Between applause and silence: strategies against the “post-tour blues”

What is post-tour depression? – First steps out of silence

When, after months on the road, exciting concerts and constant travelling, the music amplifiers are suddenly silent and you find yourself back in your own four walls in peace and seclusion, a strange emptiness can set in. This is often referred to as post-tour depression or post-tour blues and is a feeling of sadness and loss that many musicians and tour members experience at the end of a long tour. The sudden change from constant activity and attention to stillness and routine can be drastic. Your days are no longer filled with rehearsals, gigs and travelling. The interaction and energy that the people around you bring is missing and you are suddenly alone with your silence.

A healthy daily routine – the basis for stability

Establishing a healthy daily routine can be a valuable resource for returning to normal life after a tour. Start the day with an early morning routine that helps you start the day feeling positive and energised. This could include a healthy breakfast, a round of running or yoga, or time to read or meditate – find out what works for you. Structure your days and create a routine to ensure you focus on positive activities and goals rather than dwelling on sad or nostalgic feelings. A structured daily routine provides stability and security – and the body knows what to expect.

Social interaction – friends against the blues

Don’t isolate yourselves. After spending so much time in public and socialising, it can be tempting to withdraw and be alone. But this can lead to more intense blues. Instead, spend time with friends and family, take part in social activities and interact with others. Whether it’s grabbing a coffee, going for a walk or simply chatting on the phone, these interactions can have a healing effect and help to alleviate the feelings of loneliness and sadness that often occur after the tour.

Practising gratitude – positivity as a weapon against the blues

Practising gratitude can be a powerful tool against the post-tour blues. By focusing on the positive aspects of your tour and the many incredible experiences you’ve had, you can help alleviate the feeling of emptiness. Write down three things every day that you are grateful for. It can be something big, like the opportunity to share your passion for music with others, or something small, like a good book or a delicious coffee. Focusing on gratitude can help you shed positive light on your experiences and therefore mitigate the effects of the post-tour blues.

Play music or take a conscious break – rhythm for the blues

Whilst some musicians find that it helps to keep playing music and venting their creative energies straight after tour, for others it can be helpful to take a conscious break from music to rejuvenate. Sometimes the simple act of playing can bring back a sense of normality, while a break gives you the opportunity to explore other interests and recover from the intensity of the tour. Make a conscious decision about what works best for you – play when you feel the need or get some rest if that’s a better solution for you.

Pamper yourself – little breaks from everyday life

Sometimes the best cure for the post-tour blues is to simply pamper yourself. Whether it’s a visit to the cinema, a good meal at your favourite restaurant or a relaxing massage – do something nice just for yourself. These little breaks from everyday life can have a very positive effect on your mood. They distract you and create positive moments that you can hold on to. Self-care is an important element of dealing with these blues and it’s absolutely fine to treat yourself.

Going through memories and creating an album – finding closure

By going through the memories of your trip – photos, videos, screenshots, mementos – and saving them in a folder or creating an album, you can support the closure process. As you remember and document the great moments, you can also gain a new perspective on the experience and begin to appreciate it from afar instead of missing it. This can help ease the post-tour blues and make the transition from tour life to everyday life a little smoother. Take the time to review the tour, appreciate it and then move on.  This way you can find closure and start the future with new energy and fresh projects.