HIGH NOTES: How to Return to Your Life After a Wild Festival Weekend

A weekend of partying at a music festival may leave you feeling like the human equivalent of these overflowing Glastonbury trash cans.

Most people don’t spend music festivals worrying about how they’ll feel after all the shouting, head-banging, and (if you’re into that sort of thing) drug use is over. That’s something you can worry about on Monday. But while living in the moment can be liberating, it doesn’t feel as liberating when you’re nursing a nasty hangover, likely compounded by sleep deprivation and undernourishment. So, if you want to make Monday (and Tuesday and Wednesday) more bearable, here are some ways to minimize the damage as you return to real life.

During the festival…

Don’t forget to eat. If you’ve been using certain, ahem, substances to keep you going, food may feel superfluous. But don’t let stimulants’ appetite-suppressant properties fool you. Being deprived of food will have the same effect it always does — you may just not feel it until afterward, and it’ll make your hangovers that much worse. “Try to ‘graze,’ eating smaller, nutrient-rich foods throughout the day and night,” says James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. “Fresh fruit, fruit and nut bars, and low-sodium jerky are all good, easy-to-pack-and-carry options.”

Take power naps. If the event goes late into the night (or early morning or afternoon), try to find some time to sleep, even for a short while. “Power napping (for 20-60 minutes) during the event can be helpful to avoid compounded effects of fatigue and periodically re-charge your system,” says Giordano. Plus, you may then feel less of a need to use stimulants to stay up.

Bring water. Hydration is essential if you’ll be out in the sun and/or dancing all day, especially if you’re using a drug like MDMA that dehydrates you. “There are a number of new hydration packs on the market that can make carrying and re-filling water at re-fill stations far quicker and easier,” says Giordano. The newly launched hydration pack Lunchbox also keeps your stuff secure so you don’t have to worry about theft. 

After the festival…

Take in electrolytes. Electrolyte-rich drinks like coconut water provide extra hydration to replenish you after a debaucherous weekend. You can even eat salty snacks to get electrolytes. Kellye Greene, President of New York DanceSafe, recommends doing this before you go to bed after the festival.

Supplement. B vitamins help flush out toxins, says Greene, so taking a B complex supplement during and after the festival might lessen the intensity of your hangover. A protein isolate like Isopure can also help you recover if you’ve been using drugs. Other supplements that may be helpful for hangovers include vitamin C, magnesium, acetyl L-carnitine, ginger root, N-acetyl-cysteine, milk thistle seed, and dandelion root, Greene adds.

Eat well. Ideally, you should be eating nutritious meals during the festival, but at the very least, eating well afterward can make your hangovers less hellish. Greene recommends green juice smoothies, bone broth, miso soup, asparagus, and Korean pear juice.

Listen to some chill music. This is not medical advice, but this playlist might help you relax and rejuvenate. Enjoy.

  • PLAYING DETROIT: Pretty Ghouls Go Ultra-Goth On New 7″s

  • PLAYING NASHVILLE: Zac Brown Guests on Latest Episode of “Bear and a Banjo” Podcast

  • PET POLITICS: Drunk Gecko Hunting with Ben Jaffe of PILL