I sound like a broken record when it comes to this cliche. But it’s a truth I’ve been realizing is more and more prevalent amongst the – and I’m going to take some heat for this one…- millennial crowd of the modern day workforce.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there a certain level of entitlement associated with the modern workforce nowadays? I feel like folks walk in fresh out of school expecting to land the job of their dreams and skip ahead of the rest of their peers based purely off of what texts they studied in ______________ bullshit university. It’s ridiculous. Especially in my field; health and wellness. You don’t just come out of kines and become the world’s greatest gift to fitness.

That’s what I want to speak to. From the perspective of both sides, us as wellness professionals and also the consumers of wellness, which is in theory, everyone (or at least in a perfect world it should be).

First; Wellness Professionals. 

Sure, you studied under ______________, the best homie in the business. You know how many years it took him or her to get to that position? Exactly. So, how are you even close? Earn your stripes. Imagine what your grandma would say! There is still a pecking order and good thing. Here’s why:

I can still walk into any fitness facility and pick out the newbie trainers. They’re the ones that gloat about how they murdered their client, a 35 year old mother of two with a vicious leg day that left them at the mercy of their power trip.

I can hear it now… poor Becky crawling out the front doors… and her ironfisted Personal Trainer shouting something like: “Hey! Do you think you’re walking to your car? You thought the work out was done? Ten more lunges. Finish strong. I wanna see you drag these sleds to your car before you go anywhere!”

I mean that’s grossly exaggerated, but it’s kinda scary how accurate that situation is. I’ll be sitting in a lunch room of a facility where us trainers converse – kind of like a watering hole – and you’d never believe he absurdity of some of those conversations.

Yeah I get it, a good workout can mean crippling your paying customers. But it can also mean knowing when not to do that. Listening to their words, watching their body language and not being so stuck on proving how awesome you are that you missed the 13 signs before said customer passed out because you didn’t think to ask if they had breakfast before they started sprinting, swinging kettle bells and kipping into burpees for time on that sick AMRAP, bro… (who else is envisioning a CrossFit box nightmare?). It’s simple, right? Then why the hell do we still see it?

Serisously, what’s the hang up? Do these people just not care?

I’d argue, yes… there’s some people out there that get into the business to fill their ego. These people are also the typical injury-prone athletes that maintain the “no pain, no gain” mantra that should have died with the dinosaurs (technically I guess they’re still alive…). But really, if you think like this, you’re going to hurt someone. It’s completely ridiculous. Know when to work in. Know when to work out. End of story. Pay attention to the people that are paying you, and stop pumping your ego.

Leave the Ego, learn the Confidence.

Why am I saying this from up atop a perch, a roost if you will –  of pure pedastilia? (yes I just made that word up)

I’ve been that guy. I was the guy that thought I had to break everyone in front of me. Why? Because as an athlete it’s all I knew training was. Then I got schooled by yoga. Then I got interested in other modalities that teach you how much more effective breathing patterns can be if you use them correctly. I learned how to come out of a “workout” feeling energized, not drained. I travelled to take courses. I went out of my way to incorporate everything I learned into my own practice before guinea pigging people that were paying for my professional services. I put the time in. Now, not to brag, ’cause holy hell I still have a long ways to go… but I am a perpetual student. I can’t wait for the day I get my Registered Yoga Teacher Training Certificate. I can’t wait to get another C.H.E.K certification. I am always on the prowl for new ways of thinking, moving and inspiring others to do the same. I have put in a dozen years and plan on putting another few dozen in. Knowledge is power when shared. And I wanna learn it all.

So that’s why I feel as though we need to get back to an expectation that all of this takes time. I mean, if we’re teaching Lifestyle changes, let’s implement that same, long game strategy, right?

All of the above was only half of my time in the industry. You know, you hit a wall and see that you don’t know everything.. you get schooled. You eat a little pride, pick yourself up and look at it from one of two perspectives. Victim or ownership.

Ownership: Own Your Shit.

Owning or blaming? It’s easy to put the blame on externals, “The wind took the ball… I didn’t have my lucky shorts… my dog had a bad case of the hiccups…” (the last one is pretty true, Darwin gets these wicked little hiccup bursts after he wolfs down his food sometimes…) But really, think about the last situation that wasn’t favourable for you. Now, how was that outcome entirely your fault? I know, right? Tough to own it. But seriously, try that exercise out. It’s freeing.

As far as consumers of health and wellness go, the story is the same. However, in my experience I have found that most often it’s not that (especially the music industry) folks don’t want to get healthy, they just don’t know how, or where to start.

That’s where we, health professionals need to step up our game. Let’s educate and inform and give tools, resources and empowerment in the hands of the rest of the world that’s looking for answers.

I’m a part of a really sweet industry panel for Alberta Music next Wednesday night in Calgary.

It’s free for everyone. If you feel like donating, proceeds will go to the Unison Benevolent Fund, Amanda Power the Executive Director of Unison will be on the panel taking questions and providing her insight alongside myself, so if you’re in town, musician or not – free education. Check the event out here: Download YYC: Mental and Physical Wellbeing in the Music Industry

Feel free to comment, send me an email or get in touch on any of the socials if you’d like more info on anything to do with health and wellness.

I truly believe if you’re still reading this, you do care, and I’d like to remove the obstacles that kept you from being the most rad version of yourself in the past. You got see how awesome being healthy, happy and your best self truly is. But it starts with you.

‘Til next time,

Stay sweet!Untitled design-15


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!


MUntitled design-13

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

As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.

So I did my first drum cover.


Believe it or not, this was the first take. I hadn’t played it since the days of Aberdeen. About 4 years ago.
“Stranger to Change” is a special track for me. I was heavily influenced by Mother Mother and their Eureka album in the writing process of this tune in particular. That whole EP was written in what now feels like an entirely different body from who I am now. However, music shapes itself around the environment you’re in and the song now signifies a renewed vision, a renewed passion for music and my undying “dreamer” attitude towards everything I do. You may hear some direct rips from my loves, MM, and that fill into the second versing structure borrows a piece and an idea I thought of 5 minutes before tracking and wrote in studio from Minus the Bear‘s “Summer Angel“. See if you can hear it.
Anyway, this track was a lot of fun to write with hip hop infused back beats and a ton of fun to play live, with extended intro and bridge pieces… I’m just glad I was able to capture it on the new Taye ProX and Soultone Cymbals. On that note, I get into it for the drum gear heads, so stick around for the chat after the track too. I’ve got some cool stuff going on for configuration.

We recorded this track with the always amazing Josh Rob Gwilliam way back in 2013, went through a lot of growth with the project and am happy to say I have become the player I am now by going through those sometimes rough growing pains. 


To all the musicians just getting into it; if you take any piece away from this all, just keep playing. Bands will come and go and come again – it’s important for you to always keep playing.

This track is special. It’s still getting airplay.

Not bad for a terrible band from Calgary, right boys? Please enjoy responsibly.

Please Share.

Til next time, stay sweet.


Attention all drummers!

Try this one out before your next rehearsal and unglue your shitty forearms.

Here’s what to do.

1. Grab a LAX ball, or a tennis ball to start cause this can get NASTY.

2. Hang you wrist off of a counter or over your snare.

3. Roll the ball over your forearm, up close to the elbow.

4. Find the spot that sings like Shakira and hold it!

5. Make a fist. Try not to cry. 👶

6. Relax, open your fist and repeat all the way down closer to the wrist.

HIYA! Take that, wrist pain.

I’ve got some more books to help you on the road with exercise and nutrition if you’re the career-minded musician. First three to comment below and tag their band get a FREE e-copy. 🤘

🎶 by The Heist – “Let it Go”

Go check out my YouTube channel, subscribe for a weekly dose of awesome.


‘Til next time, stay sweet.

He Brandt’d it this time.

“Have fun storming the castle” he messaged me earlier today. And in one weeks time, I will.

Tuesday I will have secured a spot on the Board, and either way I will continue to push my health and wellness agenda upon the music community.

We have so much to gain. In light of the recent tragedies in our musical community, I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s a dire need for solutions to the growing problems associated with musician health and wellness. Things like chronic pain, high stress, poor nutritional habits, and a growing need of physical and emotional therapy plague our industry like every bad Nickelback single of the early millennium. We need to find ways to subsidize products and services to fit the budget of our membership; those musicians and industry that can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a massage therapist, chiropractor, nutrition coach or personal trainer.

What if we had the ability to go on the road with bands or host lifestyle workshops in places like OCL or NMC? What if there was a mobile medical service we had access to on tour? Could we create digital content like video documentaries and podcasts that bring to light the realities of the life of a full-fledged musician to others? We would only help raise awareness of this message, right?

I do believe we can. It’s my dream to bridge the gap between health and wellness and the music industry. I’m like the RUN DMC meets Aerosmith version of “Walk this Way”. And we can breakdown that wall of the stereotypical “rock star lifestyle”. We can change the landscape of the industry forever.

Because I will connect Alberta Music and it’s members to professional health and wellness service providers, our membership will have the tools to truly “next level that shit” and become the greatest version of themselves.

Now’s our chance to lay the foundation of which all other industry organizations envy. We have to start treating ourselves like professionals and investing into our development on a deeper level. With attention to personal growth, self-care and a healthy and active lifestyle, we will inspire amazing lives. With that, we’ll in turn inspire amazing art.

Thanks for listening, stay sweet.


If my platform resonates with you, please throw your name down below in a comment and tell me. The health movement in the music industry knows no boundaries. It’s up to us as to how we approach change.

I’m back!

Hey everyone! If you’ve never taken a breather, I highly recommend it. Be it from social media, the phone and emails or just from the daily hustle and grind – it all adds up and sometimes it’s nice to just recharge and breathe.

I spent May doing just that. I’m refocused, energized and have realigned my vision, got a few projects really rockin’ and rollin’ and most importantly, I’m the fittest I’ve ever been.
I find that I have more energy than ever! I’m waking up with the sun every day, going for a jog with Dar or doing some yoga in my living room and then heading in to either volunteer at Ronald McDonald House or down to INLIV to work with an all-star personal training team to inspire some amazing lives! I even bike almost 200 kilometres every week for fun!
I can’t say it was all me. I owe a lot of it to resetting my mindset and that only really started to kick in about 6 months ago when I started getting coached through the same system I teach my coaching clients, Precision Nutrition’s Pro-Coach.

Between volunteering, creating, coaching, catching live music events around town, hosting two shows; one on TV and the other, my very own radio show (now available on iTunes!), entertaining (or more like being entertained by) my pup Darwin, it seems like there should be a lot fewer hours in my day, right? It’s all in how you manage your time, I s’pose.
I’ve attached some links for you to take a peek at some of the things I’ve been up to. I hope you enjoy it, share it and remember the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, burnt out or out of control – take a step back and breathe. Reach out if you would like some help or even just an ear to vent to.


Check out the TV show I host, SoundScape YYCTanner James plays some tunes, talks about the upcoming release of his debut novel and chats with me about the changing landscape of Calgary’s music scene and how he’s thriving as an artist in the wake of the gunslingers and oil barons of the wild, wild west. It’s a real doozy. Tune in.


The first episode is out! Be sure to tune in on that commute to work or over lunch break for your hour-long dose of local music-fused with real discussion on proactive healthcare for musicians and music lovers. Chalked full of value, this episode includes the first part of a new gender series “What Is A Man” I’m unrolling this month, some great local artists including Jo-Jo O’ and the Woods and The Heirlooms and tips and tricks to help keep you moving and feeling great! Check it out below.

The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle

Now available on amazon.ca, get your copy of my book in either old school paperback or fresh, like the kids these days – e-book. Order your copy today!

Thanks for reading, until next time… stay sweet!