Music Therapies Role In Sober Living

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Music in recovery is one of the things that has made staying sober more enjoyable and inspiring at times as well. There are certain songs that remind me of specific times in my life that are directly associated with recovery for me in particular. When I was in rehab the first time I remember we were allowed to listen to the radio on a patio that we smoked on. I remember that sometimes at the nurse’s discretion some of us were allowed to have a late-night cigarette and we’d play music. One song by The Chainsmokers called “Paris” is a song I remember dancing to one night with a friend who ended up leaving treatment against medical advice and it hit me hard. I listen to that song and it can remind me of the wonderful times we danced to it or it can remind me of how easily someone can give up on recovery and at times walk away from what’s best for them at that moment.

There are other songs specifically about recovery that I hold particularly dear to my heart. For instance, “Sober” by Demi Lovato. This song talks about relapse and the pain of going back out in your recovery and the feelings felt explaining that to people who were rooting for you. In the song, Demi expressed not understanding why it happens but associates it with loneliness. I can remember relapsing multiple times and feeling like I’d let everyone down and even feeling embarrassed to come back and work my program of recovery again because of what people might think. The truth is that all these feelings are so relatable but coming back to recovery is really something I’d want anyone to keep attempting until they got it. Most people will tell you that recovery isn’t for people who want it, or people who need it necessarily but for the people who work for it. This feeling that people hold onto how many times you’ve gone back out seems silly in the scheme of things but only because the only places it could lead are prison, institutions or death. Everyone deserves a second, third or even hundredth chance at life if they really want it. This song cuts deep because that disappointment I felt in the past for relapsing was so hard to face and felt like an absolute defeat. Another song that speaks on the hard reality of relapse is “Otherside” by Macklemore. He describes withdrawal and still having people approach him about recovery when he only had a few hours of sobriety under his belt and the guilt he felt not being honest and coming clean about his relapse. This is also a common feeling because when people relapse there is an amount of shame that can come with it. The courage it takes to put out this kind of music when you’re someone looked up to for their recovery is uplifting. It can inspire people to be brave and take action and own their side of the street and that’s such a beautiful awakening to honesty.

Not all music about recovery is about relapse but some can refer to overcoming addiction and coming out on the other side stronger. “Sober” by Kelly Clarkson is a song about continuing on a hard road and not giving up and how things do eventually get better as you’re working on you. It’s helped me on days when I feel like giving up and I hope all these songs could potentially do that for you.

Whether songs in recovery just remind you of good times you’ve had, experiences in your life or potentially where you will go they all serve the purpose of being in the here and the now. Take a moment and listen to music and really hear what it means and you’ll realize almost any song can be compared to recovery or at least give you feelings you’ve felt in recovery and that’s what it all comes down to, the connection we have as humans with music. I like to listen to music and think about why I enjoy it and how it relates to my life, my addiction or my recovery and you can too. Use this to your advantage and you’ll be surprised the change music could make in your life.

About Camelback Recovery

Camelback Recovery provides sober living homes in Scottsdale and Tucson where recovery coaching in a structured and supportive environment that promotes long term transformational changes in our clients by focusing on 12-Step fundamentals, human connection, and accountability.

Written by Dani Maldonado

Blessed, Not Stressed

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Staying sober can be one of the most stressful things you do in early recovery. With so much stress it’s only natural to need places where you could unwind. When I first got into sober living it was really hard for me to stop my brain from racing with ideas or things that I had to do or accomplish. As I got through my steps I became much more aware of my feelings and began to avoid things that overstressed me. Although avoiding places and things that brought stress into my mind was helpful it did not solve the overall problem. At that point, I turn to my spiritual advisor, my sponsor, for some much-needed advice. My sponsor had me pray on my knees every morning and set aside 30 minutes to an hour to meditate. Meditation is still one of the few things that can ground me in almost any stressful situation when I’m unable to leave the home.

There are other great places where you can take in the scenery and really let any negative thoughts go. What I like to do nowadays is go on a hike and look over the city that I’m in. Taking in a beautiful view and also realizing how huge everything really is in comparison to you or whatever problem you might be facing sometimes gives me a good perspective on my anxiety. Exercising also releases endorphins and can be a really good pick me up when everything else seems to be going wrong. Whether your kickboxing and literally taking it out on a punching bag or in a yoga class where you breathe out the stress from your body exercise in any form is a great way to relieve stress. I also find that churches or a synagogue sometimes bring a feeling of peace to me (even if I’m not necessarily religious). There is also something quite tranquil about looking into an aquarium and watching is the fish seamlessly float by so I would highly recommend visiting an aquarium or perhaps the museum and taking in something spectacular and recognizing how it makes you feel. Whatever you choose or wherever you go just know that whatever life throws at you… ‘this too shall pass’.

About Camelback Recovery

Camelback Recovery provides sober living homes and recovery coaching in a structured and supportive environment that promotes long term transformational changes in our clients by focusing on 12-Step fundamentals, human connection, and accountability. We have Sober Living Houses in Tucson AZ, Sober Living Housing Tucson, Transitional Housing Tucson AZ, Sober Living Houses Scottsdale, Scottsdale Sober Living, and sober living house in Phoenix. Contact us today to learn more.


Written By Dani Maldonado

Pink Cloud | Sober Living Homes

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Sober living is a safe place for people who need accountability to live in when they need a stepping stone from some kind of treatment back into the real world. It keeps them safe and guarded against the temptations of life on life’s terms with rules set up to do so. When people have spent some time in a sober living program it is only natural to become overconfident in their recovery or healing and think that everywhere they go from there will be just like what they are doing now. This feeling of safety and invisibility is often referred to as a ‘pink cloud’ in recovery and is a common feeling to fall into when things finally start getting better.

The truth is the real world is not like any sober living program. This can come as quite a shock and if taken to lightly could cause someone to misstep or overestimate their ability to handle certain situations. In the real world, there is no set of rules that need to be followed. For instance,  there is no curfew which is a great tool to keep people in recovery from all the things that go bump in the night like bars, night clubs, strip clubs, casinos and all other miscellaneous activities that could take you down the wrong path. What I mean is that it is very easy not to fail when you stay on the plane of success. When someone is wanting to transition into reality it’s important to make sure certain precautions are enforced and that all possibilities are really considered. The main thing to look at is if the place you’re going to is a safe space. Will the people living in this space respect your recovery or healing? Or will they be participating in activities that are not conducive to your recovery? As people in recovery, we need to set boundaries with what we are okay with being around before placing ourselves in certain situations because waiting until we are in those moments can be too late. This is not meant to scare anyone out of sober living because naturally, that is a transitional home for anyone, but instead a good reminder to set up a safe place that makes sense for your specific headspace. Think about what triggers you or what is good for you and helps you be successful and make sure that all those things are available to you where you will be going. At the end of the day, it’s good to remember that only you know how to take care of yourself the best way possible. Trust your gut feelings and always play it safe because your healing process is the most important thing in your life. Without your recovery, it’s much easier to lose everything else.

Written by Dani Maldonado

New Year, New Me

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It’s common to have resolutions for the new year that are hard to attain but being in recovery I’ve come to realize that I’ve stayed sober much longer than I thought was even possible and that is an accomplishment all it’s own. Early in recovery, it was hard to stick to anything outside of not drinking, not using or not getting into my own obsessive thoughts. Today through practice and repetition it comes naturally! What this practice of the same principles daily has taught me about any resolution is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect, but through not giving up and picking up where you left off things become easier with time. So my wish for you, whether you’re in a sober living program, mood disorder program, or seeing if either is right for you is that you keep at it and make progress towards your end goal. I hope you don’t give up if you fall down and you stand up strong and keep going with your head held high. If you do your best in whatever you do it may stop you from wondering ‘what if’ in the future.

Happy New Year.

Go out there and learn from your mistakes and maybe, just maybe, it will stick!

Written by Dani Maldonado.

About Camelback Recovery

Camelback Recovery provides sober living homes and recovery coaching in a structured and supportive environment that promotes long term transformational changes in our clients by focusing on 12-Step fundamentals, human connection, and accountability.