Morgan Wade understands just how powerful music can be.
For the country singer, writing songs about her sobriety journey has proven helpful not only to her, but to fans going through the same thing, she explains in a video shared exclusively with PEOPLE.
"I wrote 'The Nights' about my struggle with sobriety — I'll be five years sober," she says. "Fans come up and they tell me, 'Your song has helped me so much, I didn't think there was anybody else that felt that way.'"
For Wade, 27, hearing personal stories about the ways in which her fans have connected to her music is inspiring.
"I think that's a beautiful thing," she says. "It makes me happy that that song gets people talking and they don't feel so alone. I think as a songwriter, from the exterior, I look really tough, the tattoos and everything like that. And then, even my music is vulnerable. It's good not to pretend like everything's so great. I think that's how we start talking about things, is we find someone else that feels the same way we do."
Chris Hollo Morgan Wade
Wade, who is the Opry NextStage artist for the month of June, released her album Reckless in March 2021, and made her Grand Ole Opry debut in April.
She says things have been "incredible" since putting out Reckless, and that the critical acclaim and success took her by surprise.
"We didn't set out like, this has to have a radio single, or this has to get this or this," she says. "We set out to make a record we believed in and to see that hard work pay off and everything come back around in a good way has been amazing; it's changed my life."
Danielle Piazza/ Opry Entertainment Morgan Wade
The Virginia native took PEOPLE behind the scenes of her Opry debut in April, saying at the time that the pivotal moment was "all a blur."
With some time now to reflect on the special night, Wade says her biggest highlight was having her entire family come out to Nashville to support her.
"Music really just brings everybody together," she says in the video. "My parents have been divorced since I was 5 and it was really cool to see my mom and my stepmom and my dad taking a selfie together. That to me was really special."