As people in addiction recovery, we need to take a holistic and comprehensive approach to staying clean. The maintenance of our sobriety may include activities such as regular gym visits, weekly therapy appointments, outdoor excursions, art creation etc. – the list goes on infinitely of things we can do in recovery to not just occupy time, but also grow and really feel alive! For many of us here at Recovery Unplugged Texas, we have incorporated an array of musical activities in our lives which help us stay clean and sober. If you’re not already using music as a part of your recovery routine, National Recovery Month is a great time to start! Here are five ways to utilize music in your addiction recovery:
Lean on Your Listening Library
The music you listen to can have a great effect on your mood and overall well-being. Having music on-hand that you can reference in different situations will allow you to process and manage feelings in a healthy way. Organizing your music into specific playlists based on emotions can be crucial to those of us in addiction recovery; instead of turning straight to the drugs any time you feel emotionally heightened, you can tune in to one of your playlists and allow your feelings to pass with the music.
Find New Music
Bulking up your music library can break the monotony of the same artist stations you’ve been streaming for the past year… Sometimes, we simply outgrow the music we’ve been listening to for some time, so following different music blogs, pages, and stations can help you find the new jams your mind has been craving. There very well could be a new song that resonates within you like none before which can help you in entirely new ways. Open ears lead to an open mind.
Create the Music You Want to Hear
Are you musically or lyrically inclined? If so, strive to find ways to use music as a creative catharsis for yourself. If you write lyrics or poetry but are not a musician, team up with someone with musical talents to bring your words off the paper. If you’re a musician, start getting into a groove of writing, performing, and recording your work. Even if you play instruments that might not lend to lyricism, such as a wind instrument, composing original pieces can allow you to express yourself in ways that may even surprise you. Who knows, your music might be the catalyst for someone else to reach out for help too!
Go to Shows and Concerts
Although many live music events are known as places for people to get drunk or recreationally use illicit substances, you don’t have to be messed up to have a good time and enjoy the music. Grabbing a group of your friends in addiction recovery and heading to a local show or even taking a road trip to a big concert can be a fun way to bond and stay safe at the event. Now that you’re clean, you can truly focus and find nuances in the music or performances like never before. Allow yourself to take in the atmosphere and vibrations to gain that natural high from the music.
Host Music Meet-Ups
Having a place where you and other people in addiction recovery can meet-up to enjoy and swap music is a great way to integrate music in to your sobriety. Find a place and time that works for you and your friends to either perform for each other or play songs on speakers; you can provide each other with feedback on original works and discuss emotions and situations behind the music. Songs can break the ice in a room and get everyone interacting and sharing candidly, which is crucial when it comes to efficiently utilizing our support networks in recovery.