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20 Songs That Have Helped People Through Childhood Emotional Abuse

The aftermath of childhood emotional abuse is complex and different for each individual experiencing it. While music cannot “cure” the pain left in the wake of a trauma, for many individuals, music can be a comfort in recovery. When you’ve grown up with emotional abuse, sometimes a song can meet you right where you are and let you know you aren’t alone. 

We wanted to know what songs helped people through emotional abuse, so we asked people in our Mighty community who experienced childhood emotional abuse to share one song that helped them get through rough moments.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson

It represented freedom and reminded me that one day, I’d be able to rise above.” — Vanessa B.

2. “Somewhere I Belong” by Linkin Park

“[It] gave me hope that even if not right now, someday I’d find a place where I belonged and was loved. Took me until I was 42 to find that place, but as I’m about to have my 44th [birthday and] I finally have my somewhere.” — Julie L.

3. “Fix You” by Coldplay

“Every word in the lyrics was so comforting… It was so nice.” — Cri S.

4. “Hold On” by Good Charlotte

“This song explained exactly what I was feeling [that] I couldn’t put into words.” — Kalene P.

5. “Family Portrait” by Pink

“The music video really spoke to me as well. A lot of her songs are just beautiful, and have meaning!” — Lindsey V.

6. “I Don’t Care” by Apocalyptica

“It always helped me distance myself from the situation and in a weird way, it made me feel empowered.” — Tristen W.

7. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses

“I would sing the lyrics to the song ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses as I would sit at a local church that had a breathtaking garden. It definitely was a lifesaver for me.” — Amber G.

8. “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence

“I felt so dead inside from the years of bullying and abuse I endured and I would listen to this song to cry out to anyone to come save me. After 20 years of depression and suicide attempts, Jesus Christ saved me from feeling dead inside anymore.” — Ka R.

9. “Gotta Go My Own Way” from “High School Musical”

“As cheesy as this sounds (remember I was a little kid) it was ‘Gotta Go My Own Way’ from ‘High School Musical.’ I changed the meaning to myself personally so it was me ‘going my own way’ from anything that made me few depressed or anxious. That was my song for three to four years.” — Julia H.

10. “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson

“I can never listen to this without breaking down. 

‘And all of your words fall flat

I made something of myself and now you wanna come back

But your love, it isn’t free, it has to be earned

Back then I didn’t have anything you needed so I was worthless’

It’s taken me 34 years to stop feeling worthless. When I heard the meaning behind this song, I realized I wasn’t alone, that she understood me.” — Laura C.

11. “Oh Father” by Madonna

“It helped me dream about a future that was better, and it made me feel like I could be strong enough to live to see a day without the pain. It gave me hope.” — Katie N.

12. “Hakuna Matata” from “The Lion King”

“Still love it to this day and have a tattoo of it.” — Haylee M.

13. “You Are Loved” by Josh Groban

“’You Are Loved’ by Josh Groban was (and is) so healing. It was as if he was singing it to me to heal my own wounds of not feeling loved, yet at the same time inspiring me to show the same love to others.” — Katherine S.

14. “This Song Saved My Life” by Simple Plan

“Helped me cope [with] some truly dark days. To be honest, if it wasn’t for it, I would’ve vanished.” — Maxine S.

15. “Behind These Hazel Eyes” by Kelly Clarkson

“[It] helped me realize I wasn’t the problem and I needed to step away from the real problem.” — Sheri T.

16. “No Love” by Eminem feat. Lil Wayne

“Every time I listen to it, I feel empowered and like I’m not a little girl anymore hiding in my room from my mom.” — Allyson H.

17. “Disarm” by The Smashing Pumpkins

“‘The killer in me is the killer in you/ Send this smile over to you’ is such a great way to communicate the struggle within you that exists because of what you grew up with, but your refusal to let it turn you into a bitter, hateful person.” — Lisa G.

18. “That I Would Be Good” by Alanis Morissette

“I never felt good enough (still don’t), but this song helped me feel like I’m someone.” — Robyn M.

19. “Because Of You” by Kelly Clarkson

“It described exactly how I felt, how angry I was that I was changed as a person by abuse. It still makes me cry because I feel broken again, but it’s so cathartic.” — Sunshine F.

20. “Broken Wing” by Martina McBride

“It gave me the courage to stand on my own two feet and strength to make it through the darker times.” — Jamie M.

What would you add?

Photos via Eminem and Kelly Clarkson Facebook pages.