The Mighty Logo

8 Songs That Helped Me During Eating Disorder Recovery

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Music is powerful. For years, music has been used as a way to express emotions we can’t seem to speak. Music brings both the strength of lyrics and musical harmony that has a way to touch our innermost being. Music not only helps us express our emotions, it has the ability to help us make sense of them. It holds the magic of bringing us back to a fond memory or provide us the strength to get through a tough time.

Throughout my recovery from an eating disorder, I often felt lonely. I often felt like I couldn’t put into words what I was going through, or process the emotions I was feeling. I wanted to share this playlist with a few songs that resonated with me during this time. It’s important to find a way to express these feelings. Music provided this for me. These songs not only helped me understand I wasn’t alone, but they also helped me know things will get better. They will. I hope you find your playlist.

1. “You Can’t Rush Your Healing” by Trevor Hall

“You can’t rush your healing.
Darkness has its teachings.
Love is never leaving.
You can’t rush your healing.”

I love this song for reminding me we can’t rush our healing, and darkness has meaning in our journey. This song reminds me to hold fast during the hard times. I am healing, and healing takes time.

2. “Recover” by CHVRCHES

“I’ll give you one more chance
To say we can change or part ways
And you take what you need
And you don’t need me.”

This song is so powerful. I relate it to my eating disorder. It depicts the relationship and struggle one has with an eating disorder.

“And if I recover
Will you be my comfort
Or it can be over
Or we can just leave it here
So pick any number
Choose any color
I’ve got the answer
Open the envelope.”

3. “Crucify” by Tori Amos

“Why do we
Crucify ourselves?
Every day,
I crucify myself.
Nothing I do is good enough for you.
Crucify myself,
Every day,
And my heart is sick of being in chains.”

This song reminds me of the abusive relationship one has with an eating disorder — the ever-tiring struggle one has with his mean and vicious voice. No matter how much we try, it’s never good enough for him.

4. “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara

“She just wants to be beautiful.
She goes unnoticed.
She knows no limits.
She craves attention.
She praises an image.
She prays to be sculpted by the sculptor.
Oh, she don’t see, the light that’s shining
Deeper than the eyes can find it.
Maybe we have made her blind.”

This song really hits my core. It suggests that it’s not us who need to change, but it’s the world that needs to change. She continues on to say,

“But 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.”

This song gives women and men empowerment to fight through the darkness and attempt to see the true, unique beauty that is them.

5.“One Step At a Time” by Jordin Sparks

“We live and we learn to take
One step at a time.
There’s no need to rush.
It’s like learning to fly
Or falling in love.
It’s gonna happen
When it’s supposed to happen,
And we find the reasons why
One step at a time.”

This song reminds me we can only take one step at a time. Keep one foot in front of the other. Continue forward. There is no need to rush.

6. “Who You Are” by Jessie J

“I stare at my reflection in the mirror.
Why am I doing this to myself?
Losing my mind on a tiny error,
I nearly left the real me on the shelf.”

She continues on to say,

“It’s OK not to be OK.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow your heart.
Tears don’t mean you’re losing, everybody’s bruising,
Just be true to who you are!”

This song helped me realize it’s OK to not be OK. Everyone is battling their own demons.

7. “Follow The Sun” by Xavier Rudd

“Breathe, breathe in the air.
Set your intentions.
Dream with care.
Tomorrow is a new day for everyone,
Brand new moon, brand new sun.”

He continues on singing,

“When you feel life coming down on you,
Like a heavy weight.
When you feel this crazy society,
Adding to the strain.
Take a stroll to the nearest waters
And remember your place.
Many moons have risen and fallen long, long before you came.”

This song reminded me as big as our problems are it helps to step back and retreat to nature, to become balanced and realize and remember what truly matters.

8. “Breathe Me” by Sia

“Help, I have done it again.
I have been here many times before,
Hurt myself again today.
And the worst part is there’s no one else to blame.Be my friend, hold me.
Wrap me up, unfold me.
I am small, and needy.
Warm me up, and breathe me.”

Describing that feeling of loneliness and hopelessness, this song speaks up for those who can’t express they need a friend, someone to help hold them up.

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.

Originally published: October 24, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home