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

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 –
  • 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 –
  • 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


I’m not here to poke the bear, but fact is… 70% of the people I meet with aren’t truly fit for coaching. Not 100% anyway. There’s also a stat (that I might be butchering because I’m going off of a conversation I just had with another health professional) that it takes 9 years on average for a person that’s been dealing with anxiety/depression to actually have it affect them enough to be willing to make a change in their life to address it. 9 years! That’s a crazy amount of time to be contemplating something!

That’s what wellness professionals are there for. I’ll speak from experience; the folks I work with learn to become ready through a long, progress-based method of behavioural change. I’m not the only one out there that can facilitate that, but you’ve got to imagine if we’re dealing with years and years of pain, discomfort, addiction, darkness and negative lifestyle habits, the ability to turn that all around in a few sessions is unrealistic.

The point is, most people aren’t truly ready on their own for coaching. Ironic though, because those are the people that need it the most. Hence, the “Thousand Reasons” are mostly made up stories of that person in the pre-contemplative state. The state of mind that will really search for all the reasons not to break habit. Stay comfy. Stay away from progress.

I’m compiling a list of resources to help musicians get well, and stay well, mentally, physically and otherwise. This list includes practitioners specialized in working with musicians and industry, health and counselling, life coaching, exercise therapists, nutrition gurus, everything.  If you would like to add a name or a resource, outlet or organization that you believe could help others in their health and wellness journey, please add a comment down below or reach out to me on your own.

Thanks for listening. And if you know someone that’s experiencing some tougher times, just say hey, offer your ear and point them in the direction of some professional help.

‘Til next time, stay sweet.


Today was a lot better. It’s a constant battle however, to delay the emotional suffering until you are in a safe place. You fight through. You kick. You almost have to wear it on your back instead of power it through your feet.

But that’s only sustainable for short amounts of time. The healing needs to take place and Flo says it best, “it’s always darkest before the dawn.”

Keep chipping away and things will turn up. Keep chipping away and do things day by day. They will be better. It’s just around the corner, I promise. When it rains it pours, and things are going to get real good, real soon. Just chip away.

I’ll wear the Albatross for one more day.


I’m participating in Movember to help support men in the music industry that battle the depression, anxiety and mental illnesses like I have – feel free to check out our team page here –

Thanks for listening,



With the passing of yet another legend of popular culture, and another childhood hero of mine in Chester Bennington I have just one question: when are we going to wake up and start realizing there’s a problem and we need to do something to solve it?

I’m not suggesting rock stars get special treatment, but the level of fame, high stakes pressure and status is obviously taking its toll on the individuals we the public see as untouchable, perfect and with it all. These are the leaders that shape our youth and the stigma associated with mental health. If more celebrities, high profile artists and bands felt comfortable sharing their battles with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues then maybe the rest of us would feel better talking about it in an open forum much as we do about the flu, a rolled ankle or stubborn cough. It’s all sickness. Not optimized health. Mental vs. physical is irrelevant. It just needs to be discussed.

Clearly we are skipping steps. The industry needs to set up and advocate for a program of proactive health to which all areas of strength and confidence in both mental and physical wellbeing are treated. Here’s the thing:

I have the platform.

I wrote the book on it. Get it on Amazon – The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle

I host the podcast to which we talk about it. Subscribe on iTunes – How To Survive The Rock Star Lifestyle Podcast

I train people to be fit, mentally, physically and emotionally. Check us out here –

All I need is the support.

Together we can help raise mental health awareness and break the stigma associated with depression, anxiety and addiction. Let’s talk, because I am sick of reading headlines like this every month or so about the rock idols that I grew up worshipping….

It’s getting really frustrating because it’s something we can fix by just opening up avenues of conversation.

Contact me here if you wish to speak on my podcast. You don’t have to be a rock star, musician or even musically inclined. However, if this story has made an impression, if you have been affected by mental health in any capacity, I want to offer you a platform to speak to it and inform others.

I am going to host a special edition podcast once we have some input in order to bring to light the darkness that is mental health awareness. It’s a safe, respectful, environment for those of you that wish to say anything about your experience with mental health. It can be a story, a specific experience you have had, how mental health has affected you or a friend/family member or how the loss of these amazing talents to something so silly has impacted your life…. anything at all. Even just a quick few sentences. I want your stories to help others realize there’s outlets for assistance. There are places to seek help and a community that supports you in your darkest of places. Together we can break the stigma. I’ve been down that road a couple times myself, but fortunately never to the point that some get to because I’ve had resources to help me through. Let’s showcase these resources for others that may not be aware. Let’s make it cool to talk about mental health.

I’m here to share your story. Please help me break the stigma!