There are plenty of songs about addiction and recovery that are obvious about it. There are just as many songs that exist in pop culture that are all about addiction and recovery – and people have no idea. They may think the song is about love, romance, fear, but only an addict can recognize the meanings hidden in lyrics like the sky was gold/ it was rose/ I was taking sips of it through my nose/ and I wish I could get back there. It’s a Third Eye Blind song many people happily sing along to, not realizing that they’re actually talking about uppers like cocaine and crystal meth.
Five Popular Songs About Addiction
- Third Eye Blind – Semi Charmed Life. This song is a happy, peppy, lighthearted song that not too many people know is actually about the cycle of using and craving. The catchy melody and pop-like singing had this song at the top of the charts in the 90s.
- Staind – It’s Been A While. This song peaked at number 5 on the billboard charts, and many thought it was a song about lost love. It was a song about love – loving heroin. The song is low and dark, and shows how deeply in love with the drug a heroin addict becomes.
- Pink – Sober. Never one to beat around the bush, Pink’s song and title are straight to the point. She talks about the pain of sobriety and how truly difficult it can be. Lyrics include: I’m safe up high, nothing can touch me / but why do I feel this party’s over?
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under the Bridge. In this legendary song, lead singer Anthony Kiedis talks about the drug addictions he dealt with for the better part of his life. It is specifically thought that he is talking about the bridge in a park in Los Angeles where he used to purchase his drugs.
- Amy Winehouse – Rehab. Also an artist who wasn’t known for her subtlety, Amy Winehouse came out with this fun, heartfelt song about not going to rehab. This was before any of us knew that not going to rehab would ultimately end her young life.
It is interesting to hear the different messages that singers put out about their own experience with addiction. Each story is different and personal, but they all carry the same message. Drugs and alcohol may feel wonderful and like a safety net for the user, but in the end, there is always despair, loss, and sadness.
Most of the singers on this list got to find that out before it was too late, except for Amy Winehouse. So many people who are artists have suffered a similar fate of falling into addiction almost using it as a vehicle to get their message and their art even further out into the world. It’s important not to glorify addiction, instead, to share the message of what a dark path it can be, and how many people it can drag down with it.