Jessica Simpson is a firm believer in the healing power of music. This week, the singer, who celebrated four years of sobriety earlier this month, released her own cover version of a song that helped her get through a difficult period in her life, “Particles” by Nothing But Thieves.
The powerful and emotional track, which was originally recorded on the British rock group’s 2017 album Broken Machine, touches on themes of addiction like self-medicating, self-destruction, not feeling like yourself, and strain on relationships. For Simpson, who wrote about struggling with her mental health and numbing her pain with alcohol and stimulants in her 2020 memoir Open Book, the song resonated so much that it felt therapeutic. “The whole idea of music heals is a very real statement to me,” Simpson wrote in the caption of the music video, published to YouTube. “This song healed a broken piece of me.”
“Flirting with an addiction I can’t shake off/My mouth is dry, I self-medicate/This comedown won’t cure itself,” Simpson sings in the pared-down music video. “And I’m a shadow of a ghost/It’s feeling as if somebody has taken host/Babe I don’t want to make a scene/But I get self-destructive/And it’s driving you away.” Elsewhere, the lyrics talk about the intense physiological cravings (“Oh doctor please/This don’t feel right/Oh can’t you give me something/To get me through the night”) and mental suffering (“My mind plays tricks/And I don’t sleep no more/Doctor, please I can’t switch off”) that many people battling substance use issues face.
On her four-year sobriety anniversary earlier this month, Simpson spoke about growing out of the now “unrecognizable version” of herself she was in November 2017 and into the person she is today. “I had so much self discovery to unlock and explore. I knew in this very moment I would allow myself to take back my light, show victory over my internal battle of self respect, and brave this world with piercing clarity,” Simpson wrote on Instagram. “Personally, to do this I needed to stop drinking alcohol because it kept my mind and heart circling in the same direction and quite honestly I was exhausted.”
Simpson explained that sobriety helped her step out of unhealthy thought and behavior patterns, work through her pain, and come into a more loving relationship with herself. “The drinking wasn’t the issue,” wrote Simpson, who has said that therapy helped her work through some of the trauma she had been numbing with alcohol. “I was. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t respect my own power.” She continued, “Today I do. I have made nice with the fears and I have accepted the parts of my life that are just sad. I own my personal power with soulful courage. I am wildly honest and comfortably open. I am free.”
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