How To Stay Mentally Fit As A Music Artist 

From journaling to creative workshops, here’s our tips for keeping your mind in tune.

Written by Leni - July 17, 2020

Our friends at Spotify once said; “Your mind is your most important instrument.” 

With tours and bookings cancelled, and release plans flopping, musicians with mental health issues are struggling with the stress and uncertainty from the covid-19 pandemic. But what if there were ways to use this downtime to improve our mental fitness and prepare ourselves for the other side?  

From journaling to creative workshops, here’s our tips for keeping your mind in tune.


Get Yourself Into A (Healthy) Routine 

We know how challenging it can be to take care of yourself while on the road — but with many tours, festivals and bookings on pause thanks to our friend covid-19, now is the time to get into a healthy routine. 

“The nature of the industry is such that [musicians are] on tour all the time, their sleep habits are off, their eating habits are really less than ideal, they're not exercising, and a lot of the coping skills that they might have when they're not on the road are not available to them,” Lily Courtney, staff clinician (and side-hustle musician) at The SIMS Foundation, told Spotify. “For those who already deal with depression and anxiety, going without adequate sleep or nutrition can make things worse.”

For music artists who already deal with depression and anxiety, unhealthy sleep and nutrition habits can accelerate these mental health issues.  

“Focus less on what not to eat and more on making sure that you're getting some fruit and vegetables,” adds Courtney. “Don't think ‘I can't eat this piece of pizza’ when there's nothing else. Even at a gas station, they typically have some kind of banana or apple that you can get.”

Keep A Journal 

When you’re feeling overwhelmed with career pressure, stress or anxiety, find ways to create space, at least mentally, by getting those thoughts out. Writing down your thoughts and doubts in a journal is a creative way to empty your mind and give them some kind of release. You don’t have to read them over, it’s just important to not keep those thoughts bottled up. 

Take Breaks 

Know your limits. If you are feeling stressed, try to take a step back. That could be anything from sitting still for 10 minutes and focusing on your breath, to going for a walk around your neighbourhood, meditating, reading or calling a mate. 

Get Creative (Outside of Music) 

Take up a creative hobby outside of music (or however you make money) — it’s important to enjoy doing things without worrying about how “good” or “bad” you might be at it. Try something new, let yourself fail, and send your train of thought to a completely different place. Focus on one thing that’s disconnected from your daily life. There’s a heap of creative classes available on Skillshare or Masterclass (just remember to keep it outside of music). 

Download These Mental Health Apps

While there's no substitute for getting professional help from your doctor or therapist, these mental health apps can help provide support and guidance. 

LA-based meditation app Headspace offers guides to coping with stress caused by covid-19 with a series of free meditation programs. 

Meditation app Calm has also introduced a curated selection of sleep meditations and practices to find mental ease during this hard time. 

Simple Habit has introduced new meditation collections specifically geared toward coronavirus–topics including self-care, mindfulness, mindful communication with family and easing fear. 

Stoic is an immersive mental health tracker that gives you the tools to get through everything your day has in store — including mood tracking, journaling, meditations, and reflection. The app analyzes your emotive influences and gives you insights on how to be happier and more productive.  

Get Out Into Nature

Without sounding cliche, “ecotherapy” (or being connected with nature) has a proven link to making us feel better, period. The change of scenery can help us change our thought processes, can improve our mood, and make us focus on good things instead of our negative thoughts.


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