• Finding Solace in Music during Recovery
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    Finding Solace in Music during Recovery

    In the darkest days of my addiction, there was one consistent, inspiring constant that remained in my life. It kept me going, even during the times when I thought I had nothing. Music. It was music that became a major factor in helping me want to change and break my addiction. Although some music can seem a little dismal, with lyrics that can take on new meanings when the possibility of facing a relapse arises. But, there is also a plethora of music that can be helpful and serve as positive motivation for staying clean and sober–but some songs are more memorable and favored in this regard than others.

    Here’s a list of songs that have inspired me and made a real difference in my recovery process:

    “The Good Times Are Killing Me” by Modest Mouse

    The upbeat but intense lyrics of this song will hold your attention, and it is also a persistent reminder that every day in your active addiction may not have been bad, but it certainly wasn’t beneficial. “Have one/Have twenty more ‘one mores’/and oh it does not relent,” is one of the strongest and most addiction-relevant lyrics in the song, and is just a small taste of how effective the song is at reminding us of the horrors that alcohol and drug abuse can cause.

    “Lead You On” by Machine Gun Kelly

    The gloomy instrumental that plays in this song almost intentionally brings you down to a low place, but in a way that keeps you feeling grateful in recovery. The comparison of heroin to relationships, makes the danger of drugs seem more real whether or not you are in active addiction or not. For most it is simply a reminder of how much of a hold drug use can have on you. Listening to this song when I was actively always brought me to tears and indirectly helped me find the willingness to get sober, because it reminded me that I certainly didn’t want to die.

    “Your Glass House” by Atmosphere

    If you ever need a quick reminder of the negative feelings and emotions that using can bring upon you, this song clearly hits home. Lyric after lyric, you will nod your head in agreement to feelings that are expressed in this song. To some, this song may be a little depressing, but for most of us, it can be quite humbling and an important key not to forget where you came from and the sadness that come with active addiction.

    “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

    For me, depression came hand in hand with using drugs – although it may be hard to see through the mire, it’s important to stay positive. If you are using or sober, this song is a nice, positive message that will bring a smile to your face. Misery is only temporary; everyone is only steps away from a change for the better, when the sun rises again. The Beatles do a splendid job of reminding you to keep the sun in mind and happiness on the horizon.

    “This Place is a Prison” by The Postal Service

    The melody of this song may initially depress you, but it is truly a song worth listening to. The lyrics, short but sweet, get straight to the point and sum up addiction to a tee. This is another song that was an important key in helping me to find the willingness to stop living as an addict and get sober – using is a constant circle of the same, repetitious cycle; a trap you definitely want to get out of as soon as possible.

    “Not Afraid” by Eminem

    Eminem’s music is definitely more of an acquired taste, but this song is too empowering to pass by. The lyrics give you a small sense of entitlement, in a positive way; it is one of those small tokens that help you appreciate yourself, even in if you don’t have any surrounding support. Everyone is aware that Eminem has made public displays that reveal his personal demons, but his problems are universal and, famous or not, his song still hits close enough to home to relate to you.

    “The Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young

    As a recovering heroin addict, this song definitely hits home for me. It is as honest and straight to the point regarding a specific drug, as it gets. “But every junkie’s like the setting sun” is a lyric than can be applied to any addict and alcoholic – addiction literally puts such a drain on you as a person that the light inside you just burns out. The lyrics in this song are powerful enough to still affect me to this day.

    “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World

    Lastly, this is a song that may not specifically be about addiction or substance abuse but it is a positive song that sends a message of hope. Life, in general, is such a roller coaster; it’s important to not be so harsh on yourself. Relapse is not a requirement of recovery, but it’s okay if you fall as long as you get back and try again. Jimmy Eat World does a fantastic job of keeping a sense of positivity and optimism in whatever it is you’re tackling in life.

    There are so many more wonderful songs out there that provide hope and inspiration. Even if these songs fall short of your expectations, continue looking for music that moves you. Many musicians themselves go through substance abuse, so even if you lack familial support, remember that you are never alone. Music is a wonderful source in which to find solace.

     

    Cassandra Huerta is a freelance writer who lives in an extremely small Michigan town and lives life one day at a time. She enjoys regularly entertaining her six-month-old daughter and can thank her wonderful fiance and coffee for all of her work.


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