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  • Sara Mann

My Recovery Playlist!

In previous posts I’ve mentioned my total LOVE for music! For me, music has the ability to cut straight to my heart and emotions. Some lyrics even have the ability to explain how I’m feeling or what I’m thinking even better then I can. Music is empathetic. It gives me all the feels and in a way makes me feel understood. I think that’s why I like it so much!

There are songs out there that pick me up when I’m down. Other's let me wallow in my sadness for a moment. Some even let me feel angry while others give me hope and validation!

Now-a-days there is a playlist for everything. You can go on Spotify or Pandora and type in a genre and there is a ton of music right at your fingertips! IT. IS. AWESOME! Over the past year or so I have slowly been making my own list of songs that I love to play while I go through recovery. They range from worship music to Dave Matthews Band to Queen to Sia! I thought I would share the playlist I have so far just in case you are going through a hard time too and need a pick me up, a vegge out and have all the feels moment, a time of worship, or you just want to celebrate being alive!

You will find the whole list at the end of this blog, but first, I’ll highlight a bunch of my faves and why (in no particular order) :)

Scars To Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara

I have my sister Abby to thank for this gem of a song! A while back she wrote me a beautiful letter of encouragement and in it she listed songs that describe me and our relationship. This is the one she said that I needed to hear during my recovery and what she thinks of me :)

"She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving

You know, covergirls eat nothing

She says beauty is pain and there's beauty in everything

What's a little bit of hunger?

I could go a little while longer, she fades away

She don't see her perfect, she don't understand she's worth it

Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface

Oh, oh

So to all the girls that's hurting

Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer

The light that shines within

There's a hope that's waiting for you in the dark

You should know you're beautiful just the way you are

And you don't have to change a thing, the world could change its heart

No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful"

These lyrics hit so close to my heart. Eating disorders rob of us our ability to see our beauty and worth. We are beautiful just the way we are!

King of My Heart - Steffany Gretzinger, Jeremy Riddle

Sometimes I find myself questioning God and my recovery. I also feel like I'm just completely lost and have no idea what is going on. It's like I'm drowning and have nothing to hang on to as I muddle through it. The lyrics of this song help to renew my faith in who God is, His place in my heart and that I can lean on Him when I am feeling weary, lost, in need of rest or in need of energy.

"Let the King of my heart

Be the mountain where I run

The fountain I drink from

Oh He is my song.

Let the King of my heart

Be the shadow where I hide

The ransom for my life

Oh, He is my song

You are good, good, oh oh

Let the King of my heart

Be the wind inside my sails

The Anchor in the waves

Oh, He is my song

Let the King of my heart

Be the fire inside my veins

The echo of my days

Oh He is my song

You are good, good, oh oh

You're never gonna let

Never gonna let me down."

Human - Rag'n'Bone Man

I LOVE THIS SONG! When I listen to it I just feel a sense of relief. In recovery I have set a million goals and I try so hard, but not every day is good. I fail a lot. I miss a meal or I cancel plans because I just feel drained. There is this perfectionist inside me that likes to control everything, but that I so badly want to tell to take a hike! This songs lets me know, "HEY, I'm only human!" I can't do everything, see everything, have an answer for everything. I'm just going through it as best I can.

"Oh, some people go the real problems

Some people out of luck

Some people think I can solve them

Lord heavens above

I'm only human after all

I'm only human after all

Don't put the blame on me

Don't put the blame on me

I'm only human

I make mistakes

I'm only human

That's all it takes

To put the blame on me

Don't put the blame on me

I'm only human I do what I can

I'm just a man

I do what I can

Don't put the blame on me

Don't put your blame on me"

She Used To Be Mine - Sara Bareilles

Man, this song hits the nail on the head. This is EXACTLY how I feel about recovery. I don't recognize myself anymore. My Eating Disorder just slipped in, took over and now I would give anything to go back and change it all. I miss who I use to be and am fighting to get her back.

" It's not simple to say

That most days I don't recognize me

That these shoes and this apron

That place and its patrons

Have taken more than I gave them

It's not easy to know

I'm not anything like I used be, although it's true

I was never attention's sweet center

I still remember that girl

She's imperfect, but she tries

She is good, but she lies

She is hard on herself

She is broken and won't ask for help

She is messy, but she's kind

She is lonely most of the time

She is all of this mixed up and baked in a beautiful pie

She is gone, but she used to be mine

It's not what I asked for

Sometimes life just slips in through a back door

And carves out a person and makes you believe it's all true

And now I've got you

And you're not what I asked for

If I'm honest, I know I would give it all back

For a chance to start over and rewrite an ending or two

For the girl that I knew

Who'll be reckless, just enough

Who'll get hurt, but who learns how to toughen up

When she's bruised and gets used by a man who can't love

And then she'll get stuck

And be scared of the life that's inside her

Growing stronger each day 'til it finally reminds her

To fight just a little, to bring back the fire in her eyes

That's been gone, but used to be mine"

Out Of Hiding - Steffany Gretzinger

I feel like for the past nine years I've been in hiding. I hide from love. I hide because of the shame I feel from my current weight. I hide because I'm ashamed of my eating disorder. I hide because I feel insecure. I hide because I don't want to be hurt. This song is a reminder that I am safe with God. That I can be myself, fearless and unashamed with Him because of His deep love for me. He doesn't hold my eating disorder against me. In fact, He WANTS me to come close to Him and accept His love. It also encourages me to not quit recovery. I'm almost there. I'm almost home.

"Come out of hiding

You're safe here with Me

There's no need to cover

What I already see

You've got your reasons

but I hold your peace

You've been on lockdown

And I hold the key

'Cause I loved you before you knew it was love

And I saw it all, still I chose the cross

And you were the one that I was thinking of

When I rose from the grave

Now rid of the shackles, My victory's yours

I tore the veil for you to come close

There's no reason to stand at a distance anymore

You're not far from home

I'll be your lighthouse

When you're lost at sea

And I will illuminate


No need to be frightened

By intimacy

No, just throw off your fear

And come running to Me

And oh as you run

What hindered love

Will only become

Part of the story

You're almost home now

Please don't quit now

You're almost home to Me."

Grey Street - Dave Matthews Band

This is my all time FAVORITE DMB song, and maybe even my all time favorite song! I can literally play it 10 times in row and not get sick of it! It's not only amazing and upbeat, but I've never heard a song that describes depression as perfectly as the lyrics of this song. It's crazy, because the song is FAR from depressing, but the words 100% describe depression and what it's like to want SO badly to get out of it.

"Oh, look at how she listens

She says nothing of what she thinks

She just goes stumbling through her memories

Staring out on to Grey Street

She thinks, "Hey,

How did I come to this?

I dream myself a million times around the world,

But I can't get out of this place"

There's an emptiness inside her

And she'd do anything to fill it in

But all the colors mix together - to grey

And it breaks her heart

How she wishes it was different

She prays to God most every night

And though she swears He doesn't listen

There's still a hope in her he might

She says, "I pray

But my prayers they fall on deaf ears,

Am I supposed to take it all myself?

To get out of this place?

There's a loneliness inside her

And she'd do anything to fill it in

And though it's red blood bleeding from her now

It feels like cold blue ice in her heart

She feels like kicking out all the windows

And setting fire to this life

She would change everything about her

Using colors BOLD and BRIGHT

But all the colors mix together - to grey

And it breaks her heart"

Alive - Sia

Sometimes I just have to be thankful I'm alive! My eating disorder was about to kill me and because recovery is so hard I forget to sit back and celebrate that I'm still breathing and that I'm ALIVE!

"I wanted everything I never had

Like the love that comes with light

I wore envy and I hated that

But I survived

I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go

Where the wind don't change

And nothing in the ground can ever grow

No hope, just lies

And you're taught to cry into your pillow

But I survived

I'm still breathing, I'm still breathing

I'm still breathing, I'm still breathing

I'm alive

Check in out - I'm still breathing"

Hard Love - Needtobreathe

I like this song because it empathizes with how hard recovery is! It's freaking HARD! But I just need to hang in there and keep going. This is NOT going to kill me and it IS making me stronger!

"Trading punches with the heart of darkness

Going to blows with your fear incarnate

Never gone until it's stripped away

A part of you has gotta die today

In the morning you gon' need an answer

Ain't nobody gonna change the standard

It's not enough to just feel the flame

You've gotta burn your old self away

Hold on tight a little longer

What don't kill ya, make ya stronger

Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love

You can't change without a fallout

It's got' hurt, but don't you slow down

Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love.

You know the situation can't be right

And all your ever do is fight

But there's a reason that the road is long

It takes some time to make your courage strong"

Old For New - Bethel Music & Hannah McClure

Recovery is the chance to exchange the old for something new. Literally, new mind, new health and new outlook on life! This song (which my other sister Grace introduced me to, thanks Geege!) is a celebration of how God takes what it is old and makes it into something new. He rebuilds what is broken! He brings joy and hope! I constantly fear that my body will not be restored after the devastation and deterioration that my Eating Disorder had on it. This song gives me hope that God can and WILL restore my body back to normal.

"What was torn You mend again

You redesign the tattered thread by thread

You take the broken and destroyed

You rebuild, You make whole

Joy, begins to rise

Hope, begins to light the dark

Our God exchanges old for new

Dawn has conquered dark

Death has lost to life

And now we are exchanging old for new

With you, we turn the night do dawn

In you, we walk in the impossible

We take our love into the world

Let our light shine, we let it burn

There's nothing that Your love won't do

There's not a mountain faith can't move

There's power in the blood

The power of the cross"

Rise Up - Andra Day

This song doesn't really need much of an intro or explanation! When I listen to it I feel motivated and empowered to keep going. It seems like it's meant to be for someone else when she sings "For you.." but I see it as rising up for myself and for God! I will get up a thousand times again and keep fighting for freedom!

"You're broken down and tired

Of living life on a merry go round

And you can't find the fighter

But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out

And move mountains

And I'll rise up

I'll rise like the day

I'll rise up

I'll rise unafraid

I'll rise up

And I'll do it a thousand times again"

Thy Will - Hillary Scott & Family

Part of recovering from an eating disorder is giving up control. Control of our bodies. Control of our minds old tricks. When I decided to enter treatment I felt very clearly that it was Gods desire for me to seek freedom and rid myself of this terrible disorder. When I entered treatment I STILL wanted to control everything. I didn't want to let go of my body and what made me feel safe and ok. Eventually I got to the point where I had to give it up and say ok God, thy will be done. It is HARD to do this. It does not feel good and leaves me with so many questions and confusion, but He is God and I am not, so I say, "Thy will be done," in my life.

"I'm so confused

I know I heard you loud and clear

so I'll follow through

Somehow I ended up here

I dont' wanna think

I may never understand

That my broken heart is a part of your plan

When I try to pray

All I got is hurt

And these four words

Thy will be done

I know you're good

But this don't feel good right now

And I know you think

Of thing I could never think about

It's hard to count it all joy

Distracted by the noise

Just trying to make sense of all your promises

Sometimes I gotta stop

Remember that you're God

And I am not

They will be done"

Fight Song - Rachel Platten

This one is on the list for obvious reasons, and I thought I would end with one that will leave you feeling empowered and strong! I know that I will definitely achieve recovery because I definitely have a lot of fight left in me :)

"This is my fight song

Thank back my life song

Prove I'm alright song

My power's turned on

Starting right now I'll be strong

I'll play my fight song

And I don't really care if nobody else believes

'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me"

There are obviously a million songs that could be on my recovery play list, but these are just a few that I LOVE! Below is a list of these songs and a bunch more :) Cry to them. Laugh to them. Be encouraged by them. Sit down, relax and listen to some good tunes! Oh, and if you have any that you think I should add to the list, let me know! I love new music!


Praise You In This Storm - Casting Crowns

Starlight - Bethel Music & Amanda Cook

There’s No Other Name (live) - Bethel Music & Francesca Battistelli

Take Courage (Live - Bethel Church & Kristene DiMarco

King of My Heart (Live) - Bethel Church, STeffany Gretzinger & Jeremy Riddle

God I look to you (Live) - Bethel Musics & Francesca Battistelli

Old for New (Live) - Bethel Music & Hannah McClure

All I have Is Christ (Live) - Sovereign Grace

Hard Love - Needtobreathe

Happiness - Needtobreathe

Ever Be - Bethel Music & Kalley Heiligenthal

*Thy Will - Hillary Scott & Family

Out of Hiding - Steffany Gretzinger

Exhale - Plumb

Need You Now - Plumb

Wasteland - Needtobreathe

Something Beautiful - Needtobreathe

Devil’s Been Talkin’ - Needtobreathe

I Need You More - Kim Walker Smith

Holy Spirit - Jesus Culture

Forever - Kari Jobe

Break Every Chain - Kristene DiMarco

Rise Again - Needtobreathe

Holy (Wedding Day) - The City Harmonic

How He Loves - Kim Walker

It’s Alright - Third Day

I Don’t Know - Third Day

Get On - Third Day

40 Days - Third Day

24 - Switchfoot

I Dare You to Move - Switchfoot

Learning to Breathe - Switchfoot

If I Ever Needed Grace - Jimmy Needham

You’re Beautiful - Phil Wickham


Human - Christina Perri

The Lonely - Christina Perri

I’m a Mess - Ed Sheeran

Greystreet - Dave Matthews Band

Breathe Me - Sia

Follow The Sun - Xavier Rudd

Scars to Your Beautiful - Alessia Cara

Bird Set Free - Sia

Alive - Sia

Unstoppable - Sia

Try - Colbie Caillat

Typical Situation - Dave Matthews Band

So Damn Lucky (Live) - Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds

Big Eyed Fish - Dave Matthews Band

Can’t Stop The Feeling - Justin Timberlake

Let It Go - James Bay

Counting Stars - OneRepublic

I Will Never Let You Know (Clare Bowen & Same Palladio)

Turning Tables - Adele

She Used To Be Mine - Sara Bareilles

Fight Song - Rachel Platten

Ghost - Ella Henderson

Wake Me Up - Avicii

By The Grace of God - Katy Perry

Unconditionally - Katy Perry

Let It Hurt - Rascal Flatts

Don’t Stop Me Now - Queen

Stronger - Keely Clarkson

Good Life - OneRepublic

Wild Horses - Natasha Bedingfield

Human - Rag’n’Bone Man

I’ll Rise Up - Andra Day

So Small - Carrie Underwood

Brave - Sara Bareilles

Freckles - Natasha Bedingfield

Thank U - Alanis Morissette

Happy listening!


- Sara -

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