Musical Rehab

I grew up listening to music. I use music to help me through whatever I’m experiencing at the time, be it positive or negative. Music was also there for me when I quit drinking. Today, I have been sober for 377 days.

I have compiled a list of songs about addiction and recovery. I’m hoping that this list can help other people in living lives clean and sober. BUT! Don’t get me wrong! These are amazing tracks that anyone can enjoy. If you have a favorite recovery song that you think should be included in this list, feel free to post a comment!

So, without further adieu, I present my Top Ten Recovery Songs:

  1. “One Day At A Time” by Joe Walsh

Well it started with a couple of beers/And it went I don’t know how many years/Like a runaway train headed for the end of the line

Joe Walsh is perhaps best known for his membership in The Eagles. Walsh struggled with addiction for a number of years and has been in recovery since 1995.

 

  1. “Cleanse Song” by Bright Eyes

And if life seems absurd what you need is some laughter/And a season to sleep and a place to get clean/Maybe Los Angeles, somewhere no one’s expecting

Bright Eyes front man, Conor Oberst experimented with drugs and watched friends succumb to addiction. While never formally entering a rehabilitation center, Oberst spent time in a Florida community becoming clean.

 

  1. “Hate Me” by Blue October

I’m sober now for three whole months/It’s one accomplishment that you helped me with/The one thing that always tore us apart/Is the one thing I won’t touch again/In a sick way I want to thank you/For holding my head up late at night/While I was busy waging wars on myself/You were trying to stop the fight

Lead singer, lyricist, and guitarist Justin Furstenfeld entered recovery in 2003. Written as an apology to those he harmed, “Hate Me” describes some of his experience with his addiction and depression.

 

  1. “Starting Over” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Feeling sick and helpless, lost the compass where self is/I know what I gotta do and I can’t help it/One day at a time is what they tell us/Now I gotta find a way to tell them

This song describes the after effects of Ben Haggerty’s (aka Macklemore) relapse in 2011. Macklemore checked himself into a rehabilitation facility in 2008. Well known for his raw and honest voice, Macklemore uses his music to share messages of hope, pain, frustration, and acceptance.

 

  1. “Leave the Light On” by Beth Hart

I ain’t that bad/I’m just messed up/I ain’t that sad/But I’m sad enough/…/I don’t know what to do/Can the damage be undone/I swore to God that I’d never be/What I’ve become/I leave the light on

Hart’s blues-rock music creates a window through to her personal battle with drug addiction and mental illness. Beth Hart has been clean and sober for over a decade and continues to share the lessons she learned in life through her music.

 

  1. “Young Homie” by Chris Rene

Living life with loved ones close to me/Shh, ahh, this is the remedy/And I got/the recipe, I don’t need no Hennessy/Yeah, it’s been nine months now/Haven’t had a drink and I’m starting to see clear now/I’m putting all my fears down/I can hear the cheers now/Seeing peace signs when I look around

Chris Rene rose to the public eye as a finalist on the X-Factor USA 2011. Shortly prior to the beginning of the show, he was released from rehab where he sought help for a long standing drug and alcohol addiction.

 

  1. “Water into Wine” by T. Graham Brown

Tonight, I’m as low as any man can go/I’m down and I can’t fall much farther/And once upon a time, You turned the water into wine/And now, I’m on my knees, I’m turning to You, Father/Could You help me turn the wine back into water?

Known for his incredible songwriting and radio/television jingles, T. Graham Brown has experienced his fair share of challenges. “Wine into Water” tells the tale of Brown’s own addiction.

 

  1. “High Cost of Living” by Jamey Johnson

As soon as Jesus turned his back/I find my way across the track/Lookin’ just to score another deal/With my back against that damn eight ball/I didn’t have to think or talk or feel

Jamey Johnson co-wrote “High Cost of Living” with James Slater. Neither artist has reported any addiction problems. However, many fans have reached out stating their ability to connect with the lyrics. “High Cost of Living” sings of the harsh reality an individual may experience in the throws of addiction.

 

  1. “If the Brakeman Turns My Way” by Bright Eyes

Hey, where have all the dancers gone? Now the music doesn’t play/Tried to listen to the river but you couldn’t shut your mouth/Better take a little time to level out/I never thought of running/My feet just led the way

Yet another track by Bright Eyes, “If the Brakeman Turns My Way” speaks about journeying through life. Oberst explains the brakeman as the person who alters a train’s direction. He illuminates the lyrical meaning by stating, “[Hobos] They didn’t necessarily care where they’d end up – they just knew they had to leave, and they’d jump on the back of a train, and it was kind of all up to the brakeman, to fate, which direction you go.” While this track does not specifically reference addiction, parallels between moving through life and recovery are noticeable.

 

  1. “You Don’t Know Jack” by Luke Bryan

But you don’t know Jack/Double shot, eighty proof, on the rocks/Until you’ve lost it all/And you can’t go back/To your life, and your kids, and your ex-wife/With just a telephone call/If you think it’s just a bottle/In an old brown paper sack/You don’t know Jack

While Luke Bryan has faced questions in the public eye regarding drinking and driving, he has not reported issues with alcohol. Both the songwriters and Luke Bryan present a scenario of a man who lost what he valued to alcohol. “You Don’t Know Jack” serves as a reminder of just how far down an individual may spiral.


Because everybody loves a bonus, here are a few pick-me-up songs! These aren’t really related to living clean as much as to just dealing with everyday life. So, enjoy dance by yourself and remember that your life is beautiful.

  1. “Shake it Out” by Florence & the Machines
  1. “Carry On” by FUN.
  1. “Timshel” by Mumford and Sons
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Twenty-five

Wednesday is my 24th birthday. I get that 24 really isn’t that old, but it’s the oldest I’ve ever been. I mean, it’s almost a quarter of a century; I’ve already burned through 1/4th of my life! (And really, that’s being optimistic…) I’ve done so much growing up in the last year and I want that to continue.

So, I made a list of things I want to accomplish in the next year. My plan is to update this list with completion dates and details as I go along. Let’s see if that actually happens…

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  1. Use my savings account…for savings ($10 per week = $520 per YEAR!)
  2. Finish my steps (12 step program) & celebrate 2 years sober
  3. Read through my 25 books before 25 list (the entire book. Not just 3/4ths)
    In Progress: 1 of 25
  4. Run a second marathon (that includes training for it!)
  5. Work out at least once a week (You know you loooove endorphins!)
  6. Become a “morning person” (coffee and a book before Gus wakes up sounds like a decent start to the day)
  7. Reduce…Reuse…Recycle
    I bought two bins: one for cardboard & one for plastic/glass/aluminum… and I USE them!! 🙂
  8. Learn to drive a manual car (I need your help, Brother Drea)
  9. Go a full WEEK without watching any television (or Netflix, for that matter)
  10. Study a foreign language (dust off that German textbook!)
  11. Pay off credit card (…and keep it that way!)
  12. See the Northern Lights
  13. Graduate college with a 3.5 GPA
  14. Drink more water
  15. Eat a regular, healthy breakfast
  16. Start “fresh” daily (today is a NEW day!)
  17. Stop beating myself up
  18. USE SUNSCREEN (skin cancer is no joke)
  19. Take care of my teeth (more than just the week before dentist appointments
  20. Re-acquaint myself with Human Anatomy (I LOVED that class)
  21. Take a vacation with the Lover Man. Just the Lover Man.
  22. Speaking of Lover Man, Go on one epic date a month
    (Sept., Oct., Nov., Dec., Jan., Feb., March, April, May, June, July, Aug.)
  23. Maintain my blog (yes, this thing. Keep using it!)
  24. Quit complaining (stop laughing, Dad)

I have this amazing life and some incredible hopes and dreams. Maybe now is the time for me to get started on the smaller goals. I encourage you to do the same; find the magic in the world around you.

And if you forgot, just look at a 2 year old and watch the wonder cross their face as they discover just what the sky is:

“Mama! Sky! Sky! Sky!”

“Yes, Gus, that’s the sky.”

“Sky! Sky!”

*repeat for entire 30 minute car ride…*

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Hello world!

There’s this great and powerful (and daunting) world of blogging.

And then there’s me.

I’m not sure how I feel about all of this blogging stuff. I mean, I love reading what other people have to say! Love it. But I’m not sure people want to read what I have to say… One way or another, I’m here.

I’m a mother. I have so many stories about a ridiculous little boy nicknamed Gus. I’m marrying the love of my life (cliche, I know) in October. I frequently challenge the DIY projects of Pinterest…and lose.  I am an aspiring psychologist with a long path ahead of me. And I love my life.

And while I’m sure that not many people will visit my little corner of the internet, I still have a lot to say. So, here I go. This blog is about me. It’s about my life. It’s about my sobriety. It’s about my family. It’s about my stupid cat, Abaddon, who is currently attempting to climb up the window screen. It’s about my brand new tank of goldfish that I doubt will survive the month.

Essentially, it’s a collection of my musings and triumphs and failures (if I have the cahones to admit them). I’m not sure if what I have to say will be anything of interest… but it’s worth a shot, right?

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