A personal slice – Be it philosophizing, reviewing music, crafting songs or drum patterns or, heck – maybe I’m just thinking aloud… this is where my thoughts hit the keyboard and infiltrate the borders the giant world wide web.

This one was birthed from my buddy, D.O.


Thanks, man!

Here are my top 11 favourite albums to hit the gym with:

1. Rage Against The Machine – self titled

2. The Zolas – “Swooner”

3. Daft Punk – “Homework”

4. Thornley – “Come Again”

5. Jay Z – “The Black Album”

6. Rage Against The Machine – “The Battle of Los Angeles”

7. Mother Mother – “Eureka”

8. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – “The Heist”

9. Big Wreck – “In Loving Memory Of”

10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Blood. Sugar. Sex. Magic”

11. Beastie Boys – “Hello Nasty”

Runners up

The Dudes – “Brain. Heart. Guitar.”

Minus The Bear – “Planet of Ice”

What is your favourite album to dig in to when you workout? What makes a great workout song, anyway?

Til next time,

Stay sweet




Stress. It’s a real thing. The last couple of months have shown us how important wellness really is. Unfortunately the repercussions of not being well, physically and/or mentally, have taken the lives of many of our beloved industry colleagues. The darkness of anxiety, depression and addiction is slowly coming to light. And for good reason. Nowadays it’s very rare to come across someone that says “no” when asked if they’re feeling stressed. It’s become engrained to the hustle-bustle, 60 hour work week we all know and love to hate. But does it have to be like this? Not a chance. Here are my top 3 picks to help alleviate stress and get you back to being the best version of yourself.

The number one thing you should do when you’re struggling with something is talk to a professional for help. Yes, your friends can lend an ear, but unless they’re trained professionals you’re not getting the full meal deal. Speaking to a professional counsellor, therapist and/or a psychiatrist will help you identify the root of the stress and they’ll then be able to provide you with the right resources to get you back in action, stat. I still go to therapy and I would recommend it to anyone who’s seeking direction, closure from a relationship, financial advice, how to conquer their fears or anything that’s got them feeling down, stressed, helpless or worse yet – suicidal. It’s serious. Below I’ve included a few links to some services ’round these parts and a brief description of what they do.

Elephant Artist Relief
  • Great local resource with everything from funding options, financial aid to counselling etc… connectors to all aspects of better well-being

Distress Centre 

  • 24/7 crisis support for Calgary and southern Alberta. These fine folks do not define crisis and are there for anyone at any time. This is their 24-Hour Crisis Line: 403.266.HELP (4357) and you can find them on the web at http://www.distresscentre.com/contact-us/

Unison Benevolent Fund

  • Non-Profit registered charity that provides counselling and emergency relief services to the Canadian music community. They help professional music makers in times of hardship, illness or economic difficulties. Here’s their assistance number 1-855-986-4766 and website – http://unisonfund.ca
  • We actually have a “Mental Health and Wellbeing” Download session happening Wednesday, March 21 at 6:30pm in Calgary session for Alberta Music members. Amanda Power from Unison Benevolent Fund will be joining me on the panel, so be sure to head here to save your seat in Calgary (if you’re not a member, get on it! You get free access to the awesome programming – albertamusic.org/membership)
  • I actually had the treat of interviewing the Executive Director of Unison, Shiela Hamilton back last fall. Hear our conversation about Unison Benevolent Fund and how us artists can utilize their services here Shiela Hamilton – Unison Benevolent Fund 

2. Journal and Meditate 

Oftentimes, just putting the proverbial pen to paper (talk about alliteration!) can remedy a lot of stress in our lives. A new brain imaging study by UCLA psychologists reveals why verbalizing our feelings makes our sadness, anger and pain less intense. [Read the full article here]

As far as meditation goes, this is a favourite quote of mine:

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes everyday – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”

I personally like to use an app called “Headspace” for my mediation and another app called “Daylio” for tracking my mood and a daily journal entry.

However, I don’t like being on my phone. I find it’s actually quite contradictory to disconnecting and being mindful, as we spend so much time glued to the Snapface and Instabook already. So, if you’re like me, I’d recommend going out and grabbing a journal from a local bookstore for $25. Or better yet, I wrote a 21-Day Self-Love Journal. It’s easy to follow along and start placing gratitude, self-worth and consideration at the top of your charts… Super helpful if you’re struggling to get there on your own. Day by day you just implement the tools I prescribe and voila, you’re on your way to becoming the best version of yourself in just 21 days. Start reading it here for free – Start With U: 21 Day Self-Love Challenge

3. Exercise!

That’s right, in general, findings from research indicate that exercise is associated with improvements in mental health including mood state and self-esteem, although a causal link has not been established. Research on acute exercise indicates that 20 to 40 minutes of aerobic activity results in improvements in state anxiety and mood that persist for several hours. These transitory changes in mood occur in both individuals with normal or elevated levels of anxiety, but appear to be limited to aerobic forms of exercise. [Read the full article here]

So what’s the difference between aerobic exercise and all that other stuff? Well, aerobic exercise is exercise where your body’s cardiovascular system (the lungs and heart and circulatory system) work to provide the main source of energy to the body. Things like long walks, jogging, resistance circuit training (sorta), swimming, hiking, cycling, flow yoga and trail running are all examples of aerobic exercise.

We also have Anna Beaumont a voice teacher sitting in on the “Mental Health and Wellbeing” download session in March with myself and Amanda, so be sure to register if you’re interested in learning more about how mindset, meditation and movement can help your playing, reduce your stress and essentially help you to become the best version of yourself.

Here are a few other ways to get active, try something new and have fun:



City Fit Shop – Whip around obstacles and play like a kid again in Edmonton’s premiere

obstacle course gym.

logoss.pngThe Surf Studio – Hang ten, dude. Get your surf on at this one-of-a-kind fitness experience. You’ll understand why those surfer dudes and babes are ripped! Holy core, Batman!

topVertically Inclined Rock Gym – If you’re not afraid of heights or awesome things this might be the ticket to getting a new activity down. Kids programs, adult programs and birthday party specials, this place has it all for veteran climbers and rookies.



Bodhi Tree Yoga – Looking for the best Yoga studio experiences in town? Look no further than Bodhi Tree. Plus Alberta Music’s own, Amy Thiessen teaches here. Incredible instructors and space so this spot is great for the seasoned yogi and first timers alike.

Click here to learn more about the MusicFit Collective Affiliate discount to save some coin on your yoga passes.


Bike and BrewCalgary’s first cycle shop and cafe, these guys offer it all. Have a cup of the best brew in town, snack on some baking from Corbeaux Bakehouse or try a sandwich from locals vendors Peppino while you get your bike serviced. They also offer group rides, information sessions and product knowledge workshops so once the snow clears you’re all set to ride.

Click here to learn more about the MusicFit Collective Affiliate discount to save some coin on your caffeination and select merchandise. 

There are some musician specialty clinics happening in March and April as well:

Sunday, April 8 “How To Effective Load Gear”

Load Gear Without Fear

This is a musician wellness workshop that will focus on practical theory and knowledge combined with practical movement patterns to ensure you’re keeping your body in good form and avoiding injury. Limited space, AB Members only (get your membership at www[dot]albertamusic[dot]org/membership") Price includes taxes and service fees.


Sunday March 25 “Down-regulatory exercise: Working-In”

How To Use Exercise To Inspire Creativity and Performance March 25 (AB Music Members Early Bird)

This specialty clinic will touch on effective down-regulatory exercise and stretching techniques to help alleviate pain, reduce stress and help you increase creativity and performance. You’ll be at 11. Why don’t you just make 10 louder? Because this one goes to eleven. AB Music members discount (get your membership at www[dot]albertamusic[dot]org/membership) Limited space. Price includes taxes and service fees


Well folks, I hope you can take something valuable away from this. If you’re interested in a consult to determine how to organize parts of your lifestyle you’d like to improve, please reach out. For all Alberta Music Members I offer 50% off, all hour long consultations  and I can meet in person and via Facebook video every Friday. Contact me to book a spot.

Quick recap and I’ll get out of your hair:

  1. Talk to a professional if you’re having challenges in life.
  2. Journal your thoughts and take time to be with yourself.
  3. Exercise! There’s plenty of ways to move your body and they don’t all revolve around the gym…

As always, thanks for reading,

Namaste sweet!


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Ps. Rad photo eh? Check my brother out on Facebook Sean Schwartz Photography

What the eff is up with New Years?

Too often I find that people can’t wait until the New Year to make changes. Be it, lifestyle – you know? Diet and exercise… “I’m going to work out!”… -cough, cough-

Or maybe they’re going to start a new ambition such as learning a new language or reading more or simply just devoting more of their time to friends. Whatever it is, I struggle to understand why the heck they need to wait for an arbitrary day in the calendar year to make the switch.

I am here to make one thing very, very clear.

Why wait to do what you can today, tomorrow?

People simply can’t wait for tomorrow, the new moon, next week, Friday…etc etc… and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m certainly not saying I’m removed from it. I was that too, guilty as charged. However, over the course of some deep soul searching this season, reflective of my past two or three years, some friendships gained and strengthened, others completely written off, a thriving career in sport ripped away from me, forcing me into a ton of debt and sub-par living situations my health and my dog and a broken marriage and life that was completely flipped on its head – all these things due to events and circumstances out of my control. What have I learned? Well, even though things happen in life that may be completely out of your control, you’re in complete control of how you react to those situations. That mindset has been a game changer for me.

What’s this got to do with New Years? Well, if you’re still stuck on the “resolution” bus pay close attention. I have news – if you’re waiting for the new year, simply another day, an external force to help change your outcome, you’re being trolled along in the human condition.

Don’t fear failure… it’s only experience.

Set your own expectations each and every day. Build upon positive daily habits. Identify areas of weakness for you, address them, recognize them, but don’t focus energy on shit you’re no good at.Try hard at everything you do and don’t worry about missing the mark. Mistakes happen. Treat each one of them as a lesson, an area to learn and grow from. I believe that if you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough. Don’t fear being wrong. It’s okay. Basically nothing in life except driving into oncoming traffic is irreversible. And, whether you admit it or not, 9 times out of 10 you have a choice. Even when you think you don’t… you do. As my pops told me when I started playing some serious stick-puck, “don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. That’s something I live by.

Be active, eat well and keep your head straight. Without all three in top performance you are not at your true maximum capability. And even then… you probably aren’t. That’s okay, because lifestyle is about progress. It’s not all about perfection.

While my holidays have been a rather difficult time, managing the past and doing my absolute best to quell the depression and maintain some sense of inner peace, I have got one thing to be incredibly thankful for: my health. Without an able body I wouldn’t had the ability to help my friends move. Without proper fuel in the machine I wouldn’t be able to get up with energy to think of ways to afford life and drive forward though all the adversity, and without time to myself each morning and evening I wouldn’t have had the strength in my mind to persist. It’s amazing to have a few close friends and family stick by my side, many people don’t know what it’s like to battle mental illness and hell, often times we don’t even know we are waging that war ourselves! I’m happy to say I’ve conquered it, but little bits this time of year seep back in like when a shitty ex-girlfriend’s CD she lent you 4 years ago pops up on shuffle just when you were over it… that’s basically where I’m at right now.

-spoiler alert, cryptic spoiler alert…-

Sure, I might have to sacrifice a little in order to help grow an empire behind the scenes, but I figure that’s a small price to pay short-term in the long-term game of life. There’s always a choice and I’m choosing to do things the right way in order to be able to come back to my goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Takeaway – keep your health as your priority. At the end of the day, it’s the only thing you’re taking with you when you leave this place so make sure it’s a finely tuned machine. Sure, I have a ton of cool things that are happening in the upcoming few months, but they wouldn’t have been there had I told myself “Tomorrow”. I was proactive. I encourage you to be proactive too and toss the resolution mantra aside in favour of just building on what you’ve got and progressing daily. One step at a time. So, hi 2017 – you’re nothing special. You’re another day. I’m still going to work just as hard each and every day, and you’re not the reason I’m going to be successful. I am.

On that note. I want to take my puppy, Darwin for a walk. We stayed in ate pizza and a beer and watched the Flames for New Years. Today we walk and hang out. He’s my bud. Do what you love and love what you do. Puppies are great examples…

Make today your absolute best! Become a better human, TODAY!

K, sweet, good chat.


Regardless of your political ideology, whether you identify with sexism, tax crime, bigotry, misogyny or any of the other phrases and statements used to describe him, whether or not you’re American either – let’s get to the core – you’re human. And with that, being human, you cannot deny the power of hate.

I have no more time for this hate stuff and I’d encourage you to accept what has happened in the US Presidential Election and channel your energy for good. This post is half therapy for me, as I’ve found ultimate disappointment in humankind. As a result. I’ve been depressed enough to not get much productivity and it’s severely affected my day to day level of effectiveness. Not cool. Wake up call.

Yes, I’m Canadian. Indirectly, the next 4 years will affect me. In my opinion… not well. However, it’s a situation I am ultimately not in control. Things will happen. Things won’t happen. I am only in control of how I respond to any given situation. Let’s turn my attention to that, then. Right?

That said, I want you to do the same. Collect yourself. Can you do anything about what’s happened. Yes? Okay, do it. No. Okay, don’t stress over things you can’t do anything about. Carry on…

If you’re getting the vibe that I don’t support Trump, you’re right. But I don’t hate people that do. That’s their choice. I believe other values than them. Simple. Hell, I don’t hate. Period. I’m just going to try to look at ways to be an opportunist about the situation us humans are in.

Wait…I think there was a time that I did hate. But then I turned 4…

I don’t support hate.

I support love, and truly believe if we all go around and promote things that we love and people that we love and continue on the path of love.

Please people, regardless of your borders, your identifiable qualities, your beliefs whatever – you’re all human beings. We are all capable of choosing to love or to hate. Choose love.

Move forward. Not backwards.

Love people, love.


Remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star.

Stay sweet, folks.




Discipline is grown from the ground up.

A fertile soil. Truly present when the farmer isn’t around to tend to the weeds, not just when she comes to harvest the crop. That is the true measure of discipline; what happens in the wonderment of the moonlight when no one is around to see.

Here’s a little research I did for anyone looking to know some hard facts about their instruments. That said, it’s important that we treat our bodies much as an athlete would. Proper fuel, proper TLC to mitigate the onset of poor lifestyle habits in movement, nutrition and mindset. All research comes from Precision Nutrition’s Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition.

Burn Fat, Play Music