From Self-Will To Finding Recovery Through Music With Britt Barker

Despite already hitting what most of us would call rock bottom Britt was bouncing in and out of rehab and kept getting kicked out for using. Even after years of treatment and a short stint in jail he was still running on self-will and had a $300 a day heroin IV habit. Until he burned the ships and went back to ground zero, his first treatment centre for the last time. He turned his focus on his passion for music and now lives a successful life in recovery.


Britt's childhood was good and he did not have any trouble in his upbringing. But he was a very curious kid and had his first drink at 14 after he raided his parent’s licker cabinet. He felt bliss for 45 minutes until he was sick. But all he could focus on was how funny and energetic he felt. From that day forward he knew in the back of his mind that drink would always be there if he needed an escape.

He didn’t do so well in school but really enjoyed his music. So he went straight into his career to pursue music full time. In parallel, his drug use was getting worse because he was putting himself in more compromising situations. For example, he didn’t intend to do heroin but he kept hanging around with people doing harder drugs.

He first went to treatment at age 27 and he said it was the scariest thing he had ever done. Although he found it useful he was not quite ready to open up completely. Then when he got back home he relapses straight away. This lead him to get put in jail for 90 days for running from his probation. He was still going in and out of treatment centres for the next few years but kept getting kicked out for using. Things escalated to the point where he was living in his parent’s basement and on $300 of heroin a day.


I was slowly dying in front of my parents

Britt Barker

Then in July 2015 something inside of him just said ‘you know where to go’. His first treatment centre was the obvious choice. As his dad drove him there he told his dad that if he got kicked out or screwed this one up then he can’t come and rescue him. I found this approach of burning the ships was a great idea and a critical step.

I asked him the most important question. I wanted to know after all these years and treatment centres what was different this time. The reason was self-will. Before Britt was doing everything his way and did not listen to the advice from the people around his, addiction counsellor, sponsor, fellow addicts in recovery. But the final time he was ready and open. He told his therapist and peers in groups things he thought he would take to the grave. He was willing to do anything and actually started listening. He focused on exercise and found purpose in being at one with his body in the early days. He went further and focused on knowledge and learning more about recovery. All the while nurturing his passion for music.

It was a great podcast and a real insight into what we can achieve when we focus on two important ingredients to recovery. Firstly dropping our self will and secondly having a purpose and something to work towards.

Britt also recommended an app called - FitMind: Mind Training -

Britt’s Music - catchtherise

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Website -

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