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10 Ways for Musicians to Stay Healthy on the Road

[Editor’s Note: For a lot of us, January is the time to get healthy. Maybe that means taking the stairs instead of the elevator, replacing soda with water, or getting in a healthier frame of mind to tackle the demands of work. We see January as a great opportunity for artists to adopt some healthy practices to help themselves and their businesses for the rest of the year. Erin Schrode, ecoRenaissance woman and co-founder of Teens Turning Green, has some great tips for the touring musician that will keep both you, and the environment, healthy while you’re on the road.]

By Erin Schrode, Green Guru & Co-Founder of Teens Turning Green

Our body is our temple. And for singers and performers, this is of the utmost importance; your bodies are quite literally your instruments. A life of performing and touring tests both physical and emotional limits—intense days require peak energy and form, while endless travel doesn’t allow for proper rest and recuperation. So wellness is paramount! These ten top actions and eco friendly tools will help you to be proactive and achieve optimal health on-the-go.

(And it is possible! I worked with über talented up-and-coming singer-songwriter, Rozzi Crane, pictured above with her band, to green her recent tour, where she opened for Maroon 5 and Kelly Clarkson!)

1. Hydrate
Grab a snazzy insulated canteen to keep your hot drinks toasty warm and the cold ones perfectly chilled, both on and offstage. With a quality reusable water bottle, you can say buh-bye to wasteful single use water bottles and styrofoam cups all together! This uber simple swap is good for you and the planet—and makes for a fun accessory that you can decorate to express yo’self!

2. Sanitize
Close quarters, depleted immune systems, foreign places, local watering holes, and roadside motels…germs abound while on tour. A hand sanitizer can help you stay healthy, but most are loaded with toxins that do more harm than good. Go for a pure formulation with an organic alcohol base. Bonus? It smells like lemon (or lavender), rather than that noxious chemical odor.

3. Steep
Tea, tea, tea and more tea. Performing live is demanding, especially on vocal chords. So I say: drink as much tea as you want, as often as you can between shows. Warming and delicious, herbal teasans also have ample health benefits and come in a plethora of exotic flavors.

4. Coat your throat
Tingly, hoarse, swollen or soar throats are a nightmare for anyone, let alone a singer or performer. But what’s a person to do when they feel it coming on? Spritz a fast-acting homeopathic elixir four (or more) times. The fancy wand ensures the potent formula reaches the target area at the back of your throat with maximum efficacy. Bottom line: it works.

5. Wear organic
Would you put pesticides all over your body? Probably not. Yet, conventional cotton is ubiquitous—especially for merch. Why sell shirts made from the second-most pesticide-ridden crop in the world? Why contribute to the contamination of land, air, and water, not to mention your own wardrobe? Get behind organic cotton apparel. Please.

6. BYO… cutlery
Eating well on the road can be a challenge, but sitting down for real food with a fork and knife must be a priority, even if that happens in the van. Your body and mind will thank you for taking that time to nourish, digest, refuel, and get the energy you need for a great show.  Having your own reusable bamboo cutlery simplifies the whole process, while keeping plastic waste out of your hands, food, and landfill. Win-win!

7. Practice
“Me” time can be a mighty good thing. Stopping to breathe, clear your mind, and focus on something beyond the stresses of touring life is among the healthiest things you can do. It requires a dedication of time (even twenty minutes can do the trick!) and space. Toss a travel yoga mat in with your equipment, and unroll to create a personal sanctuary, a conscious respite, a small place of sanity.

8. Pack in protein
There’s a new snack in town: hemp hearts. Bonus: it won’t take up any room in the van! Rich in protein and healthy fats that our bodies crave, the raw seeds aren’t processed, preservative-ridden or loaded with fillers. Delicious packets are great on-the-go to sprinkle on a salad, toss into a smoothie, mix with cereal, or enjoy plain.

9. Clean green
Touring means spending a lot of time in your van. Wash your floor, wash your clothes, wash your face, wash your windows. That is indeed possible with just one product: magic castile soap! Free of toxic chemicals or harsh agents, the infinite uses of this age-old soapy goodness make it ideal for life on-the-go with limited space. Clean spaces, clean things, clean you, clean planet.

TIP: You can dilute this soap up to twenty times (just keep topping the bottle up with water), so it lasts throughout your entire tour!

10. Energize
Life on the road is exhausting. Even with proper sleep (which has no substitute!), our bodies get tired. We need extra energy to get through the day, the performance, the rehearsal, the interview, the journey—but pumping yourself full of caffeine and sugar is definitely not the answer. Yerba maté packs a punch without the jitters or crash.

TIP: Need even more energy? Yerba maté organic energy shots are super potent. Try, if you so dare!

More questions? Ideas? Tips? Comment below or ask me on Twitter at @ErinSchrode.

Looking for specific product suggestions? Click here to see the best eco item in each of these categories—that make it even easier to stay healthy on the road!

[Editor’s Note: When you’re on the road following Erin’s healthy touring tips, record your shows so you can distribute a live concert album once you’re out of the van!}


Erin Schrode is a young ecoRenaissance woman. As the “face of the new green generation,” the co-founder of Teens Turning Green, promotes global sustainability, youth leadership, environmental education, and conscious lifestyle choices. After working in disaster response in Haiti, she founded and launched The Schoolbag, a youth education project to provide tools and materials for students in need, as well as initiate active citizenry and environmental stewardship. She has just joined Havas Worldwide to lead Global Sustainability and Purpose, driving better business with clients across the agency’s 350 offices in 75 countries. A “sustainability prodigy,”

Erin has been featured in and tapped as an expert for the NY Times, Vanity Fair, SF Chronicle, NY Post, Seventeen Magazine, Teen Vogue, National Geographic, ABC, NBC, BBC, CNN, FOX, MTV, PBS, E!, AOL, and other multimedia outlets. This “incredible synthesizer and orator” speaks internationally and consults with corporations and organizations on millennials, social consumption, digital tendencies, and sustainability. A “juggernaut in the non profit and green world,” Erin hosts digital programs, leads events, and writes for The Huffington Post, her own ecoRenaissance blog, twitter, and others. An award-winning ecopreneur, Erin is the spokesperson for top organic and recycled brands, US Ambassador to One Young World, and as The White House said, “a dynamic, passionate and ambitious young woman committed to creating big change everywhere she goes.” She just graduated from New York University as a prestigious DEANS Scholar, spending terms abroad in the Middle East, West Africa, South America, and Europe. Having visited over sixty countries, Erin has developed a keen global perspective and hopes to inspire her peers to take action and make the world a more sustainable and just place for future generations.

  • mesmi

    Erin, <3 the practical, environmental tips! As an envi-hearted artist, I have got to look into your work. To go with these things, I would say finding a way to stay active, even on the road, should be up there. Can be anything from jogging during breaks to turning on dance music and doing leg lifts in the car. Otherwise It can get way too much like a cruise, stuck in an unhealthy cycle of inconsistent eating and sleeping!

    • tunecore

      Great tip, Mesmi!

  • Flagship Romance

    Love this! Thank you. :) It’s so hard to stay healthy on the road – and it’s difficult to steer away from fast food & other conveniences, even being an organic/GMO/enviromentally-concious musician. A couple tips that my duo has to offer in this subject are:

    -Take E3 Live Total Body Blend Renew Me capsules daily. LOVE THIS STUFF. It helps with energy, brain function, and immunity. http://www.e3live.com

    -Keep your pH levels UP! We drink a lot of Essentia water because it has a pH of 9.5… but this can be wasteful. We recently got some pH drops to add to our coffee, water, & all other liquids. Since our national tour last March/April, only one of us has gotten sick – and it went away in 2 days. **knocks on wood**

    Other than that, you’ve got it covered in this post. Thanks again for the tips!! Definitely using your castile soap trick!! 😉

    -Jordyn Jackson
    Singer, Flagship Romance
    http://www.FlagshipRomance.com

    • FlagshipRomance@gmail.com

      *conscious

    • tunecore

      Thanks for adding some great tips, Jordyn!

  • Dr. DeMargo

    FYI, Yerba Mate tea is a known human carcinogen and a definite NO-NO. Dangerous stuff. Tons of studies now out on it. Organic or non-organic, it’s very bad for you.

  • http://blueroommusicstudio.com Blue Room Productions

    This is a great list and certainly true about the Throat Coat! We think another great one is to bring along some Woolite just in case your clothes get a little messy.

    This post has some other great things to bring for bands and musicians:
    http://blueroommusicstudio.com/10-non-music-items-pack-touring/

  • Amy D.

    http://www.goodroadnetwork.com can help with navigating the next city too :)

  • Tim Fletcher

    Great stuff. So important to stay happy, healthy and sane out there! Good luck friends.

  • David A. Berrios

    If you’are traveling with two or more people, be sure to switch drivers every two or three hours. That’s a long enough shift to make some distance, but short enough to let everyone stretch and use the bathroom before it gets to be an emergency.

    David@Mapdestinations