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Addiction and Relationships: How Music Can Be A Big Tool In Your Recovery

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

how music can be a big tool in your recovery

I’m a big music lover, and I believe that any kind of music can be a big tool in your recovery.

Take the Taylor Swift song “Out of the Woods” (yes, I’m a diehard Swiftie).

“Are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear yet? Good.”

So many times I’ve wondered this same thing to myself relating to his recovery.

Is this it? Is it over? Are we done with the rehab stays and fear over his life?

And so many times I’ve listened to all kinds of other songs for the words I could relate to, or just to dance it out and forget my problems for a bit. It’s like the quote: “Some days I need the music and some days I need the lyrics.”

See, music is just one of the many things you can use for yourself and your recovery. Sometimes it’s relating to lyrics, when it’s helpful to know that others have gone through feelings you have and experiences resembling yours, and it’s inspiring to see that people have turned their stories into art and a message to others.

But I’ll admit, on the flip side it’s also fun to lose yourself in a karaoke session to relieve some stress and heartache. Or, you know, sob uncontrollably while dissociating and pretending you’re in a movie.

Self care.

Alternatively, it’s also fun to use music in other ways. I’ll stick with Taylor Swift for this example to illustrate one way this relates to me, but it should go without saying that it can apply to whatever artist or genre you relate with.

She came out with an album called Lover (when my partner went to the most recent rehab) in 2019 that chronicles how she’s learned to love herself and handle a new relationship with a freshly discovered maturity and responsibility. It also explores how she loves and how she deals with her inner issues, and how she is continuing to be pretty unafraid and open to showing her affection and difficulties musically, as she does.

And I can take a lot of that to heart.

For years I have been more closed off and unsure of my relationship, and that translated into everyone else being that way, too. I was shy even when things were well, and to this day it’s still hard to both be affectionate and sure of things and also be more open with my inner struggles as a whole.

But for each feeling I have I know there is a song for it, and as things continue on this upward climb I rely more on the music around me to find out how to discover more about myself that I want to uncover.

All those feelings of adoration and closeness I have for my partner have survived the addiction and are still there, and if I want to continue to have the strong and surviving relationship I envision and am continuing to have, it’s up to me to of course do the self work and mastery of my own improvement in things like clearing resentments and growing self-confidence, but also to work on tending to the emotional connection that is the root of the relationship, and making sure that I show up as the partner that I need and want to be. Even if we both work on ourselves to be the best individuals we can be, if the teamwork and partnership aspect isn’t there, there’s no relationship. And, along with that, I need to make sure that I am doing my part overall to ensure that I am still continuing to grow and work through any inner issues I may have on any topic.

I'll give you another, to switch it up on artists and scenarios real quick. Take the Lady Gaga song “Million Reasons”. Use that one if you want to sob in your car on the way to therapy. (Fun times)

So I encourage you to use as many tools as you can find for your own recovery. The world is full of them, to be used however you see fit. Whatever contributes to your positive well-being and further advancement in your life is a good instrument to use, and the more diverse your toolkit is the more fun you can have.

So, anyone ready for a jam session?

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