Larry Jackson has single-handedly changed the way we listen to music. An industry veteran who has worked with renowned artists from Whitney Houston to DJ Khaled, Jackson now works as Apple Music’s Head of Content. He speaks to Arianna Huffington on this week’s Thrive Global Podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio and Sleep Number, and reveals his tricks of the trade.

“Something I’m hyper-aware of is protecting my own flame,” he tells Huffington. By “flame,” Jackson is referring to his internal drive and passion, which he says can extinguish without proper rest and self-care. “We burn and sustain for whatever level of time we do in our lives, but a simple breeze or gust could really blow it out quite easily,” Jackson says.

To keep himself healthy and fulfilled, Jackson says he prioritizes getting enough sleep, and doesn’t believe in the “grind” that so many professionals idealize to achieve success: “I don’t know why this thing about, ‘I’m grinding,’ has been celebrated or romanticized.”

But while Jackson values resting and recharging today, he admits to Huffington that when he first started out, his values weren’t always as focused on well-being. In fact, Jackson began his music career as a young teenager, and was eager to start “grinding,” –– entering radio contests to win trips to local music stations just to get his foot in the door. “I was really interested in working,” he explains. Eventually, his tactic worked. “I won so many contests that they ultimately forbade me to win anymore,” he remembers. “But they said [to me], ‘You clearly have an interest for what we do. So maybe you should come down and get a tour.’”

Jackson notes that his unwavering persistence got his foot in the door initially, but today, he’s learned to balance that, and says his passion for self-care has boosted his success in countless ways. “There’s a very elementary need for us to rest –– for us to rest our bodies, for us to rest our brains, for us to rest our hearts,” he emphasizes. “It’s something I wear as a bit of a badge of honor.”

To find out more, listen to the full conversation on iHeartRadio, here. You can also listen to the Thrive Global podcast internationally for free on iTunes.

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  • Rebecca Muller Feintuch

    Senior Editor and Community Manager


    Rebecca Muller Feintuch is the Senior Editor and Community Manager at Thrive. Her previous work experience includes roles in editorial and digital journalism. Rebecca is passionate about storytelling, creating meaningful connections, and prioritizing mental health and self-care. She is a graduate of New York University, where she studied Media, Culture and Communications with a minor in Creative Writing. For her undergraduate thesis, she researched the relationship between women and fitness media consumerism.