We all crave inspiration in the form of music at one point or another. For a recovering addict, the need for music to empower and strengthen the spirit can strike at any time. However you source your music, it is always a smart idea to keep an addiction playlist at the ready for those moments when you could use a little extra inspiration.
We have compiled a list of our favorite songs about addiction that will motivate you and help you out through even the darkest of days.
The song “Chandelier” by Sia is about the pain and emptiness you feel when you have a substance use addiction. The writer and singer Sia tells the story of her own struggle with addiction. The lyrics read “Party girls don’t get hurt, can’t feel anything, when will I learn? I push it down, push it down… One, two, three, one, two, three, drink.”
Although this song is very much about Sia’s rollercoaster emotions while in the whirlwind of her addiction, the tone of the song is very empowering and you really cannot help but want to belt out the lyrics and break out dancing when you turn it on.
#9 Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind
Do not let the upbeat and pop-like tune fool you. While “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind ruled the radio airwaves for the better part of the late 1990’s, very few realized that the lyrics are actually very thought-provoking, and centered around addiction.
The lyrics by Third Eye Blind read “We tripped on the urge to feel alive, and now I’m struggling to survive… I want something else to get me through this life.” Sometimes the simplest statements can be the most profound.
#8 Sober by P!nk
I don’t need to tell you that staying sober is not always easy. In the emotional song “Sober” by P!nk, she opens up about the way sobriety can offer both comfort as well as fear of embracing a new normal. The lyrics read “No pain, inside, you’re like protection. But how do I feel this good sober?”
While making the transition into a life of sobriety can be difficult and at certain times terrifying, songs like this will make you realize the new normal you are adjusting to is completely worth it.
#7 Nobody Drinks Alone by Keith Urban
Keith Urban’s country songs are often emotionally stirring and powerful, and “Nobody Drinks Alone” is no exception. In this powerful ballad, you can hear the pain that Urban pulls from his own struggle with addiction (he is now 11 years sober).
The lyrics read “There’s nothing but empty there inside that glass, so you pour a little more. And there’s no one there to judge you, at least that’s what you tell yourself. But don’t you know, nobody drinks alone? Every demon, every ghost, from your past, and every memory you’ve held back follows you home.” This song is perfect for those moments of weakness when you need inspiration and powerful words to pull you out of a slump.
The Eagles guitarist once introduced this song at a concert as being about “learning how to live my life without my best friend, vodka.” It is a great song about leaving addiction in the past, and learning how to deal with the struggles of life without alcohol.
Written in 1991, this hit song by Red Hot Chili Peppers is about member Anthony Kiedis’ struggle with drug addiction and how, ultimately, it lead him to indescribable loneliness. The bridge that the title is named after refers to a bridge that the song writer used to purchase his drugs under. This song is a good reminder of the ugly things you leave behind when you decide to cut ties with addiction for good.
#4 Captain Jack by Billy Joel
Billy Joel described “Captain Jack” as an “anti-drug song” inspired by watching teenagers in the inner-city purchasing drugs from a dealer they called Captain Jack. The lyrics read “So you play your albums, and you smoke your pot, and you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot. Oh, but still you’re aching for the things you haven’t got. What went wrong?”
The song is a good reminder of the deep, aching sadness that all addicted people feel. It will make you want to pick yourself up, take a deep breath, and keep moving forward.
#3 Addicted by Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson’s normally upbeat, pop chart toppers take a dark turn with her song “Addicted.” The powerful ballad describes the struggle between addiction and quitting for good. In her lyrics, she writes “I’ll handle it, quit it. Just one more time, then that’s it.” It is a great reminder of the inner demons you deal with when you quit a substance, and how proud you should be of your accomplishments to get to where you are now.
This beautiful song by Natasha Bedingfield speaks about pain, scars, and the fight left in all of us to survive. This is the perfect song for those moments when you need a powerful melody to motivate you and keep you on the right path. In it, she writes “The worst is over, all those fires we’ve been walking through, and still we survived somehow.” It is powerful and inspiring for anyone – but recovering addicts will relate with its stirring message the most.
When writing “Starting Over,” Macklemore decided to be completely open about his recovery. In this powerful hip hop song, he shares his relapse after three years of recovery. He writes, “If I can be an example of getting sober, I can be an example of starting over.” Macklemore’s lyrics are powerful and heartfelt, and will make you realize how lucky you are to be sober.
Whenever you need a little extra inspiration to get you through your day, try plugging in your earbuds and turning the volume up with these motivational songs about addiction and recovery. You will feel empowered to keep moving forward with every lyric.