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Songs from My Recovery

My memoir in progress chronicles my coming to terms with my alcoholism and the early days of my recovery. These are the songs I played during that time as I learned to live a "happy, joyous, and free" sober life.

By Elizabeth Jannuzzi

June 23, 2022

When I started writing my memoir, I planned to tell my entire life story from childhood until the present. My memoir playlist included songs I listened to throughout my life, from Kris Kross to the Counting Crows. After discussing the “beats” in the Memoir Incubator, I decided my memoir should focus on a shorter time period—the 18 months or so when I first admitted I was an alcoholic, when my marriage was teetering on the edge of collapse, and my subsequent early recovery.

With the new framework in mind, I arranged my playlist so that the songs fit into three categories: 1) Songs that match a scene from my memoir, 2) Songs that represent how I was feeling during that time period, and 3) Songs that I listened to during that difficult time.

For example, the first song on my playlist “Build Me Up Buttercup” by the Foundations was playing on the radio on the night I fell in love with my now-husband. It’s pretty obvious how “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit fits into my story of alcoholism. And “Brand New Day” by Joshua Radin was a song I listened to on repeat in early recovery when I first began to feel hopeful. “For the first time in such a long, long time, I know I’ll be okay.”

My memoir and its playlist is a journey through a time when forced to face my demons, I was able to reconnect with the beauty of life. Listen in good health!

Elizabeth (Liz) Jannuzzi, Project Write Now’s operations and communications manager, is a mother and writer living in New Jersey. Her work has been featured in Counter Clock, Off Topic Publishing, HerStry, and Pangyrus. She is currently working on a memoir about recovery.