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Songs about Sobriety and Addiction Recovery

Music is a powerful tool that can encourage healing. So, for anyone who is recovering from any type of addiction, songs about addiction recovery or songs about sobriety can be a force that can empower and inspire a person to stay on track with their recovery. 

Addiction as an Escape

Addiction can come in many forms, and all of them are destructive. But they all provide a form of escape for those people who find it hard to cope with the harsh realities of life. As a result, addicts are likely to become alienated from reality and frequently become outcasts among their friends and families. But once a habit has become an addiction, it is almost always difficult to break. Read further to find some of the best songs about sobriety and a few that will remind you about the nightmare of addiction. Listen to them when you need encouragement to stay clean and sober.

A Dozen Songs About Addiction Recovery and Sobriety

1. Rehab by Amy Winehouse

This song is one of the most iconic songs about addiction recovery of all time. It’s about the singer’s relationship with alcohol and is a cautionary tale of not embracing recovery when it is offered.  Rehab is focused on the denial of an active alcohol addiction. In the song, Winehouse insists that her relationship with alcohol isn’t that bad and that she drinks because of the fear of a break-up of a romantic relationship. The song was inspired by her visit to a rehab which lasted 15 minutes to satisfy the record label. Sadly, Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in 2011 at the age of 27.

2. It’s Been A While by Staind

This is a powerful song from 2001 in which the singer is apologizing to an old love who he hurt during hard times with his addiction. The theme that “It’s been a while” since he wasn’t dependent on alcohol and drugs and a while since he could stand alone without drinking,

“And it’s been a while 
Since I could hold my head up high
And it’s been a while
Since I said I’m sorry.”

In the song, he relates that it’s been a while since he could love himself.

3. The Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young

This song was released in 1972 and describes the damage caused by heroin addiction. In the song, Young talks about losing a close friend through a drug overdose and the “damage done.”

“I’ve seen the needle and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie’s like a settin’ sun.”

4. Under the Bridge by Red Hot Chili Peppers

In this song, lead singer Anthony Kiedis talks about the drug addictions he has had for a big part of his life.

“Under the bridge downtown, I could not get enough. 
Under the bridge downtown, forgot about my love. 
Under the bridge downtown, I gave my life away.”

Anthony Kiedis wrote this song to express how lonely and isolating it is to be in the grip of drug addiction. This song is a reflection of the things he lost while addicted to heroin and cocaine.

5. Amazing by Aerosmith

Pretty much everyone knows that this band has been in recovery for a long time. Lead singer Steven Tyler hit a rough period with painkillers after surgery but went back to rehab and has been okay ever since. This song tells how his life is amazing since recovery. It is known as one of the classic songs about sobriety.

“It’s amazing. With the blink of an eye, you finally see the light.
It’s amazing. When the moment arrives that you know you’ll be alright.”

And you probably thought it was just another love ballad.

6. Not Afraid by Eminem

Not Afraid is from the album titled Recovery. In this song, Eminem speaks about his addiction to prescription drugs and how it almost killed him. He admits recovery is difficult but insists he’ll push through it for himself and his children.

“So starting today,
I’m breaking out of this cage,
I’m standing up, I’m a face my demons,
I’m manning up, I’m a hold my ground.”

This song is a call out to other people who “might still be in that place” to relate to his story.

7. The More I Drink by Blake Shelton

In this song, a man is “sippin’” on a regular coke at the bar and getting harassed by the drinkers who ask why he can’t have just a few drinks. The man in this song understands his addiction and chooses recovery, thus making this one of the classic songs about sobriety. 

The man in the song sings:

“Well, if I have one, I’ll have thirteen,
Naw, there ain’t no in-between
‘Cause the more I drink, the more I drink.”

8. Recover by Natasha Bedingfield

Bedingfield talks about pain, scars, and her fight to survive. In this song she says:

“We will recover
The worst is over now.
All those fires we’ve been walking through,
and still we survived somehow.
We will recover.” 

In this song, Bedingfield is expressing the belief that you can overcome addiction, survive, and thrive.

9. Young Homie by Chris Rene

In this song, Chris Rene describes the clarity of thought that he has experienced since entering recovery. He sings that he’s been able to “put his fears down” and enjoys the encouragement from people around him while he does his best to remain sober. This is one of the many songs about sobriety. 

“Open up my mind with these spoken words
Let this music heal like an overture….
Living life with loved ones close to me
Shh, ahh, this is the remedy”

10. Sober by Pink

Another one of the many songs about sobriety, in Sober, Pink sings, 

“I’m safe up high, nothing can touch me. 
But why do I feel this party’s over? 
No pain inside. You’re like perfection. 
But how do I feel this good sober?”

In this song, Pink marvels at how amazing being sober can feel. She begins to question the old habits of partying late and hard, and of random pleasure-seeking.

She describes feeling safe and perfect in her state of sobriety.

11. Salvation by The Cranberries

“To all those people doing lines, don’t do it, don’t do it. 
Inject your soul with liberty. It’s free, it’s free.”

Salvation is a rallying cry to stay clean and sober. The lyrics to this song and its music video tell listeners that whatever “amazing” benefits there are to drug use, the consequences are never worth it.12. Life Wasted by Pearl Jam

“Having tasted a life wasted, I’m never going back again.”

When a person is on the journey to recovery, old temptations are usually there to coax them back to their old lives. However, one way to avoid temptations is to look back on the effect of addiction in your life. As stated in this song about addiction recovery, many view those years as wasted time. 

What are the Benefits of Music Therapy in Addiction Recovery?

Music is known as the universal love language. It connects people together across the world and allows them to express themselves in ways that words alone can’t. Music also has a way of lifting people’s spirits, even when they’re in their lowest periods. 

Due to the remarkable healing power of music, it’s no surprise that it’s become a part of the addiction recovery process and the journey of sobriety in general. 

Music helps people that are in recovery from addiction by:

Releasing Their Bottled-Up Emotions

Playing or listening to music provides a way to spend energy that’s normally spent worrying about one’s next substance fix on a safe activity that makes one feel relaxed and calm.

Increasing Their Motivation

The burst of feel-good energy that music brings about can encourage people to maintain their journey toward long-term recovery.

Increasing Self-Awareness

Music helps people learn more about themselves, how a song makes them feel, and the types of beats that they like or don’t like.

Improving Memory Retention

Research has found that listening to classical music can improve a person’s ability to focus and recall facts and events.

Promoting Positive Social Interaction

Music is a great way to bond with other people. Enjoying music with those around you can create stronger and longer-lasting friendships.

Supporting a Healthy Self-Image

Playing an instrument can bolster a sense of creativity and accomplishment in a person.

Decreasing Anxiety and Depression

When you’re feeling low, it is sometimes good to listen to your favorite tunes for a few minutes. Listening to music can snap you back into a more positive way of thinking.

The Power of Music

Emotionally and physically, music can have a powerful effect. It can cause your mood to shift from negative to positive and vice versa. Music can also cause physical responses like goosebumps or the urge to dance. 

Some music can be a dangerous trigger though for individuals that are actively still struggling with addiction. Positive music though has features that can help you in recovery. For example, positive music can help you: 

  • calm your nerves in stressful situations
  • have a healthy place to process negative emotions 
  • focus

Music can also be an important creative outlet as you work on your recovery, whether you are listening to music or creating it. Furthermore, music can extend a lifeline of inspiration and hope when needed. 

Songs like the ones previously listed address the struggle of addiction and sometimes offer encouragement for recovery. Therefore, the next time you listen to music, examine whether it fuels your addiction or inspires your recovery. If the music fuels your addiction, you might want to replace some songs with music that helps you heal. Ultimately songs about sobriety and addiction recovery remind you that you’re not the only person suffering from substance abuse issues.

Music and Motivation

Music is frequently associated with substance use but not much is known about the music experiences of adults with substance use disorders (SUDs). To explore this topic, surveys of music experiences were collected from individuals in addiction treatment. 

The surveys revealed some interesting results, such as: 

  • Listening to music often intensified the emotional experience of taking drugs and vice versa. 
  • Individuals in residential rehab treatment reported that their preferred music was gloomier or heavier when they were using substances than during their recovery.
  • 43% of people in addiction treatment said that certain music increased their urge to use substances because:

The song was associated with their past experiences of substance use.
The song recalled past experiences of drug or alcohol use.
The song had lyrics about substance abuse.

Despite these negative points, most of the survey-takers believed that music was positively impactful on their recovery journeys.

Facing the Music

Are you or someone you care about struggling with a substance use disorder? At Harmony Place, we can help you get through the worst times of your life so that you can move on to the best times of your life. 

From detoxification, (the first step) to sober living, we will be with you every step of the way. Our multiple levels of care assure that you will be provided with a customized treatment plan that fits your needs. In addition to our treatment programs, we offer therapeutic treatment that also addresses your personal and emotional needs. 

You will work with your counselor to build the treatment program that you want. In addition to behavioral, group, and individual therapy, we have many alternative and holistic therapies. 

Don’t leave recovery to chance. It’s extremely important to get off to a good start in recovery. Thus, take your addiction recovery journey into your own hands and contact us to find out what we can do for you.