This resource contains a playlist of recovery songs to empower and validate you as you heal from any type of abuse, but particularly from the manipulation of narcissistic abuse.
This is a list created by survivors for survivors — I’ve added many songs over the years as readers have written to me and asked me to add them. They go all the way back to the 1970s and cover all decades in between up to the music of today. The genres span pop, country, hip-hop, electronic, and hard rock. Below each song title, I’ve added a few of the lyrics.
I encourage you to try out each song on the list to see what might resonate with you, even if some don’t tend to come from your favorite genres (unless of course a song is triggering or holds difficult memories for you).
There are two ways to listen.
- Click on the title of an individual song on this page to listen to them one at a time in any order.
- Click on the link at the bottom of the page to listen to or save the entire playlist.
NOTE: This is a NSFW playlist! There are some explicit lyrics in some of these songs and some of the videos are also not for general audiences. If you find any of the lyrics offensive or they do not fit your situation, please skip them. I’ve noted with a * the songs with explicit lyrics.
Also, if the genders of the singer or the pronouns in the song don’t apply to your situation, it is always worthwhile simply to do a thought exercise and substitute where appropriate.
Want to learn about the five stages of leaving a narcissist? See the end of this post for information about how to read a free preview of my book, which including the first chapter and the pathological love relationship checklist.
Recovery Songs for Abuse
Praying by Kesha
“Well, you almost had me fooled/Told me that I was nothing without you
Oh, but after everything you’ve done/I can thank you for how strong I have become
‘Cause you brought the flames and you put me through hell/I had to learn how to fight for myself
And we both know all the truth I could tell/I’ll just say this is “I wish you farewell”
I hope you find your peace/Falling on your knees
*Be Careful by Cardi B
“Man, I thought you would’ve learned your lesson/ ‘Bout likin’ pictures, not returnin’ texts
I guess it’s fine, man, I get the message/You still stutter after certain questions
You keep in contact with certain exes
Do you, though, trust me, ***** it’s cool, though/Said that you was workin’, but you’re out here chasin’ culo
And putas, chillin’ poolside, livin’ two lives/I could’ve did what you did to me to you a few times”
Best Thing I Never Had by Beyonce
“There was a time I thought that you did everything right
No lies, no wrong/Boy I, must’ve been outta my mind
So when I think of the time that I almost loved you
You showed your ass and I saw the real you
I’m so over you/So baby good lookin’ out
‘Cause honestly you turned out to be the best thing I never had
And I’m gon’ always be the best thing you never had”
Hush Hush by Pussycat Dolls
“I never needed you to be strong/I never needed you for pointing out my wrongs
I never needed pain, I never needed strain/My love for you was strong enough, you should have known
I never asked for help, I take care of myself/I don’t know why you think you gotta hold on me”
Same Old Love by Selena Gomez
“Take away your things and go/You can’t take back what you said, I know
I’ve heard it all before, at least a million times/I’m not one to forget, you know
Too hard to breathe, I’m on my knees/Right now
Fighter by Christina Aguilera
“Never saw it coming, all of your backstabbing/Just so you could cash in on a good thing before I’d realize your game
I heard you’re goin’ round playin’, the victim now/But don’t even begin feeling I’m the one to blame
‘Cause you dug your own grave
‘Cause if it wasn’t for all of your torture/I wouldn’t know how to be this way now and never back down
So I want to say thank you
It makes me that much wiser/So thanks for making me a fighter”
I’m Still Standing by Elton John
“Once I never could hope to win/You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down/And if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by now
I’m still standing after all this time/Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind”
Take a Bow by Rihanna
“You look so dumb right now/Standin’ outside my house
Tryin’ to apologize/You’re so ugly when you cry
Just cut it out
But now it’s time to go”
*I Don’t F*ck With You by Big Sean
“I heard you got a new man, I see you takin’ a pic/Then you post it up, thinkin’ that it’s makin’ me sick
I see you calling, I be makin’ it quick/I’mma answer that shit like “I don’t f*ck with you
Bitch, I got no feelings to go/I swear I had it up to here, I got no ceilings to go”
You’ll See by Madonna
“You think that I can’t live without your love/You’ll see
You think I can’t go on another day
You think I have nothing/Without you by my side
You’ll see/Somehow, some way
You think that you destroyed my faith in love
You’ll see/Somehow, someday”
*F*cking Perfect by P!nk
“Made a wrong turn, once or twice/Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright/Welcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood/Miss “No way, it’s all good”, it didn’t slow me down
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated/Look, I’m still around”
Call Me When You’re Sober by Evanescence
“Couldn’t take the blame, sick with shame/Must be exhausting to lose your own game, selfishly hated
No wonder you’re jaded/You can’t play the victim this time
And you’re too late
Don’t cry to me, if you loved me/You would be here with me
Since U Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson
“How can I put it? You put me on/I even fell for that stupid love song
Yeah, yeah/Since you been gone
How come I’d never hear you say/”I just wanna be with you”?
Guess you never felt that way
But since you been gone/I can breathe for the first time
I’m so movin’ on, yeah, yeah/Thanks to you
Now I get, I get what I want
Since you been gone”
I Don’t Care Anymore by Phil Collins
“Well you can tell everyone I’m a down disgrace/Drag my name all over the place
I don’t care anymore
You can tell everybody ’bout the state I’m in/You won’t catch me crying ’cause I just can’t win
I don’t care anymore, I don’t care anymore
I don’t care what you say/I don’t play the same games you play”
Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri
“I hear you’re asking all around/If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong/To ever fall back in your arms
I learned to live, half alive/And now you want me one more time
And who do you think you are?/Runnin’ ’round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts/And tearing love apart
You’re gonna catch a cold/From the ice inside your soul
Don’t come back for me/Who do you think you are?”
Titanium by Sia and David Guetta
“Cut me down/But it’s you who has further to fall
Ghost town, haunted love
I’m talking loud not saying much
Ricochet, you take your aim/Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won’t fall
I am titanium”
Survivor by Destiny’s Child
“Now that you’re outta my life, I’m so much better
You thought that I’d be weak without ya, but I’m stronger
You thought that I’d be broke without ya, but I’m richer
You thought that I’d be sad without ya, I love harder
You thought I wouldn’t grow without ya, now I’m wiser!
You thought that I’d be helpless without ya but I’m smarter
You thought that I’d be stressed without ya, but I’m chillin’
You thought I wouldn’t sell without ya, sold nine million”
Warrior by Demi Lavato
“There’s a part of me I can’t get back/A little girl grew up too fast
All it took was once, I’ll never be the same
Now I’m taking back my life today/Nothing left that you can say
‘Cause you were never gonna take the blame anyway
Now I’m a warrior/I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior/I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior/And you can never hurt me again”
Cold-Hearted by Paula Abdul
“It was only late last night he was out there sneakin’
Then he called you up to check that you were waiting by the phone
All the world’s a candy store/He’s been trick or treatin’
When it comes to true love girl with him there’s no one home”
Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift
“I don’t like your little games/Don’t like your tilted stage
The role you made me play/Of the fool, no, I don’t like you
I don’t like your perfect crime/How you laugh when you lie
You said the gun was mine/Isn’t cool, no, I don’t like you
But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time/Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined/I check it once, then I check it twice”
Brand New Me by Alicia Keys
“It’s been a while, I’m not who I was before/You look surprised, your words don’t burn me anymore
Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it’s clear to see/Don’t be mad, it’s just the brand new kind of me
Can’t be bad, I found a brand new kind of free”
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
“I’m really gonna miss you picking fights/And me, falling for it screaming that I’m right
And you, would hide away and find your peace of mind/With some indie record that’s much cooler than mine
You called me up again tonight/But this time I’m telling you, I’m telling you
We are never ever, ever getting back together”
You’re So Vain by Carly Simon
“Oh, you had me several years ago/When I was still quite naive
When you said that we made such a pretty pair/And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved/And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee
And you’re so vain
You probably think this song is about you”
*Sorry by Beyonce
“Sorry, I ain’t sorry/No no, hell nah
Now you gotta see me wilding/Now I’m the one that’s lying
Stop interrupting my grinding/I ain’t thinking ’bout you”
Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake
“You don’t have to say, what you did/I already know, I found out from him
Now there’s just no chance/With you and me
There’ll never be/Don’t it make you sad about it?
You told me you love me/Why did you leave me all alone
Now you tell me you need me/When you call me on the phone
Girl, I refuse/You must have me confused with some other guy
The bridges were burned/Now it’s your turn, to cry
Cry me a river”
Bad Blood by Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar
“‘Baby, now we’ve got bad blood/You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done/’Cause, baby, now we’ve got bad blood
Now we’ve got problems/And I don’t think we can solve ’em
You made a really deep cut/And, baby, now we’ve got bad blood
Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes/You say sorry just for show
If you live like that, you live with ghosts/If you love like that, blood runs cold”
Narcissus by Alanis Morissette
“Dear momma’s boy
I know you’ve had your butt licked by your mother/I know you’ve enjoyed all that attention from her
And every woman graced with your presence after
Dear narcissus boy
I know you’ve never really apologized for anything/I know you’ve never really taken responsibility
I know you’ve never really listened to a woman”
Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
“But there’s a side to you/That I never knew, never knew
All the things you’d say/They were never true, never true
And the games you play/You would always win, always win”
Liar by Henry Rollins
“you meet me/and your whole world changes
because everything I say is everything you’ve ever wanted to hear
so you drop all your defenses and you drop all your fears and you trust me completely
I’m perfect in every way cause I make you feel so strong and so powerful inside
you feel so lucky
but your ego obscures reality and you never bother to wonder why things are going so well
you want to know why?
cause I’m a liar, yeah I’m a liar
I’ll tear your mind out/I’ll burn your soul/I’ll turn you into me/I’ll turn you into me
cause I’m a liar, a liar, a liar, a liar
I’ll hide behind a smile and understanding eyes and I’ll tell you things that you already know
so you can say, I really identify with you, so much
and all the time that you’re needing me
is just the time that I’m bleeding you”
Mean by Taylor Swift
“You, with your switching sides/And your wildfire lies and your humiliation
You have pointed out my flaws again/As if I don’t already see them
I walk with my head down/Try to block you out ’cause I never impress you
I just want to feel okay again
I bet you got pushed around/Somebody made you cold but the cycle ends right now
‘Cause you can’t lead me down that road/And you don’t know what you don’t know”
I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor
“At first I was afraid, I was petrified/Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side
But then I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong
And I grew strong/And I learned how to get along
And so you’re back/From outer space
I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face
I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key
If I’d known for just one second you’d be back to bother me
Go on now, go, walk out the door
Just turn around now/’Cause you’re not welcome anymore”
The Power of Goodbye by Madonna
“Your heart is not open so I must go/The spell has been broken, I loved you so
Freedom comes when you learn to let go/Creation comes when you learn to say no
You were my lesson I had to learn/I was your fortress you had to burn
Pain is a warning that something’s wrong/I pray to God that it won’t be long”
I’m Movin On by Rascal Flatts
“I’ve dealt with my ghosts and faced all my demons/Finally content with a past I regret
I’ve found you find strength in your moments of weakness
For once I’m at peace with myself
I’ve been burdened with blame, trapped in the past for too long
I’m movin’ on”
Rolling in the Deep by Adele
“The scars of your love remind me of us (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
The scars of your love they leave me breathless, I can’t help feeling
We could have had it all (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand (you’re gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat (tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)”
Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye
“Now and then I think of when we were together/Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me/But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember”
Leave (Get Out) by JoJo
“Tell me why you’re looking so confused/When I’m the one who didn’t know the truth
How could you ever be so cold/To go behind my back and call my friend
Boy you must have gone and bumped your head/Because you left her number on your phone
So now after all is said and done/Maybe I’m the one to blame
But to think that you could be the one/Well it didn’t work out that way
Get out, right now/It’s the end of you and me
It’s too late and I can’t wait/For you to be gone cause I know about her
And I wonder how I bought all the lies
You said that you would treat me right/But you was just a waste of time”
*F*uck You by CeeLo Green
“I see you driving ’round town/With the girl I love and I’m like,
I guess the change in my pocket/Wasn’t enough I’m like,
F*ck you and f*ck her too!”
*You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette
“You seem very well, things look peaceful/I’m not quite as well, I thought you should know
Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?/I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
It was a slap in the face/How quickly I was replaced
And are you thinking of me when you f*ck her?
‘Cause the love that you gave that we made/Wasn’t able to make it enough for you
To be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name/Does she know how you told me
You’d hold me until you died/’Til you died, but you’re still alive”
*Needed Me by Rihanna
“You needed me/To feel a little more, and give a little less
Know you hate to confess/But baby ooh, you needed me”
I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Well I won’t back down/No I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down
No I’ll stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin me down
Gonna stand my ground/And I won’t back down”
Love Yourself by Justin Bieber
“If you like the way you look that much/Oh baby, you should go and love yourself
And if you think that I’m still holdin’ on to somethin’/You should go and love yourself
When you told me that you hated my friends/The only problem was with you and not them
And every time you told me my opinion was wrong/And tried to make me forget where I came from”
Just a Creep by Dum Dum Girls
“You come creepin’/Actin’ like a fiend
But I’ve been warned/Your deceit knows no end
But you act so sweet/And you don’t cut deep
You’re just a little creep
It upset me/To learn you act this way
Poor thing it must be hard/To be yourself each day”
Bed of Lies by Nicki Minaj and Skylar Grey
“Do you ever think of me when you lie?/Lie down in your bed, your bed of lies
And I knew better than to look in your eyes/They only pretend you would be mine
And oh how you made me believe/You had me caught in every web that you weaved
But do you ever think of me when you lie?/Lie down in your bed, your bed of lies”
*Fire Burns by Nicki Minaj
“You shoulda left, the other day/You let me beg, for you to stay
This is a sickening joke that you play with my emotions/And so I pray you burn in hell and you never find the ocean
I hope your fire, fire burns baby/I hope your fire, fire burns baby
I hope you lay down in your sleep and you choke on every lie you told
And when you’re reaching out for me you’ll see you reap everything you sow”
You Don’t Do It for Me Anymore by Demi Lovato
“I see the future without you/The hell was I doing in the past?
Now that I’ve learned all about you/A love just like ours wouldn’t last
I won’t fall for your games/So don’t hate me when I say
That you don’t do it for me anymore”
Don’t Kill My Vibe by Sigrid
“You think you’re so important to me, don’t you?
But I wanted you to know that you don’t belong here
You think you’re so important to me, don’t you?
Don’t kill my vibe
You love to tear me down, you pick me apart
Then build me up like I depend on you
But I throw myself from heights that used to scare me
Guess you’re surprised I’m the puzzle you can’t figure out”
The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli
“I’ve gone through the motions/I’ve been back and forth
I know that you’re thinking you’ve heard this before
I don’t know how to say it/So I’m just gonna say it
Fear, you don’t own me/There ain’t no room in this story
And I ain’t got time for you/Telling me what I’m not
Like you know me well guess what?
I know who I am/I know I’m strong
And I am free/Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here
Take a minute, let it settle in
You probably never saw it coming
Something’s gotta give so I give up you”
Don’t Call Me Up by Mabel
“I’m over you and I don’t need your lies no more/Cause the truth is, without you, boy, I’m stronger
And I know it’s sad that I changed, have a cold heart/But it was your game that left scars
Ooh, I’m over you
Don’t call me up/I’m going out tonight
Feeling good now you’re outta my life/Don’t wanna talk about us
Gotta leave it behind/One drink and you’re outta my mind
Now, now take it up/Baby, I’m on a high
You’re alone, going out of your mind/But I’m here up in the club
And I don’t wanna talk/So don’t call me up”
Gratitude by VNV Nation
“Thank you for all the doubts, and for all the questioning
For all the loneliness and for all the suffering.
For all the emptiness, and the scars it left inside.
It inspired in me, an impetus to fight.
To all who stood with me, when we stood as one.
Thank you for guiding me, for bringing me home.
And if it seems that I’m obliged to say these words
I write this in gratitude, the least that you deserve.”
Now That You’re Gone by Sheryl Crow
“‘Cause now that you’re gone/I can breathe
Now that you’re gone/I am free
Free to make a mess of everything/’Cause nothing belongs to me
Now that you’re gone/I can breathe”
It Don’t Hurt by Sheryl Crow
“It don’t hurt like it did/I can sing my song again
It don’t hurt like it did/I can sing my song again.
I scraped the paper off the wall/I put down carpet in the hall
I left no trace of you at all/And I can sing my song again”
If you’d like to hear or save the entire playlist, here’s the link:
Songs About Narcissism: A Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Playlist (YouTube), Fairy Tale Shadows Channel
Please note that everyone’s experience is different and it’s not possible to predict what memories someone will attach to a particular song.
If you have ideas about other songs that should be on this list, leave a comment or send me an email and I’ll review the song.
I’d rather not add songs that describe only what it’s like to be in the heights of love with them or the throes of despair unless it’s also accompanied by an empowering message.
Also, let’s avoid any obvious songs that might send anyone back into the arms of a narcissist or spiraling into depression. They make good choices for showing others what narcissistic abuse is like, but not for recovering from the relationship. Thank you!
Thank you to all of you who have sent E-mail about adding songs to the playlist!
You may also enjoy…
The Best Resources for Narcissistic Abuse Recovery
Want to learn about the five stages of leaving a narcissist?
Why Can’t I Just Leave? takes you step-by-step through the path of how you got here and helps lead you straight to the exit.
Click here to read a free preview
This isn’t your typical survivor recovery book. When you read it, you’ll learn about:
- What over 600 survivors said about their experiences and how they left their relationships
- 75 signs that you’re in a pathological love relationship
- What makes narcissistic abuse unique
- The most damaging effect of narcissistic abuse
- Why we change while we’re in the relationship
- The five stages of breaking up with a pathological partner
- Pop culture and celebrity examples of narcissistic abuse
- My personal story
Years in the making, this book creates a bridge between the first-hand knowledge of narcissistic abuse by survivors with lived experience and the social psychological research on the interpersonal and group dynamics of high-control relationships.
The heart of the book is explaining why we do things in these relationships we don’t understand and how we can stop.
Available in ebook, paperback, and hardback!
If you’d like to read a free preview, which includes the first chapter and the pathological love relationship checklist, click on this link.
Thanks for the wonderful ideas. I’m into rock music and have found that any song from Godsmack, especially Keep Away and Whatever, bring me peace and feel empowered. Also King Nothing by Metallica. I know it sounds strange, but I’ve been feeling much better about myself after listening. Perhaps it’s because I wasn’t allowed to like any music except what he liked…
An amazing song is Gaslight by Sno tha product. The lyrics are spot on!!
Also: f*ck you goodbye – kid laroie & You Broke me first – tate McRae
I don’t think that I can adequately convey how grateful I am to have stumbled across this profoundly important, life-altering and in some cases likely even life-saving resource. I have been in love with a flat-out lie for 10 years of my life now and the articles I found here have provided me with the affirmation that I needed to finally take the blinders off and see the love of my life for what she really is; broken and desperately trying to hide from the world while trying to inflict upon it all of the misery she harbors. How miserable that life must be.
My experience was not nearly as horrifying as many of the nightmares I’ve read about people living in some of the comments. I am sending strength to every single survivor about, if anybody needs a sounding board please reach out to one of the many resources provided on here or in your community. Nobody deserves to worship an illusion and be repeatedly punished for it.
I know I invited this person to bleed me dry as a result of my own inability to accept and love myself, stemming back to a rough childhood and distorted view of who I am/was, she was just doing what she had to do to have her needs met and I was low-hanging fruit. I was a willing participant in my own torture. I’m 2 years and 2 months into my break from daily hard drug use and am damn proud of that fact. I don’t try to hide my shame of the struggles struggles I faced anymore and have a healthy respect and appreciation for myself for once in my life. I’m 38 years old and have never felt this confident or optimistic in my life. It feels absolutely fantastic, until it doesn’t.
I quit cocaine cold turkey and am still constantly exposed to it, not being able to bring myself to abandon the fellow users that dealt with me being completely delusional and just a disaster emotionally. It is easy to stay away from this trap now that I am not living in despair and trying to smother it every single day. I somehow managed to sustain my job while using every single day, for fear of losing her if I lost my job. The thought of losing this woman kept me from hitting rock bottom completely. I cling so hard to what was leaving me on ruin year after year as we fulfilled the cycle that it kept me digging deeper to muster the strength to keep going every day.
The incredibly tough part of all of this is she seemed to be trying desperately to save me from myself during the love-bombing periods and this is the reality I tried to keep ahold of when reality was questionable at best. The one thing I can’t seem to do is shake the love I still hold for her. I’m four months in to no contact and still have days where I’m just thinking constantly about how good this could have been if it was genuine. That part is going to take a long while to diminish I fear.
It is so incredibly confusing to wrap my head around the fact that I need to cut off the very person that laid the framework for my journey to self-realization. I had no idea what was happening. I was working so hard to become the man I always thought she saw to keep fighting the good fight and win her back and try to keep her from discarding me again that I actually managed to come out of this heavily upgraded.
It is so counter intuitive to lock out somebody that I owe such a debt of gratitude. Of course it was me doing the heavy-lifting along the way, but if not for her I may never have come into my own, I certainly wouldn’t have been on the fast track. I had some narcissistic tendencies of my own from the outset of this relationship and have shed these, put the ego in check and feel so much deeper than ever before.
It kills me that she struggles with the same feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness that kept me in this mess for so long but took the road of the victim instead of the survivor and now I have to leave her in the dust. She will never see that it’s the best thing I can do for both of us and when no contact ends this time she will be met with indifference from me for the first time ever. I can see the attempts to ruin me lurking in wait already. I got this and am .just chock-full of resolve. We have 2 young sons together so contact will resume one day but my love for those boys, myself and even her will keep me from perpetuating this nightmare Time for the cycle to be broken.
I know my story is vastly different than most and I am inexplicably.grateful for that, I know how callously some other souls are being torn to pieces and hope I don’t come off like I’m trying to make this sound like an easy road by any stretch of the imagination, Rather I am trying to offer some hope for those still reeling and in need of a raft. It does get better. It took 9 years for me to be able to come out of this intact and I know I’m not and may never be fully out of the woods. But now I’m trying to celebrate life, new found strength and forgiveness. That’s just how I roll, which it what landed me into the cross-hairs to begin with. Boundaries and self-worth are the key. Despair is the slippery slope that leads back into the pit.
Please anybody struggling, reach out. As hard as it will be after the isolation and lack of support and every glimmer of good seeming to have a heavy price coming behind it, the universe has your back and will put the people you need into your orbit, believe in yourself at all costs, and when you’re ready come dance and sing with me. You deserve it!! Your Parasite will hate to see you smiling too, sweet revenge!
I am a musician as well and wanted to offer some of the tracks from my own recovery/celebration/steeling myself to not give into her charm and the urge to have the good times back soundtrack.
Duncan Sheik-Barely Breathing
I know what you’re doing
I see it all too clear
I only taste the saline
When I kiss away your tears
You really had me goin’
Wishin’ on a star
The black holes that surround you
Are heavier by far
I believed in your confusion
You were so completely torn
It must’ve been that yesterday
Was the day that I was born
Mumford And Sons-The Cave
Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be
Joan Jett-I Hate Myself For Loving You
Daylight, spent the night without you
But I’ve been dreamin’ ’bout the lovin’ you do
I’m over being angry ’bout the hell you put me through
beautifully written. remember you are strong, you got this.
Just putting it out there for anyone who’s looking for great punk rock that really hits home for dealing with/recovering from Narcissistic Abuse- check out virtually every/any album by Tony Sly/No Use For A Name or Joey Cape/ Lagwagon. Both are incredible bands with honest and thoughtful lyrics and were both the soundtrack for my own personal awakening/escape/recovery. I’m certain others in the throws of narcissistic abusewould benefit from listening to these bands- they certainly provided me with both strength and understanding throughout and I am very grateful for their music being there when I needed it most.
TAINTED LOVE by Soft Cell – “Sometimes I feel. I’ve got to run away. I’ve got to get away. From the pain you drive in the heart of me.” Marilyn Manson also covered, although the original song was by Ed Cobb from 1964.
ROLLING IN THE DEEP is the perfect Narcissist song. Adele always said it was a love turned to shite.
I’D DO ANYTHING (from “Oliver”) – somebody ensnared by a Narcissist, a giver until he finds that he’s been had. But still too love-struck to make a difference.
BLACK (by Pearl Jam) – you can feel the pain in Eddie Vedder’s voice and lyrics about the love he gave everything for, only to leave him in shambles. Vedder didn’t want it to be a “hit” because it was so personal.
I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW, THE RAIN IS GONE, made popular by Jimmy Cliff – when the “cluster fog” lifts, and returns the target to clarity.
LUCID DREAMS (by Juice Wrld) he wrote as a therapy session.
I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU by Paul McCartney, about girlfriend Jane Asher, who wouldn’t give up her career for his needs. Hard to say who was the actual narcissist, but a good song about the revelation of seeing what once was love was more of an illusion.
And since about a third of pwNPD are women, it’s worth checking out CAKE’s version of “I WILL SURVIVE” — really interesting to hear the male take on the Gloria Gaynor lyrics. Remarkably powerful in fact, and a fun music video to match!
Blame it on me by the West Coast Feed
This song was written specifically about narcissistic abuse, and surviving it. It’s an empowering song I listen to cranked up, and sing at the top of my lungs, especially in those vulnerable, cognitive dissonance filled, moments.
The arsonist by Pucifer
I love, love, love this track. I loved it before I knew anything about narcissism, but it took on a much deeper meaning after I discovered what was happening.
Wide Awake by Katy Perry
Listening to this after my relationship ended, touched me on a whole other level of understanding.
Perfect Illusion by Lady Gaga
It’s all right there in the title.
By the Grace of God by Katy Perry
That cathartic song when you just need a good, long, healing, cleansing cry. For me, this song is raw, candid, and empowering.
And last but not least….
Gaslighter and Sleep at Night by the Chicks
Gaslighter, because, yeah…100% relatable.
Sleep at night, though….this track got me…it’s haunting. I’m glad she decided to share her experience. It’s true when she says we’re only as sick as our deepest secrets.
Hi Gwen: Thank you for these awesome suggestions! I love that you’ve added descriptions. I’ve heard of some of these. I’ll take a look at all of them as soon as I have a chance and add them if they seem to fit with the list. Stay strong and take care. -Kristen
Hello, thank you for this little resource. I have just discovered after 12 years and two kids that I’m in an abusive relationship with a introverted narcissist. As always, in any tough time I turn to songs to help me understand and get through.
I recently just found an old favourite song of mine and after listening the lyrics closer realised it is infact about being in a narcissistic relationship. Totally serendipitous. So then I went on the hunt to find some more and I found this little gem of a page, so thank you. Music really does heal.
Anyway, thanks heaps for what you do.
Ps. The song is Stolen Car by Beth Orton
Not angry or depressing either : )
Give the song “100 Letters” by Halsey a listen. Although it made me extremely sad and somewhat regretful, in the end it helped me with gaining the confidence and empowerment it took to stay away from him this time.
Thank you for sharing this playlist! I want to suggest 6’1″ by Liz Phair.
Hi Sasha: Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll take a look at it! Stay safe. -Kristen
Three and a half years since I petitioned a court to remove Cluster-B Barbie™ from my home and my life. Two and a half since we finalized the divorce. Titanium was my song. I was Titanium.
I was a mess for quite a while. But everyone ought to know this: put your faith in Time. Time is the ultimate Healer. And you *will* heal, no matter how brutally you were treated, no matter how deeply you were stabbed.
Just in the last couple weeks, a Vancouver court granted me two contempt hearings, after I alleged Barbie was gaslighting the kids. I was careful to avoid the terms “narcissist” and “gaslighting” in court docs, of course. Those will earn you nothing but an eyeroll. Instead, I claimed “systematic denigration of my parental authority” and contempt for the Parenting Plan by undermining my children’s relationship with me. I had lots of supporting evidence.
Here’s the bottom line: once you’ve extracted yourself from the manipulationship, give yourself some time. Once you’re thinking clearly again, you’ll see that your (former) narcissist is forever stuck in their past behavioral patterns. It’s like Groundhog Day. And now that you’ve educated yourself about it, you’ll see it for what it is–pathetic.
Cheers, Kristen. Keep up your good work.
Oh, yeah … and I’m now Titanium like never before.
Hi Harry– such great advice! And great taste in songs too. That was one of my favorites as well. I’m glad to hear you have gotten the perspective on things you needed to heal. Stay strong and stay safe. Thanks for leaving a comment. -Kristen
I am overcoming 28 years (my entire adult life), being rejected by my only friend. Completely by surprise. Took him years to discard. So I cried myself to sleep so confused I would of killed myself if I could see through the tears of confusion.
It was a charade.
He did permanent irreversible damage to an innocent pure loyal soul.
I wanted to hurt him make him see how wrong he is I began reading about NPD
Slowly it’s making sense why he can do things he does.
Doesn’t justify or forgive it.
I can’t get the 28 years back. No time to have family now (52). I have no family no career no education no friends of my own. I have no savings account and I’m still stuck in a house he had bought for us. ( He didn’t of course move in).
I have pride and morals so I don’t tell this story. I do not meet people I do not go outside really.
I want out of here I’m so alone no one calls. Or cares.
I go to bed hungry a lot.
I do not want to die here.
I haven’t anywhere to go
Everyone has their story. Respect to all of you.
Stay brave. And lock your doors at night
IC from NorCal
Miss Alisha– I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through. You’re not alone. There is so much support available.. have you checked the resources page? Please join the Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/fairytaleshadows to meet some really wonderful people if you have not already. If you think you need more expert support or advice please go to thehotline.org to chat with them, and if you are feeling suicidal, don’t wait, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273–8255 or 911. Thank you for being brave and posting your story. Please reach out to others and stay safe. -Kristen
Song by STAIND called FOR YOU.
Helped me yell/scream sing along.
Hi Miss Alisha: I will check this one out! Thanks for the suggestion. Stay strong and take care. -Kristen
I’m sure these songs are cathartic to many people in some sense. But many of them are full of bitterness and anger. I realize how painful recovery from this form of abuse is. I’m in my 7th year of therapy and almost not needing visits to my therapist who says what I experienced is one of the worst if not the worst she’s ever dealt with. Over 50 years of narcissistic abuse from more people than I can count on one hand. Not to mention the two sociopaths and the psychopath who also crossed my path. So, not meaning to add to anyone’s pain or recovery process, but I find most of these songs only add to bitterness and end up effectively causing more pain for me in the long run. 10,000 reasons by Matt Redmon was my go to every day for over a year. I must’ve listened 10,000 times. At a time when I was suffering (because I had mercifully and painfully finally found out the truth) to the point that I had a stress heart attack, I found that following Biblical teaching eventually helped me recover and bring much better people who are loving and into my life. Peace, internal strength and safety are what focusing on Jesus and goodness will lead you to. I suggest listening to Christian music and avoiding all songs about bitterness, vengeance and anger unless you just really feel the need to get that out of your system. But don’t stay in that place too long, you’ll only keep hurting yourself. I think it will only prolong your suffering. But, I have to admit, songs that teach a lesson and issue a warning to us are helpful to me when I want to have a little fun. Smiling Faces Sometimes by Undisputed Truth is a fun one for that. “Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend. Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within. Can you dig it?” My friends in high school in 1974 told me I need to listen to it. Too bad I didn’t know what signs to look for in narcissists and how to break free from them then. But then when you’re raised with one and by one how can you?
-Forgiven, forgiving, free and nearly whole!
Thank you for this. Moving from deep anger has to be the hardest part of recovery. And you’re right with these songs, as much as it’s helpful to see that others have suffered the same experience (thankful for this article), it’s also a terrible trigger that puts me back into a dark place. Which only makes me resent myself because that’s exactly where the ex narc wants us to be. I’m two months out, after four years, and I know it’ll take more time than I want. Let us rise into the light and be unbothered by those that only seek pleasure by causing pain…we’re blessed not to be them. Sending you peace and love.
A new one: Gaslighter by The Chicks
Hi Simone: Yes! Great idea. I will add it this weekend. Thanks for the suggestion. Stay strong. -Kristen