Empowering music for eating disorder recovery

Music was a curative tool in mythology, religion, philosophy, and well before Spotify playlists with empowering recovery songs or Pinterest boards featuring inspiring lyric tattoos. Apollo, the Greek god Apollo of music and medicine, used his songs to heal disease. David used his harp in the Old Testament to soothe Saul. Aristotle wrote that music is emotionally cathartic and heals.

Since the late 1800s, researchers have studied the healing power of music. Studies have shown that music listening positively impacts emotion, thought, and mood.

Recent studies have shown that music can enhance our daily lives.

A study from 2019 found that people who listened to heroic-sounding music felt more positive, motivated, active and inspired than those who listened only to calmer music. These findings suggest that music can be used in therapeutic settings to promote self-empowerment and positive change.

We have selected ten songs to motivate and inspire those in recovery from eating disorders. We realize that everyone has their preferences and will choose the songs they prefer, but we hope this resource encourages you to give it a try. You will also find some lyrics that are particularly relevant to recovery.

Motivational Recovery Songs

“Oo-h child” – The Five Stairsteps 

Things are going to get easier / Ooh, oo child, and the future is brighter

“Fight song” – Rachel Platten 

This my fight song/Take back my life song/ Prove that I’m alright song/ My power’s on / From now, I’ll be strong/I’ll perform my fight song/ And I don’t care if anyone else believes/’Cause I still have a lot to fight

“Warrior”, – Demi Lovato 

I’m now a warrior, and I have thicker skin. / I am a warrior, and you cannot hurt me again / My armour is made from steel.

“Shake It Out” – Florence + The Machine 

Shake it, shake, shake, shake, shake, it out.

“My skin” – Lizzo 

The most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen/ It is even more than we think it means/ Reflections in our bloodstreams.

“Just as you are” – Bruno Mars

I can see your face when I look at you / I don’t think there’s anything I’d change / Because your smile, the whole world stops and stares at you / ‘Cause, girls, you amaze the way that you are

“Try” – Colbie Caillat 

You don’t have a lot to do

“Stronger” (What doesn’t kill you) – Kelly Clarkson 

You don’t have to die to make you stronger / Standing taller doesn’t make me lonely / What doesn’t kill you is what makes you a fighter/ Footsteps even more light / It doesn’t mean that I’m done with you

“Dare to move” – Switchfoot 

I dare to you to move/I dare to get up from the floor/I dare to you to get up /I dare to you to get up /Today has never happened /Today never happened.

“I’m still standing” – Elton John

I am still standing better than ever / Feeling like a true survivor and looking like a little child / I’m still there after all this time. / I’m picking up the pieces of life without you in my head

As it has been for millennia now, music can help with eating disorder recovery and healing. Music can be used as motivation, therapy background, or a coping method after meals.

We help you and your loved ones if you have an eating disorder. You can explore the treatment options or start with our online application.

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