There’s something comforting about a good song. Beats and melodies we can listen to over and over again and lyrics we will never forget. There are even certain songs that will remind you of specific times in your life. Music is special in that way. It brings you back in time or gives you hope for the future. Sometimes we feel like lyrics can identify exactly what we’re going through. This is no different when it comes to addiction and recovery.
Music can help guide you through the treatment process and keep you strong in your recovery. Here are ten songs about addiction and sobriety that you might find relatable during your recovery journey:
“Recover” – Natasha Bedingfield
Bedingfield is a lyrical master in her song “recover,” talking about pain, scars, and the fight to survive. She says “the worst is over, all those fires we’ve been walking through, and still we survived somehow.” She spreads the message we do recover.
“Not an addict” – K’s Choice
This song does a great job of capturing the struggle between deciding if you have issues with substances or not, a struggle familiar to all of us in recovery. It also describes the highs and the lows of drug use.
“Sober” – Pink
In this jam, Pink talks about being the sober one at the party and the quiet sense of comfort that comes from it. The singer also says it’s about the vices we choose. Pink gave up drugs in 1995.
“Starting Over” – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Macklemore is open about his recovery and in this song he talks about the relapse he had after three years of sobriety. The song is the story of what happened and how he started over. This line says it all on his attitude about sobriety, “If I can be an example of getting sober, I can be an example of starting over.”
“Sober” – Kelly Clarkson
Clarkson speaks about addiction as a metaphor for a relationship in this song. She clearly mentions the three-month sober mark and how it’s difficult, but she is still growing and getting better each day. She sings, “Three months and I’m still breathing, three months and I still remember it, three months and I wake up.”
“Breaking the Habit” – Linkin Park
This song was written by band member Mike Shinoda based on a good friend’s substance use issues. Lead singer Chester Bennington has also struggled with addiction and related to the lyrics of this song so much that he had trouble performing the song for almost a year after it was released. He would tear up and be moved by his emotions. Bennington got sober in 2011.
“Straight Lines” – Silverchair
Straight Lines is about feeling alone in the world, but still making it through the tough times and coming out the other side. Lead singer Daniel Johns talks about becoming a “desperate believer,” which some say is a reflection of the 12-step philosophy of having a higher power. Johns battled with anorexia, clinical depression, and reactive arthritis. This song reflects his story of working past these issues and living in recovery.
“Under the Bridge” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Vocalist Anthony Kiedis wrote the lyrics to express his loneliness and his struggle with addiction. In the song, he reflects on narcotics and the impact they’ve had on his life. Initially, Kiedis was nervous about showing his bandmates the lyrics, but they were receptive and created the song. Under the Bridge turned out to be a hit and allowed the Red Hot Chili Peppers to enter the mainstream. Anthony Kiedis has been public about his sobriety and details his journey in his memoir Scar Tissue.
“Rehab” – Amy Winehouse
Sadly, Winehouse passed away in 2011 from accidental alcohol poisoning. Not every song about recovery and addiction is positive. Rehab is about Amy’s refusal to attend a treatment center for her addiction. This song was an international success and is known as Winehouse’s signature song. Unfortunately, her battle with addiction ended too soon.
“The Girl You Lost to Cocaine” – Sia
This song came out a few years before the singer got sober. The song details a toxic relationship and a partner that chose drinking and cocaine over her. The song was her way of expressing that she is finally walking away from the drama.
Music is a powerful entity. Certain lyrics can describe exactly what you’re going through and hit you right in the heart. It’s hard not be moved by music, especially when you’re in a transitional phase in your life, like during addiction and recovery. Music allows us to relate to others and to truly feel like we aren’t alone. It provides comfort when we are distressed. I hope these songs help you on your journey of recovery and ease any pain you might feel.