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Blog Post | June 20, 2023

The Healing Power of Music: 10 Songs That Reference Sobriety and Recovery

Music has an incredible ability to touch our hearts, uplift our spirits, and provide solace during difficult times. For those on the journey to recovery, finding relatable songs that reflect their journey can be a powerful source of inspiration, validation, and strength.

We will explore a selection of songs that specifically reference substance use disorder and the road to recovery, highlighting their meaningful lyrics and the profound impact they can have on individuals striving for a healthier lifestyle.

The Songs

“As Far as You Could Go” by Charles Kelley

This song holds deep significance within the recovery community, resonating with individuals who have experienced the impact of substance use disorder firsthand. This song encapsulates the pain, loss, and longing associated with addiction, offering a glimpse into the consequences of pushing boundaries and surrendering to the grip of substance use.

“As Far as You Could Go” is a reminder of the importance of support, understanding, and compassion for both those battling addiction and the ones who care for them.

For individuals in recovery, it holds particular significance as a testament to the challenges faced, the strength required to overcome them, and the enduring hope for healing and redemption. The song is a reminder of the importance of seeking help, fostering understanding, and supporting each other through the complexities of addiction.

Lyric Highlight: “You made me feel alive, but you scared me half to death”

“Sober” by Demi Lovato

“Sober” is a raw confession of personal struggles with substance use disorder and the ongoing journey of sobriety. The lyrics express the desire for freedom from the chains of substance use and the determination to stay sober. Lovato’s honest vulnerability resonates deeply with those who understand the challenges of recovery and the need for continued support and understanding.

This song was a catalyst for more mainstream conversation around addiction, raising awareness and breaking down the stigma associated with seeking help and maintaining sobriety. It encourages open dialogue about the realities of addiction, providing a platform for individuals to share their stories, seek support, and find strength in community.

Lyric Highlight: “And I’m sorry for the fans I lost who watched me fall again, I wanna be a role model, but I’m only human”

“AA” by Walker Hayes

“AA” shares a deeply personal and emotional account of his journey through addiction and recovery. The lyrics explore the struggles faced by individuals attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, the battles with temptation, and the ongoing commitment to sobriety.

By sharing his own experiences and embracing vulnerability, Walker Hayes creates a sense of connection and relatability for listeners who may have encountered similar struggles. The song encourages individuals in the recovery community to persevere through the challenges they face, reminding them that they are not alone in their journey towards sobriety.

Lyric Highlight: “And if you’ve got a problem, maybe you should try AA, ‘Cause I don’t drink for fun these days, no, I ain’t the kind that’s tryna drink you away”

“Not Afraid” by Eminem

This song is an anthem of resilience and self-empowerment. The song reflects the rapper’s own battles with substance use disorder and his commitment to change. The lyrics convey a sense of defiance and determination, urging listeners to confront their fears and embrace recovery.

The song is a rallying cry for individuals in the recovery community, reminding them that they have the strength and determination to overcome the challenges of addiction.

Eminem’s willingness to openly discuss his struggles encourages listeners to seek help, break the cycle of self-destruction, and embrace a life of sobriety.

Lyric Highlight: “But I’m tryna get some air, like a snare I’m crashing, but I’d rather crash than sit back and watch ’em drink my tears”

“Born With a Beer In My Hand” by Morgan Wallen

“Born With a Beer In My Hand” explores the complexities of growing up in an environment where alcohol is a prevalent part of daily life. Wallen shares the challenge of breaking free from the cycle of addiction, acknowledging the deep-rooted influence it can have from an early age.

Wallen’s reflective lyrics shed light on the struggles faced by individuals who were exposed to substance use from childhood, offering empathy and understanding to those who are battling to overcome their upbringing and find a path to sobriety.

His vulnerability shines through as he reflects on the weight of the past and the desire for personal growth and change. This song is reminder that the past does not define one’s future and that with determination and self-awareness, individuals can reclaim their lives and create a positive impact on themselves and others.

Lyric Highlight: “Everybody says it’s gonna be the death of me, but these days I’m livin’ on the side of alive.”

“Swimming Pools (Drank)” by Kendrick Lamar

This introspective song analyzes the relationship between alcohol, addiction, and the associated coping mechanisms. The lyrics touch on the peer pressure and societal expectations surrounding alcohol consumption, highlighting the importance of self-awareness and the dangers of succumbing to destructive habits. Lamar’s thought-provoking lyrics encourage listeners to reflect on their own relationship with substances and the impact it has on their lives.

The song’s impact extends beyond its catchy melodies, as it becomes a catalyst for change, understanding, and healing for individuals on their path to recovery.

Lyric Highlight: “I was in the dark room, loud tunes, lookin’ to make a vow soon.”

“She” by Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll’s song “She” offers a raw and heartfelt exploration of the impact of addiction on relationships, specifically focusing on the toll it takes on a significant other. The lyrics explore the complexities of loving someone who is battling with substance use disorder, capturing the emotions of frustration, heartbreak, and unwavering loyalty. Jelly Roll’s honest and vulnerable storytelling resonates with listeners who have experienced the turmoil of loving someone caught in the grip of addiction.

“She” serves as a powerful reminder of the unconditional love and strength required to support someone through their recovery journey while navigating the challenges and pain that substance use disorder brings.

The raw honesty and vulnerability in “She” strikes a chord with listeners in the recovery community who can relate to the wreckage caused by addiction. It isj a stark reminder of the importance of making amends and rebuilding trust, as well as the strength required to confront and heal from past mistakes.

Lyric Highlight: “I know that it’ll take some time, but I’m scared that might be something that we don’t got.”

“One Day at a Time” by Joe Walsh

This is a beautiful ballad that emphasizes the importance of taking recovery one step at a time. The song recognizes the challenges faced by those in recovery, while offering hope and encouragement to persevere. Its soothing melody and uplifting lyrics are a reminder that each day brings new opportunities for growth and healing.

Through his lyrics, Walsh acknowledges the struggles and hardships that come with addiction, but he also offers a glimmer of optimism and the possibility of transformation. The phrase “one day at a time” encapsulates the core principle of recovery, reminding individuals to focus on the present moment and not be overwhelmed by the weight of the past or the uncertainties of the future.

By reminding listeners to focus on the present moment, “One Day at a Time” provides reassurance and encouragement to stay committed to their recovery goals.

Lyric Highlight: “Well I finally got around to admit that I might have a problem, but I thought it was just too damn big of a mountain to climb.”

“Joe” by Luke Combs

“Joe” tells a powerful story of substance use disorder and its devastating impact on individuals and their loved ones. The lyrics chronicle the struggles of a man named Joe, whose life unravels due to substance use. With empathy and compassion, Combs delivers a powerful message about the destructive nature of addiction and the importance of extending a helping hand to those who are suffering. “Joe” serves as a reminder of the ripple effects of substance use and the urgent need for support and understanding.

Lyric Highlight: “Some battles are fought on foreign shores and some are fought behind closed doors”

“Drug Dealer” by Macklemore

This is a thought-provoking song that offers a gripping portrayal of the devastating effects of addiction on individuals and society as a whole. The lyrics confront the harsh realities of the drug trade and its destructive impact, highlighting the cycle of addiction and the struggles faced by both users and those who profit from their suffering.

“Drug Dealer” is a reflection on the grip that drugs can have on one’s life and the damaging effects they leave in their wake. The song confronts the illusion of glamor associated with drug culture and provides an unfiltered perspective on the devastation it causes.

Lyric Highlight: “Best friends with the thing that’s killing me. Enemies with my best friend, there’s no healing me.”

Your Guiding Light

Music plays a vital role in recovery from a substance use disorder by providing emotional release, relatability, inspiration, coping mechanisms, therapeutic benefits, and fostering a sense of community. Its ability to evoke powerful emotions, offer validation, and serve as a source of motivation makes it an invaluable tool in supporting individuals on their path to sobriety and healing.

Let these songs be a guiding light on your recovery journey, reminding you that you have the power to overcome and thrive.

Spotify Playlist