couldn’t agree more. The reading assignments are brief yet straightforward and comprehensive. My relationship with drinking became much clearer as I learned more about how alcohol affects the mind and body.
Love the Reframe Support Team
Several reviewers mentioned their appreciation for the Reframe support team, which are coaches who host virtual community meetings via Zoom. Users stated that the hosts were knowledgeable, inspiring, and comforting. I also thought the team members who hosted my meetings were incredibly welcoming and did a fantastic job guiding the sessions in productive and positive ways. However, finding background information on the Reframe team members is very difficult. While some hosts have certifications listed after their names, like CPLC (Certified Performance Leadership Coach), others do not.
No Free Content
Many reviews included complaints from potential users who downloaded the app, completed the questionnaire, and realized that the app was not free. The onboarding process can lead you to believe that the app is free because the survey is relatively long, you’re entering personal information, and prices don’t appear until the end. Due to this confusion, multiple reviewers expressed mistrust in the company and refused to purchase the app.
Upset About “Earning” Access to Educational Content
A lot of reviewers shared their disappointment in having to earn coins to access additional workshops and courses. I was also a bit shocked when I tried to view one course, only to see that I needed over 500 coins to access it (I had only earned 50 coins at the time). The intention is to keep users motivated and not overwhelm them with too much content at once. While this approach can be effective for some, it can be frustrating for others who may be seeking information on those topics.
How Much Does Reframe Cost?
The Reframe app is currently only available on Apple devices, costs $24.99 monthly or $119.99 annually, and comes with a seven-day free trial. Premium membership includes two plans: Messaging Pass for $99.99 monthly or Coaching Pass for $249.99 monthly.
Reframe Basic Subscription
The basic version of the reframe app costs $24.99 monthly or $119.99 annually. It gives you access to the 17-module educational program, toolkit, community forum, and daily check-in meetings. The only thing not included in the basic version is the private one-on-one coaching with a “Thrive Coach.”
Remember that even if you’re paying for the basic membership, you don’t immediately gain access to all the content. You can only access extras, like courses and workshops, by collecting reward coins after completing daily tasks. Members earn an average of 25 coins for completing a task, and the “cost” of a course or workshop can range between 200 – 700 coins. For example, a five-day course on “Improving Gut Bacteria” is 250 coins, and an eight-day workshop on “Understanding the Impacts of Trauma” is 500 coins.
Reframe Premium Subscription
A Reframe premium subscription consists of two plans: Messaging Pass for $99.99 a month or a Coaching Pass for $249.99 a month.
Messaging Pass – $99.99/month
The Messaging Pass connects you to a Thrive Coach and includes private one-on-one coaching through unlimited direct text, audio, or video messages.
Coaching Pass – $249.99/month
The Coaching Pass also includes unlimited direct messaging with a Thrive Coach via text, audio, and video. This pass also comes with three 45-minute live one-on-one coaching Zoom sessions per month.
Reframe Key Features
Reframe is an app that provides a science-backed behavior change program to quit or reduce alcohol intake. It offers coping tools, rewards, and educational lessons to help users transform their drinking habits. Reframe is currently only available on Apple devices and costs $24.99 monthly or $119.99 annually. A premium membership starting at $99.99 a month provides access to private one-on-one coaching.
How To Get Started With Reframe
The onboarding process for Reframe can take a few minutes, so be prepared to answer some personal questions about your current drinking habits and goals before you begin your program. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started with the Reframe app:
- Download the app from the Apple App Store.
- Choose “Start My Custom Plan”
- Answer a series of questions about your drinking habits and goals
- Read through the introductory course on how Reframe works
- Begin your first lesson
Daily Reading Lessons
The daily reading assignments are the first items on your task list each day. I found these lessons to be the cornerstone of the entire program. They’re brief summaries, so completing the reading in a few minutes is easy, even on a busy day. Despite being short snippets of alcohol science, the lessons are extremely impactful and helped me better understand my drinking habits. These educational lessons helped Reframe earn 5 out of 5 stars for Credibility and Expertise category.
For instance, one of my two-minute reading assignments was about alcohol, dopamine (our “feel good” chemical), and the hedonic setpoint (our bodies’ unique and natural level of happiness). It explained how drinking alcohol causes a temporary rise in dopamine levels beyond our hedonic setpoint threshold, eventually leading to a crash. After a night of drinking, low dopamine levels can make us feel depressed or moody. It also highlighted how other activities like being outside, exercising, or hanging out with friends could naturally release dopamine and boost your mood without a crash.
Toolkit’s Coping Strategies
The “Toolkit” was a section that I found myself visiting often. The “Cravings” button at the top made it easy to distract myself in environments or situations that typically called for a drink. Users can play games, like memory cards or Tetris, meditate, do breathing exercises, or listen to a TED talk to pass the time while the craving fades. The craving’s countdown clock, which is set to 20 minutes — the average time it takes for a craving to pass— is a great reminder that the discomfort doesn’t last long. After a handful of craving periods, it starts to feel like you’ve made small but significant achievements and makes long-term goals seem more realistic. The incredible “Toolkit” section is what helped Reframe earn 5 out of 5 stars in our Additional Tools and Resources category.
Daily Check-In Meetings
The daily check-in meetings via Zoom are an incredible feature that makes Reframe an all-encompassing alcohol-reducing app. You can do hours of games and mindfulness exercises, but community support means everything at the end of the day. The Reframe coaches that host the daily meetings provide a safe and welcoming atmosphere, which is why the app earned 5 out of 5 stars in our Community Connection category in our scoring criteria. They set etiquette guidelines at the start of every video call so members know best practices and when it’s appropriate to share. There’s at least one general meeting each day and a handful of special meetings for specific groups, like veterans, mothers, or students. Reframe also makes it clear that personal goals dictate which meetings you’ll attend, so those who are trying to quit alcohol altogether are not mixed into meetings with those who are trying to cut back.
Premium Version: 1:1 Thrive Coaching
Access to one-on-one coaching is the key feature of Reframe’s premium version. The app asks you a series of questions to help you narrow down your search for the right Thrive Coach. Then, it provides four or five options of potential coaches that match your goals, lifestyle, and personality. You can choose between two plans if you want to work privately with a Thrive Coach. The Message Pass costs $99.99 a month and allows you to communicate with a Thrive Coach via unlimited direct text, audio, or video messages. The Coaching Pass costs $249.99 a month and includes everything from the Message Pass as well as three 45-minute live sessions with your Thrive Coach.
Reframe Thrive Coach Credentials
Unlike I Am Sober, Reframe doesn’t share the specific credentials or requirements of its support team. The coaches that were suggested to me had diverse backgrounds in mental health, addiction therapy, yoga, mindfulness, and life coaching. It’s clear that the coaches have relevant experience, but there isn’t one distinct certification or degree listed as a requirement to be a Reframe Thrive Coach.
Reframe Vs. Competitors
The Reframe app has a few competitors that offer similar resources. Below you’ll find a brief head-to-head comparative summary of Reframe and other apps that claim to support those who want to quit or cut back on drinking.
Reframe Vs. Sunnyside
Sunnyside (formerly known as the Cutback Coach app) and Reframe appear to be almost identical at first. They each boast a structured, personalized program that focuses on the science behind drinking, and individual coaching is offered through both apps. They also list disclaimers on their websites about how the apps are not designed for those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder. However, Sunnyside is more of an alcohol tracker that helps build mindful drinking habits, while Reframe focuses more on educational lessons to change behaviors.
Another key difference between Sunnyside and Reframe is the price. Sunnyside is available only on Apple devices, costs $12.00 monthly or $99.99 annually, and comes with a 14-day free trial. If you’re budget-conscious, I recommend testing Sunnyside first to see if the program works for you. If you don’t mind the price tag and are looking for an app that has more comprehensive lessons, consider Reframe.
Reframe Vs. Try Dry
Try Dry is an app designed by researchers from a UK-based charity called Alcohol Change UK. Try Dry and Reframe both provide services to help individuals trying to cut back or abstain from drinking, but they have some considerable differences. First, Try Dry is completely free with no advertisements, so it’s a clear winner for those who are just testing the alcohol-free waters and need a little support.
Of course, because Try Dry is free, it’s much more limited than Reframe. Reframe offers a 17-module personalized program, while Try Dry’s main feature is essentially a tracking tool. Try Dry has a handful of reading materials that offer tips and tricks to help you cut back on drinking, but it’s not nearly as comprehensive as Reframe’s educational lessons. If you’re serious about cutting back on drinking and you need more structure with access to a supportive network, Reframe would be the better choice.
History of Reframe
Reframe was founded in 2018 by Georgia Tech graduates, Zizi Gao and Vendant Pradeep. They developed Reframe because they wanted to make recovery programs more accessible to the masses. Gao and Vendant had previously worked with recovery centers to create a cravings management app, which helped them pinpoint elements that most likely led to successful outcomes. They used this research to create Reframe, which has been consistently gaining users since its launch in 2020.1
Frequently Asked Questions About the Reframe App
How Do I Cancel My Reframe Subscription?
Users must cancel their Reframe subscriptions through Apple. Go to “Settings,” and tap on your Apple ID at the top of your screen, then choose “Subscriptions,” “Reframe,” and “Cancel Subscription.”
Does Reframe Offer Refunds?
Reframe does not offer refunds, but they advise users to reach out to Apple App Store support if there are issues with unexpected charges.
Overall, I felt that Reframe did an outstanding job of helping me understand why I drink and motivating me to curb my drinking. The structured program alleviates the anxiety that often arises when you’re faced with this type of challenge. You don’t have to search for a specific inspirational tool or lesson because each day is mapped out for you, and new information is gradually released, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. It supplies you with every tool you need to tackle cravings, identify triggers, and communicate with a supportive network. If you’re not struggling with alcoholism, but you’re questioning your drinking habits, Reframe can help you explore options and pave a path that leads to a healthier relationship with alcohol.