Music therapy offers moments of solace and inspiration during the recovery process. While some might pick up a guitar or a pen and compose songs about this daily struggle, others turn to a favorite playlist to tap into the reservoir of lyrics and songs about drug addiction, as well as the road to recovery and sobriety.
That favorite playlist also offers the possibility of comradery, a new perspective, and even glimmers of hope. The songs (and the singers who are pelting out the tunes) are often sharing their own stories of the darkest moments of drug addiction and depression. Not all the songs are hopeful. Some leave us in that dark place, but no matter what the ending sentiment may be, the songs offer a glimpse into the experiences of celebrities in recovery.
Celebrities in recovery are human beings. They face the same struggles, the same bouts with depression and hopelessness, and the same feelings of failure and the overwhelming demands of those around them. Just look at these 7 songs about recover, and see for yourself.
Ed Sheeran: “The A Team”
Fans of Ed Sheeran probably know the story of his hit single, “The A List,” which was inspired by his visit of a homeless shelter when he was 18. As you read or listen to the lyrics, you imagine the desperation of a young woman who struggles to pay rent, sinks into depression and prostitution, as she faces addiction to crack cocaine. While his song was poignant and memorable, he recently shared his personal struggles with substance abuse.
Linkin Park’s “Breaking the Habit”
The epic story of Linkin Park and their rise to international fame is inextricably linked with songs like “Breaking the Habit,” which delves into breaking free from drug addiction. Mike Shinoda wrote the lyrics, but the song has become even more poignant since the death of the group’s lead singer, Chester Bennington, after his ongoing battles with substance abuse.
Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge”
Anthony Kiedis brought his own struggle with substance abuse to the lyrics in “Under the Bridge.” It’s a sad, almost somber song, which depicts how drugs can suck the life out of an addict. In the song, “the bridge downtown” refers to the location Kiedis went to get high and escape. His road to recovery wasn’t always easy though. It left him alone, feeling like an outsider, and he lost friends. In his autobiography, Scar Tissue, he also talks about how his recovery changed the band.
And Then: The Fray’s “You Found Me”
First released in 2007, “You Found Me” comes from tragedy, disappointment, and heartache. Lead singer Isaac Slade was questioning why bad things happen to good people, particularly his close family and friends. Even through the most hopeless and impossible situations, though, he sees that light at the end of the tunnel. He has hope and faith.
K’s Choice: “Not an Addict”
With “Not an Addict,” K’s Choice offers a unique perspective for those who are trying to figure out if they are an addict. The song walks us through to the ever-deeping realization that addiction is lonely, deadening, enslaving force – tied up with denial and loss. Beyond laying out the signs of substance abuse and addiction behavior, it also offers real inspiration to get clean.
U2’s “Running to Stand Still”
“Running to Stand Still” has been called one of the greatest rock ballads by U2, but it’s also important for a recovery playlist, because it describes a heroin-addicted couple. It’s a piece of pop poetry, meant to depict a hopeless and frustrating situation in Dublin’s Ballymun flats, without any real means for escape.
Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”
“Rehab” taps into the back-and-forth between an addict, Amy Winehouse, and her family and friends, as they try to pursued her to go to rehab. It’s denial at a whole other level, as the lyrics repeat that “no, no, no.” It’s a warning, but it’s also a tragic reminder of what happened to Winehouse. She refused to get help. She refused to get clean, and that led to her death. It’s the worst possible ending to a brilliant young artist’s story, but her life and the lessons that her choices teach has helped others (like Rumer Willis) to focus on sobriety as the only possible path. What other alternative is there? Denial has failed so many others.
These songs about addiction explore the darkness, depression, and desperation of substance abuse in painful detail, but they also offer moments of hope and promise for the future.
Find a New Soundtrack to Your Life in Recovery at Creo Spero
Don’t let addiction take any more from your life. Take action and get help at Creo Spero, a creative-based addiction treatment program in Orange County, CA that offers innovative treatment that works.