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Emotions Anonymous 12-Step Mental Health Recovery Program

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People may find Emotions Anonymous useful as a complement to mental health treatment, as a personal means to better mental health in general, or when psychiatric treatment is not available or they have resistance to psychiatric treatment. Nevertheless, EA does not attempt to coerce members into following anyone’s advice.

Emotions Anonymous 12-Step for Mental Health

Emotions Anonymous (EA) views mental and emotional illness as chronic and progressive, like substance use disorders. EA members find they “hit bottom” when the consequences of their mental and emotional illness cause complete despair. People may discover Emotions Anonymous useful as a complement to mental health treatment, as a personal means to better mental health in general, when psychiatric treatment is unavailable, or if they have “resistance” to psychiatric treatment. Nevertheless, emotion anonymous does not attempt to coerce members into following anyone’s advice.

Emotions Anonymous Meetings

EA International is not a hospital system or a church. The personnel at EAI is not trained to handle emergencies and is not a crisis hotline or warmline. EAI neither offers nor refers clients to psychiatric, therapeutic, or medical treatments.

Emotions Anonymous International (EAI) is a nonprofit organization supporting the Emotions Anonymous (EA) 12-Step Program as a central hub for information about support group meetings. EAI provides materials and other resources endorsed by EA to enhance people’s mental health and general well-being. EAI aims to assist people experiencing emotional challenges to lead more manageable lives. By participating in this program, many people have discovered a path to a more fulfilling life.

The program’s cornerstones are the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, 12 Helpful Concepts, 12 Just for Todays, 12 Promises, 12 Slogans, and 12 Principles, which are taken from and utilized with permission from AA. People who seek assistance through the EA program come from different socioeconomic backgrounds and have varying degrees of mental health. Anyone interested in enhancing their emotional well-being can benefit from this program, even those in addiction recovery.

Maintaining involvement with your organization is essential for emotional health. Although it is relatively simple to join remote or virtual groups, EA advises you to do so before making final judgments regarding the Emotions Anonymous program. While most groups adhere to our regular meeting structure, no two groups are alike. Each group has its own “taste” because the participants in the meeting govern it. You may consider forming a group if there aren’t any nearby that can accommodate your schedule or join a small or virtual group.

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Emotional & Mental Health Statistics

Many people feel that mental illness is rare and only happens to people with very different situations and will never affect them. Studies of the epidemiology of mental illness indicate that this belief is far from accurate. The surgeon general reports that mental illnesses are so common that few U.S. families are untouched by them.


1 in 20

One in 20 Americans lived with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


More than 50% will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime.

Source: CDC


46% of Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14.

Source: MHA

Emotions Anonymous Facts

EA members come together in weekly EA meetings for the purpose of working toward recovery from any sort of emotional difficulties. Emotions anonymous meetings provide members with a warm and accepting group setting in which they are able to share experiences without fear of criticism. Through weekly support meetings, members discover they are not alone in their struggles. Here are the 12 Traditions upon which Emotions Anonymous is based:

  1. Common welfare and unity.
  2. Authority in the higher power only, not in group leaders.
  3. Acceptance of any member who wishes to experience emotional wellness.
  4. Autonomy of each group.
  5. Sharing of the Emotions Anonymous message with those suffering from emotional challenges.
  6. Avoidance of using the program name as an endorsement for any outside interests in order to prevent attention being diverted away from the mission of Emotions Anonymous.
  7. Declining financial assistance from outside sources.
  8. Group leadership and support from nonprofessionals.
  9. Lack of formal organization.
  10. As a means of bringing controversy to Emotions Anonymous, refraining from opinions on outside issues.
  11. Focus on attracting members as opposed to promoting the program, including anonymity from the media.
  12. Anonymity in all program practices in order to maintain focus on the program’s principles as opposed to any person’s principles.

Emotions Anonymous 12 Steps

“The Emotions Anonymous 12-Step recovery program is for people experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, anger, low self-esteem and other emotional difficulties.”

Emotions Anonymous utilizes a 12-Step program similar to other recovery groups but specific to emotional challenges. The 12 steps of emotions anonymous include:

  1. Admitting powerlessness over emotions
  2. Acknowledging a higher power
  3. Turning one’s life over to that higher power
  4. Taking a moral inventory
  5. Admitting personal wrongs
  6. Acknowledging the ability of the higher power to remedy character defects
  7. Asking the higher power to remove any personal shortcomings
  8. Listing the people one has harmed and developing a willingness to make amends
  9. “Whenever possible, make amends with any individuals who have been harmed”
  10. “Taking personal inventory continually and admitting any wrongs”
  11. “Improving one’s connection with the higher power through prayer and meditation”
  12. Living the Emotions Anonymous principles and sharing the program’s message
The Emotions Anonymous 12-step recovery program is for people experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, anger, low self-esteem, and other emotional difficulties.
The Emotions Anonymous 12-step recovery program is for people experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, anger, low self-esteem, and other emotional difficulties.
Ryan Zofay forming a circle and hugging friends.

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Emotions Anonymous Book

Emotion anonymous meetings were formed by a group of individuals who found a new way of life by working the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, as adapted for people with emotional problems. It is a fellowship of people who share their experiences, feelings, strengths, and weaknesses. EA hopes that one another solves their emotional issues and discovers a way to live peacefully with unsolved problems. We come to EA to learn to live a new life using the twelve-step program. Through the Emotions Anonymous book, we find serenity and peace of mind.

The program says that it offers members 12 Promises:

  1. Freedom and happiness.
  2. Freedom from regret.
  3. Serenity and peace of mind.
  4. Ability to help others.
  5. Lessened feelings of pity and uselessness.
  6. More focus on others.
  7. Less self-seeking behavior.
  8. Changed outlook on life and attitude.
  9. Improved relationships with others.
  10. Improved ability to handle situations.
  11. Feelings of security.
  12. Realize the difference the higher power makes in each member’s life.

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Emotions Anonymous Meetings Online

Emotions Anonymous (EA) consists of emotional support groups for anger, depression, anxiety, and other emotional struggles. Like other 12-step programs, EA involves online group meetings and applies a 12-step approach adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous (alongside Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and many more) to help people with emotional challenges. In addition to the 12 steps, Emotions Anonymous is based on 12 traditions, 12 concepts, and 12 promises.

Emotions Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who desire to improve their emotional well-being. EA members are of diverse ages, races, economic statuses, and social and educational backgrounds. EA follows a traditional Twelve Step Program.
Emotions Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who desire to improve their emotional well-being. EA members have diverse ages, races, economic statuses, and social and educational backgrounds. EA follows a traditional Twelve Step Program.

The 12 Concepts Of Emotions Anonymous

Emotions Anonymous applies 12 concepts to guide the program and its members:

  1. Living the program as a way of life and supporting other members.
  2. No individual program member speaking for Emotions Anonymous as a whole.
  3. Fostering an atmosphere of anonymity, love, and acceptance.
  4. Freedom from judgment, criticism, and arguing.
  5. Living at peace with issues and not focusing on problems.
  6. Avoidance of discussions regarding religion, politics, or other outside issues.
  7. Remaining a spiritual program without promoting any particular religious system or beliefs.
  8. Focusing on a higher power, with this higher power being each participant’s choosing.
  9. Members apply for the program daily.
  10. Placing focus on the common emotional challenges participants share instead of specific symptoms.
  11. Respect for each individual’s opinion and importance.
  12. Complete confidentiality of anything shared at Emotional Anonymous meetings or with program members.

Emotions Anonymous Literature

Founded in 1971, the Emotions Anonymous 12-step recovery program shares structural similarities to Alcoholics Anonymous but is for people who suffer from emotional issues. The program is excellent for people experiencing anxiety, loss, depression, grief, anger, low self-esteem, and many other emotional stressors. There are 12-step programs for many different emotional and mental health issues; if you don’t see yours immediately, consider reaching out to your local meeting center for more information on how and when these specifically needed sessions could occur.

More than 600 active groups in 30 countries offer group meetings and apply the 12-step approach used in AA. The Emotions Anonymous 12-step program aims to help the individual attain full psychosocial function while avoiding negative or self-harming behaviors. As the name anonymous would suggest, members are not required to disclose personal information. This allows participants to share as much or as little as they’re comfortable doing while still benefiting from the program as a whole.

Just as there are 12-Step programs available to individuals struggling with alcohol and drug addictions, eating disorders, and other challenges, there is a program designed to help individuals with emotional challenges. Anyone interested in obtaining emotional wellness can join. Followers of this program adhere to a set of spiritual principles outlined in the Big Book of AA.

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Emotional Anonymous Tools and Guidelines for Recovery

Although the 12 steps focus on finding help and peace in a higher power, this concept is open to interpretation among its members. A significant benefit of this group for newcomers is the idea that no one is alone in their struggle — while situations and symptoms may differ, the underlying depression and anxiety remain the same.

Members are not required to stop medications, and group meetings can be used in conjunction with traditional therapy. Sometimes 12-step programs are even suggested by therapists for additional support. The sense of community from these groups can be of great value to members who struggle with loneliness. Getting out of the house and attending a meeting can also be an accomplishment.

This 12-step program can also be adapted to other problem behaviors, such as helping bipolar patients who suffer from compulsive spending or adult children of alcoholics who have feelings of worthlessness from an abusive childhood. Codependents Anonymous, for example, addresses the issues of feeling responsible for another person’s success or failure, which may lead to depression, panic attacks, and more. Each program offers a sense of understanding and a wealth of anecdotal support from members who have lived similar experiences.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community." Fortunately, emotions anonymous are available in different locations to help people achieve mental health wellness.
According to the WHO, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her abilities, can cope with the everyday stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and can contribute to his or her community.” Fortunately, emotions anonymous are available in different locations to help people achieve mental health wellness.

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Emotions Anonymous Near Me

EA meetings are available face-to-face, remotely, and virtually through various programs. If there isn’t one that fits your schedule, you could always consider starting a new meeting! Looking for “emotions anonymous meetings near me?” and for “emotions anonymous workbook pdf,” and “emotions anonymous ebook free?” You can search for the meetings and “emotions anonymous today book” resources on their main website: “”

For centuries, the topic of mental illness was thought taboo. People would shy away from having conversations about mental illness, admitting they had a mental illness or ignoring their need for help to treat their mental illness. Over the past few years, the United States has seen a movement to normalize mental illness, affecting one in five Americans. From everyday people to major celebrities, the conversation about mental illness is becoming one that is had regularly, and the outward encouragement for people to reach out for help when they are in a mental health crisis has never been louder. 

Despite what appears to be a nation changing its mindset regarding mental illness, there is still a stigma surrounding it. Some people fear talking about their symptoms or feel uncomfortable telling friends and family that they think something isn’t right. Some people are still stuck in the frame of mind that asking for help is the equivalent of failure. However, addressing a mental illness is vital in preserving a happy, healthy life. That is why many people can benefit from mental health recovery.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is emotions anonymous, and who should go to Emotions Anonymous?

It is for people experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, anger, low self-esteem, and other emotional difficulties.

Who founded Emotions Anonymous?

The group, then known as Neurotics Anonymous, was started by Marion F., a 55-year-old woman, after seeing a newspaper article that suggested the twelve-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous could be used as a tool for recovery from emotional illness.

What are EA meetings?

Emotions Anonymous (EA) is a 12- Step program patterned after AA, designed to help individuals find emotional balance in their daily lives. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), there are 10 components of mental health recovery. They include the following:

  1. Self-direction: Individuals decide upon their recovery path and are empowered to do so by being given control of their resources 
  2. Individualized and person-centered: The belief that all individuals have their own unique needs, strengths, preferences, and cultural background 
  3. Empowerment: Individuals are involved in making all decisions that impact their lives and are educated and supported along the way
  4. Holistic: Recovery focuses on all areas of an individual’s life, from their emotional and spiritual well-being to their careers, social circles, and family support.
  5. Non-linear: The belief that recovery is not a straight line but rather one that goes step-by-step and includes successes and setbacks 
  6. Strengths-based: Utilizing recovery to build up capacities, resiliencies, talents, coping abilities, and inherent worth of individuals 
  7. Peer support: Having individuals encourage and engage with one another and provide one another with a sense of belonging.
  8. Respect: Eliminating stigma and discrimination so individuals can build on self-acceptance and confidence. 
  9. Responsibility: Individuals have a responsibility for their self-care in their recovery, including developing coping skills to support their wellbeing
  10. Hope: All involved in the recovery process will foster hope and motivation 

All facilities that provide mental health recovery follow these components to provide only the utmost quality care to every individual who comes to them looking for help.  Now that you’ve learned about the power of Emotions Anonymous, are you ready to take the next step? Call us at We level Up FL to get started on the road to recovery from your mental health issues today. We’re open 24/7, 365. Your journey to relief can start today. If you’re looking for “emotions anonymous groups near me,” contact us today, we may be able to provide resources.

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[2] National Alliance on Mental Health –

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[4] Lake J, Turner MS. Urgent Need for Improved Mental Health Care and a More Collaborative Model of Care. Perm J. 2017;21:17-024. DOI: 10.7812/TPP/17-024. PMID: 28898197; PMCID: PMC5593510.

[5] Harvey AG, Gumport NB. Evidence-based psychological treatments for mental disorders: modifiable barriers to access and possible solutions. Behav Res Ther. 2015 May;68:1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Feb 26. PMID: 25768982; PMCID: PMC4395546.