We chatted with multi-platinum award-winning singer, songwriter, actor, and author Jann Arden on empowerment, health, and aging. Jann recently announced the forthcoming release of her 15th studio album, Descendant, arriving January 28, 2022 through Universal Music Canada.
After discussing feeling empowered in aging in your book, what advice can you give to those seeking that fulfillment and joy?
This may seem like a simple thing but walking every day is going to change your outlook on everything. Movement is life. We’re all overwhelmed with these crazy workout videos and joining gyms and all of that stuff that seems so time-consuming. Just go for a walk. Keep moving. Feed yourself good food. Of course, have fun with it all, but make sure you’re getting nutritious things going into your diet, There are a million suggestions for easy, fast, plant-based meals online. I mean like 15 minutes and you’re ready to eat.
In your busy life, what do you do to ensure that your health remains a priority?
I became a plant-based eater five years ago and I also quit drinking alcohol. My life completely changed as you can imagine. I make sure that I take time to get ready for bed. I don’t stay up late anymore, and I feel so much better. I have a routine that I adhere to, and my sleep is the best it’s been in a great many years. I take time to get proper rest. I try and go to bed at the same time every night when I can. When I’m on the road, I can still have a routine although it’s pushed to be quite a bit later when I’m touring. I drink a ton of herbal tea and I always make sure that I keep up with my walks!
This may seem like a simple thing but walking every day is going to change your outlook on everything. Movement is life.
How has your outlook on life changed since you were able to find wisdom in your failure and power in aging?
I feel so much less anxious, so much less low-grade depression. I always try to keep the conversation that I have with myself throughout the day, very encouraging and positive. I’m simply not hard on myself. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Don’t hold grudges. Do what you say you’re doing to do. How you treat yourself, is inevitably, how you treat other people.
Can you tell us about your experience starring in the sitcom Jann? How did you navigate this major career change and what advice do you have for others seeking new opportunities later in life?
It’s been a fantastic experience. Certainly not without its challenges, but honestly, it doesn’t feel the least bit like a career change. I think creative people create- moving from one thing to the other without a lot of difficulty. I think touring and being on stage is very closely linked with performing on the TV show. It is very daunting remembering lines, but it’s also very daunting remembering song lyrics! Especially when you’re doing a 2-hour show! I do things that I enjoy doing and I think that’s key. Trust me when I tell you, that I don’t do anything that I don’t like to do. That’s why I chose to go into the arts to begin with. I didn’t really want to work for anyone else — it scared me to think about it. I wanted to travel, and I wanted to meet lots of people and I didn’t really want to plan out where I’d end up. I think getting older has just enforced that way of thinking. This is the perfect time to try things — no matter how outlandish they may seem. It takes two minutes to try something and two decades to think about trying something. You’ve got to believe in whimsy and magic and chance. Nothing will happen if you happen to fail. I fail every damn day and I quite like it.
Produced by Bob Rock, Russell Broom and Jann Arden, Descendant arrives as a 15-song collection representing the last 18 months of Arden’s life and headspace. A bold, beautiful, and empowering sound of Jann Arden, Descendant signifies a return to form for the multifaceted artist, reflecting on where she came from and where she is headed. The first track from the album, “Steady On,” is out now.