(a chapter from Telling Ed No! by Cheryl Kerrigan©)

Music is one of my favorite companions. I’ve usually got my music handy on my computer, ipod, car radio, home stereo, or cell phone so I can listen to a song in an instant. If I can’t get to any of these, I can often be found humming or singing! Music gives me so many things: encouragement, support, feelings of joy and release. It helps me through difficult times by connecting me to an inner source of strength. It both relaxes and motivates me. It usually lifts my mood. If I need an extra boost of confidence, or a reminder of the work of recovery, or to hear stories that reflect my reality, I turn to music. I pick and choose certain songs to help me depending on the situation. As my recovery progresses, I add new ones to my playlist. Here are some that have helped me along my way:

“When You Put Your Heart In It” by Kenny Rogers
“Keep Holding On” by Avril Lavigne
“Life Without Ed” by Jenni Schaefer
“Bye, Bye” by Jo Dee Messina
“Keep the Faith” by Jo Dee Messina
“Believe” by Josh Groban
“This Will Be (Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole
“Proud” by Heather Small
“Stronger Woman” by Jewel
“Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera
“Free” by Elliott Yamin
“All I Want To Do” by Sugarland

What music speaks to you? Listen carefully to one of your favorite songs and see what happens to your mood when the first notes are played. How do you feel when the song is over? Start a “Recovery Boost” playlist of five songs that you can listen when you need extra encouragement to keep moving forward.

With health, hope and strength,