Chris Swan Interview on KDHX

Chris Swan recently had the opportunity to hang out with with Willie B in the studio on his show Turn Up To Turn Down on KDHX in St. Louis! Click below to take a listen to the interview:

Welcome To The Fellowship Is Here!

Welcome to the Fellowship is here!

Chris Swan’s sophomore release from Soul Motivation Records! Welcome To The Fellowship contains 10 songs that chronicle Swan’s story of struggle, recovery and ultimately hope! 

“My mission with this record is to help others overcome their obstacles and to find the hope that is waiting for them,” says Swan.  

My Very First Music Video

It’s here! My very first music video ever! It’s for my song Perfect. Check it out and be sure to leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

How To Stop Living In Fear

Fear rules so many of our lives. Sometimes it’s silly little things like being scared of mice. That’s me. Mice really freak me out.

But sometimes the fears are bigger and much more damaging, like the fear of what other people think of us. We are so scared of not being accepted by people that we become overly cautious of what we let people see of ourselves. As life goes on, we start stock piling secrets like an apocalyptic survivalist hoards water and canned goods. The only difference is our stash is going to kill us, not save us.

So many of us cling to our secrets trying desperately to keep them hidden from the world. We are all so convinced that our closeted skeletons are so much worse than anyone else’s. We think things like…

“Yea, we all have problems but I’m REALLY messed up! No one would understand how messed up I am.”

Our fear is that if we let people see behind the curtain, they will judge us and think we are awful people beyond repair. Perhaps they will tell others how messed up we are or post our secrets on social media. Perhaps they will start talking about us behind our backs. Or what if they call the psych ward and have us committed?! We are constantly telling ourselves…

“If people knew the real me, I would lose all my friends and end up a hated outcast.”

The truth is people have way more empathy than we give them credit for. People want to see our flaws because it makes them feel better about their own. It also bonds us and brings us closer when we make ourselves vulnerable and share our inner most secrets.

Finally, we can’t continue to hold onto these secrets and expect to stay healthy and sober. This is precisely what has made us so sick in the past and if we expect to continue on a path of bettering ourselves, it is crucial that we put everything out on the table.

It’s time to clean out our closets. Our lives and our relationships depend upon our honesty and transparency. We need to not let fear rule us. We need to push on through and let the world see who we really are. It will help us experience a freedom like no other and people will love us for it.

P.S. I am giving away three of my most popular, inspiring songs for FREE. Just enter your name and email below and I’ll send them to you right now!

The Substitute

The Substitute.png

For years when I was drinking and overeating, my biggest fear about quitting was “What will I do with the time? What will I have left to make me happy?” I always came up short, unable to come up with something. I was so scared my life would be empty and boring without my addictions.

Would I go insane without my comforts?

When I quit drinking, food became my substitute. Instead of alcohol, I just doubled up on food. And there was some comfort in knowing that I had a back up vice to turn to. At least I had one comfort left.

But the food was killing me.

Ironic how the substance that is supposed to give us life was actually taking mine. And all because I was scared I wouldn’t be able to find happiness without it. I had to let my overeating go but how could I possibly find any joy in life without it? With food being my final vice, what would I substitute this addiction with?

Then came OA. And I discovered a permanent substitute for all my addictions. One that really worked and brought joy into my life. Real joy. Joy that would last longer than a drinking binge or a 2 hour meal. One that didn’t include hangovers, guilt or shame. It was the answer I had been seeking for all these years.

The substitute was the fellowship of brothers and sisters I found in OA.

I finally found my people in the rooms of OA. We are the same in so many ways. Finally I am not alone. We are all in this together. I am surrounded by an army of people who get it. And I can’t overstate how much comfort I find it that. For years, I tried to overcome my addictions alone. It felt overwhelming and impossible.

But there is strength in numbers. I have meetings I can go to so I can stay connected to people who care. I have people to call when I am having a hard time. I get to serve my fellows by picking up the phone and encouraging them when they need it. There is also a lot of hope in hearing another’s story of struggle. And also hearing the stories of those who have overcome their addictions.

If they can do it, so can I.

I am choosing community and connection over isolation and addiction. There is so much more joy on this side. The fellowship brings true joy and peace that I never was able to find in alcohol or food.

I finally found the substitute I have been searching for my whole life. This is what true happiness feels like.

If you can relate to this, I would highly encourage you to check out AA or OA, depending on your drug of choice. The fellowship is waiting with open arms. You don’t have to do this alone anymore.

Lost? Not sure where to go next?

Welcome To The Fellowship Preorder Now Available!

It's coming...

Welcome To The Fellowship, the newest album from Chris Swan, will be released to the world on November 6th, 2018!  That is so long to wait though, right?

Worry not.

You can preorder your copy right now!  And the best part is this - if you preorder today you save 20% on the album PLUS you get to download 3 singles from the album immediately after purchase!  How awesome is that?

Click here to preorder your copy of Welcome To The Fellowship!

I can't wait for you to hear this album.  It's all about my recovery from addiction including the struggles, the pain and best of all the hope!  Be sure to hit the button below and preorder Welcome To The Fellowship today!

Welcome To The Fellowship Is Coming Soon!

Chris Swan’s sophomore release from Soul Motivation Records is coming November 6th, 2018!

Welcome To The Fellowship contains 10 songs that chronicle Swan’s story of struggle, recovery and ultimately hope!

“My mission with this record is to help others overcome their obstacles and to find the hope that is waiting for them,” says Swan.

Hit the button to pre-save it on Spotify today! 

Perfect Is Here!

Perfect
The new single from Chris Swan is here! 

I always thought that I was supposed to try to be perfect. It turns out I was wrong. We are already perfect the way we are. How awesome is that? This song is a reminder that we are perfectly imperfect as we are.

You don’t have to try to be perfect anymore.

Lost? Not sure where to go next?

Perfect: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Perfect and what I hope you get out of it.  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

How To Be Perfect

"I always thought that I was supposed to try to be perfect."

I am a perfectionist. Always have been since I was a little kid. Almost to the point of being obsessive about some things. I am very grateful that God made me this way because it drives me to work hard and to strive to be better. But it has also brought its challenges.

My goal has always been perfection. I don’t think I really realized that in my conscious mind for a long time, but in my subconscious mind that has always been what I was trying to achieve. And the reason is this:

If I’m perfect, then no one can hurt me.

If I have no flaws and I am superior at everything I do, then no one can say anything negative about me. Even better, if they do, I’ll know they are crazy because I’m perfect. I have no flaws. My pursuit of perfectionism was my defense mechanism. I know this is true because even to this day if someone says something bad about me or I feel inferior somehow, I get a drive in the pit of my stomach to go be the best at something. That’s when I want to practice the most, or write songs or study something. Because I want to be able to prove to them that I am amazing. So I go to work mumbling under my breath “I’ll show them!”

The real result of this mindset has been constant failure and a very deep, dark depression. I could never live up to my expectations of myself, therefore, I was always failing. Instead of being the best at something, I was a loser at everything. I began to hate myself because of this. And it got worse and worse as I got older. Until one day I looked in the mirror and I was a 500+ pound alcoholic.

I was frustrated and sad constantly. I could never accept love from other people because I didn’t love myself. I was lonely. Never good at long term relationships. I was finding comfort in food and alcohol. Like A LOT of food and alcohol! And I was barely hanging on to life. On the outside I seemed cool, laid back and fun. But on the inside I was steaming mad at myself, stressed out and angry.

Is this what being perfect is all about?

I finally had to accept the fact that I will never be perfect. Ever. It is hard for me to even type that sentence right now. But I finally know that it’s true. And I know it has been a big source of pain in my life. I have to let it go.

Now, I am striving to be perfectly imperfect. I laugh at myself a lot because I really love who I am. The pressure is off. I can be me and use all that energy I use to put towards trying to be perfect towards something that matters. Like making music that will change people’s lives. Telling my story to those who need to hear it. And being a part of a community again full of imperfect folks just like me.

I wrote a song all about my struggle with perfectionism called….ready for it…”Perfect.” If perfectionism is something you struggle with, I hope you’ll take a minute to check it out. I think you will be able to relate to a lot of it. And I think you may walk away knowing you are already perfect the way you are.

Perfect
Coming October 1st, 2018!

P.S. Funny side note. I made a few short promotional videos announcing this single to the world. On accident, I misspelled a word in two of them. After publishing them to my Facebook page, I noticed I had misspelled a word. I could have taken them down and fixed it. The old me wanted to. But I decided to leave them up. What a fitting tribute to a song called “Perfect.” :)

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Perfect: The New Single From Chris Swan!

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

 

I always thought that I was suppose to try to be perfect.
It turns out I was wrong.

Perfect
Coming October 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

The Promises In A.A.

 
 

Sometimes we feel lost. We feel unsure of our future. And I’ve found in my recovery from alcoholism and food addiction, these feelings creep up more than ever before. There are some days that I feel on top of the world. Those days are a lot of fun. And it’s important to enjoy them. But there are also a lot of hard days where I miss the comfort I use to experience from my old vices. Sometimes I feel completely empty with no substitute for these substances. I feel like I’m all alone. I feel like it’s unfair that I don’t get to enjoy the things that other people seem to be able to.

After I wallow in my pity party for a few moments, I pull myself out by remembering how miserable my life use to be when I was using. It’s so easy to forget that and to just over romanticize the good ol’ days. But the old days were not all good days. They were mostly awful so I have to remind myself of that fact.

The next thing I can do, is look to the promises of the Big Book of AA. These are examples what of others have experienced from going through recovery and just knowing that these await me is more than enough to pull me out of my pity party. On days that are really hard, I can hold onto these promises. You can find all of them on pages 83-84 of the Big Book. But here is a summary of some of my favorites.

The Big Book promises us that we will know a new freedom and peace that we have never felt before. We will not regret the past. We will see how our experiences can benefit others. The feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear. Self-seeking will slip away. Our outlook on life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will know how to handle hard situations. We will realize that God is doing for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.

What amazing promises these are. They reassure me that I am truly living the life I was meant to live. These promises are the things I have been searching for my whole life. I am so thankful to finally be on the path to achieve them.

If you are having a hard day, I would challenge you to pick up a Big Book and read through the promises. There is also a great PDF with a list of the promises you can find by clicking here. There is always hope. There is always a better day coming. And knowing that other’s have experienced this fact, is often just enough inspiration to get me through one more day.

What is your favorite promise in the Big Book? Leave me a comment and let me know how it has changed your life.

Lost? Not sure where to go next?

My Problem Is Fear, Not You!

Resentment is a powerful thing. It keeps us in a state of frustration and keeps us cut off from our higher power and other people. It steals our joy and ruins our life. Yet we love to hold on to it. We love to be mad at people. And we love to tell anyone who will listen the horrible thing someone did to us.

Why do we get so much satisfaction from this when in reality holding onto these resentments is killing us? I think it’s mainly because we don’t realize we can let these resentments go. Even more so, we don’t realize that we have played a role in causing these resentments.

“What do you mean ‘my role?’ That guy is just a jerk!”

You heard me right. We play a major role in causing our resentments toward other people. Figuring out my role in my resentful relationships was a big challenge at first. It was really hard to humble myself, let go of the anger and look at the situation truthfully. But through study, prayer and conversation, I started to understand. I started to see how I was playing a big part in these resentments.

I started to learn that most of my resentment was based in fear. Fear seemed to rule my life and it was destroying it as well. I never realized how much fear I had until doing this exercise. What an amazing insight.

My biggest fear seemed to be acceptance. I was scared no one would love me or accept me. I knew I’ve had issues with this my whole life (I mean, I even founded a band called “Outsiders” in college) but I didn’t know how big of a role it was still playing in my life and my relationships today. I didn’t realize it was keeping me angry, sick and addicted.

Fear was killing me.

Once I saw this, I knew I had to deal with these fears. Call them out. Write them down. And ask God to remove them from my life. I don’t want to live a life of anger and frustration. I want to be free and bask in the joy that is the gift of life.

If I face my fears and ask God to remove them, I can be truly free. And when I’m free, suddenly I don’t mind taking a little better care of myself. I can change. I can heal. And the hope and peace that comes from that is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before.

What are your biggest fears? Leave me a comment and let me know how you deal with them.

Lost? Not sure where to go next?


I Need To Believe

"God either is or isn't.  We have a choice to make." 

That's from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.  And it really is that simple.  We can choose to not believe in God.  To live in a man-ruled world full of selfishness.  We can choose to believe that there is no plan for our lives.  Everything happens by chance.  We have no real purpose and we don't matter at all.  And when we die, we go into a hole in the ground and it's lights out.  That's it.

This is what many people choose to believe.  And that's totally fine.  We all have the right to choose.  But I can't live like that.  I can't live in a world of selfishness with no purpose, just waiting to be stamped out and forgotten.  I need to believe.  I need God.

I need to know that I matter and I have a purpose.  I need strength from God and grace from God.  I need the peace that comes from knowing God has a plan.  I know I matter because of God and I'm not alone because of God.  And I know when I die, there will be a place for me with God.

So I choose to believe.  Not only because I need these things but also because I see Him working in my life everyday.  To have it the other way only leads to a depressing life of misery and loneliness.  I tried that life for a while.  It did not work out so good.  I almost died from trying to find other things to fill the emptiness I felt.  Alcohol didn't work.  Food didn't work.  Tobacco didn't work. 

The only thing that has worked is God. 

I know now that God created me for amazing things.  He wants me to be healthy and successful.  And He is there always to give me strength.  When I see Him doing little things in my life, it reminds that I matter.  The same is true for you.

This is not a sermon.  This is just me sharing what is working for me.  I know how it feels to be depressed, miserable and alone.  And I just want you to know there is a way out of that life.  Don't be afraid to look up.  It could change your life forever.

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Influence Is Here!

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
The new single from Chris Swan is here! 

 Have you ever stopped and thought about the people you hang out with? Are they people who believe in you and lift you up? Or are they people who believe life is meant to be miserable and are constantly tearing you down? The people we let influence us is a crucial part of living a happy life. Make sure you surround yourself with the right people. Get your free download of Influence right here!

This song also features a very talented hip-hop artist from St. Louis.  His name is Jarmel Reece.  If you don't know this guy yet, you are going to love him!

Click here or on the picture to get a FREE download of Influence!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Influence: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired the song Jarmel Reece and I wrote together called Influence and what we hope you get out of it!  And be sure to share this video with those who you think need to hear it!

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece): The New Single From Chris Swan!

Announcing the new single from Chris Swan and Soul Motivation Records...

 

"Everybody wanna say that dreams aren't meant to be, let's see,
Got a few believers surrounding me,
That is my influence."

Influence (feat. Jarmel Reece)
Coming September 1st, 2018

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?

An Apology Letter To Hip-hop

Hiphop Apology.png

Dear Hip-hop,

I owe you an apology.  I'm sorry I walked away from you all those years ago.  I just couldn't handle how much you had changed.  When we met, you use to inspire me with your clever lyrics and thought provoking prose.  You use to make my day better with your infectious beats.  I remember, spending entire days hanging out with you.  Back in the day, I use to lose sleep because I was so excited for my Columbia House CD's to arrive.  I knew with each package that was delivered to my house, you would deliver to me so much truth, hope, joy and excitement.  I knew every time you showed up at my house, I was going to learn something new.  I was going to experience something I've never experienced before.  And I would be inspired and challenged to create my own songs that were even half as good as the ones you gave me.

But then you changed.

You became bitter and dark.  You began to focus entirely on the negatives in the world.  You began to lose your wit and wordplay that use to inspire me so much.  Soon, all you wanted to talk about was girls, jewelry and money.  It seemed like all you cared about was immediate gratification because you saw the world as messed up beyond compare.  And don't get me wrong, I like all those things too, but come on man.  There's more to you than that.

Look, I know you've been through a lot.  I know you have had to watch a lot of injustice done to you, your friends and your family.  I know you've been pissed at the world.  And I totally understand why.  I'm pretty pissed too, sometimes.  But I know there is still hope inside you.  I know the world is not a perfect place, but you always helped me see the better side of people.  You always helped me see the good that still exists in the world.  And I need you now.  We all do.  More than ever.

I'm not saying you can't go out and fight some battles.  That's part of your responsibilities too.  But please don't turn your back on all the good stuff.  And please don't let people make you part of the problem.  You are above all that.  And it's time to show the world who you really are.

I'm really sorry I didn't understand all this better all those years ago.  I was young and naive.  Instead of trying to understand you better, I just gave up.  I should have stuck with you and encouraged you all this time, but I thought you had given up so why shouldn't I? 

I was wrong. 

You've always been there, trying to figure this all out.  I can't control you.  You are free to be who you want to be.  So I am going to let you be free.  I promise I will always look for the good in you because I know it is always there.  And I'll be here with you during the bad times too.  Right by your side.  Rooting you on. 

Thank you for being such a huge part of my life.  I'll never leave you again.  And I really believe you were meant to change the world.  I'm here to help in anyway I can.

Sincerely,

You're #1 fan.

Lost?  Not sure where to go next?