Music for Recovery?
“Rock and Roll is my Higher Power!” I shouted out during a recent group session at Aurora. We were gathered together listening to songs that members had selected; chosen for their recovery message, spiritual meaning or emotional release.
Not to say that I hold Ozzy Osbourne up as a deity. Rather, I am greatly moved by the creative spirit and energy expressed in music and lyrics. Judging by the responses and sharing from the members present, I was not alone in finding meaning and joy that morning.
Music Makes You Feel Good
Listening is therapeutic, and some of you may have experience with structured Music Therapy. Hearing, singing, playing, dancing, chanting or even discussing the lyrics and meaning can provide great healing. It can be motivational and inspirational.
On a physical level, music can increase the feel-good chemical dopamine, as well as reduce stress hormone levels. Left and right lobe brain waves can attain better harmony.
In treatment, frozen emotional issues can begin to thaw and reveal themselves, apparent and ready to be processed in a safe environment.
Members Share Their Healing Music
Member Chalace asked to hear November Rain by Guns and Roses, and she explained that she was moved by the wide range of emotions that it elicited in her; it reflects the bitter-sweet nature of our lives. After years of being numbed by addiction, it is a blessing to be accepting of our emotional self, comfortable and uncomfortable.
We heard a wide range of sounds, both sacred and sort of profane! Nick P. chose a hard-rocking number by Pantera called Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit (I encourage you to check it out the “with lyrics” version on youtube.) He explained that he strongly relates to the message of taking personal responsibility for your life and moving forward as an empowered person. Feeling the freedom that results from making living amends, then doing our best one day at a time.
Gospel songs were popular requests. Bernard shared that he was mired in active addiction and feeling powerless and fearful. Hearing the mighty Tasha Cobbs sing Breaking Every Chain inspired him to reach out for help. Amazing Grace was requested, and I played my favourite version by the Blind Boys of Alabama (from the Spirit of the Century album; every track is 100% awesome.)
Sara D. shared the song Speak To A Girl by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. “It’s the ultimate truth. I am hoping that since I’m starting a new life in sobriety that my mom and I can rekindle the fire of mother and daughter love.”
Here are some of the songs from our sessions; recommended to you by Aurora members:
- Chain Breaker, Zach Williams
- Us, Brother Ali
- Hate Me, Blue October
- Lean Wit Me, Juice Wrld
- Drive, Incubus
- Slow Down, Cas Haley
- Stone Cold Sober, Brantley Gilbert
- Bad Company, Five Finger Death Punch
- The Rose, Bette Midler
- Brand New Day, Sting
- Dear Life, High Valley
- Tales of Brave Ulysses, Cream
- Touch of Gray, Grateful Dead
- Eye of The Storm, Ryan Stevenson
- End of The Road, MGK
- God’s Country, Ani DiFranco
Make your recovery music playlists to listen to while you work on your physical health. Here are some great tips for physical fitness goal-setting in recovery.