Music Therapy

Although I never took the class “Music therapy” that my college offers. I know enough about how the way music can alter my mood. Ever since I genuinely started to use music as a recovery tool some aspects, of the recovery process were made a little bit easier.

One of the areas that become a little more bearable is the incredible noise I experience after every single time I successfully finish a meal or snack. What I am referring to as ‘noise’ are primarily the negative ED thoughts and the crazy anxiety. Guilt, fear, and loss of control also typically chime into the noise. It is so incredibly easy to become so consumed in the vortex of negativity and tries to rationalize a ‘damage control plan’ in attempt to make everything better. Unfortunately, to those of us with eating disorders, ‘damage control’ usually takes the form of restriction with purging no thanks to ED. Though restriction and purging might ‘make the noise go away’ it is a very unhealthy method of doing so.

A part of recovering from an eating disorder is discovering new—and positive—methods of coping with all of the noise that can be experienced. One of those ways I love to incorporate is music. In fact, for when I am feeling anxious, discouraged, small, scared, and tired of the ED bickering at how I’m doing everything wrong I have a playlist on my iPhone that provides a healthy way of handling the noise. Each song gives me a little something different and below I have my top ten songs with a brief description of how they help me along.

Carry on –Fun

For when I am not motivated to continue with recovery behaviors and feeling washed out.

Do it Now –Ingrid Michaelson

For when I need that extra push to do what I know I need to do for my health and my recovery.

The Middle –Jimmy Eat World

For when I need to be reminded that recovery, despite it seeming like it will never get easier or ever end, is only a step to a better outlook on life.

Pearl –Katy Perry

For when I am mad at what all my eating disorder has taken away from me.

This is war –Ingrid Michaelson

This song, like the one above, helps me to vent my anger.

Brave –Sara Bareilles

For when I need to be inspired

Comeback kid –Brett Dennen

For when I need to smile and dance a little.

Roar –Katy Perry

To remind me of who I used to be and who I can be without bowing down to my eating disorder.

Herculus –Sara Bareilles

For when I feel like I need a superhero to fight my recovery battle along side me. lol.

A little bit stronger –Sara Evans 

For when I need to be reminded of how far I have come.

I always have my music with me. In my car, at home, and on campus. If the noise strikes me between class, in go my ear buds. If the noise strikes me before bed, I turn on a tune. Yeah, I’m not perfect; the noise can still break through sometimes, but I keep my head up and stay committed to healthier ‘noise reducers’. If you’re looking for a way to help battle the noise, try making a playlist of songs that pull you toward positive emotions. It can be so easy to reside in the doom-and-gloom of ED bullying and not even try different outlets to make you feel better. But, if your ED conditioned you to dwell in negativity and shame, recovery can condition you to dwell in the positive and health. I feel that last sentence sounded pretty corny, but it’s true.


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