Gwen Stefani channels her spirituality for new music, just like these 10 other artists

Pop artist Gwen Stefani says she returned to songwriting because of a "spiritual experience." Here's why she's not alone.

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  • Pop music artist Gwen Stefani didn't make her return to music to sell more albums, go on tour and get her name back in the spotlight.

  • She said it was a spiritual experience that brought her back.

  • The No Doubt singer, who hasn't published an album in nearly 10 years, recently released a new album "This Is What the Truth Feels Like," which features a number of songs that Stefani wrote, according to The Huffington Post.

  • The 46-year-old host of "The Voice" told The New York Times that her songwriting skills returned after she survived "six months of hell" during her breakup with Gavin Rossdale. The breakup was so bad, in fact, that she "prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed" to God for guidance and salvation.

  • She said God answered her prayers by inspiring her to return to the studio and write music again.

  • "I know that it's weird to talk about spirituality publicly, because it's such a personal thing, and I know that some people, it offends them," Stefani told The New York Times. "But I can say my own journey, and what I believe and what I feel and what I've seen, the miracles I've seen - it's quite real for me. It was right there in the room. It was magic, and everybody felt the magic of this music being made. It was so pure."

  • Stefani's spirituality isn't anything new to those who have followed her career. For example, Stefani named one of her sons Apollo after the Greek and Roman God, which I wrote about for Deseret News National. She also explained back in 2014 that her son, Kingston, prayed for their son Apollo before he was born. That's why Apollo's birth, she said, was an act of God.

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  • And Stefani, who was raised Catholic, has relied upon her religion for many of her life choices. She said in the past that it was her Catholic upbringing that made her into the person she is today, according to The Hollowverse, a website that explains celebrity religious and political beliefs. It's been tough for her at points, especially since Hollywood encourages a lifestyle that doesn't always sit well with her religious convictions. Still, she's found a way to make it work.

  • "I always had the pressure of, 'You've got to be a feminist and you've got to hate guys,'" she said, according to The Hollowverse. "'And you've got to cuss and be tough.' And I was never like that. I grew up, like, a Catholic good girl. Total Brady Bunch family. But I kind of got over that and realized that, yes, I love to dress up and I love to wear makeup and be myself."

  • Stefani's comments aren't too surprising, since there are other celebrities who have learned to deal with their faith while remaining in the Hollywood spotlight.

  • Just recently, Jennifer Garner admitted that she brought her children back to church after many years away from the pews. As I wrote about this month, Garner said she had left her faith because the Hollywood lifestyle didn't encourage it. But after she started filming "Miracles From Heaven" - a film about a family's spiritual reaction when their daughter is saved by an apparent miracle - Garner said she realized she had to return to church.

  • "It's made me really look at my town of Los Angeles and realize we don't talk about faith," she said. "It is not a conversation that we have between takes on set. On this movie it was."

  • In fact, there have been plenty of celebs who grew up going to church. Elvis, for example, lived under the same room as Rabbi Alfred Fruchter, who inspired his own music style. Similarly, Katy Perry, then known as Katy Hudson, got her lyrical lift from singing uplifting gospel music in church while growing up. She even published a gospel album before she switched career paths and became a powerful pop presence. And Kristin Chenoweth - star of the "Wicked" musical - was almost a missionary for her Baptist church.

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  • These singers aren't alone in their support of spirituality. Many artists throughout the years have used their connections to the divine to inspire their music. In the playlist below, you'll find some tunes from popular bands that actually may have a connection to God and religion, showing that songwriting with the help of spirituality isn't an uncommon thing.

  • "Believe" - Mumford and Sons

  • About a year ago, popular indie band Mumford and Sons released this song, which explores the struggles of dealing with faith during difficult times.

  • "All These Things That I've Done" - The Killers

  • In this song, singer Brandon Flowers asks God for help and not to put him "on the back burner."

  • "Hear You Me" - Jimmy Eat World

  • This early 2000s hit has the main singer admitting he hopes that someone he loves meets angels at the gates of heaven.

  • "My Shadow" - Keane

  • Keane's Christianity is nothing new, but this song has plenty to say about God - especially the idea of sticking with Him as you walk through a "weary land where there is no water."

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  • "Sweet Nothing" - Calvin Harris (ft. Florence and the Machine)

  • In this song, Florence and the Machine sings about how she has nothing to hold onto, and may need God's help.

  • "Carry on My Wayward Son" - Kansas

  • Though the band's guitarist Kerry Livgren said the song wasn't meant to be about religion, there are some spiritual themes inside, like the fact that "heaven waits for you" if you carry on with your faith.

  • "If I Believe You" - The 1975

  • The band's frontman Matt Healy said before that he's an atheist. But he questions his spiritual beliefs in this song and asks whether he should believe in God.

  • "You Found Me" - The Fray

  • The band's frontman Isaac Slade said in an interview that this song is about overcoming difficulty in your life, and how sometimes it demands a lot from your faith to keep believing.

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  • "Dare You to Move" - Switchfoot

  • Switchfoot has long been known as a band that sings about Christian themes. "Dare You to Move" follows that trend by including lyrics about redemption, according to CCM Magazine.

  • "It's Gonna Be Me" - *NSYNC

  • This popular song actually aligns with a popular biblical verse, Hebrews 13:5 - "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'"

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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