Your physical health may seem unrelated to the craft of songwriting, at first. The music business is a tough industry, though, and it takes incredible amounts of hard work and dedication to make a career out of songwriting. You need to set yourself up for success. When you treat your body well, your mind also receives the benefits. To be a songwriter, creative potential has to become a lifestyle, not just an rare occurrence.

When it’s time to be creative, you want your mind to be sharp and quick. Lack of physical health can hinder your ability to write fresh, intelligent lyrics and melodies. Here are some ways you can make sure that your health is in top shape, so your mind is at the ready the next time you feel inspired to write.

Hydration

Staying hydrated is such an underrated health practice. It’s easy to forget that your body needs water just as much as it needs food. Think of it this way. A person can survive for more than three weeks without food. You can only live without water for a week maximum. Shocking, no? In addition to the countless physical effects, dehydration can deplete your mood, energy, and even mental clarity. Most people don’t realize that staying hydrated doesn’t just mean drinking when you’re thirsty, but drinking fluids steadily throughout the day. And make sure these fluids are actually hydrating! Water is always best. If you’re not a fan, try infusing your water with fruit!

Nutrition

There’s a good reason why your parents tried to make you eat vegetables as a kid. It’s important to get sufficient nutrients from fruits and vegetables as well as enough protein and complex carbohydrates to keep your energy up. Not only should you pay attention to WHAT you eat, but HOW MUCH you eat, as well. Both eating too much and not eating enough can cause energy slumps and lethargy. Treat your body right, feed it what it needs, and you’ll be amazed by how great you feel!

Exercise

Your brain does an amazing thing when you exercise. It reacts to the stress your body is put through by releasing endorphins and a protein called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, or BDNF. Endorphins give you a feeling of euphoria; BDNF makes you feel relaxed and content. These reactions to physical exercise make it easy to power through your workout, but the effects actually extend beyond this! Because of the residual effects of endorphins and BDNF, regular exercise will increase energy levels and productivity, boost your mood, and engage your brain’s memory and cognitive functioning. Get moving!

Sleep

Sleep has plenty of physical and psychological health benefits, but did you know that it can directly affect your creativity? While you sleep, your brain restructures and reorganizes your memories, which can help your view of a situation or feeling change. You might wake up with a new perspective to use in your songwriting! Studies at both Harvard University and Boston College have also found that the emotional aspects of your memory are strengthened during sleep. Creativity and emotional connection are vital tools for songwriting. So go ahead, hit the snooze button.

Relaxation

Relaxation is not simply a pleasure, but a scientifically proven facilitator of creativity. The human brain operates in five different brain wave frequencies. These frequencies are the result of the various levels of brain activity, ranging from higher reasoning to deep sleep. When we relax through daydreaming or meditation, our brain waves drop into the Alpha range, and even Theta waves can be achieved by those experienced in deep meditation. The Alpha and Theta wave ranges deepen our ability for imagination, creativity, intuition, and memory, among other beneficial things, by dropping into the cognitive area where our conscious and subconscious meet. Feel free to let yourself kick back and relax, it will do you good.

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