30 Best Songs About Overcoming Drug Addiction
Music is much more than something we sing and dance to at moment’s of celebration. When we struggle to understand our innermost thoughts and struggles, we often turn to music to make sense of them.
The power of music is endless and scientifically proven. By surveying multiple studies, the folks at VeryWellMind have shown that music can reduce stress, improve motivation, and reduce symptoms of depression. These psychological benefits of music are significant for those in recovery from addiction.
If you are suffering from addiction, you may experience some days that are more difficult than others to get through. To help you on your journey to recovery, check out these 30 songs about addiction, and overcoming it.
1) “Recovery” by James Arthur
Arthur is publicly open with his past substance addiction and recovery. In an interview with Daily Mail, he said that he gained a sense of “perspective” and feels more mentally “present” after quitting drug use.
“Recovery” is very reflective of Arthur’s experience. In this song, he conveys the benefits of sobriety. It allowed him to “keep soaring” and “keep song-writing.” This song shows that Arthur found peace in his personal life and success in his professional life through recovery.
2) “I Surrender” by Hillsong
Even though it’s a Christian song, “I Surrender” can speak to someone of any religion. The lyrics talk of surrendering yourself to a higher power and the healing, both physical and spiritual that can come from it.
3) “Sober” by P!nk
In “Sober,” P!nk poses an interesting question: “But how do I feel this good sober?”
This question offers those suffering from addiction something to think about. Giving in to addiction often seems like the easiest, most convenient route.
Even though overcoming addiction presents challenges, P!nk shows that recovery is the most beneficial outcome in the long run.
4) “Going Through Changes” by Eminem
Achieving recovery will undoubtedly require some transition. Change can be scary, especially if you’ve been struggling with addiction for a long time.
In “Going Through Changes,” Eminem raps about the “peaks and valleys” he goes through. He gives addicted individuals the chance to see that it’s normal to experience highs and lows during their journey to recovery.
5) “Old Ways” by Demi Lovato
The song “Old Ways” by Demi Lovato is a powerful rebuttal to those who doubted she could achieve recovery. She belts, “But if somebody tells me, I’ll go back to my old ways, “I’m gonna say no way, I’m out of the doorway.”
This song encapsulates an experience that people in recovery are all too familiar with: hearing that you will fail but striving toward and achieving recovery anyway.
“Old Ways” also tells of how great life in recovery is for Lovato. One particularly memorable line states that “Who knew it’d be so bright without the blindfolds.”
6) “Recover” by Natasha Beddingfield
In her song “Recover,” Beddingfield comfortingly sings about how recovery is achievable. She does not ignore the difficulties that come with it, but she offers hope in the lines “Look what we’ve done, how far we’ve come” and “I know that we will recover.”
7) “Not Afraid” by Eminem
Eminem had a whole album called “Recovery” about his path to recovery, so we couldn’t help but include another song from it on this list.
“Not Afraid” is an inspiring and candid anthem for people suffering from addiction. In this song, Eminem addresses his hardships and triumphs. He also encourages his fans to strive toward greatness and reminds them they are never alone.
8) “Hunger” by Florence and the Machine
“Hunger” offers addicted individuals a source of comfort during their addiction treatment and recovery. Florence Welch normalizes the “hunger” and desires people feel even when they are toxic. This song can help you work through them and work towards adopting healthier coping mechanisms.
9) “Sober” by Kelly Clarkson
The song “Sober” by Kelly Clarkson creatively uses addiction as a metaphor for a relationship. The song revolves around the line “Three months, and I’m still sober,” alluding to the fact that she is free from addiction and on the road to recovery.
Clarkson’s portrayal of addiction is very relatable, as it can often feel like a personal relationship that you cannot live without. She shows that even though it’s hard, escaping addiction and getting sober is possible.
10) “Breaking the Habit” by Linkin Park
In “Breaking the Habit,” Linkin Park sings about how damaging drug use is to an individual. It often feels the addicted individual confused and feeling helpless. It perfectly describes the feeling of being out of control, as evident in the line “I don’t want to be the one the battles always choose.”
In this song, Linkin Park addresses that drug use is a problem that needs to be combatted. Lead singer Chester Bennington sings that “So I’m breaking the habit, I’m breaking the habit tonight.” This urgent call to end his drug use and enter recovery is a compelling message for anyone listening.
11) “Running to Stand Still” by U2
This song narrates the story of a couple who suffers from heroin addiction. It familiarizes the listener with the hopelessness of substance abuse and shows that individuals can be in denial of their problems.
12) “Starting Over” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
In his song “Starting Over,” Macklemore sings of the relapse he experienced after nearly three years of recovery. The song details what happened and how he began working toward recovery again.
When it comes to music about overcoming addiction, this song is an important one. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 60% of substance use disorders result in some kind of relapse. “Starting Over” is an excellent reminder that relapse is a normal part of the recovery process.
13) “Not an Addict” by K’s Choice
Deciding if you have issues with drug use or not can be difficult for someone in recovery. “Not an Addict” can help you sort through your dependence on drugs. This song can make you realize that dependence doesn’t define you, but it can negatively affect your life and needs to be addressed.
14) “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten
Rachel Platten wrote “Fight Song” to refute those who didn’t believe she would make it far in the music industry. However, this song has turned into an anthem for anyone who needs the reminder not to let others stand in their way of success. The lines “This is my fight song, Take my life back song, Prove I’m alright song” are powerful declarations for anyone suffering from addiction.
15) “Fight Like a Brave” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
“Fight Like a Brave” features a recurring stanza that’s very impactful: “Fight like a brave, Don’t be a slave, No one can tell you, You’ve got to be afraid.” This is a great reminder to continue on your path to recovery and not succumb to your past tribulations.
16) “Salvation” by The Cranberries
Often, individuals abuse substances to feel something or escape their realities. “Salvation” by The Cranberries is a song that everyone going through recovery needs to hear. Lead singer Dolores O’Riordan encourages listeners to “Inject [their] soul[s] with liberty” and to drug use because it’s “not what it seems.” Her voice’s heartbreak leads listeners to believe that drug use is not worth it and that there are healthier, more productive ways to achieve the “salvation” she desires.
17) “One Day At A Time” by Joe Walsh
Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh released “One Day At A Time” to share his experiences with alcohol abuse. He admits to having a problem in the song but is scared to take on the path to recovery, as he fears it’s “too big of a mountain to climb.” However, he finds peace in living his life “one day at a time” and encourages listeners to do the same.
18) “Young Homie” by Chris Rene
In the song “Young Homie,” Chris Rene describes the clarity that he experiences since entering recovery. He sings that he’s managed to “put his fears down” and enjoys the encouragement from those around him as he strives toward staying sober.
19) “Amazing” by Aerosmith
“Amazing” is an influential ballad released to detail the narrator’s highs and lows during addiction and recovery. Lead singer Steven Tyler sings of his hardships, but he also tells of the moment that changed everything and the realization that “you know you’ll be alright.”
20) “Life is Beautiful” by Sixx A.M.
In the song “Life is Beautiful,” Sixx A.M. conveys an important message. It’s never too late to correct your self-destructive behaviors so that you can live a meaningful life. The song encourages listeners to open their eyes and cease seeking substances that can adversely affect their lives.
21) “Gravity” by A Perfect Circle
“Gravity” by A Perfect Circle details what it feels like to experience the adverse effects of drug use. Vocalist Maynard James Keenan heartbreakingly sings about being controlled by addiction.
Even with the realities of drug use portrayed in this song, Kennan offers a sense of hope. He belts powerful phrases like “Please release me” and “I choose to live.” These declarations provide hope to anyone listening no matter their current situation.
22) “You Found Me” by The Fray
Upon listening to “You Found Me” by The Fray, you will be able to reflect on why bad things happen to good people. Overall, the song has an inspiring tone and reminds addicted individuals to preserve, even when things seem hopeless.
23) “Demons” by Keney Chesney
In his song “Demons,” Kenny Chesney reminds you that you are not seeking out your “demons;” instead, they are running towards you. This portrays addiction as what it is: a chronic mental health condition that is surmountable but requires intervention and rehabilitation.
24) “Life Wasted” by Pearl Jam
“Life Wasted” by Pearl Jam discusses the concepts of death and rebirth, which is very relevant to addiction recovery. As the narrator of the song, Eddie Vedder sings that “I have faced it, a life wasted, I’m never going back again.” He speaks of the perils of drug abuse but asserts that he will never return to them.
25) “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot
“Dare You to Move” encourages listeners to take action in their paths to recovery. Lead singer Jon Foreman introduces the divergence of “how it is and how it should be.” This should serve as some food for thought, no matter what stage of the recovery process you’re in.
26) “Drug Addiction” by Colicchie
This song details the story of the singer’s struggle with substance abuse. The song’s last two lines are particularly compelling, as the singer admits he feels pain but is not afraid to show his emotion to the world. He also declares that his life changed once he put in the effort.
27) “Then Came The Morning” by The Lone Bellow
When it comes to songs about addiction, “Then Came The Morning” is an important one. It features optimistic lyrics that center on the concept of the sun still rising even in your darkest hour. It reminds listeners that each day is a new chance to take on the recovery process.
28) “Vertigo” by Khalid
“Vertigo” by Khalid is a softer, dramatic song that holds your attention. After a few listens, you will come to appreciate the stability it offers. Khalid speaks of the “mess” that his life has been and how he has missed much of its beauty. The song calls the listener to re-center themselves, something an addicted individual will benefit from hearing.
29) “Move In The Right Direction” by Gossip
“Move In The Right Direction” is about facing your troubles head-on. The song doesn’t gloss over the difficulties with overcoming addiction. The narrator admits that “hesitation was my first instinct” but goes on to declare that he will “hold back tears” and “face his fears” so that he can get on the path to recovery.
30) “Bad” by U2
Feelings of loneliness often make overcoming addiction very difficult. You may think there isn’t anyone in the world who understands what you’re going through.
In their song “Bad,” U2 expresses a wish to help those suffering from drug abuse. Though overcoming addiction requires hard work, knowing that you have people, even strangers, who are on your side can offer the comfort you need.
Music is a powerful resource to use during your recovery process. Be sure to check out these songs about addiction to inspire you and to get through some of the more challenging days. If you have been struggling with addiction but haven’t yet sought professional help, do not hesitate to contact our team at Master Center for Addiction Medicine. Our kind, compassionate staff members will understand your situation and develop an effective addiction treatment plan. Same day appointments are available.