soul motivation records

Believe Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

If we want to achieve anything in life, we need to stop being so cynical. We need to allow ourselves to believe in something. I have lived on both sides of this principle and found nothing but misery while being cynical.

Once I chose to believe in possibility, everything changed. I want this for others who dream of changing their lives. If that sounds familiar, then this song was written for you!

Serve: Official Lyrics Video

This year I am releasing a new song every month. Each song represents one of 12 core principles I have found to be the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Abundance was the first, Gratitude the second, Acceptance the third and now comes the fourth principle - Serve.

A life dedicated to serving others does so much for us. It makes us feel helpful, it brings us joy and it makes the world a better place. I'm excited to share this fourth principle with a pop-influenced hip-hop song that is beat heavy, catchy and sure to bring some joy into the listener's life! #serve

Serve Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This year I am releasing a new song every month. Each song represents one of 12 core principles I have found to be the key to a happy and fulfilling life. Abundance was the first, Gratitude the second, Acceptance the third and now comes the fourth principle - Serve.

A life dedicated to serving others does so much for us. It makes us feel helpful, it brings us joy and it makes the world a better place. I'm excited to share this fourth principle with a pop-influenced hip-hop song that is beat heavy, catchy and sure to bring some joy your life!

Serving Others

“All of me should be serving you”

This year I am putting out a new single every month. Each single represents one of the 12 core principles I believe are the key to a happy and fulfilled life. The first principle was Abundance, the second was Gratitude, third Acceptance and now comes the fourth - Serve.

I have spent a lot of years of my life being extremely selfish. I would spend my days just trying to make myself happy. I was all in my head, making every little thing all about me. I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working.

If I was spending so much time trying to figure how to be happy, why was I still so miserable?

That is where the fourth principle comes in. A life lived only serving ourselves is always going to come up short. We end up feeling lonely, inadequate, frustrated and exhausted. It just doesn’t work. The true path to happiness has to include serving others.

When we serve others, we get outside of our heads. We focus on someone else and take our minds off of our own problems. It gives us freedom from the stresses of life as we spend time working on another’s problems.

It helps us connect with one another and realize we are not alone. It helps us feel understood. We are all brothers and sisters and connected on a deep, spiritual level. The only way to experience that feeling is to spend time together.

Serving others brings us satisfaction in knowing we are useful. It reminds us that we matter. The world needs us and every time we serve another, we are shown how much that is true. We each possess very specific skills that we can use to help others. It is our duty to get out there and use those skills.

Serving others shows us how much we can truly affect our surroundings. Helping someone in a small way can send a huge ripple effect out into the world. If you open a door for someone and ask how their day is going, you put a smile on that person’s face and lift their spirits. That makes them want to do something nice for the next person. And then that person goes out does something for another and on and on it goes.

Serving another can actually change the world. Isn’t that amazing?

Serving others makes us feel good. It’s the combination of all these things that brings us joy and peace. It puts our problems in perspective and reminds us how much we have to live for. Serving is a way to change the world, yes. But it is also a way to change OUR own world.

I hope on April 1st, 2019 you will take a listen to my new single Serve. I think it will remind you how important this principle is to all of us and it might just inspire you to start a ripple of your own!

One Day At A Time

One day at a time

Sometimes I get extremely overwhelmed thinking about the future, especially when it comes to staying sober and abstinent. I still struggle with the idea that I will never get to drink or eat certain foods again. It seems like an impossible task. It also seems incredibly unfair.

I can keep going down that rabbit hole of a thought process and land on it’s not healthy to never enjoy certain foods again. And believe me, you can find plenty of people who would agree with that. They would say cutting things out completely is too drastic and not sustainable. What you need to do is learn moderation?

That is when I start to laugh because I have tried moderation time and time again. It may work for some people, but it does not work for me. As a matter of fact, moderation makes things worse for me because it keeps the cravings alive. Every time I have tried to indulge a little here and there, I would end up binging in no time.

I know abstinence is my ticket to freedom. But I don’t have to spend my time thinking about how I will never get to drink or eat certain foods again. All I have to do is stay sober and abstinent today. 24 hours. I know that my day today and my day tomorrow are going to be a million times better if I stay sober and abstinent today.

So I’m going to do that.

Even more, I am excited to do it because I have finally found a way to live the life I have always wanted. I have real purpose in my life. I get up every day with a drive and a focus that I never had when I was drinking or in the food. I sleep better and I wake up every morning with energy and vigor that I never had. I have so much love in my life, it’s ridiculous. And the truth is, I always had it, but now I am allowing myself to see it and feel it. And it feels amazing!

I am choosing to work my program today because it is working. I don’t have to worry about the future. I don’t have to say that I’m never going to drink again or I’m never going to eat ice cream again. I’m not concerned with a day that hasn’t even happened yet. My only concern is this day and what I need to do to make it great.

And when I lay my head down on that pillow tonight, I will have peace knowing that I lived another day in victory. I was able to live the day of my dreams because I was sober and abstinent. I know I can do this today and that is all I need.

Acceptance Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This is the year of change and Acceptance is the third single in a series of "mindset-changing" songs by inspirational hip-hop artist Chris Swan. This song is based on the 12 core principles that Swan believes is the cure for depression and anxiety. The first being Abundance, the second Gratitude and now the third is Acceptance. Once we learn to accept the people around us and the situations we find ourselves in, the sooner we will find peace.

We can't change other people. We can only change ourselves. This song is an upbeat hip-hop anthem for practicing acceptance in our every day lives!

Acceptance: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Acceptance 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!

Gratitude Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

This is the year of change and Gratitude is the second single in a series of "mindset-changing" songs by inspirational hip-hop artist Chris Swan. The song has a banging beat, a catchy sing-a-long hook, and clean, inspiring lyrics reminding us to focus on all the blessings in our life. Everything we want is right in front of us, we just have to choose to see it by practicing gratitude!

Gratitude: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Gratitude 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!

Addiction Panic

I am an alcoholic and a food addict. I also have an anxiety disorder. My days of addiction were filled with panic attacks. I use to get them almost daily. Fear would grip my entire body. I felt like I was dying or I was going to have a seizure.

I would be so scared for my life in these moments and knew I had to quit drinking and overeating. I knew my bad habits were playing a big role in triggering these panic attacks. But then, when I would consider walking away from my addictions, the panic of not having my only comforts would kick in. It was a catch 22. Damned if I did. Damned if I didn’t.

Can I survive a life of continuing to get my fixes every day? But then, how would I survive without them?

Talk about insanity. I was stuck in the middle of these two choices for years and years. Both with food and alcohol. I remember being in a constant panic. If I didn’t get my fix, how would I survive? What would I have to look forward to every day? And this want became a real need. I needed the food and alcohol to survive and have any joy at all.

I felt trapped and unable to make a move. And this would cause endless bouts of depression and anxiety. It was a scary way to live my life.

Thank God He pulled me out when He did. He showed me it was possible to have joy without my indulgences. Matter of fact, the joy I experience now is real and lasting. And best of all, it has no side effects. I don’t have to suffer through days of hangovers just to get a few hours of fun in my life. I don’t have to spend my days feeling bloated and winded just so I could have a few hours of fun with food.

But the best part is the panic attacks are pretty much gone. I still may have a moment of panic here and there, but I now know how to deal with it. I can call on God to give me strength. I can reach out to my fellows for encouragement. I am not alone. And I am not relying on a deadly substance to get me through the day. The constant panic has been replaced by serenity and freedom.

I am finally free from this insanity and panic. And this freedom came from working the 12 steps of OA. I never want to go back to that life. And I can say honestly today that I will do whatever it takes to stay on this path of recovery and freedom from the panic that used to rule my life.

Chris Swan On The Cerebral Entertainment Podcast - Take 2

My boys at The Cerebral Entertainment Podcast are doing big things. It’s a great show full of interesting guests and I had the honor to be on their show for the second time recently! We talk about addiction, how to be a light in the dark on social media, how to stay positive in a crazy world, and what’s coming next from Soul Motivation Records!

Hit play to take a listen!

Abundance: The Story Behind The Song

Hit play to hear what inspired my song Abundance 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!

Abundance Is Here!

The new single from Chris Swan is here!

Abundance is Chris Swan's first single of 2019 from Soul Motivation Records. The song was written to help us start the year with the right mindset. If we are thankful for what we have and we believe God will provide what we need, then there's no need to worry. There's plenty to go around when you are living abundantly!

How To Make The Right Choice

We have a choice to make and we must make it every day.

Are we going to fight or give up?

Both are very real options and when we get up every day, we have to choose which one it’s going to be. And to not choose is in itself a decision to give up. It’s crucial that we make this decision first thing every morning. It will be the difference between success and failure in our lives.

Abstinence and sobriety take work. It takes an intentional attitude and an actual plan that we follow. So if we choose to fight, then we need to follow through by making a plan for our day and then following it.

The power of planning cannot be overstated. It doesn’t need to be an overly detailed plan, either. We just need to plan the following five things:

  1. What are we going to eat?

  2. When are we going to eat?

  3. How are we going to serve?

  4. What are we going to do to live out our true purpose in life?

  5. What are we going to do if temptation strikes?

If we have a plan that includes these five things, then we are going to win the fight that day. And at the end of the day, we can lay our heads down in victory, ready to get up the next day and make the choice to do it again.

And if one day, the fight seems like to much to bare, it’s ok. We don’t have to win every battle, we just need to keep showing up and choosing to fight. That’s how we will win the war. Success is nothing but a series of battles won, one day at a time. If we choose to fight every day, then we are guaranteed to have the successful life we have always dreamed of.

Rock Paper Podcast Take Two

I had the honor of hanging out with my buddy and one of the biggest music fans I know, Shane Presley, recently. He has a great podcast called Rock Paper Podcast. I was on his show way back when I started Soul Motivation Records in June of 2017 and recently was on to give some updates and chat about dope Christmas movies!

Hit the button to take a listen!

How A Food Recovery Retreat Saved My Life

Food was always my first love. Ever since I was a kid, food was my best friend, my safety net, and my go to solution when I needed comfort. Oh yea, I also loved eating when I was happy. It was my favorite way to reward myself after a job well done. Even though I say “was,” the truth is, deep down I still feel this way about food. But COR, an amazing food recovery retreat in Minneapolis, MN, helped me realize how damaging that way of life was and more importantly showed me what my other options were. And they are awesome!

Before COR

Before COR

I grew up in a good home. Everything looked great on the outside. But behind closed doors, our family was a mess. My mom and dad fought constantly. There was a lot of yelling and screaming. But whenever it was time to eat, everything was ok. Sitting in front of the TV, eating with my family, was the one time that everyone got along. It felt safe. It felt like everything was fine. It was the one escape from the madness. And as I got older, I continued to use food for safety and comfort. I didn’t realize it at the time. It was just an instinct. I wanted to survive so I grabbed the nearest thing that would get me there and that was food.

The problem is, as time went on, it was never enough. I could never eat enough to feel truly safe or happy for long. I always wanted more and more because the only time I was happy was when I was eating. Then I started hanging out in bars. I’m a musician, so it’s my job to entertain in bars every night. It’s also part of the job to drink and get others to drink more. So I took that to heart and really went for it. Now I was drinking a lot and eating a lot. I gained weight so incredibly fast. Most of my adult life (I’m 42 now) I have weighed over 400 pounds. The worst it got was actually after I quit drinking. I knew I was going to die if I kept drinking the way I was, so after one night landing in the ER with severe heart palpitations, I decided to quit. And I did. But instead of drinking, I turned to food.

2 years later, I was over 500 pounds and miserable. I could barely walk 10 steps without having to stop to catch my breath. My knees hurt so bad, I could almost not get up after sitting anymore. I had asthma and was constantly wheezing. I was pre-diabetic and constantly scared I was going to have a heart attack. The list goes on and on, but I knew I had to do something quick. That’s when I found COR.

My life completely changed the moment I walked in those doors. The people were so nice to me. Love and kindness was something I really craved and it meant the world to get that there. And when we started talking about the disease of addiction and how the 12 steps could help me overcome this, it was over. I knew this was me. This was the solution I have been looking for my entire life! For the first time in years I saw hope again! I felt like I finally found my people too. Finally I could understand that I wasn’t a freak with no willpower. I had this disease that was curable if I was willing to take the steps. Once I realized that, I was all in! I worked the first three steps at COR, found my first sponsor and started working the steps as soon as I got home.

After COR

After COR

It’s been about 7 months now. I’ve lost 109 pounds! That is super exciting and there aren’t enough words to express how much better I feel physically. But truly the best part of it all, is the day to day of it. I have a meal plan I love. I don’t have to obsess on food all day. I have time and energy to put into things that matter now. I am connected to a bunch of amazing people. I have freedom and peace that I have been craving since I was a little kid. And I finally feel safe and loved without looking for it in food. I can’t say enough about COR. It literally saved my life and made the life I’m living 100xs better. I am finally on a real road to recovery, not just some fad diet. This is the life I’ve always wanted and I have COR to thank for all of it!

Why Am I Always Broke?

Why am i always broke?

I’ve been broke my whole life. Whether I was making great money or no money, it didn’t matter. I’ve always been broke. Everything has been a struggle. I could never afford health care. I could never afford to pay my taxes. I could never afford to pay my mortgage. I lost a house to foreclosure and I almost lost my second. I had to file for bankruptcy because it go so bad. I didn’t know what else to do.

When I filed for bankruptcy, I was making close to $60K a year with no dependents. Also, I would track all my money in and out. I knew exactly where I was spending my money. I knew exactly what I was bringing in. I had a budget every month.

What?! Why was I always broke?

I got to the point of almost losing my mind. I constantly felt like a failure. I couldn’t claim ignorance because I’ve read all the books about what you’re suppose to do with money. I knew what to do.

I couldn’t claim low income because I was making really good money with no child support or alimony or other common excuses men use for financial woes.

The truth is I had only myself to blame and my problem was two-fold.

  1. I was spending too much money on my addictions.

  2. I believed I would always be broke.

I really felt like it was impossible for me to get ahead in life. Especially as a working musician. No, I was just meant to live the life of a suffering, poor musician. So that’s exactly what I was.

As you might guess, nothing changed until I did. I had to face these two issues or I would never accomplish the things I wanted and I would never live the life I dreamed about.

First up was my addictions. My first concern with these behaviors was health based. I was dying. I weighed over 500 pounds and could barely move. That had to change. But the other part was the money. I was spending $2-$3K a month on my addictions. Yep, you read that right. $30,000 or more on alcohol and food per year. That is what we call “unsustainable.” And that is what addiction does. It blinds you to reality so you can keep living in your little comforts.

“Just one more day and I’ll change.” I said that for years.

I had to quit drinking. And I had to get my eating under control. If you want to hear more about how I did that, you can check out My Recovery Story. It was not an easy path, but one I knew I had to take. I am still a work in progress, but by the grace of God I’m sober and abstinent from compulsive overeating today.

Now the second problem. This one was even harder to conquer. It was my mindset. I truly believed that I was just meant to be poor. It was too hard to get ahead. The world was out to get me. Murphy kept showing up at my front door. Just when I thought I was getting ahead, something bad would happen and take me right back to zero. I was drowning and saw no rescue in sight.

The truth was no one was going to come save me. I had to stop looking for a rescue boat and start swimming.

Are these water analogies landing?

It was up to me. And if anything was going to change, I had to start believing in what was truly possible again. When I really thought about it, things went south when I stopped believing in myself and the possibilities of life. I had to get that back. And I had to start believing that good things could happen to me. Even more, that I DESERVED good things to happen to me.

It took a lot of counseling, late night conversations, reading, studying and praying to finally start to get it.

I was created to be successful. I am meant to be happy and healthy. I am a creation of God and I matter. There is a plan for my life. All I have to do is start believing again.

So I chose to believe. I started telling myself every day that I live in abundance. I am not poor, I am rich. I am surrounded by love, opportunity and money. Everywhere I look, these things are in my life. And you know what, they always have been I just couldn’t see them until I chose to see them.

Once I made that choice, things started to happen. Money started showing up. Gigs started rolling in. I got a bunch of piano students and my record company started to get its wings. God was working and my reality became one of true abundance.

I still have to get up and choose abundance every day. But when I do, it makes all the difference. I use to always be broke but now I am rich beyond my wildest dreams. Even if I don’t have the bank account to back that up yet, I have no doubt I will soon. And more than that, I have the friends, family and love to remind me all along the way just how rich I am.

“If you see yourself as broke, then you’re gonna be broke. If you see yourself as doomed, then you’re gonna be doomed. But if you see yourself as rich, surrounded by love, surrounded by money, surrounded by opportunity, then you’re gonna live abundantly.”

Abundance - The New Single From Chris Swan - Coming January 1st, 2019!

How To Overcome Fear

Fear is a powerful force. It’s also incredibly sneaky the way it can work itself into our lives, quickly take hold, and destroy our hopes and dreams. Fear can be paralyzing, keeping us from making decisions and moving on with our lives.

Fear can keep us isolated. So often we spend way too much time worrying about what others think of us. It can make us push people away when all they want to do is love us. Fear can make us believe that we don’t belong. It can make us feel like we are not good enough or cool enough, which can lead to self-loathing and a feeling of worthlessness. It can lead us down a path to where we don’t even want to live anymore.

Fear can fester and destroy our lives. It’s so important that we call out our fears and face them head on. We need to look at them logically, find the false information we base them on, and replace them with truth.

The truth is we were created to be here and we are here for a purpose. We do belong and we are worthy of love. We are perfectly imperfect just the way we are, even with all our flaws. We are meant to be happy and successful.

Fear can work it’s way into our lives quickly, so we need to choose to see the truth over our fears everyday. A great exercise is this: every night before we go to bed, we need to take a few minutes and ask ourself “Was I afraid today?” If the answer is yes, we need to call out those fears. Look at them logically and see if they really make sense. Then replace those thoughts of fear with the truth.

If we do this consistently every day, we can destroy fear. It won’t disappear forever, but we can keep it from ruining our lives. We can gain strength in reminding ourselves of what the truth really is. And then we can live the lives we were truly meant to live.

Don’t let fear steal your joy away from you. Let the truth ring free and give you the peace you have been looking for your whole life.

Rachel Platten - Fight Song Video (Cover by Chris Swan)

I've always loved this song by Rachel Platten. I thought it would be cool to do a hip-hop version of it. So here is what I came up with. Hope you dig it!

http://bit.ly/2Q4c5ad - To get a free download of Fight Song!

A Recovery Discussion: My Interview On The Way Out Podcast

Recently, I had the chance to be on The Way Out Podcast to talk about recovery and my new album, Welcome To The Fellowship. This podcast is a great resource for those of us going through recovery. When you need some encouragement or maybe you need some questions answered, The Way Out is a great place to go.

I hope you get some encouragement from this interview. Just click play below to take a listen.