The lifestyle of a successful electronic music artist or DJ may seem like a dream to an outsider, but in reality, it isn’t always what it seems. You get into it because of a deep love for your music and the scene, but chronic, acute insomnia, jet lag, anxiety, and loneliness are problems that come along with the job. These are problems for any musician, but in the electronic music industry they can be even more destructive thanks to constant touring uninterrupted by the album cycle, and the late night showtimes that are the staple of the scene.
Whenever you’re through for the night, at 3:00am, 4:00am, or later, it’s really not possible to immediately collapse into sleep in a strange room, no matter how tired you are. But come 8:00am or 9:00am, it’s time for a drive or flight. These kinds of crushing schedules can worsen problems like depression and anxiety, not to mention pain and illness.
And all of these problems can make the lure of melting everything away with drugs more appealing—especially in a scene so friendly to club drug use anyway.
The struggle, as they say, is real. Even elder statesmen such as Moby have publicly said that drugs are EDM’s “dirty secret.” So what does this mean if you’re committed to staying clean but you’re also dedicated to your art?
Sleep training is a huge part of surviving the electronic music scene. Just about anyone who tours as a DJ or live act will tell you that even grabbing a few hours a day is reliant on you being able to train yourself to sleep anywhere, on a crowded, bumpy bus, or the floor of an airport—wherever the opportunity presents itself. But training yourself not to feel isolated or anxious is a bigger chore, and one many people find impossible.
This is especially true for many music producers, DJs, and musicians, because they’re playing, working, or touring alone. Although touring with a band comes with its own set of challenges, most versions of the human mind need social interaction to thrive.
In addition to your sleep training, focus on your personal connections. Make sure you identify who your strongest supports are among your family and friends, and talk to them about how you can keep connected despite late nights and lots of travel. Find ways to make it work, for everyone’s benefit.
Access to sunlight and the outdoors is important to your body. When you’re missing days outside, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, and invest in a full spectrum lamp to take with you if you are vulnerable to seasonal affective disorder. These seemingly insignificant personal care steps can help you fight addiction and maintain sobriety as you further your career. A great way to ensure sunlight and vitamin D is to visit a Daytona treatment center we recommend.
Remember, if you’re struggling with sobriety, you are not alone. There are excellent programs, centers and support groups—many with people who are also in the scene—that you can use to ensure you’re around other sober people. Keep going out and enjoying music and dancing with these people, and you’ll re-experience the music again as a sober person. You are not going to love it any less, and when you create you’re going to connect with others even more.
To learn more about addiction and how to overcome it, visit Clear Sky Recovery.