Sobriety playlist: 6 best addiction recovery songs

March 15, 2017


On your journey of sobriety, you are walking down a new path. You're dancing to a new tune. Let this curated list of the best addiction recovery songs inspire you during your continuum of care. 

For loneliness: "Everybody Hurts" by R.E.M.

The 1992 Billboard hit was said to have been an anti-suicide ballad. Those rumors were confirmed when the Nevada legislature commended R.E.M. for "encouraging the prevention of teen suicides in one of its songs". The lyrics put words to the feeling of loneliness.

For guilt: "Hate Me" by Blue October

Starting with the first line, Hate Me oozes the guilt that resonates with anyone is the infancy of their sobriety, as they slowly emerge from the fog of addiction. The song captures the anger and guilt: the guilt of hurting loved ones, and the anger of losing the time of one's life to addiction. 

For the emotional roller-coaster: "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World

The catchy tune and thought-provoking lyrics can be a little premature for newly recovering drug addicts, given their syrupy sweet optimism: "you know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in". During addiction recovery, it isn't uncommon to feel like isolating oneself, just as the Jimmy Eat World lyrics taunt. In reality, peer support is an asset for sober living.

For euphoria: "Amazing" by Aerosmith

Written by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler during treatment for drug addiction, the lyrics describe his experience with the early stages of sobriety. Those feelings of euphoria can also be described as the pink cloud of recovery, or overconfidence in one's successful sobriety. 

For motivation: "The Climb" by Miley Cyrus

Sobriety is not a destination but a lifestyle. The lyrics of Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" illustrate the on-going challenges for individuals living in recovery. "There's always gonna be another mountain, I'm always gonna wanna make it move, always gonna be an uphill battle" paints a poignant picture of not only being an adult, but also sober living.

For self-empowerment: "Firework" by Katy Perry

From the empress of empowerment, Katy Perry gives the power anthem for self-empowerment. "Firework" delivers the feeling of a colossal crowd urging one to continue on the path of accomplishing one's goals, including sober living.

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