9 Best Recovery Anthems: Building Your Recovery Playlist

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Music is a well-loved way to celebrate, connect with others, and express yourself. No matter what you’re going through, sometimes one song is all it takes to boost your spirits and get you back on track.

For people in recovery, songs about addiction can be a powerful source of inspiration. Certain lyrics and melodies can provide encouragement and strength, even when the going gets tough.

If you’re on the hunt for songs to keep you motivated in recovery, we’ve compiled nine of the best ones for you below.

festival crowd in front of a large blue-lit stage
Photo by Muneeb Syed on Unsplash

1. “Not Afraid” by Eminem

“Not Afraid” by Eminem is a hip-hop/rap song from his 2010 album, Recovery. The lyrics talk about his journey to overcome his addiction to pills.

While Eminem’s story isn’t directly about alcoholism, anyone who has walked the path of recovery can relate to his powerful lyrics. On April 20th, 2020, Eminem celebrated 12 years sober and shared an Instagram post captioned, “Clean dozen, in the books! I’m not afraid.”

Notable lyrics:

“And I just can’t keep living this way

So starting today

I’m breaking out of this cage

I’m standing up, I’mma face my demons

I’m manning up, I’mma hold my ground

I’ve had enough, now I’m so fed up

Time to put my life back together right now (now)”

2. “Recovery” by James Arthur

“Recovery” by James Arthur tells a tale about the strength it takes to go through recovery—whether it’s from addiction, mental health problems, or something else.

If you’re in alcohol addiction recovery, this song is sure to remind you that you are strong enough to make it through anything.

Notable lyrics:

“In my recovery

I’m a soldier at war

I have broken down walls

I defined, I designed”

3. “Sober” by Pink

“Sober” by Pink is another excellent track to add to your list of recovery songs. Pink wrote this song after realizing she wanted to feel as good sober as she did while drinking and using drugs.

In an interview with MTV, this is what she had to say about the lyrics: “I had this line in my head saying, ‘How do I feel this good sober?’ It’s not just about alcohol; it’s about vices. We all have different ones.”

If you’ve ever contemplated what it takes to find true happiness without alcohol, this tune is sure to resonate.

Notable lyrics:

“No pain inside

You’re my protection

But how do I feel this good sober?”

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4. “Life is Beautiful” by Sixx A.M.

“Life is Beautiful” is one of the most influential rock songs about recovery out there. Many people interpret its lyrics as the story of Nikki Sixx realizing the beauty of life when his addiction was close to taking his life.

Notable lyrics:

“Just open your eyes

Just open your eyes

and see that life is beautiful”

5. “One Day at a Time” by Joe Walsh

At the beginning of the music video for “One Day at a Time,” Joe Walsh is seen on stage saying, “This is a song about learning to live my life without my best friend, vodka… who I said goodbye to 18 years ago.”

The lyrics speak about living your life one day at a time during recovery. Since getting sober, Joe Walsh has said, “I have a wonderful life I never could have imagined back then.”

Notable lyrics:

“It was something I was too blind to see,

I got help from something greater than me

And today I learned to live my life one day at a time”

Singer in front of a large crowd
Photo by Pien Muller on Unsplash

6. “Starting Over” by Macklemore

“Starting Over” is another powerful tune to add to your recovery playlist. Macklemore is famous for speaking openly about addiction, and this track talks in-depth about his relapse and becoming an example for starting over.

Anyone trying to stay sober knows how challenging it is, and relapse can sometimes be part of the rocky road to recovery. This song is a deeply emotional and inspiring tune for anyone who has struggled with setbacks on their journey.

Notable lyrics:

“If I can be an example of gettin’ sober

Then I can be an example of startin’ over”

7. “Joe” by Luke Combs

“Joe” by Luke Combs is an inspirational country song about a man who overcomes his battle with alcohol addiction. Released in 2021, Luke Combs first sang it live at an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. The lyrics tell a moving story about a man in recovery who is thankful for how far he’s come.

Notable lyrics:

“So here’s to good days, better tomorrows

And a light at the end of the bottle”

8. “Amazing” by Aerosmith

“Amazing” is a famous recovery anthem by the classic rock band Aerosmith. Inspired by a personal experience of Steven Tyler and his friend Richie Supa, it speaks about the eye-opening moments that a person can experience after getting sober.

Overall, this track is one of the most uplifting songs about overcoming addiction that you could add to your sobriety playlist.

Notable lyrics:

It’s amazing

With the blink of an eye, you finally see the light

It’s amazing

When the moment arrives that you know you’ll be alright

9. “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers

If you need an incredibly upbeat song about changing your life, “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers is the perfect track. It tells a story about the lead singer, Jack Antonoff, and how he realized he wanted to recover after experiencing devastating loss in his life.

Notable lyrics:

“I didn’t know I was broken ’til I wanted to change

I wanna get better, better, better, better,

I wanna get better”

Staying Inspired During Recovery

Music—and especially songs about sobriety—can remind you that you aren’t alone in recovery. When you need inspiration, songs about addiction can provide strength and help you feel connected with those who have faced similar obstacles.

Of course, aside from music in recovery, it’s important to have a variety of support systems as you pursue sobriety. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction and could use some extra assistance, telemedicine-based programs may be able to help you along the way.

Ria Health is one online alcohol treatment program that offers access to medical professionals, counseling, support groups, and more—all from your smartphone.

Learn more about how it works or schedule a call to get started today.

Have questions about online alcohol treatment?

or call (800) 504-5360

Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Alicia is a Minnesota-based freelancer who writes for Ria Health and various other brands in the health and wellness space. Beyond addiction and recovery, she also covers topics relating to general well-being, mindfulness, fitness, mental health, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing with her three-legged cat, trying new workout routines, and spending time with her loved ones.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.
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