A Cancer Survivor's Soundtrack

How to Use Music to Get Through Treatment

Update: Ashley recently celebrated her 3rd year of Survivorship. She still plays her Cancer Fighting Playlist when she goes for her checkups, which are only every 4 months now. She currently councils newly diagnosed patients and volunteers for Roswell and American Cancer Society events. Ashley is happy with her second chance at life and intends to make the most out of it!

Where words fail, music speaks. Hans Christian Andersen

Music has many benefits. It can create encouragement, motivation, determination, resilience, and the ability to cope. Most importantly, it can heal. Sometimes when there are no words or there is nothing to say, music says it all.

Music has always helped me get through life’s ups and downs. And when I was diagnosed with cancer, music gave me the strength I needed to fight.

Throughout my battle, it was very hard to express my emotions. So I turned to music as a way to cope. The lyrics of each songs became my anthem and motto to keep pushing forward. With each powerful ballad, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Each song, different from the next, helped me identify my feelings and also pumped me up to get through each treatment.

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During my chemo sessions, I brought music and a Bluetooth speaker with LED lights that reflected on the ceiling. Because of this, each treatment became another mountain climbed and another accomplishment to celebrate. This also created a happy and fun environment for the medical staff!

I encourage you to create a playlist during your cancer journey to help you stay strong. Here are some of the songs that helped me on the good and bad days:

Ashley's Fight Playlist

  • Still I rise – Yolanda Adams
  • I Didn’t Know My Own Strength – Whitney Houston
  • Thunder – Imagine Dragons
  • Shake it Out – Florence and the Machine
  • Riser – Dierks Bentley
  • Everything’s Gonna Be Alright – David Lee Murphy & Kenny Chesney
  • Grown Woman – Beyonce
  • Beautiful –Christina Aguilera
  • This is Me –Keala Settle (Greatest Showman Soundtrack)
  • Roar – Katy Perry
  • Survivor – Destiny’s Child
  • Baba O’Reilly – The Who
  • Step by Step – Whitney Houston
  • Tubthumping (I get Knocked Down) –ChumbaWumba
  • Dream On –Aerosmith
  • I Won’t Back Down –Tom Petty
  • Escapade –Janet Jackson
  • The Man- Aloe Blacc
  • One Foot –Walk the Moon
  • Fight Like a Girl-Bombshel

Our Cancer Survivor's Soundtrack is now a playlist on Spotify! Stream the music picked by Ashley and other Roswell Park's patients and survivors.

Editor’s Note: Cancer patient outcomes and experiences may vary, even for those with the same type of cancer. An individual patient’s story should not be used as a prediction of how another patient will respond to treatment. Roswell Park is transparent about the survival rates of our patients as compared to national standards, and provides this information, when available, within the cancer type sections of this website.