Zane Lowe’s Mental Fitness Routine Begins With Listening

The life of a DJ means strange hours, which can give way to bad habits. Zane Lowe, Global Creative Director at Apple, performing DJ, and radio/podcast host, knows his various jobs can be taxing. At a certain point, all the responsibilities took their toll and Lowe realized he had to start taking care of himself physically and mentally. One of his most important healthy habits became yoga.

“I understand it probably comes with a caveat of eye rolls but I swear by yoga. I love it because of the breathing,” Lowe now says. “I tried it a few times, but it didn’t really connect. I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t willing to breathe. I could do the physical things but I was like ‘I’m not getting the benefits here,’ and it’s because I hadn’t learned about the breathing really. And the breathing is the thing.”

On a recent Men’s Health Instagram Live, Zane Lowe spoke with Dr. Drew Ramsey in a Friday Sessions about maintaining mental health in the music industry, and balancing work and one’s personal life. Lowe says he loves his job, but used to overwork himself. “I just wasn’t feeling my best. I realized doing my best work at any given time is not what it’s about. It wasn’t translating into physical and mental joy for me. And it had become this thing like, ‘I have to achieve [more],’” he says.

His mindset caused difficulty sleeping, headaches and stress. At first, he excused it as a part of life and getting older, but later realized reducing all these stressors was in his control. Plus, his work didn’t necessarily suffer because he focused more on his own health. In fact, it got better. “I actually felt like I was enjoying it more, which I am. I’m having a great time with what I do. I started making music again. I started feeling creative again,” he says.

With healthier habits, Lowe learned how to avoid burning out and better enjoy his work and personal life. His main takeaway for listeners was to listen to yourself and see what you need to feel more fulfilled, instead of focusing on outside influences like work or social media. “Give yourself a moment to really listen to what your body is telling you. Ask yourself, ‘Could I feel better? Could I feel better physically? Could I feel better mentally? Could I breathe deeper? Could I experience things in a richer way?’”

At the end of the talk, one of Lowe’s healthy habits even interrupted the call. “This is a good insight. I reached my time limit on Instagram today,” Lowe says. “So there you go, that’s a good indication of how I preserve my mental health.”

To see more about Lowe’s journey and his creative insight as a DJ and musician, watch the full Instagram Live conversation below.

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