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Travis Meadows: In tune with recovery

July 30, 2014
by Heidi Voet Smith & Jay Staples
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As a counselor I am always searching for ways to reach clients. While presenting at the C.O.R.E. conference, I came across a singer/songwriter that inspired me with his words and passion. Travis Meadows is far from a clinician, but music at times plays a huge role in a treatment plan. It reminded me of always finding a tool a client can relate to, and for Travis, it was music.

The spiritual journey or awakenings of sorts for Travis Meadows is a long windy road, where each mile sign is marked by an honest, passion-filled song. His raspy voice cuts straight to your heart, a southern Springsteen molded by the Mississippi mud he grew up on. Inspired by Springsteen, Cash, Zepplin, and Hank, Sr. Travis’ songs scream guilt, love, survival, joy, humor, and pain. The words had left him when he hit rock bottom, his climb up has been inspiring.

Stuck in treatment for the umpteenth time Travis was told to journal his thoughts. Channeling his core, Travis ignored his counselor and put his thoughts in songs. “Songwriting for me was key,” says Meadows. “It replaced journaling and in some ways served as a fourth and fifth step in addition to a fourth and fifth step with a sponsor. I'm always listening to life speak. There's a lot to learn from paying attention to the universe.” Many of those thoughts are documented in his songs he sings on stage in front of anyone that wants to listen. His biggest album to date is titled “Killin’ Uncle Buzzy” which he released in 2011. “I wrote those songs for me, never intending other people to relate to the songs.”

Travis, along with Jessi Alexander and Levi Lowrey, showcased their songwriting abilities at this year’s C.O.R.E. conference ( in Amelia Island, Florida. Travis memorized over 250 treatment industry executives with his narration of each song he sang. “It is always an honor and humbling to be able to perform for people in the recovery community,” says Meadows. “I remember some musicians coming through the treatment center when I was there and thinking how awesome it would be to be able to give back to patients because it had such an impact on me.” The C.O.R.E. conference was created to promote clinical applications of the Twelve Steps. The same Steps Travis takes every time he walks to the stage.

“I get messages all the time from friends and fans thanking me and telling me how my music has helped them. Not to mention some counselors use my songs as part of treatment. Such a gift I have been given especially considering those songs in ‘Killin’ Uncle Buzzy’ were just an attempt to save a life. It just happened to be mine. Life is good. I feel so alive and useful. I'm grateful to be alive. When I stopped fighting, the world stopped looking like a battlefield. Now it is filled with hope, love and light. It just keeps getting better.”



Heidi Voet Smith

Clinical Director Chapter House Counseling Center

Heidi Voet Smith


 Heidi Voet Smith, (LPC-S, MA), is the Clinical Director and Co-Founder at Chapter House Sober...

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