21 Motivating Recovery Songs To Keep You On Track!
Keeping yourself motivated while in recovery sometimes requires an extra little push that only music can provide. Hopefully, this list of motivation recovery songs will give you something special — maybe a song that sings the smile back onto your face, and wraps a loving hug around your heart.
I carefully hand-picked all 21 of these motivating recovery songs because they all have something special to offer — they know where you’ve been, they know where you are, and they know how to help you find your way to a better tomorrow.
Not everything in this playlist is specifically about addiction, but recovery? Yeah, they’re all about recovery. They’re all about encouraging you to put one foot in front of the other and walk till you get past the tough time.
Walk through it – kick through it – walk and kick and climb through it – do whatever you have to do – do whatever works for you! Crank up these recovery songs and then get up and dance through it!
Recovery Songs #21 to #16
#21 – Monty Python: Always Look On the Bright Side of Life.
Performed by Monty Python, Always Look On the Bright Side of Life, is practically the UK alt-anthem, popular with fans of the British “stiff upper lip” in the face of mortal danger. In 1982, when the HMS Sheffield was hit by a cruise missile in the Falklands War, the crew famously sang this song as they waited for rescue from their sinking ship.
“…If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten. An thats to laugh and smile and dance and sing. When you’re feeling in the dumps, don’t be silly chumps. Just purse your lips and whistle – thats the thing. And…always look on the bright side of life.”
#20 – Switchfoot: Dare You to Move.
Dare You to Move is “me talking to myself,” says lead songwriter Jon Foreman. He adds it “is kind of a song for myself to get me up and get me moving and tackling a new part of life.”
“…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…”
#19 – Anna Nalick – Breathe (2AM)
Breath (2AM) is described by Billboard’s Chuck Taylor as “an introspective yet confessional tale about learning to handle everyday challenges — and remembering to take time to breathe.”
“…There’s a light at each end of this tunnel, You shout ’cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out. And these mistakes you’ve made, you’ll just make them again. If you’d only try turning around… But you can’t jump the track, we’re like cars on a cable, And life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table. No one can find the rewind button now. Sing it if you understand. and breathe, just breathe…”
#18 – Lincoln Park: Breaking the Habit
Breaking the Habit was written by band member Mike Shinoda based on a close friend’s drug addiction, but brought lead singer Chester to tears. For the first year following its release, performing the song live was difficult for Chester, due to his own personal troubles with addiction.
“…I don’t know what’s worth fighting for, Or why I have to scream. I don’t know why I instigate. And say what I don’t mean. I don’t know how I got this way. I know it’s not alright. So I’m Breaking the habit. I’m breaking the habit. Tonight…”
#17 – Jimmy Eat World: The Middle
The Middle came out when the band, according to Jason Heller of The A.V. Club, “had a lot more wisdom, scars, and songwriting talent than it did seven years prior — and.. was in a position where do or die looked like the only options.”
“…Hey, don’t write yourself off yet. It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on. Just try your best, try everything you can. And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away. It just takes some time, Little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine…”
#16 – Mariah Carey: Through the Rain
Through the Rain is Carey’s encouragement to you. Carey notes, “it’s me telling people that if you believe you can get through whatever you’re going through, you can get to the other side.”
“…And if you keep falling down don’t you dare give in. You will arise safe and sound, so keep pressing on steadfastly. And you’ll find what you need to prevail. What you say is I can make it through the rain. I can stand up once again on my own. And I know that I’m strong enough to mend…”
Recovery Songs #15 to 11
#15 – Lincoln Park: Somewhere I Belong
Somewhere I Belong is another great hit off their blockbusting Meteora album. Crank it up and pay attention to the awesome words – this one really works!
“…I will never know myself until I do this on my own. And I will never feel anything else, until my wounds are healed. I will never be anything till I break away from me. I will break away, I’ll find myself today. I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I’m somewhere I belong…”
#14 – Kelly Clarkson: Sober
Sober materialized after Kelly’s friend Calamity McEntire gave her the line “pick her weeds and keep the flowers.”
“…Three months and I’m still sober. Picked all my weeds but kept the flowers. But I know it’s never really over. And I don’t know, I could crash and burn but maybe, At the end of this road I might catch a glimpse of me. So I won’t worry about my timing, I want to get it right. No comparing, second guessing, no not this time…”
#13 – Silverchair: Straight Lines
Straight Lines is a biographical song from lead singer Daniel Johns. In the late 90’s to early millennium, Daniel fought and finally beat anorexia, clinical depression, and reactive arthritis.
“…Lately I’m a desperate believer. But walking in a straight line. I don’t need no time to say. There’s no changing yesterday. If we keep talking and I keep walking in straight lines…”
#12 – Enigma: Return to Innocence
Return to Innocence reached number one in over 10 countries. In 1994, the song was featured in the TV show My So-Called Life dealing with major social issues like teenage alcoholism, homelessness, and drug use. This song was also used to promote the Summer Olympics of 1996.
“…That’s not the beginning of the end. That’s the return to yourself. The return to innocenceLove – DevotionFeeling – EmotionLove – DevotionFeeling – EmotionDon’t be afraid to be weak. Don’t be too proud to be strong. Just look into your heart my friend. That will be the return to yourself. The return to innocence…”
#11 – Incubus: Drive
Drive is a song “about fear,” says lead singer Brandon Body. “(A)bout being driven all your life by it and making decisions from fear. It’s about imagining what life would be like if you didn’t live it that way.”
“…So if I decide to waiver my chance to be one of the hive. Will I choose water over wine and hold my own and drive, oh oh. It’s driven me before, and it seems to be the way. That everyone else gets around. Lately, I’m beginning to find that when I drive myself, my light is found…”
Recovery Songs #10 to 6
#10 – First Aid Kit: My Silver Lining
My Silver Lining was one of the top ten songs of 2014. It’s perfect for helping you stay motivated, the haunting vocals flow right through the windows of your soul.
“..And you’ve just gotta keep on keeping on. Gotta keep on going, looking straight out on the road. Can’t worry ’bout what’s behind you or what’s coming for you further up the road. I try not to hold on to what is gone, I try to do right what is wrong. I try to keep on keeping on…”
#9 – Natasha Bedingfield: Recover
The Album “Strip Me” received its name, says Bedingfield, “because it’s about stripping down who we are as humans. We’re united about our needs, our desires and our pain, all the different things we go through together.” Her song Recover has clearly got you covered – I know you’ll love this one.
“…Been torn apart, got so many scratches and scars. Maybe they won’t all go away but they’ll fade. Maybe time can mend us together again. It’s not what we’ve done but how far we’ve come. We will recover, the worst is over now…”
#8 – Chris Young: The Man I Want To Be
The Man I Want To Be is all about a man at the end of his rope and wanting to make big changes in his life.
“…I’ve spent my whole life gettin’ it all wrong. And I sure could use your help just from now on. I wanna be a good man. A do like I should man. I wanna be the kind of man the mirror likes to see. I wanna be a strong man. And admit that I was wrong man. God I’m askin’ you to come change me. Into the man I wanna be…”
#7 – Miley Cyrus: The Climb
The Climb is a power ballad, describing life as a tough journey with big rewards if you just climb.
“…There’s always gonna be another mountain. I’m always gonna wanna make it move. Always gonna be an uphill battle. Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose. Ain’t about how fast I get there. Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side. It’s the climb…”
#6 – Katy Perry: By the Grace of God
By The Grace of God is Katy’s attempt to channel her tragic divorce into something positive, after battling her thoughts of suicide while lying on her bathroom floor.
“…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…”
Recovery Songs #5 to 2
#5 – Foo Fighters: Walk
Walk is a great recovery song. According to Dave Grohl, it’s about “having a trial,” inspired by his first daughter Violet Maye “learning to walk.”
“…I think I lost my way. Getting good at starting over. Every time that I return. I’m learning to walk again. I believe I’ve waited long enough. Where do I begin?…”
#4 – R.E.M.: Everybody Hurts
Everybody Hurts is a song “aimed at teenagers,” said Band leader Buck, but “it’s tended to work for people of a lot of ages.” Yeah, definitely.
“…Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it’s time to sing along. When your day is night alone (Hold on, hold on). If you feel like letting go (Hold on). If you think you’ve had too much. Of this life, well hang on…”
#3 – Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey: When You Believe
When You Believe is a song about really tough times that cause you to question your own faith.
“…Although we know there’s much to fear. We were moving mountains long. Before we knew we could, oh yes. There can be miracles when you believe. Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill. Who knows what miracles you can achieve. When you believe, somehow you will. You will when you believe…”
#2 – Natasha Bedingfield: Unwritten
Unwritten is a great motivational recovery song about striving to rise above tough struggles, to reach for what is still unwritten.
“…We’ve been conditioned to not make mistakes, but I can’t live that way. Staring at the blank page before you. Open up the dirty window. Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find…Drench yourself in words unspoken. Live your life with arms wide open. Today is where your book begins…”
The Number 1 – Most Motivating Recovery Song Goes To…
#1 – Katy Perry: Firework
Firework is a totally self-empowering anthem. Katy says this is her opus, the song that says “Yeah, I want to put my fist up and feel proud and feel strong.” Yeah – you and me, too, Katy!
“..Do you ever feel like a plastic bagDrifting through the wind, wanting to start again?Do you ever feel, feel so paper thinLike a house of cards, one blow from caving in?Do you ever feel already buried deep six feet under?Screams but no one seems to hear a thingDo you know that there’s still a chance for you’Cause there’s a spark in you?You just gotta ignite the light and let it shineJust own the night like the 4th of July’Cause, baby, you’re a fireworkCome on, show ’em what you’re worthMake ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”As you shoot across the sky-y-y…”
What Are Your Favorite Recovery Songs?
How’s that for motivating recovery songs? Which ones work best for you? If I missed one of your favorites, write it in the comments and we’ll do a take-2 on this great topic again soon. And don’t forget to share this list of recovery songs with someone special.
You know how warming up your body on a cold winter day helps erase the chill? Sharing your favorite motivational recovery songs is helpful, too – painful nerves heal faster when our souls are warmed by compassionate words.