The DJ lifestyle is, without a doubt, one of the best lifestyles on the planet.
You get paid to do what you love while partying and rubbing shoulders with celebrities in the music industry.
However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as unless you take care of your health alongside your career, a DJ’s lifestyle can become something of a nightmare.
So, to avoid this happening to you, here’s a list of 15 healthy DJ lifestyle changes that you can use to keep yourself on top of your game.
Let’s get stuck in.
The 15 Best DJ Lifestyle Changes
1. Plan Your Time
As Benjamin Franklin put it, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
This couldn’t be more true for DJs.
Most DJs don’t have much free time, from scouring through various record pools for music to booking gigs and performing.
This is why it’s essential to plan your schedule by months, weeks, and days if necessary, as this can help you identify where you’re spending your time.
Once you know that, you can quickly identify and eliminate anything that’s not moving you closer to your goal, or that’s just wasting time in general.
Batching specific tasks into certain days of the week or at certain times during the day works well.
For example, pick one day of the week for administrative tasks, like booking gigs, promoting your brand, and other business-related functions like accounting.
Then, pick another day or a certain amount of hours during that day to do more creative work, like practicing mixing music, creating new tracks and playlists, and sourcing new music.
So, take the time to sit down and plan your time as a DJ as best as you can.
2. Protect Your Ears
Your ears are the most important tool you have as a DJ and are responsible for getting you paid.
This is why you need to make sure you do everything you can to protect them.
You’ll inevitably encounter some ear problems in your DJing career; that just comes with the territory. However, the severity of which can be lessened by limiting your exposure to loud music.
To do this, we recommend investing in a pair of high-quality earplugs explicitly designed for musicians.
Earplugs reduce the overall volume of music while letting just enough sound in to allow you to perform and communicate as usual.
If you can’t afford a pair of musicians’ earplugs, you can always use a cheap set from your local chemist and upgrade when you have the funds.
Check out why DJs wear headphones.
3. Protect Your Feet
After playing a set for several hours a night, multiple nights a week, it’s pretty common for DJs to develop some pain and discomfort in their feet.
So, to prevent this from happening, we recommend wearing comfortable shoes that support your feet and allow you to do your job to the best of your ability.
We know those particular sneakers might not “go” with your outfit, but by the time you’re behind the DJ booth, and away from the dance floor, the crowd will be none the wiser.
In our experience, the best thing to do is to change into a pair of comfortable shoes just before your set.
Once you’re done, slip them off and change back into your dress shoes and go about your business.
Trust us, after a long set; you’ll be thankful you took our advice on this.
4. Prepare Your Food
Yeah, we know this one requires a little more effort than the others on the list, but it’s by far one of the best if you’re serious about leading a healthier lifestyle.
As a DJ, your pallet is more than likely accustomed to takeaways and fast food, especially if you’re gigging both nights and weekends.
Don’t get us wrong; takeaways are fantastic, but moderation is key.
So, to keep yourself in tip-top condition, unless you can afford to eat high-quality restaurant food every day, the best thing to do is prepare your own.
Just like batching tasks that we mentioned earlier, you can also batch cook delicious meals in advance to make sure you’ve always got something ready to go.
We know it can be a pain in the neck to prepare meals in advance, but once you’ve got a few good recipes in place and know when you’ll be cooking (as you’ve already planned your time), then it’s easy as pie.
5. Use A Water Bottle
Most of us don’t drink enough water during the day, let alone while DJing.
It’s easy for DJs to forget to drink water, especially if they’re doing back-to-back sessions or going from one venue to another.
That’s is why it’s a good idea to take a water bottle with you, as it acts as a constant reminder to keep yourself hydrated and helps you keep track of exactly how much water you’ve drunk.
Yes, we know that most venues provide water, but the point is that filling up a water bottle before you leave the house acts as more of a physiological tool to keep reminding yourself to drink.
You probably won’t feel the effects of stepping up your water game, but your body will thank you for it in the long run, and you may even see a boost of energy in the meantime.
Supplements help ensure you’re body’s getting everything it needs to function correctly.
You don’t need to go overboard, as a good multivitamin, omega-3, and vitamin C/D supplement should take care of anything you might be lacking.
Couple that with the healthy food you’re now preparing, and you should be getting everything you need to DJ at the top of your game.
Once you’ve nailed the basics, you can introduce other supplements that may even help with sleep, energy, and focus.
7. Take Regular Breaks
This is a tough one for a lot of people, not just DJs.
Whether during your set or in-office hours, taking regular breaks is essential to maintain your health, mental focus, and creativity.
It’s easy to say, “I’ll rest when I’m dead,” or “I’ll take a break when I’ve finished x, y, & z,” but breaks need to be scheduled, just like any other task in your life.
We’re big believers in the saying “What gets written down, gets done,” and this couldn’t be more true for taking time off.
Now, don’t get us wrong, many DJs are self-employed, so it can be challenging to schedule time off, as you’re generally at the mercy of venues, clubs, music industry gigs, and festivals.
Nevertheless, give it a try and start booking a couple of days off here and there when you can.
8. Know Your Vices
Knowing what triggers bad habits is important.
If you understand what causes you to veer off the rails into unhealthy habits, then simply avoiding them should provide you some immediate results.
We all have our vices, whether we like to admit it or not. They usually boil down to alcohol, drugs, fast food, and sugar for most people, but there can also be many other unhealthy addictions.
So, understanding what yours is means you can set yourself up for success, and therefore continue to make healthier choices and maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Now don’t get us wrong, it’s not always easy to just cut things out right off the bat, so if you’re not able to go cold turkey, then start to reduce your vices’ intake slowly, tapering off over time.
9. Exercise Regularly
Yes, we know not everyone enjoys exercise, but it’s one of the best things you can do for your health as a DJ.
It’s not one of the most exciting things to be doing with your time as a DJ. However, it’s one of the most productive in the long run and for your DJing career.
You don’t have to go nuts and be in the gym seven days a week.
You can start by adding a 15-minute walk into your daily routine and start incorporating other body-weight exercises as you build momentum.
Try to find something you enjoy doing, like swimming, running, or cycling, as it makes it much easier to stay consistent.
Whatever you decide to do, start small, ease your way into it, and enjoy the process.
10. Stretching & Massage
Neck and back pain is no joke!
If left untreated, it can become extremely debilitating and lead to all sorts of unpleasant conditions.
Over the years, we’ve found that stretching daily, both morning and night, combined with regular massage, really helps alleviate muscular pain and tension.
However, correcting our posture has brought us the most significant relief.
If you’re suffering from neck and back pain, then adding some basic stretches each day can really make a difference, and regular massage will help release any stubborn knots.
However, before jumping in, make sure to speak to your doctor first, or a licensed professional, to check there’s nothing else going on.
11. Get Your 8 Hours
Sleep is one of the most important things for human beings.
Without it, our bodies are unable to repair themselves, and we’re unable to function properly.
On average, adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night/day.
Unfortunately for DJs, this isn’t always possible, as trying to get to sleep during the day when most people are up and about can be very challenging.
To ensure we get the sleep we need (normally during the day), we use earplugs, an eye mask, blackout curtains, and sometimes even calming background music to get the job done.
So, if you’re struggling to get to sleep after a DJing, try using some of the tools we just mentioned.
12. Nap When You Can
The next best thing to a good night’s sleep is a good old power nap!
Taking a quick power nap for around 10 to 20 minutes can enhance your performance, increase alertness, and improve your mood.
However, snooze for any longer than 30 minutes, and you’ll likely feel more sluggish, groggy, and tired than before you closed your eyes as your body enters into all five stages of the sleep cycle.
The exception to the rule is if you’re able to nap for a complete 90-minute sleep cycle, which is not the easiest of things to do if you’ve got a busy schedule.
Either way, finding time for a quick snooze while DJing is a great way to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
13. Be Mindful
Taking the time to be mindful of your current situation often gets overlooked and is seen by many as a bit “woo-woo.”
However, setting aside a minute or two throughout the day to breathe deeply and focus on the present is a healthy habit that helps you relax and calm down.
The clarity of mind you get from breathing exercises allows you to think about what’s most important, what needs doing now, and what can wait for another day.
As DJs, we often have a million things to do at once, and it can be challenging to prioritize.
14. Go On Holiday
We mentioned taking regular breaks earlier and how they’re important for maintaining productivity and mental health, but what’s equally important is doing something with your time off.
Don’t get us wrong, taking a few days to sit on the couch in front of the TV is relaxing, but one could argue that you’re still not entirely switched off from your everyday life.
This is why we recommend going on holiday for a week or two as it allows your mind to break away from your normal day-to-day life and fully unwind.
This has been one of the most significant learning curves in our DJing career to date, as we used to think there’s no difference between sitting on a beach in Marbella or sitting on the couch in our own home.
It’s still a work in progress for us, but something we’d highly recommend you do as you should come back feeling super refreshed and ready to go.
15. Learn To Say No
Perhaps one of the hardest things to do in life is learning to say no.
We all want to do the things we love and get the most out of life, but at some point along the way, life can get pretty overwhelming, and you need to start saying no to things that don’t serve you.
This is particularly difficult when you’re first starting DJing, as you need to take all the opportunities that come your way.
However, over time and with practice, you learn to separate the good opportunities from the bad and develop a thicker skin, which ultimately makes you happier and allows you to lead a healthier lifestyle as a DJ.
Once you fully grasp how to say no, it’ll feel like a superpower that you can use whenever you want.
Let’s face it, unhealthy habits are not easily broken, but they 100% can be.
Don’t feel like you have to implement all of the points on the list straight away, or at all, for that matter.
Instead, pick two or three that will impact your day-to-day life immediately, and experiment with the rest over time.
Living a healthy lifestyle as a DJ is all about moderation and finding out what works best for you.