For Mental Health Awareness Month, the studio owner talks about creating a spiritual space in Miami and why she wants it “to feel like a home.”

For Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Billboard is teaming with Brandon Holman of the Lazuli Collective on a series of articles focused on mindfulness and the professional development of executives, creatives and artists in the music community.

Today’s conversation is with Brittany Berger, a producer, songwriter, motivational speaker, mindset coach, energy healer and founder/CEO of Mindful Music Lab, a recording studio and mindful spiritual space in Miami, Fla. that aims to provide a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for music industry professionals working in an often high-stress field. The author of 25 and Self-Ish, Berger works with artists, executives, athletes and other individuals to help them navigate their lives and careers in a positive, mindful way and in an atmosphere that allows them to be vulnerable and truthful to themselves. Here, she discusses her journey through music and wellness, Reiki healing and what she wants to provide for the community of musicians, producers and music industry members.

I was born and raised in Miami. My musical journey began dancing when I was four, and dancing competitively until I was 18. Two of my dance mates are now choreographers and dancers for Beyoncé, Camila Cabello, Drake, performing at the Super Bowl and every single awards show. I champion them because that could have been my path. But I always felt like dancing was something I loved, but I didn’t want to take it into a greater career. So, I got into the wellness business and started teaching group fitness with Equinox about nine years ago as my new hobby.

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It’s funny because people told me, “You should have opened a gym. Why are you opening a recording studio?” But I knew it was my soul’s mission to focus on healing others. I wrote a book seven years ago called 25 and Self-ish, about the positive aspect of choosing yourself. Writing that book, for me, really opened my channels of being vulnerable, being open. When you’re writing a nonfiction memoir, you have to be. I felt a little bit stuck when I was 25. It was an awakening for me to say, “Hey, knock knock. You’re unhappy. We have an awakening for you. It’s your Jupiter return. Why don’t you step into that?” And help comfort other people saying, “It’s okay, at 25, if you’re experiencing a generationally identified quarter life crisis, don’t have your own company, or your life’s purpose figured out.” You don’t have to be the people pleaser all the time. You’re allowed to please yourself and be your priority so we can share that love of self with everybody else around you, allowing yourself to expand.

Through my book I got into motivational speaking, mindset coaching, learning about Reiki healing, becoming a practitioner and a master later on, started my sound healing journey and guiding meditations. I never thought that I could meditate. I was really type A. I would rush. I would worry. I had to reprogram a lot of things, asking myself what is success? Is success purpose? Is it your mission? And really exploring and reprogramming that mindset to be able to share it. My book was the initial state of learning, “Let’s take a breath. Let’s find our joy, our inner happiness and let’s share it.”

I was already facilitating healing sessions in and out of recording studios and artist’s homes, including producers, songwriters, managers and A&Rs. I noticed that within the industry, there’s a lot of people who have never seen a Palo Santo stick, who are like, “Oh my gosh, sage, that’s some witch stuff.” Or, “I can take a breath, but I don’t have time. I don’t know how to meditate. There’s all these rules around meditation.”

There are no rules. There are no expectations. It’s just you. What works for you any time of day works for you. I had to find my own journey, too. Some days that’s sitting down, taking deep breaths, repeating my mantras or sitting in silence. Sometimes it’s yoga, sometimes it’s journaling. It changes every day. Sometimes it’s just me playing my sound bowls and mindfulness, it doesn’t have to have a certain structure or look a certain way.

So I was already in these studios where, it’s male-dominated, there’s no windows. And I felt like, where is there a safe space for healing within recording studios? Especially for women, owned by women? So within my studio, I want it to feel like a home. If someone has a session or a writing camp, we all get together and share a community and everyone takes a breath. I cleanse their energy and have them share their intention. Do you feel good today? How are you? I care about you as a human. What do you need?

Music is the vibrational frequency that heals the world, and we need to heal the people who are creating it so that they can create more high-vibrational music, writing lyrics that are authentic and relatable. I love hearing really heartfelt, vulnerable music, and that comes with healing, intention and the breath. Music is personal and spiritual.

There’s so much to navigate [for artists]: loving music, releasing their songs, getting signed by a label and the pressure to, “Change your hair, lose weight, wear this,” stripping their identity of artistry. This is where they lose themselves. And then of course battling anxiety, depression, addiction, not feeling good enough, having imposter syndrome and childhood wounds that some don’t even know are coming up for them. They try to bury it because they’re not doing or are unaware of this healing work.

In the studio setting, I ask everyone to take off their shoes, take a deep breath, and let’s talk about it. This is the important part. Music will be made, but it’s all about healing our inner core first. I feel like this is not being adopted and prioritized enough into the creative process of making music. In addition to connecting and building a community, we utilize this opportunity to share our truth, feel safe and be open within these vulnerability circles. And it’s not only about the artists, it’s about the songwriters, the producers, the engineers, the managers, the assistants and the A&Rs.

We prioritize what they need on a spiritual level. If they only want to come in for a Reiki session that day, that is our primary focus. I have a Reiki chef if someone wants to have wholesome soul healing food. I also have partnerships and brands with healthy restaurants that I’m grateful to work with in the area to offer, “Why don’t you order this healthy option?” Because I want people to understand the need to take care of their human vessel, when they’re only locked into their music mind.

How I try to instill more balance is by programming the mind to believe that rest equals reward. I love to be in the studio. I love to make music. I wish I made more time to be creative. Most days I’ll be in a recording session, then I’ll facilitate Reiki sessions, run the business, host events in and outside of the studio, and help others partner together to share how important this healing work is.

Reiki is a life force energy technique used to reduce stress, anxiety, and support your overall well being and mental health. Our bodies have stored energy that has built up for as many years as we’ve been on this planet. There’s so much karmic, generational wisdom, but there’s also trauma, wounds, and healing that live within our body from this lifetime and past lifetimes.Reiki has the ability to clear energetic blockages and channels with non-touch therapy, allowing yourself to release all the energy stuck in the physical body.

My mission is to heal the world and really embrace and enhance the mental health of the industry. It’s my goal for the music industry, the sports industry and the wellness community.There’s so much room to implement meditation, healing, and self-awareness in our industry. I know we can all adapt and transmute differently once the gate is fully open to do this. We have to collaboratively heal the world together. This is all I want to do in my lifetime. It is a privilege to be of service healing the world, integrating wellness and helping raise mental health awareness in our industry.

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