Musical Healing in Detox: For Mind, Body, and Soul

man playing guitar

Drug and alcohol detox is designed to help clients heal physically. However, there are also many facets of detox treatment that promote spiritual and emotional healing, such as H&I meetings.

During detox at Briarwood, we host H&I meetings to introduce our clients to the 12-Step Program and connect them with other sober people in recovery. In this blog, we’ll explain a little bit more about the importance of H&I meetings and introduce you to one of the musicians who regularly perform for clients during H&I meetings.

What are H&I Meetings?

H&I is short for Hospitals and Institutions. These meetings are designed to share the message of recovery with people who are currently in treatment and who may not have heard of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or the 12-Step Program. H&I meetings are also a powerful way to show clients what is possible in a life of sobriety and offer hope at a difficult time in their lives.

Briarwood hosts H&I meetings at our Austin detox center and our Houston detox center. H&I speakers visit our facility daily to talk to clients and share their personal stories of recovery. While H&I speakers typically share personal details about their own recovery experience, some also share special talents, like poetry or songwriting.

About H&I Music Appreciation

H&I meetings at Briarwood frequently include music appreciation, where speakers perform original songs or covers. In this blog, we are proud to introduce one of our H&I musicians, Courtney.

Courtney volunteers here at Briarwood Detox Center and regularly plays live music for our clients. A talented singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Courtney’s work at Briarwood greatly impacts the lives of many people who pass through our doors and it also provides an outlet for them to have fun, collaborate with others, and stay motivated and engaged in treatment.


Like many of our staff members and clients, Courtney is a Houston native. She loves to travel, create, and collaborate with friends and family, especially when it involves music. Some of her other hobbies include attending live concerts, riding horses, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors.

Courtney grew up in a musical home, so it’s no surprise that she developed her love of music early in life. As early as seven-years-old, she was writing and performing original songs and she always remembers having a passion for music and songwriting.

A guitarist and vocalist, Courtney regularly performs with her musical partner, John. The two enjoy playing folk and country music, popular hits, classic rock, and a few original songs here and there for the clients to enjoy.

“We are not afraid to look up songs we don’t know and try them,” she says. “It’s fun to collaborate with the clients and let them sing songs they like as well! It feels more like a campfire style session than a professional performance, which allows us to really get to know the clients on a friendly level.”

Courtney has been in recovery since July 27th, 2014, and although there are many ways she could give back and help other people in recovery, she chooses to share her music because she believes it has power.

“Music has been there for me through all of life’s ups and downs, and it brings people together in such a powerful way,” she says. “To be able to bring that into Briarwood, where folks are going through some of their toughest days, is really special. Music can lift people up, give them hope, and let them feel a part of something. My motivation is to share my personal recovery and my love of music with others in order to bring some healing, humor, and hope to our interaction.”

Benefits of Music Appreciation During Detox

By offering music during H&I meetings, detox clients receive more than just entertainment. According to Courtney, the live music gives them a chance to have fun, reconnect with parts of themselves they may have forgotten while they were actively abusing drugs and alcohol, and break away from the intensive focus on their current circumstances.

Live music during H&I meetings is less like a concert and more like an interactive part of the treatment process. Instead of just sitting back and listening, clients are encouraged to collaborate and participate with their own input. Some may even share their own poetry or songs.

For Courtney, music plays an important role in her own personal recovery and serves as one form of her higher power.

“I had a song for every twist and turn in early recovery. I still do,” she says. “I also found strength in knowing some pretty well-known musicians were sober. As I became healthier and more in tune and connected, music became more and more of an important expression for me. It is still a challenge to allow feelings in and to stay present, but when I play guitar, sing, and write, it’s as if everything falls into place and I feel at peace. Only recently have I been given the courage to overcome my fear of public performing and it is a major blessing to continue working on that with the Briarwood folks. Music connects me to God, and it feels really good to share that.”

Learn More About Detox at Briarwood

Getting sober is about so much more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol and detox treatment is the first step. Medical detox programs at Briarwood Detox Center are designed to fully support and engage clients as they turn over a fresh leaf and begin their new lives in recovery. With access to personalized programs, a comfortable and safe environment, and specialized therapeutic offerings like music appreciation, our clients have every opportunity to heal on a deeper level.

If you’re tired of the physical and emotional pain of addiction, our caring professional staff is here to help you. Call (888) 857-0557 to speak with a Briarwood admissions specialist today and learn more about our drug and alcohol detox programs.

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