Music soothes the emotions, relaxes the body, informs the mind, and inspires the will. It enhances our lives. The music that moves us most is deeply personal to us. The mix of music we choose to make the soundtrack of our own lives is an extension of our personalities, expressing our attitudes, feelings, tastes, and individual style. For music lovers, absorbing great songs brings a natural high. For people in alcohol or drug addiction recovery, music can be a therapeutic source of remembrance, reflection, hope, joy, and optimism. Here are some songs that you may find resonate with you and help during recovery.
Addiction Recovery Musical Inspiration Playlist
Here are some timeless songs from artists of various genres and generations who’ve created musical artworks inspired by their own struggles with addiction. You may want to use some of these to create or build on your personal addiction recovery playlist.
Recovery Playlist of Contemporary Works
Here are some hit songs by contemporary artists who’ve struggled with drug or alcohol addiction. Some are laid-back reflections on the rough experiences. Others are anthems that help breed courage to win inner battles.
Sober – P!nk
In this emotional description of the artist’s personal experience of struggling to gain her balance between the relief of sobriety and the anxiety about facing a new way of life and staying sober.
John Doe — B.o.B. (with Priscilla)
This poignant song tells of substance addiction and the compulsion to hide it from the world. It’s an inspiring retelling of the experience of finally coming out in the open and no longer living a lie.
Dog Days Are Over – Florence and The Machine
Florence Welch is open about her struggle with extreme drug and alcohol addiction. She speaks publicly about her recovery experience, and in this song, she musically illustrates the life of substance abuse.
The More I Drink – Blake Shelton
It’s a song about the brutal difficulty of self-discipline not to over-consume. The singer imagines sitting at a bar, knowing that if he starts drinking, he can’t stop. It’s about the search for balance in sobriety.
Not an Addict – K’s Choice
For users who don’t yet admit to themselves that they have a problem, or who vacillate. Many people in recovery can relate to the challenge and the progress from the time they denied their addiction.
Brave – Sara Bareilles
This is a story that fits a range of interpretations. It can apply to facing the prospect of coming out, or coping with bullying, or overcoming injustices, or any one of a number of other serious difficulties.
Breaking the Habit – Linkin Park
This song describes the plight of the band members when they had sunk to the bottom in their substance abuse habits, ultimately acknowledged their addictions, and finally undertook recovery.
Nobody Drinks Alone – Keith Urban
In this song, Urban shares insight from his own alcoholism that are universal to people in addiction recovery: “Nobody drinks alone. Every demon, every ghost, from your past... follows you home.”
Fight Song – Rachel Platen
This anthem is for those battling physical challenges, which can include substance abuse, or emotional challenges like broken relationships or job losses. It’s a message of self-empowerment over adversity.
Classics for Your Addiction Recovery Playlist
For lovers of the classics, there’s perspective for young people going through addiction recovery, in realizing that you’re far from alone in the struggle, and that addiction swept former generations too. Here’s some music for recovery, compliments of people who’ve known a life of addiction and recovery.
One Day at a Time – Joe Walsh
This is Walsh’s own account of being at rock bottom in addiction to cocaine and alcohol. He reflects on the despair and the moment when he began to face down the problem and resolved to change his life.
Needle and the Damage Done – Neil Young
A song for the once lost and broken, begging for the next dose. For those who understand the meaning of “milk blood to keep from running out” and lives spent early, all gone, gone, the damage done.
Go Ask Alice – Jefferson Starship
The iconic Grace Slick wails out a warning at the 60’s youth culture wallowing in hallucinogens. She reflects on drug dens and people seeking all forms of high in tones that evince fear of consequences.
Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
This haunting musical account of an overdose experience captivates the listener with a mesmerizing beauty designed to mimic the feel of receding into unconsciousness and losing the grip on reality.
Hurt – Johnny Cash
A deeply personal reflection by the aged singer about loss, turning to the needle to cope, and knowing the futility of seeking solace in that habit. It’s a lamentation of the lost opportunity to seize life sooner.
I’m Still Standing – Elton John
This is an upbeat, arguably downright peppy celebration of overcoming the darkest of times and roughest of emotional challenges and at long last coming out the other end stronger than ever.
Renaissance Ranch Ogden Utah
The Renaissance Ranch drug and alcohol treatment center provides a serene, welcoming environment for a comprehensive addiction recovery program for drug or alcohol addiction. We focus on healing at the core of the problem that led to substance abuse. For example, we bring the person in recovery and his or her family to work together, to understand the truth behind challenges the family has shared prior to and during the addiction. Ultimately, loved ones can very often come together through family therapy in ways they may not have believed were possible.
"Affordable treatment that helps families heal and restores hope."
- How Gratitude is a Powerful Tool in Addiction Treatment - November 24, 2022
- Ways to Decline Alcohol During the Holidays Without Saying You're in Recovery - November 7, 2022
- Alcohol Addiction Related Disorders - March 15, 2022