Selfcare on Tour with Mattiel

Posted by: Sara Jane Emmons

When life gets busy, usually the first thing that goes out the window is carving out the time to take care of ourselves. That's why we asked Mattiel, a singer and songwriter fresh off her world tour, to give us some advice. We asked her about the oil she reaches for at night, the breathing exercises she relies on, and the music she's been using to the wind down.

Singer and songwriter Mattiel

You've recently released your latest album, "Satis Factory", released a new music video, AND kickstarted a huge tour in the U.S. and abroad. So first of all, huge congrats. Has that changed your relationship to wellness, and to self-care?

Thanks! It’s definitely forced me to find a balance between hard work and self-care. Sitting in a tour bus for hours can cause me to be really stiff, so I’ve been practicing stretching and light yoga before each show and that loosens me up as a performer. And as a reward for myself, I usually get a long massage after every tour. You gotta be nice to your body when it works hard!


What does your morning routine look like? 

I take my showers at night so I can sleep in longer in the morning, but before I get up I usually do some stretching in bed. I start with my hair first - I wet my hair brush and comb it out. Once it’s damp, I use a little EVO “easy tiger” balm to keep my bob straight. It’s smells really nice & keeps it all shiny ✨ Then I move on to makeup - usually a quick combo of BareMinerals SPF 30 tinted moisturizer and some light Kush mascara & multi blush stick from Milk Makeup. By then it’s time to get in the van and move on to the next city!


What song / music makes you feel ready to start the day?

I’ve been listening to Kevin Morby’s new album OH MY GOD almost constantly on this European tour. I also listen to it when I’m stretching in the green room because I need to be in my own world & drown out any other noises. 


How have you carved out space and time to unwind, and prioritized self-care?

I have to remind myself that my body and mind have limits and it’s a personal, long term investment to take care of myself. I try my best to give myself the nutrients, the alone time, and the physical care I need to continue touring in the healthiest way possible. When there’s a bathtub in the hotel, I make sure to take a long bath and unplug from my phone. In fact, at night, I plug my phone in across the room or in the bathroom so I don’t have access to it when I’m in bed. I feel like bed time should be a no-phone / no-laptop zone.


Has your relationship to self-care changed or evolved over time?

I’ll try to make a long story short, but... I went through a CRAZY experience with steroid creams for eczema about five years ago when I was 20. I only had mild eczema, but a new “doctor” of mine prescribed creams that were too strong, and my skin became addicted to the steroids. It got to the point that if I stopped using them, my skin would break out in huge rashes all over my body, and the cycle of cracked, red skin would just repeat over and over. So in order to break that cycle, I had to withdrawal from them cold turkey. That withdrawal period took two years to recover from, and it completely changed my life in terms of health & self care. For the first time in my life, I had to take the fragile balance of my body and mind very seriously. It was both a mental battle and a physical one, and ever since then, I’ve put self-care as a number one priority. I also learned that our bodies are a holistic system, and stress can literally change your physical condition. They don’t usually teach that in traditional medicine so I had to research it myself - and it takes a lot of patience to find what works for you, because everyone is different! 


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This newborn baby, Satis Factory, will be delivered to the world on Friday. (Along with another silky video shot by @jtrav) It was produced & engineered by @jonahswilley and Randy Michael — releasing on @heavenlyrecordings and @atorecords It was inspired by a lot of different things — from roadside asphalt plants to office jobs and religious conundrums. There’s stories, statements, criticisms, and nonsense, too. But the potential interpretations are endless, and I think that might be the most beautiful thing about it. It is a gift for you, and a gift in itself that I’m able to give it away. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to release this on a larger scale than I could’ve ever imagined. It’s a dream come true, and I’m trying to stay awake and aware of every passing moment so that I can keep these memories clear for as long as possible. Many people spent hundreds, easily thousands of hours working to ensure that this album will get a fruitful and timely release, and to them I am forever grateful. A million thanks to everyone who’s made this a possibility & shared their talents — I feel incredibly fortunate to know & work with each of you. Jonah Swilley @jonahswilley Randy Michael Sean Thompson @seanclive Jon Strength Jordan Manley @snarejordanrocks Travis Murphy @hologramtrav Kirby Lee @kirbyklee Kevin Morris @djkevmo Jason Travis @jtrav James Abercrombie @dancebuffet Tulipcake Embroidery @tulipcake.embroidery Big Bud Press @bigbudpress And everyone at @heavenlyrecordings & @atorecords Photo by @jtrav

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What's one thing that has stayed the same about your routine throughout the years?

I always always always drink water before I go to bed and first thing in the morning as well. I sleep so much better when I’m hydrated :)


What are your go-to methods of centering yourself when things get chaotic?

Deep four-second breath, hold for four seconds, and exhale for four seconds. Repeat as needed!!!!! I also put in my headphones and detach for a while with music if I need to. It’s important to immerse myself in the feelings I’m having, whether I’m angry, sad or anxious — I’ve noticed it helps to accept those feelings, feel them, and let them pass by as they eventually do.


What does your nighttime routine look like?

Like I mentioned, I take my showers at night to unwind from the day. To moisturize afterwards, I either use pure cocoa butter or Aesop’s rosehip facial oil. If I have time, I do a short yoga move where I get down on my back, hold my knees to my chest, and roll back and forth from front to back to massage my spine from every day wear and tear. It feels sooo good & helps me sleep.


What song / music do you like to listen to when you unwind?

The first track on Kevin Morby’s new album is called “Oh my God” and it’s so beautiful. “Seven Devils” and “Ballad of Faye” are also really nice.


What advice would you give to people looking to create a wellness or self-care routine, or just trying to unwind?

Just be kind to yourself, and be mindful not to get into the cycle of blaming yourself for failing to find the right routine right away. It took a long time for me to figure that out and I’m still working at it!! It takes time and patience but just remember that the balance between your body and mind are just as important as your hard work, whatever it is you’re doing! ❤️

Hear how Mattiel unwinds with some of the songs she's been listening to lately:


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