My Morning Routine

⇾ Russell Dickerson, Country Musician

My Morning Routine

⇾ Russell Dickerson,
Country Musician

Waking up and staying motivated with the in-demand singer-songwriter

Country Musician Russell Dickerson

With three consecutive No. 1 singles under his belt, Russell Dickerson says the pressure is on for his new single, “Love You Liked I Used To,” the first release from his upcoming album. But he doesn't seem worried. After all, this is a guy who thrives under pressure. Back in 2011, he was ducking out on college classes for tiny, last-minute gigs paying $200. These days, he's touring with the likes of Thomas Rhett, Florida Georgia Line and Kane Brown after his debut album went double platinum. And while the easygoing singer-songwriter is known for his laidback style, he's a master at setting goals and prioritizing. Those skills are about to come in handy even more, as Dickerson and wife Kailey just announced that they're expecting their first child. We caught up him at home in Tennessee, where he's enjoying some much-needed social isolation, to talk about how he gets the most out of his mornings.

The Series

Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.

Russell Dickerson illustration

My Routine

I’m usually up at about 7:45 am.

I never set an alarm though, it's just my natural wakeup time, I guess. Unless we have a crazy early flight, then I set an alarm.

My sleep is important.

I've learned that I really need it to feel and perform my best. I shoot for at least eight hours, always ... and honestly, sometimes more with this quarantine.

I didn’t really have a routine before quarantine.

It was always different depending on if I'm writing that day, in the studio, on the road or a day off. But now, they're all days at home. I've slept in my bed now for 30 nights in a row. I don't think that's happened since 2013.

I still don’t have a morning routine, really.

I wake up and see how I'm feeling, but I usually start by making coffee for my wife and myself, put on a little worship music and read my bible.

Lately, we’ve been walking in the morning.

My wifey and I go on a long, quiet walk around our neighborhood. We walk for a while ... about four miles.

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I’m trying to get better at meditation.

I love getting to do that to calm my mind and body. My brain is all over the place at all times, so that time of calming my mind is amazing. Show days are different because there are 10 people on our bus, so privacy is limited. But we converted the back lounge of our tour bus into a bedroom, so we do get some peace and quiet back there for sure.

I’m a big smoothie guy.

Because I like to get up and go, making breakfast in the blender is quick and easy. I'll make a spinach, banana and peanut butter protein smoothie—a big batch for me and my wife.

Exercise is one of the most important parts of my morning.

Getting up and getting the blood pumping ... I have so much more energy and creativity after I workout than when I don't. It's crazy. I can tell I get so much more stuff done on those days.

I’ve changed up my workouts during isolation.

Right now, in quarantine I just have a set of adjustable dumbbells and a medicine ball. So basically, I just making up my own workouts. My favorite recently is an EMOM (every minute on the minute) workout: 10 rounds, 10 reps and 3 exercises for 30 mins. Medicine ball slams, push ups, curls. I love the pace of the EMOM too. It's quick bursts rather than rest, which is helpful.

I live by my calendar app.

It's all in my phone and everyone who needs access—like my wife and my manager—can log in and see what's happening (and adjust as needed). It keeps everything I need to do, from meetings and phone calls to appearance and shows, organized and accounted for. If it's in there, we're doing it. No questions. One less thing to worry about, right?

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When it comes to morning grooming, I keep it simple.

I've found what really works for me and stick to those products. Except for toothpaste ... that's whatever my wife buys.

Russell Dickerson's favorite grooming products

Clockwise, from top left

Black 2-in-1
shampoo and conditioner,
$38 by Monat

Electric toothbrush,
$40 by Quip

Facial Fuel SPF 20,
$35 by Kiehl’s

Beeswax lip balm,
$3.39 by Burt’s Bees

Creamy thickening paste,
$25.50 by Unite

Heavy-duty medicine ball,
$77.95 by TRX

Adjustable dumbbells,
$299.99 / $199.99 by NordicTrack

L'Homme,
$60 by Yves Saint Laurent

Russell Dickerson's favorite grooming products

Black 2-in-1
shampoo and
conditioner,
$38 by Monat

Creamy thickening paste,
$25.50 by Unite

Facial Fuel
SPF 20,
$35 by
Kiehl’s

Beeswax lip balm,
$3.39 by Burt’s Bees

Electric toothbrush,
$40 by Quip

Heavy-duty
medicine ball,
$77.95 by TRX

Adjustable dumbbells,
$299.99 / $199.99
by NordicTrack

L'Homme,
$60 by
Yves Saint Laurent

“Really good for scalp health and hair growth”

Clockwise, from top left

Black 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner,
$38 by Monat

Creamy thickening paste,
$25.50 by Unite

Facial Fuel SPF 20,
$35 by Kiehl’s

Beeswax lip balm,
$3.39 by Burt’s Bees

Electric toothbrush,
$40 by Quip

Heavy-duty medicine ball,
$77.95 by TRX

Adjustable dumbbells,
$299.99 / $199.99 by NordicTrack

L'Homme,
$60 by Yves Saint Laurent

I tend to pick out my outfits in the moment.

Especially for my shows. “Am I feeling funky tonight? Am I feeling classy?” However I'm feeling is what I wear. Just go with it man!

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Russell has a YouTube series called This Is Russ, which yes, is a play on the hit NBC drama. Only this is essentially a raw and rip-roaring look at his life off stage.

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