Free Chronic Illness & Pain Management Journal to Help You Gain Control of Your Life Again

Music has proven health benefits that can elicit or ease emotion in anyone with chronic pain. It is a form of communication that groups our community and builds a common voice. Here are some of the best songs and playlists to help you feel heard and motivated.

Table Of Contents Understand That Friends Who Disappear May Not be Equipped to Help YouYour Illness Reminds Others About Their MortalitySome Friendships May Be More Superficial Than You ThoughtSome Friendships Cannot Understand How Much Resilience You Need To Cope Someone Leaving Tells You More About Them Than It Does About YouRespect That Not Everyone Knows How to Help Because There’s No SolutionMake Peace With The Fact That All Friendships Have a Unique LifelineFace The Resentment You Feel So You Can Move ForwardUse This Experience to Show You Who your Real Friends AreExpress Your Limits So That Friends Know What to Expect From You   Stick With People You TrustWhen You’ve Had Enough – Say SomethingDon’t Feel GuiltyA Good Friend Will Respect Your BoundariesAlways Show AppreciationIf You Want To Do Nothing – That’s Okay!Speak About Your Health in a Relatable Way to Build Understanding with OthersTry Speaking to Your Loved Ones 1-on-1 Use Health Issues They’ve Experienced As A ReferenceLet Them Join You At a Doctor’s VisitDo Some Guided Research On Your Condition TogetherLet Them Help You Do Daily ActivitiesFind Creative Ways to Stay in Contact When You Can’t Commit to PlansHave A Virtual Coffee Catch-UpStart Or Join A ClubStart A Whatsapp GroupUse This Empathy Activity to Help Build Mutual Understanding With Others Let Your Chronic Illness Help You Make New Friends in the Community

If you feel like your pain eases when you listen to good music – it’s not all in your head. Music is proven to alleviate chronic pain. Some ways it could potentially do this is by:

  • Altering your sensitivity to pain by disrupting your brain’s “pain-stress-pain” feedback loop.
  • Inhibiting the release of your stress hormones and calming the stimulation of your pituitary-adrenal stress axis.
  • Affecting your brain’s opioid system that controls physical pain.

I will share some amazing music written by artists with chronic pain about their journey. And songs that will help you fight through your toughest moments.

These playlists are here to help you feel connected to the cause, loved by your community, and supported throughout your emotional battles. Our ghostwriting services also offer a unique opportunity to amplify your voice and share your personal narrative. Whether you’re expressing gratitude, sharing struggles, or advocating for change, our team can assist in crafting compelling messages that truly resonate with your audience.

Songs About Chronic Pain You Will Connect With

You’re not facing your chronic pain condition alone. A few popular musicians with chronic illnesses understand what you’re going through and have expressed their hardships through song. 

Everything I share here is so moving that it’s brought me to tears. All I can say in those dark moments is “YES! They get it”. 

Here are some of my favourite songs that tell you what it’s like to be sick and suffer from chronic pain.

The five best songs about chronic pain

I Lived by OneRepublic

This song makes me cry every time I hear it. Lead vocalist and pianist of OneRepublic, Ryan Tedder, wrote I Lived with a strong message behind it.

The band used this song to share the story of a cystic fibrosis warrior, Bryan Warneke, and his daily struggle for survival.

The only way you can knowYou give it all you haveAnd I hope that you don’t sufferBut take the painHope when the moment comes, you’ll say

I, I did it allI, I did it allI owned every second that this world could giveI saw so many placesThe things that I didYeah, with every broken boneI swear I lived

Make it Go Away by Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow wrote this song while undergoing breast cancer treatment and radiation. As many of you will know, cancer can leave severe chronic pain that no one thought would be part of the package deal.

Sheryl sings about the pain she felt – both physically and emotionally so eloquently. 

Sometimes I wonder which hurts the worseThe thought of dying or reliving every hurtWas love the illness and disease the cureOh, the cure?

Wolves by Selena Gomez

Although there are a few theories on what Selena was singing about here – the main line of thought is that it’s about her Lupus diagnosis.

The singer has used chemotherapy to help her manage her autoimmune condition, but in 2017 she still experienced kidney failure and needed an emergency transplant.

The main give away her track ‘Wolves’ is about her lupus struggles is the name. The condition’s name is derived from the Latin word, which means wolf!

In your eyes, there’s a heavy blueOne to love and one to loseSweet divine, a heavy truthWater or wine, don’t make me choose

Hard Life by Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley wrote this song for ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) sufferer Joe Kindregan in 2005. He wanted to give a voice to someone who needed help sharing their pain.

The disease is a rare primary immunodeficiency disease that attacks various organs in the body. This rare and fatal disease manifests similarly to muscular dystrophy, cancer or cystic fibrosis. 

Stop starin’ at meLeave the sad looks at homeEverybody feels bad,And you don’t understand,It’s not like I’m alone

’Cause everyone has battles to fightAnd I don’t need your sympathy tonight

Believer by Imagine Dragons

This hit song was written and sung by the lead singer of Imagine Dragons – Dan Reynolds. In 2015, he admitted to suffering from ankylosing spondylitis – a form of arthritis of the spine.

Beyond this autoimmune disease, Reynolds also suffers from anxiety and depression. Regardless of his pain, he still gets up and does what he loves every day. It’s an inspiration.

“You break me down; you build me up, believer, believer… Pain!Oh, let the bullets fly, oh let them rainMy life, my love, my drive, it came from… Pain!”

You can catch the whole playlist here on Spotify:

Songs that Explain Chronic Pain to Others

These songs are not necessarily about chronic pain – but their lyrics are relatable and can help you explain parts of your struggle to others in an easy way.

Listen carefully to these lyrics and share them – they’ll touch your soul.

Five Best Songs That Explain Chronic Pain

Her Diamonds by Rob Thomas

Although Rob Thomas is not chronically ill himself, he wrote this song about a girl he knows with an autoimmune condition.

This song is written from his perspective, watching her battle as a healthy individual.

And she says, “Ooh, I can’t take no more.”Her tears like diamonds on the floorAnd her diamonds bring me down’Cause I can’t help her nowShe’s down in itShe tried her best, and now she can’t winIt’s hard to see them on the groundHer diamonds falling down

Nobody Told Me by Vintage Trouble

Vintage Trouble is a rock and roll group from LA with some great hits. ‘Nobody told me’ is all about how hard life can be in painful moments – and it can definitely be applied to someone with a chronic illness.

This is a message and a calling

So, get up and gather around, everyone.

I’m withering. Dying. Trembling from trying. Barely crawling.

What can I do?

A Little Too Much by Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes was candid about the meaning behind his hit song, which is all about the craziness, stress and pressure of his life in the limelight.

No, this isn’t about chronic pain at all. But a couple of themes are very similar: overwhelm, loneliness and exhaustion. 

She would not show that she was afraidBut being and feeling alone was too much to faceThough everyone said that she was so strongWhat they didn’t know is that she could barely carry on

Unwell by Matchbox Twenty

Matchbox Twenty’s lead singer Rob Thomas wrote this song in honour of all people that “are a little f*cked up” in his words. He adds, “We all feel a little f–ked up sometimes… you’re not alone.”

I resonated with this because there have been many times in my journey I’ve felt a little “f*cked up” myself!

All day starin’ at the ceilin’ makin’Friends with shadows on my wallAll night hearing voices tellin’ meThat I should get some sleepBecause tomorrow might be good for somethin’Hold on, feelin’ like I’m headed for a breakdownAnd I don’t know why

But I’m not crazy; I’m just a little unwellI know, right now you can’t tellBut stay awhile, and maybe then you’ll seeA different side of me

Flares by The Script

What started as a simple love song changed into a song about faith and overcoming adversity after lead singer Danny O’Donoghue’s mother suffered from a brain aneurism.

He was told by many doctors that his mother would never survive the ordeal, but she challenged them all and survived! The song is about his mother’s struggle and how it changed his sceptical mind into truly believing her recovery was a miracle. 

Did you find it hard to breathe?Did you cry so much that you could barely see?You’re in the darkness all aloneAnd no one cares, there’s no one there

But did you see the flares in the sky?Were you blinded by the light?Did you feel the smoke in your eyes?Did you, did you?Did you see the sparks filled with hope?You are not alone’Cause someone’s out there, sending out flares

You can catch the whole playlist here on Spotify:

Motivational Songs That Help People with Chronic Pain

If you’re listening to music at home, learning dance moves and keeping that hair comb steady in your hand as you sing in the shower – that’s music as therapy.

It’s a useful and effective way of getting music to help you manage your chronic pain – as we’ve just discussed. But it can be taken a step further.

It lifts your mood and can help with depression.

Depression and chronic pain are two things that often go hand-in-hand – I learnt this the hard way. I never struggled with mental health until I got my CRPS diagnosis.

I’ll admit it candidly – music isn’t enough to completely alleviate my depression. But if I use it correctly, it does a damn good job!

Again, there’s science behind this too. Listening to happy music can lift your mood and help you build self-awareness. And if you suffer from depression – you may find more sustainable relief through music therapy.

Five best motivational songs on a bad pain day

You Don’t Know About Me by Ella Vos

’Cause I wake up 

This is my body; this is my warWe can’t wait ’til you come around

Say what you’re gonna sayI don’t care anyway

You don’t know about meYou don’t know how hard I try

It’s Amazing by Jem

Patience now frustration in the airAnd people who don’t careWell, it’s gonna get you downAnd you’ll fall (fall)Yes, you will hit a wallGet back up on your feetAnd you’ll be stronger and smarter

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself  by Jess Glynne

Don’t be so hard on yourself, noLearn to forgive, learn to let goEveryone trips, everyone fallsSo don’t be so hard on yourself, no’Cause I’m just tired of marchin’ on my ownKind of frail, I feel it in my bonesWon’t let my heart, my heart turn into stoneSo don’t be so hard on yourself, no

Warrior by Hannah Kerr  

Staring down the face of fearGot to keep breathingWhen the negative is all you hearGot to keep believing

’Cause in the darkness there is a lightYour truth it keeps on burning brightBrave enough to fight the fightShout the battle cry

The Fighter by Gym Class Heroes

Until the referee rings the bellUntil both, your eyes start to swellUntil the crowd goes homeWhat we gonna do ya’ll

Give ’em hell, turn their headsGonna live life ’til we’re deadGive me scars, give me painThen they’ll say to me, say to me, say to meThere goes a fighter (oh)

You can catch the whole playlist here on Spotify:

The Best Music for Chronic Pain Relief and Relaxation

When pain is unbearable, it feels difficult to relax or do anything relaxing like SLEEP.

This is another important aspect of pain management to consider – sleep deprivation can undoubtedly make your daily life feel much worse.

Luckily, music can help.

Not only can listening to the right music help you relax more easily. But research also shows that it can help improve your sleep quality.

There are so many different types of music that can help you here. Here are my five favourite types.

5 types of relaxing music for chronic pain relief

Piano for pain relief

Classical music, in general, is known to be relaxing because it helps you naturally release dopamine (your happy hormone) and inhibit the release of stress too. It calms your autonomic nervous system.

The piano is a personal favourite, but any classical music with a slow, sweet tempo is perfect for lowering your heart rate.

Nature sounds

The sounds of nature have been associated with wellbeing for generations – and it’s for a reason.

Researchers at the Brighton and Sussex School of medicine found that: While artificial noises are more likely to trigger inward-focused attention (rumination, depression, anxiety).

Natural noises are closely linked to a decrease in your body’s flight-or-fight response and an increase in its rest-and-digest response. 

Scientifically-proven songs that induce relaxation

A study conducted at Mindlab International recorded the physiological responses certain songs had on participants.

We may all refer to these songs as “relaxing” hits, but researchers have used science to prove it’s physiologically true.

Weightless by Marconi Union

This is classified as the most relaxing song in the world. It was written by Marconi Union, a British ambient music band,  in conjunction with sound therapists. This song successfully managed to reduce stress among participants by 65%.

You can catch the playlist of all 10 songs here:

Tibetan Singing Bowls

There is some evidence suggesting that Tibetan singing bowl therapy can help you relax, especially while you’re meditating.

Although there’s not a great deal of modern research behind it, these bowls have been used for centuries to help people relax, and I have always loved the way they sound.

Binaural Beats

Binaural beats are generated when you hear two tones with slightly different frequencies in each ear.

Your head processes the difference in these tones and allows you to perceive a specific beat.

One in-depth study found that binaural beats could effectively “reset” parts of your brain that generate chronic pain messages and reduce the severity of the pain you receive by 77%.

By now, I’m not surprised if you’ve been on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I know I have been! Music is so powerful, and it’s an incredible form of therapy for all of us!

If you feel I’ve left out any tunes you think should be included – pop me a message and let me know! I’d love to hear what helps YOU!

About the author, Marina

Marina Wildt is an experienced health and wellness writer, chronic illness warrior and founder of The Discerning You. In the last 12 years, she has gone from being paralysed in a wheelchair to living a full life alongside her conditions and now she wants to share all the practical advice that she has learnt with you.

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