Music is a powerful thing for most people. It can take us back to memories of past times, be a source of entertainment and has been known to be extremely therapeutic.

On the flipside, music events are often known for drinking and using drugs whether it is at a concert, DJ show, festival or a rave. While music was made to be enjoyed, many people believe enjoyment must be accompanied with intoxication of substances.

When I was active in my addictions, I thought drugs and alcohol enhanced my experience at music events. However, what I didn’t realize is that they actually took me out of the present moment and kept me from both remembering everything clearly, as well as appreciating the experience in it’s authentic form.

For the longest time I used music events as a reason to party. In my active addiction I went to these kinds of music shows for the drugs and alcohol more than the music. The music was just a catalyst to my drinking and using.

Since getting sober, it has been quite the opposite. Now, I go out to enjoy music strictly for the music. It is so amazing to feel the power of music from a sober perspective. If you allow music to move you as it was intended to, taking yourself away from the natural high it can give you actually becomes a turn off.

Once you have connected to music sans the alcohol and drugs, you realize how powerful it can be. It also shows you that live events are great, but using music at home in daily life can be just as amazing.

In sobriety, music is known to be a transformative therapy practice. Music along with art therapy have been making a big impact inside the recovery community as treatment facilities begin to implement these practices in their programs.

Music can help create feelings of happiness and relaxation. For this reason, connecting to music is better in sobriety, in my opinion. Here are 5 ways I like to connect to music.

1. Dance

This is by far my favorite way to connect to music, especially now that I’m living a substance free lifestyle. I turn on deep house music, which is my jam, and I free flow as I let my body be moved by the sounds. If you have been following along in my journey, you will know that I have been known to dance in my garage and living room.

Expressing yourself to music intuitively can be a form of meditation and I find that when I’m able to dance, I leave the session feeling energized, alive and happier than when I started.

2. Meditation

I’ll be honest that I’m not the best at mediation in silence. I prefer guided meditations and meditation to music. I practice the art of musical meditation in a couple ways.

First, I will sit in stillness to clear my mind and I will use soothing, ambient music to help me connect to my breath as I drift inside to clear my mind. The other way I use music as meditation is by taking time to find new tracks that I like. I can literally get lost listening to music for hours on end and there is something very peaceful about connecting with new songs that speak to you. This is more of an active meditation, but effective nonetheless.

3. Yoga

As a student and now a teacher of yoga, I like music in all my classes. When I’m practicing, the music can actually make or break my ability to get into the zone in a yoga class. There is something about having the right music playing as you move through the poses that can really be soothing and complimentary.

With this preference of mine in mind, that’s also how I deliver my classes – with curated playlists that I mindfully put together before each class to help students go deeper on their journey as they move. Connecting to music in this way is extremely powerful.

4. Mood

Connecting to music to shift my mood is another practice I have learned since getting sober. As I mentioned, music can be used as a therapeutic experience. If I’m feeling down or need to feel motivated, I’ll turn music on and allow it to help lift my spirits.

For example, when I sat down to write this article, I put on a playlist and the words began to flow out of me rather effortlessly. Any time I need to feel inspired or create something, I turn to music to be my guide.

5. Lyrics

I believe part of the reason why connecting to music, especially in sobriety, is so moving for many people is because of the lyrics in the songs we gravitate towards. You can connect to a song just by listening to what it says. Often lyrics take the words out of our mouths and help us find expressions we’ve been looking for.

Lyrics also help us to know we are not alone in how we are feeling because artists tend to make their music as a form of expressing their feelings, emotions and situations they have been in.

Connecting to music using the lyrics to help us feel connected is another great way to experience music in recovery.

Connecting to music is better in sobriety because you have so much more clarity and the music itself has the power to move you, whether it is your body, your mood or your feelings.

Music in sobriety becomes the focal point instead of something going on in the background that you don’t remember if you are drinking or using. Music has been instrumental in my sobriety and at times has been a saving grace for me.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.