10 Songs to Listen to in Recovery

Music one of the best therapeutic tools that we have. The artists below found motivation in writing and releasing their songs in hopes it would reach out and inspire someone. Use these songs, or others that speak to you, in times of need and know that you will get through tough times.

1.Starting over by Macklemore

“If I can be an example of getting sober
Then I can be an example of starting over

We fell so hard
Now we gotta get back what we lost”

We all may make mistakes when changing our behaviors. This song, and many of Macklemore’s songs tell us it is okay to keep trying and that everyone struggles sometimes.


2.Dare you to move by Switchfoot

“Tension is here. Between who you are and who you could be. Between how it is and how it should be. Maybe redemption has stories to tell.  Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell. Where can you run to escape from yourself? Where you gonna go Where you gonna go? Salvation is here. I dare you to move…”

This is an older pick for a song and it is a good one. It talks about how action is going to get you through hard times and do not forget that.

3.“Alive” by Sia

“And I’m still breathing, I’m still breathing
I’m still breathing, I’m still breathing
I’m alive (You took it all, but I’m still breathing)”

Sia is an amazing artist from lyrics to vocals. This song highlights the focus that no matter how difficult or how many obstacles you have been through or are yet to happen, that you are still here and fighting.

4.“If you want love” by NF

“If you want love, you gon’ have to go through the pain
If you want love, you gon’ have to learn how to change
If you want trust, you gon’ have to give some away
If you want love, if you want love”

NF is a powerful musician and his lyrics are crucial. If we all want change and to work through things that have been difficult, we have to make sacrifices and remember that over time change will come. This is not an easy message to remember, however, it is an important one.


5.“Praying” by Kesha

“I hope you’re somewhere prayin’, prayin’
I hope your soul is changin’, changin’
I hope you find your peace
Falling on your knees, prayin’”

Kesha wrote this song to show her struggles and how she persevered through them. This song highlights that guidance can come from outside of us when we just don’t have the strength to get through it alone. This is an important message to remember.

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6.“The Fighter” by Gym Class Heroes

 “Here comes a fighter
That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me
Say to me, this one’s a fighter”

 This song promotes the inner strength and motivation that is important when working through issues and struggles. Everyone willing to work and better themselves is a fighter.

7.“Otherside” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

“We live on the cusp of death thinkin’ that it won’t be us
It won’t be us, it won’t be us, it won’t be us
Nah, it won’t be us”

When we are struggling with change, our thoughts can tell us things that are not always true, and this song exemplifies that. This is another Macklemore pick that inspires to keep holding on through the hard times.

8.“By the Grace of God” by Katy Perry

“…Laying on the bathroom floor. We were living on a fault line. And I felt the fault was all mine. Couldn’t take it anymore. By the grace of God. There was no other way. I picked myself back up. I knew I had to stay. I put one foot in front of the other. And I looked in the mirror. And decided to stay…”

Katy Perry has said that this song was largely inspired by the difficulties she faced while going through her separation from Russel Brand. The song explores the struggles we all may face at times and the heaviness of it; however, it provides a glimpse into the strength thats within us all to move on.

9.“Hunger” by Florence and the Machine

“I thought that love was in the drugs
But the more I took, the more it took away
And I could never get enough”

She speaks a raw truth about searing for a tangible answer in emotional or spiritual problems. She goes on to normalize the feelings and urges we all have and attempts to provide hope in the search for those answers.

“Don’t let it get you down, you’re the best thing I’ve seen
We never found the answer but we knew one thing
We all have a hunger”


10.Drug Addiction by Colicchie

“My pain’s deep, I have been through hell
I managed to survive so I got a story to tell”

The story that he tells is a relatable one that ends with solutions and hope to the worries that we have.

I felt pain, look I’m not afraid to cry
My life changed once I was willing to try
I’ve been giving many chances now it’s truly do or die”


It’s now time to update your playlist!

Author: Stephanie Pruefer, LPC, CADC – Footprints to Recovery – Primary Counselor

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