Although many people fantasize about standing on stage and performing original music in front of thousands of cheering fans, there are many well-known occupational hazards for popular musicians, so to speak. Perhaps chief among these is substance abuse.

Addiction can come easily in certain environments, and most people have a tough time breaking these habits, especially when alcohol and drugs are involved. One of the best ways to fight these addictions is through a disciplined lifestyle, and strong exercise habits can help establish this kind of structured routine.

Last week Men’s Health published an article in which Scott Stapp shared how he implements this paradigm into this life. After outlining his struggles with substance abuse, story author Brett Williams explains how Stapp uses fitness to help maintain control of his body and mind, writing:

Now that he’s sober, Stapp uses his health and fitness routine to serve as an anchor point. The self-described avid runner puts in at least a few miles every day. “There’s a meditative quality to it for me.” he said of the practice. “That’s made such an impact on every part of my life. Mentally, and even emotionally, because I think if you’re not mentally well you’re not emotionally well.”

The process of getting into running even reflected the steps he needed to take to gain his sobriety. “When I started, I couldn’t just jump on the treadmill and run five miles,” Stapp said. I had to work up to it.” Stapp said he would run as long as he could, then walk to keep moving. Eventually, the running periods got longer and he was walking much less. That was when he knew that he was ready to take his exercise to the next level, challenging himself with different speeds and inclines to push harder. 

While a “runner’s high” is a much different feeling than those that accompany substance abuse, the concept of satiating cravings for drugs or alcohol with a healthy feeling of euphoria is one that can prove transformational.

To read William’s full writeup, click here.