Man relaxing with music to calm his nerves during recovery.

Alternative Rock Songs to Calm Your Nerves During Recovery


Sober Recovery Expert Author

Man relaxing with music to calm his nerves during recovery.

When it comes to handling emotions, listening to soothing music can be an effective solution for relieving stress in addiction recovery. Whether you’re going through withdrawals and trying to maintain a bit of sanity or you’re simply trying to remain calm during the storm, finding the right playlist can put your mind at ease.

As serene and at-peace with myself as I may seem, my temper can shoot through the roof in a matter of seconds. While I have trained myself on how to deal with such situations and adjust my reactions accordingly, there are instances where my blood boils and ripping my hair out seems like a rational and logical decision.

When it comes to handling emotions, listening to soothing music can be an effective solution for relieving stress in addiction recovery.

To help when the going gets tough, I’ve put together a relaxing playlist that help me wind down. Here are 7 indie rock and alt-rock songs to help you calm your nerves.

1. Jeff Buckley - “Hallelujah”

Although Jeff Buckley isn’t the original writer of this breathtaking song, he does more than enough to make it sound beautiful. A skeptic may be hesitant to listen to this because of its seemingly religious tone, but once the melody begins and Jeff Buckley begins to sing, you won’t remember what you were angry about to begin with.

2. Iron and Wine - “Such Great Heights”

Another wonderful cover, the song was originally written by The Postal Service. When it comes to calming yourself down in a stressful situation, upbeat music can sometimes be a bit much. The lyrics in this song are too beautiful to miss and Samuel Beam’s voice is a like a glimpse of heaven. Listening to this song can be a great reminder of how wonderful the world can actually be despite whatever negativity is occurring in your life.

3. Modest Mouse - “The Good Times Are Killing Me”

Even if you’ve been in recovery for some time, your drug and alcohol days have a way of creeping up on you and tricking you into thinking you’re missing something. This song is an excellent tune for whenever I feel like I could try drugs or alcohol just one more time. It’s a detailed description of what my days consisted of when I was getting high, but it also reminds me that nothing I am dealing with today is worse than what I was dealing with when I was using.

4. Pink Floyd - “Wish You Were Here”

This song is too much of a classic to leave off of a relaxation playlist. While the lyrics may seem a little depressing, it’s easy to get lost in the cathartic universe of this song. Music can be a magnificent way to take a step away from your problems, and this song is the epitome of such relief. Even if you only enjoy playing along with your air-guitar during the clean guitar solo, it will definitely take you away from reality for a brief period of time while allowing you to refresh your mind.

5. Regina Spektor - “Us”

Regina Spektor’s voice is reason enough to add this song to the playlist. Every syllable she utters is simply amazing in its ability to calm. Whether if you’re an aspiring vocalist or someone who can’t sing to save their life, you will find yourself singing along to the words. When you sing with her you feel as if you could be her in any given situation, and you get a temporary break from your troubles.

6. Temper Trap - “Sweet Disposition”

Temper Trap takes the cake when it comes to writing a relaxing but upbeat song. The lyrics to this tune may have a romantic tone, but the song’s meaning as a whole will bring your mind back to another time: a time when you found out what true love is or you broke up for the first time, and those were the biggest issues in your life. And while those parts of your life may not have been easy, remembering them is what makes you who you are, and it can remind you that you are strong enough to get through anything if you just collect your thoughts and emotions.

7. Simple Minds - “Don’t You Forget About Me”

Last, but certainly not least, is a song that everyone has heard before, whether it was at the end of The Breakfast Club or on the radio. This song may not be your first choice when it comes to calming your nerves, but it should make an appearance on your playlist at least once. As a whole, this song is bound to bring up a good time in your life: the first time you watched The Breakfast Club, the first high school dance you attended or an 80’s themed Halloween party you were invited to. Although we all have different memories to associate this song with, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face and your fist in the air.

Regardless of what situation has your emotions running amuck, listening to a calming playlist can help you collect your thoughts and build a plan to successfully deal with the issues at hand. This may be due to the biggest problem we face when we feel out of control: we are too close to the problem. If you allow yourself to take a step back and listen to a few tunes that draw your mind to a different place, you might find things are easier to deal with than you imagine.

If you or someone care about is struggling with addiction, browse our directory of treatment centers or call 800-772-8219 to speak to a recovery specialist.

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