Why Kesha's Latest Song, 'Learn to Let Go,' Is My New Recovery Anthem

Since Kesha’s recent musical resurrection filled with anthem songs like “Praying” and “Woman” — songs that hold messages of healing, confidence and independence from the people or things that hurt you — she has quickly become one of my rising recovery heroes.

On Thursday, her new song, “Learn to Let Go,” dropped and I connected to it immediately. While I connect with music in general, I deeply connected with the lyrics in her latest song. As someone who is in recovery from an eating disorder myself, I had already connected with her when she came out about her decision to seek treatment and rooted for her throughout her battle against Dr. Luke, who allegedly sexually assaulted her and reinforced her eating disorder patterns. But now I love her even more.

People with a history of mental illness often look back at the years they spent hiding with regret. Personally, I look back on some of my teenage years and feel immense regret and sorrow. While it was such a time for learning and growing, so many “normal” high school experiences were tainted by my eating disorder and depression, and those are years I will never get back. Though I cannot change how I spent those years, I can change how I spend the coming years.

However, while that’s easy to say, it’s not so easy to do. I acknowledge what happened, but I have to learn to let go, which is exactly what Kesha’s new song is all about. She speaks to the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you’re in a better place. I thank her for that.

I think it’s time to practice what I preach/Exorcise the demons inside of me/And learn to let go/My past can’t haunt me if I don’t let it/In fact I might never forget it/Gotta learn to let go

It’s a hard to accept that throughout this short life, there was a period we spent in darkness, a period where we weren’t really ourselves.

I’m done reliving my bad decisions/maybe there’s a reason why I’ve been through hell and back/Honestly it’s made me who I am/Holding onto wasted time/Gotta learn to let go

Personally, I try to not think of it as lost time, but as learning time. It seems like Kesha does, too.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Lead photo via Kesha’s Youtube channel

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Eating Disorders

Pair of sneakers hang on a nail on a wooden fence background

A Formal Goodbye To Running, From Someone In Eating Disorder Recovery

I wrote this goodbye letter for myself the night before I completely quit running. Prior to this, I had stopped all other eating disorder behaviors, but I just could not stop running. As a result, my thoughts continued to be “disordered.” I decided that “partial recovery” was not enough for me. I wanted to live completely [...]
to the bone

5 Tips for Watching 'To the Bone' if You Are in Eating Disorder Recovery

There’s been a lot of conversation surrounding the new Netflix movie “To the Bone,” which follows a young woman’s (Lily Collins) journey with anorexia. Some argue it’s an inaccurate, romanticized, and one-sided portrayal of eating disorders, while others are concerned with the effect it’ll have on recovering and struggling individuals with eating disorders and body image. If [...]
to the bone

Why It's Important to Analyze and Critique Movies Like 'To the Bone'

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the movie, “To the Bone.” I believe it is important to critique “To the Bone” because media has a major role in the perception of eating disorders and can influence the attitudes of those with eating disorders, the public and professionals, and by proxy, affect how these three [...]
A girl with painted nails

Why We Can Do Better Than Calling Young Girls 'Beautiful'

There is something remarkable about talking to 13-year-olds about eating disorders. They’re old enough to understand the complexities of a very uncomfortable subject, yet young enough that they probably aren’t yet fully engulfed by society’s obsession with weight loss and diet culture. Shame is a pervasive side effect of weight loss and diet culture. Shame [...]