Radical Honesty and the Shower Song Strategy

I’m a big fan of radical honesty and sincerity. I’m a fan of putting my truths out there for the world to see and not holding back. I don’t want to come across as some kind of douche expert that pretends they have their shit together and lectures other people form their pedestal of great height. Because I’m not.

That’s why today I want to share something silly and personal which I think some of you might find helpful.

I’ve not been shy about my own experiences of burnout. Burnout is a cycle, and it’s about interrupting the cycle and re-directing it. As passionate people who want to do everything right now, because we want to help people dammit, burnout is probably going to feature in our lives for a long time.

And it’s about how much of a soap box we give the bad bits, and how much of a lens we lend to the good parts that encourage us to take care of ourselves.

Anyway, I digress.

Radical honesty

I still get days where getting out of bed and into the shower is near IMPOSSIBLE. As a general rule, I find if I have to be somewhere with a tight deadline, my body goes into auto-pilot and just does it. But when I don’t, or where I have any deal of flexibility, it gets a lot harder.

It also depends on what stage of burnout I’m in. If I have very little energy, then the situation gets worse, if I’m in the heights of ideas mode, then I tend to have some great ideas in the shower.

It’s not even that I hate having a shower, it’s just another thing that I have to do that takes more energy. It’s the precursor to feeling like I have to do something (ie. leave the house) that I want to put off as long as possible.

This got me thinking. There must be something I can do about it. Even if it’s a silly solution.


And then it came to me. (I’m not going to pretend this was all deliberate and thought through. Like most things in life, it was quite accidental. But brilliant).

Certain music makes me happy, and also gets my adrenaline going and reminds me that I’m an actual person who has stuff to do, and wants to make the world a better place. So I started off by putting music I like on while in the shower. Yeah, it worked, but I just enjoyed the music too much and wouldn’t get out.

It wasn’t much of a solution until I found the perfect mix of two songs. A song that made me ridiculously happy*, and a song that I just had to get out of the shower to turn it off**. Not because it triggered anything, or made me feel depressed or reminded me of any bad memories. It’s just fucking annoying.

(I didn’t even aim to create it that way. The annoying song managed to creep up on one of my favourite playlists.)

A challenge

So, unintentionally it became a bit of a challenge.

If I could shower by the end of the first song, then I could have a bit of a boogie in the shower and avoid the annoying song. Win win. If I was too long, I had to put up with that song. Lose.


It’s something simple, but it works. It’s an exercise that I give to my clients to get over the hurdle, and it works.

You don’t need to use the two songs together. For some people, having a song that really pisses them off after goes a step too far and puts them in a bad mood. So perhaps have a playlist with just the one song on it, and make it your goal to have showered by the end of the song. And don’t pick a song that’s too short, and makes you rush - I won’t be held responsible for slips in the bath/shower.

Give it a try, see if it works for you. It could be just the thing you need to kick your day into action.

If you’re in a sharing mood, I’d love to hear what songs make you happy and motivate you in the comments. And if you do use the second song, I’d love to hear what irritates the crap out of you. I could do with mixing my songs up a bit!

*My happy song is Fforest by Australian band Castlecomer. The lead singer is a guy who went to my primary school who I had a huge crush on (aged 9) and I came across his band about a year ago. I would message him and tell him I love his music but “One of your tracks is my happy song and I listen to it every day when I’m naked in the shower” would be a bit awkward. It may even sound a tad perverted.

** The winner of the song that drives me fucking crazy is Kenny Chesney with his awfully titled song She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy. Kenny, she really doesn’t. Misread signals and all that.