Musician burnout: how to motivate yourself and overcome it

Everyone experiences burnout at some point. If you're a musician, though, it's important to be mindful of the ways that your career can lead to burnout and how to recover when it happens.

It's important to know what burnout is, because it is a real thing. Burnout is the state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by overwork or stress. It can cause depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

If you're feeling overwhelmed with music-related tasks or overwhelmed by life in general (or both), burnout may be the culprit behind your lack of motivation to practice or play gigs anymore.

In order to address your musical burnout head on, let's take a look at some common causes of this phenomenon so that you can better manage it before it gets out of hand.

Signs you are heading to a burnout

You're constantly tired

This one may seem obvious, but when you're pursuing a goal, you do have a tendency to devote all of your energy to it. As a result, it can be challenging to distinguish between regular exhaustion from a hard day's work and the type of exhaustion that results from your body starting to burn out.

You're constantly tired

The upcoming tasks make you hate the day

There is a difference between facing a challenging day of work and waking up almost daily with a knot in your gut. Even the smallest jobs will seem like climbing a mountain when you're starting to burn out since your former passions have lost their fire. This is because exhaustion is your body's and mind's attempt to make you rest.

Your project doesn’t excite you anymore and you compare yourself with others

You start to feel jealous of other bands' success, you start to belittle their achievements, you get angry with anyone who attempts to assist you in a way that involves personal work, and you start to look for any justification for why you aren't where you want to be.

The upcoming tasks make you hate the day

How to overcome musician burnout

Pause and go at your own pace

In the midst of a busy schedule and when you feel like it’s all too much, pause. Taking time off from your music is not a sign of weakness—it’s a sign that you care about yourself! Don't forget about your health and well-being. Think about what makes you happy, what could be better in life, how to improve your situation.

Pause and go at your own pace

It might be difficult for musicians to distinguish between writing music for themselves or for fun and writing music as part of their job. It's crucial to live a life outside of music, even if you do appreciate it.

Of course, you have to work hard to succeed in music. But it's impossible to work nonstop. This is how musicians lose their enthusiasm for what they do and lose interest in a task, a song, or the release of their music.

Manage Your Expectations for a Music Career

If your goal is to be famous and rich like Taylor Swift or Lady Gaga, then being a musician may not be for you. While there are many examples of artists who have achieved this level of success through their music careers (and let’s face it: they deserve all of their fame), the odds are against anyone achieving that kind of success overnight.

You might be able to make a living from playing music professionally if people pay money just so they can hear your songs live at shows, but this isn't something that happens overnight either.

Too many musicians have extremely high expectations from the start, which causes them to burn out as they struggle to live up to them. Be reasonable in your hopes and aspirations. Once you achieve these objectives, it helps to keep you motivated.

Don't compare yourself to others

It's a recipe for burnout. When you compare your progress to someone else's, it can make you feel unfairly behind or give an inaccurate picture of how far ahead they are in their journey. Instead, focus on your own goals and achievements, and celebrate them!

Don't compare yourself to others

Everyone is different, and each person has their own unique journey that they're on. In fact, the only way we can truly measure our success is by comparing ourselves to the past versions of ourselves instead of other people.

Surround yourself with inspiring and passionate people

To help motivate yourself during this process, surround yourself with inspiring and passionate people. You can find these people by joining music communities online like CalypsoRoom or learning from musicians who are better than you. Surrounding yourself with these people will help inspire you as well as teach you new things about music or life in general. They'll also be there when times get tough!

Don't be afraid to ask for assistance

If you feel like your productivity has slowed down, or you’re having trouble completing a project, there are people who can help lift the burden from your shoulders and give you some much-needed support.

A supportive community is one where everyone takes turns helping each other out during moments when they're struggling, whether they're artists struggling with motivation or fellow artists who just want someone else take some of their workload off their hands so they can focus more energy elsewhere.


Music is an art form that can be enjoyed by anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional musician or just starting out. The most important part of music is having fun, and sometimes that means taking a break from your instrument or being able to recognise when it’s time to take one.

When it comes down to it, we all need motivation and inspiration in our lives—including those who make their living off of music! With these tips you will be able to regain that passion within yourself so you can continue creating beautiful sounds, and when you are ready to post your music on CalypsoRoom to promote it and create a community around it remember,we are only one email away from you.

Thanks for reading,
CalypsoRoom Team


Written by CalypsoRoom Editorial Team
The CalypsoRoom Editorial Team is a skilled and diverse group of writers, researchers, and industry specialists who have access to Calypso's data and information in order to give you broad knowledge about the music industry as well as helpful advice to help you manage your music and dancing career.

Updated January 2023

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