Songs to Listen to for Motivation in Recovery

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There is a reason music is used to help humans heal from difficult times. Music can improve psychological functions in humans, such as regulating a person’s mood and encouraging relaxation. This is no different when it comes to addiction recovery. Because of all the experiences that individuals have had with addiction or because they have known someone with an addiction, there are many songs written on the subjects. These songs are incredibly inspirational and can help addicts thinking about recovery take that step or for recovering addicts to stick with it. Either through music therapy or through songs about this subject matter, music can be extremely healing for those in addiction recovery.

Music Therapy for Addiction Recovery

Music therapy can be used for a number of things, including treatment in addiction recovery. It is helpful in this mode of treatment because it helps clients relax and ease their stress during recovery. This is especially important because stress and anxiety are common triggers for addiction cravings. Music therapy can help relax recovering addicts and place them in a calmer state that allows them to really take in the information their therapist tells them and set goals for their future. 

Music therapy is used alongside other forms of therapy for addiction recovery, thus the music therapist will typically work with the client’s team to ensure the therapy will help address their needs and goals in recovery. From there, the music therapist and client can set goals together for their sessions. According to the American Addiction Centers, these goals will often include:

  • Developing communication skills
  • Helping a person regulate their emotions
  • Focus on improving cognitive function, such as memory or attention
  • Relieving stress for improved physical and mental health
  • Connecting the client with people that have a similar musical interest

After setting these goals and continuing with treatment, the person can see how music can help them when they are feeling stressed, dealing with cravings, and more. Once a person leaves rehab, they can continue using music to help them in their recovery. In fact, music can be used for a variety of reasons to take advantage of its benefits. Music can be used to help recovery like:

  • Improving your mood
  • Coping with negative emotions (anxiety, depression, guilt, anger, etc.)
  • Coping with cravings or temptations
  • Developing further coping mechanisms
  • Learn more about oneself

Songs for Inspiration in Recovery

Whether or not you take part in music therapy, you can still use music to help you cope with stressors, cravings, depression, and more. You can listen to your favorite genre of music that brings you peace or find songs that are about addiction recovery. These songs have great meanings and backstories to help inspire you in your recovery. 

Bad by U2

U2 released their song “Bad” in 1984. It was written by the lead vocalist of the band, Paul David Hewson (Bono). Bono wrote the song about heroin addiction, as many of the songs he wrote were about social issues. The lyrics clearly describe the difficulties of heroin addiction:

This desperation


Separation, condemnation

Revelation in temptation

Isolation, desolation

Let it go and so to fade away

Breaking the Habit by Linkin Park

Mike Shinoda, the co-founder of Linkin Park, wrote “Breaking the Habit” about a friend of his that was battling drug addiction. The lyrics illustrate the struggle that one goes through with addiction and its impact on the addict on their loved ones. The song also discusses the want and need to break free from addiction. 

I don’t know how I got this way

I’ll never be alright

So I’m breaking the habit

I’m breaking the habit tonight

Recovery by James Arthur

James Arthur released his song “Recovery” in 2013. Arthur has discussed his struggles with drug addiction and sex addiction. The song covers his struggles in an honest and firsthand account.

In my recovery

I’m a soldier at war

I have broken down walls

I defined

I designed

My recovery

Warrior by Demi Lovato

“Warrior” by Demi Lovato was also released in 2013. The song discusses the singer’s battles with addiction, mental health, and an eating disorder. The song is raw and real, describing the struggles that come with these things. 

I’ve got shame, I’ve got scars

That I will never show

I’m a survivor

In more ways than you know

Starting Over by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Macklemore, also known as Ben Haggerty, released “Starting Over” on his 2012 album The Heist. Macklemore has been open about his struggles with addiction, recovery, and relapse throughout his career, especially in his songs. 

If I can be an example of gettin’ sober

Then I can be an example of startin’ over

We fought so hard

Now we gotta get back what we lost, lost

I thought you’d go

But you were with me all along, along

No matter your preference in music, it can be a great way to aid in your recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. Many addicts in recovery go through music therapy in which their therapist works with their treatment team to use music for their benefit. Music is known for calming stress and helping people relax while going through a difficult time, such as addiction recovery. The benefits are many, offering recovering addicts a familiar way to approach recovery. Even if you don’t go through a music therapy program, you can still use music for your own benefit. This can be by listening to music you personally enjoy or including songs that are specifically about addiction and addiction recovery to use as inspiration. The songs listed above show how addiction has impacted the lives of others, but you can use these stories as motivation to keep going. If these individuals can heal and share their stories, you too can heal. Call Northstar Transitions today (303) 558-6400 for more information about music’s role in addiction recovery.