Exercise and Mental Health: Healthy Habits During CMW

May 3, 2019

Featured on UnisonFund.ca Written By: Kathryn Hummel

It’s a busy time for the Canadian music community! With the East Coast Music Awards wrapping up, and Canadian Music Week just around the corner, you may be feeling a little burnt out. Our last blog post focused on the connection between nutrition and mental health. With CMW kicking off tomorrow, this week we’ll highlight the healthy eats you can find around Toronto, but also introduce you to ways you can physically take care of yourself during this busy time. 

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to establishing healthy habits. 

According to the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, regular physical activity comprised of both cardiovascular and resistance exercise, has many mental health benefits. The longer you stick with your exercise routine, while incorporating movement into your daily life, the more benefits you’ll see. 

Research shows that regular physical activity can help:

  • Reduce day-to-day stress.
  • Reduce feelings of fatigue, improve sleep quality, and lower your risk of insomnia.
  • Enhance the impact of the treatment of addictions.
  • Increase feelings of self-esteem and self-efficacy, or how much you believe in yourself to accomplish important goals. Short bursts of exercise can also make you happier in the moment by interrupting negative trains of thought.
  • Boost your body’s production of endorphins and endocannabinoids, which are chemicals that help you to relax, feel more pleasure, feel less pain, and reduces the amount of cortisol (i.e., “stress hormone”) that your body produces.
  • Helps your brain to use and produce more dopamine and serotonin – chemicals produced in your brain that make you feel happy. People who exercise regularly also have more blood flow to the brain, better brain functioning, and even have more brain matter in certain areas (e.g., hippocampus, which is associated with memory).

Whether you’re someone who already works out regularly, or you’re looking for motivation to start, the one thing to consider is finding something that works best for you and your body. Creating healthy and realistic goals provides less pressure on yourself when you may not have the time. 

Finding an environment where you feel comfortable and motivated (e.g., home, outdoors, with a buddy), and not pushing yourself too hard is also important to establishing a regular routine. 

For more tips, check out the Canadian Psychological Association website

Please note that exercise doesn’t replace therapy. If you’re in need of any sort of help Unison provides free Counselling & Health Solutions for Canadian music professionals.

To establish community within our industry, and develop healthy habits together, we’ve partnered with Fit On Tour. You’ll feel stronger physically, and lighter mentally when you take part in the Fit On Tour x Unison wellness event series at CMW! 

With three events to choose from, we’re bringing the music industry together to ensure the well-being of our community.  

To kick off the series, Fit On Tour Co-Founder Andrea Mac will be leading an all-level friendly 5K FUN RUN alongside her favourite local running shop, Blacktoe Running on Tuesday May 7th at 6:00PM. The run starts at the CMW host hotel, Sheraton Centre in Toronto, and ends at The Rivoli for a post-workout schmooze. Click here to sign up!  

For the gym rats, or a beginner looking to try something new, the second event in the series will help you break a sweat while having fun. Join us for BOOTCAMP with Cassie Day of Fit Escapes which will take place at The Attic, lululemon in Toronto. The 1-hour class is just the workout you will need mid-way through your CMW festivities. Click here to sign up

After a long week of shows, meetings, and panels you’ll want to unwind. Sunday afternoon YOGA with Cassandra Popescu of Unison will soothe your mind and body. Featuring relaxing live music from Chris Assaad, enjoy a one hour candle lit yoga session at The Rivoli on Sunday May 12th at 12:00PM, followed by brunch. Click here to sign up!

Share how you’re incorporating healthy habits into your CMW week by tagging @UnisonFund with the hashtag #CMWfuel! 


Kupfert & Kim

100 King St. W. (First Canadian Place)

Kupfert & Kim is a plant-based, quick-service restaurant. They make delicious, minimally-processed food that is awesome for humans, animals and our planet.


Monday – Thursday

7:30AM – 7:30PM


7:30AM – 6:00PM *Lunch until 3:30PM on Friday 

Crave Healthy Habits 

100 Wellington Street West. (TD Court)

Crave pledges to bring the unique taste of healthy foods while striving for the highest satisfaction of their customers. They promise to replace the distorted picture of munchies and junk food through the healthy, delicious, and dependent taste of Crave. They thrive to inspire our generation along with the ones before us to change the future for a better and healthier diet.


Monday – Friday 7:45AM – 7:30PM


100 King St. W (First Canadian Place)

IQ is a seasonal kitchen with sustainable food and scratch cooking at the core. Almost everything that is served is made daily in-house and more than half of all the food is sourced within < 100 km’s of their restaurant. IQ embraces food in its natural form. They place emphasis on nutritional content over calorie counts and create dishes that are clean, colourful, and light. 


Monday – Friday 8:00AM – 4:00PM


10 King Street East

B.GOOD is proud to play an active role in driving positive change in our food system. They believe that transparent, resilient, and fair food systems lead to the highest quality ingredients. They strive to use those same ingredients to create their burgers, kale & grain bowls, salads, and everything else on our menu. They serve wholesome, honest food that makes people feel GOOD and inspires healthier communities.


Monday – Friday: 7:30AM – 9:00PM
Saturday: 10:30AM – 9:00PM
Sunday: 10:30AM – 8:00PM

Salus Fresh Foods

40 King St West (Scotia Plaza Food Court)

At Salus, they strive each day to provide healthy and delicious foods to their customers. This process begins with sourcing the freshest ingredients from their farmers. They prepare and grill all of their ingredients in-house on a daily basis to guarantee the freshness of all of their dishes. Their customers can tailor their salad, box, and shake to any specific dietary need. Salus guarantees to provide their customers with the healthy meals they need to meet their busy lifestyles. Come in and experience modern fresh, to-go.


Monday – Friday: 8:00AM – 5:00PM

Saturday & Sunday: Closed

111 Richmond St West (Assembly Chef’s Hall)

Nutbar is a superfood snack cafe. They’re best described as a “healthy coffee shop,” putting the world’s most nutrient-rich and highest-quality foods in the spotlight. They pride themselves on not cutting any corners – they choose the best suppliers, use food that is 100% organic (and local when possible) and obsess over the quality of every single item they serve. Their menu promises to fill you up and make you “feel good here.” Their goal is to provide a healthy mind in a healthy body.


Monday – Friday: 8:00AM – 5:00PM

Saturday:10:00AM – 3:00PM

Sunday: Closed 

Queen Mother Cafe 

208 Queen St. West

The Queen Mum, as the restaurant is affectionately known by its many regulars, has been serving global comfort food since October 1978.


Monday: Closed

Tuesday – Wednesday: 11:30AM – 11:45PM

Thursday – Saturday : 11:30AM – 1:00AM

Sunday: 11:30AM – 11:00PM


47 Front Street East

Fresh makes their food from scratch with wholesome natural ingredients, so you never have to worry about hidden chemicals or preservatives. They don’t cook with butter, dairy, eggs, honey or any other hidden animal by-products. Their main goal each day is to provide freshly made food and juice as quickly as possible, without compromising on quality or service. They cater to all people, whether vegetarian, vegan or altogether new to this kind of eating. Check out their menu for yourself, they’re sure you’ll find something you like. 


Monday – Friday: 11:30AM – 11:00PM

Saturday – Sunday: 10:30AM – 11:00PM

*Weekend Brunch Served until 3:00PM

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