Music in early recovery was an essential tool to assist me through this lifestyle change to sobriety. Music that had depth, meaning, and were powerfully positive are able to help shift your perspective on the world around you.
Taking me out of my head of with all the triggers and cravings, music was an assistance to my brain while it was trying to level out the chemical imbalances and the unfreezing of feelings and emotions. Songs with positive lyrics only enhance the bonds with neurotransmitters inside the brain. More in depth article about the positive impact of music on the brain, click here.
Nahko & Medicine For the People (NMFTP) – This band’s music and lyrics are very powerful and uplifting, well blended mix of unique styles the members bring to the band. Lyrics about “good things coming” and how powerful people really are. A lot of the songs, I felt I could relate to the lyrics and saw myself jamming to these guys, often. “Black as Night” from their first record ” Dark as Night”. His message of optimism and being confident in your being to do whatever, The “musical medicine” the band cultivating the message of spiritual guidance, live in your truth, and being present with yourself and others.
Next top recovery song is “Lucid Dreams” by Soja FT Nahko. This combo of music really brings the soul back into the music. Often, this song just made me cry during the first couple weeks of early recovery because my emotions were all over. It’s okay to cry and have an outlet. Unfreezing the emotions we froze up years ago. The lyrics just hit home and I find it easy to relate my life to them. Many of Soja’s lyric’s I find to be that way, maybe you will too!! Jacob Hemphill, lead singer, said that the mission of the band is “to speak for people who don’t have microphones, our goal as a band is to stick up for the human race. We see the world and we try to make it better in the limited time we have here.” Highly recommend this song, and this band!
Rebelution is a wave of positive music from California. The reggae vibes and mindful lyrics help keep life in perspective. This band has many wonderful songs and it was hard to choose just one. “Meant to Be” was always a favorite of mine. The lyrics made me feel like I could accomplish whatever task at hand and really built me up with the positiveness and hit home for me. That everyday is a fresh start to your journey and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.
‘Cause I can see the sun rise on my way
I can see the road rise to meet me
I can feel the earth underneath my feet
And I can see the stars on top of me”
Jack Johnson – Angel – This song is a love song he wrote to his wife. Just the pure love and being in the present moment with another human is what the song extrudes. To me, it showed how much one person can impact another, romantically or not. It helped me put in perspective that if I was going to continue to use, people closest to me would be effected by it. Jack Johnson was born in Hawaii, started surfing at age five, playing guitar at age eight, and songwriting by twelve years old! His music is very soothing acoustic music. He also makes some soft rock, upbeat tunes that are always fun to sing a long too!
Phora – Sinner: An American rapper from California, started his own label in 2011. In his music he raps about his real life experiences. He’s gotten shot, stabbed, and went though a rough family life, and more you will hear in his music. He expresses all of his life pain through his music, especially this song, which is why he is one of my favorite artists. He rose up on his own, against all odds, which also inspired me to start living a better life. This song shows that life gives us all crazy waves to ride on on journeys. Phora took all the pain and negativity and created something beautiful. His music is forever inspiring because it’s easy to relate to and to motivate oneself.
I hope you enjoyed this list and are able to explore some new tunes! Feel free to comment any songs you found helpful or enjoyed during your recovery! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy with this COVID-19 going on.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. For more information click http://www.samhsa.gov.