As a music producer and artist, it’s easy to get so focused on success that you forget to invest time into tending to your own personal needs. That being said, oftentimes the best thing you can do for your music and career is to practice consistent self-care.
Below, we’ll showcase eight essential self-care habits for music producers that every beat maker should work into their routine. After all, prioritizing your health won’t just make you happier overall, it will also help you build better beats.
1. Basic Needs Need to Come First
While this sounds fairly obvious, it’s astounding how many musicians neglect basic needs like exercise and sleep. If your body is not in order, your mind and art won’t be either. Make sure you create a balanced diet and exercise routine for yourself.
2. Schedule Breaks
Breaks are incredibly important for your art and your mental health. It also helps cut back on ear fatigue. Since our ears naturally lose perspective after a couple of hours, stepping away from your DAW can help you produce a beat breakthrough faster. Just make sure you keep yourself accountable and schedule a time to return to your music.
Sometimes a night off is exactly what you need to take your music to the next level. Don’t use breaks as a way to rationalize production procrastination, but take short hiatuses often to freshen your perspective.
3. Prioritize Small, Consistent Progress
As artists, we’re often working towards lofty goals that can feel unattainable at times. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to take a step back and instead focus on getting a little done each day.
The best producers know how to focus on building small yet consistent progress into their routine to maintain balance with their art while still making headway. Reward yourself for participating in your progress rather than reaching the finish line.
4. Retain Healthy Boundaries
As you advance in your career, you’ll start to have more opportunities from collaborators, brands, venues, you name it. While it can be tempting to take on any opportunity that comes your way, it’s critical that you learn how to say “no” when you need to so that you can retain healthy boundaries for yourself and your music.
One person cannot do everything. Your beats will suffer if you allow yourself to become stretched too thin. Make space for the opportunities and relationships that matter most to you and your career. As said best by Steve Jobs, “Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” Be selective and give it your all in the experiences you do choose to take on.
5. Find Collaborators, Allies, and Mentors
The music industry can be an undoubtedly lonely road. Take the time to meet fans of your music, mentors, and collaborators who can help you feel more present when you’re struggling. These core friends can help pass along knowledge and help you feel grounded when working through an issue that the general public may not relate to.
It’s also key for your career to network as a producer. If you need help for whatever reason, reach out to those you trust.
6. Enjoy Life Outside of Music
You shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Allow yourself to engage in some activities outside of music, even if it’s just once a week. Doing so will help stay centered and balanced. Plus, if you don’t make time to experience life, you’re going to have much less inspiration for producing and writing songs!
7. Step Away From Your Analytics
Getting swept up in the data of today’s music industry is all too easy. If you find yourself in a comparison game or obsessing over your ‘Spotify for Artists’ account, it’s time to take a step back. These tools can be tremendously helpful for developing your promotion strategy, but too much use can be overwhelming and negatively affect your mental health.
8. Treat Yourself Like Your Best Friend
Putting the cliche advice to “be kind to yourself” into practice can be challenging. Instead, act as though you’re overseeing another friend’s well-being and music career. How would you help them work through creative blocks? What would you recommend to help them feel less overwhelmed?
Oftentimes, looking at our challenges as producers from another perspective can be the missing piece we’re searching for. Map out ways to be a sustainable producer within your niche and follow suit. Forgive yourself and take time to celebrate the small wins, even if you occasionally fall short of your goals.
Practicing self-care will undoubtedly make you a better producer and set you up for a sustainable career in the music industry. Use these strategies to take care of your body and mind while building better beats!
About the Writer
Kate Brunotts is an audio engineer and music producer from New York City. When she’s not writing about music, producing music, or singing and songwriting, Kate helps others realize their unique sound, whether through a fresh mix, new instrumental approach, or total rework of a particular sound.