The band Best Coast’s latest album Always Tomorrow—released February of this year—is about addiction and recovery. That’s because Bethany Cosentino, one half of the band, got sober in November 2017.
The 34-year-old musician has been very open about her struggles with alcohol and drugs—including how the music industry affected her addiction. “When you’re touring, the majority of the time you play in bars,” she said, “and there’s alcohol at your disposal constantly…you show up to a venue at 10am, there’s alcohol already backstage, and if it’s not already there, they can make you a drink at the bar.”
She said life as a touring musician is “not normal” and that “sometimes it’s easier to just try to numb it and get rid of it than it is to face it head on.”
As a teenager, Cosentino engaged in self-destructive behavior. Her parents took her to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed her with bipolar II, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. She fought against these diagnoses for a while, pretending they didn’t exist. When her medications made her gain weight, she stopped taking them. She started seeing a psychiatrist and a therapist again after Best Coast took off.
Consentino referred to her 20’s as “dark.” Best Coast’s success happened quickly; she didn’t have the coping skills to deal with strangers suddenly knowing things about her life.
After a period of being creatively blocked following the release of Best Coast’s 2015 album California Nights, Cosentino locked herself in the closet and wrote. What came out was the song “Everything Has Changed,” about kicking drinking and living a happy life in sobriety. This was 14 months before Cosentino got sober, but she now sees it as the beginning of a change. The song was a vision of what her life could be—and what it eventually became.
“I just kind of hit a point where I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore,” she said. “I don’t want to wake up hungover anymore. I don’t want to cry because I’m too drunk; I don’t want to yell at my friends…and I think that sobriety has opened this door for me, in which I have become so comfortable in my own skin.”
Despite the myth that getting sober blunts artists’ creativity, Consentino has noticed that she can still write music sober. As she put it, she “can still be creative and not be f*cked up all the time.” In fact, she sees her most recent album as being more honest than her previous work. The 2015 single “Feeling Okay” off California Nights was an attempt to seem more together than she was; she said that she “bullsh*t her way” through that entire album.
The album Always Tomorrow is a testament to Cosentino’s growth, and to how much better her life became after she got sober. It’s not that Cosentino no longer faces challenges, but that she’s developed healthier ways of coping with mental health struggles.
When discussing Always Tomorrow before its release, she said, “I’m excited for people to hear that things can get better, because I sure as hell didn’t really think that they could. But I’m living proof that they can.”
If you are struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder, there is hope. TruHealing Centers offers high-quality treatment for addiction and mental health disorders in facilities across the country. Our staff will help you build healthy coping skills for a life in long-term recovery. Call an admissions specialist at 410-593-0005.