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  • Writer's pictureFaye Bradley

Madonna and U2's Former Assistant Manager Niamh McCarthy On Music & Meditation With MINDFUL NATION – Interview


In today's fast-paced world, finding moments of tranquillity and self-care can seem elusive. For Niamh McCarthy, whose career in the music industry brought her into orbit with icons like Madonna and U2, burnout became a profound awakening. It prompted her to merge her passion for music with a newfound dedication to mindfulness, launching MINDFUL NATION – an app that curates playlists from top producers and DJs, meticulously designed to soothe anxieties, bolster affirmations, and induce restorative sleep. As McCarthy sits down with us, she shares her personal journey, dream collaborations, and essential rituals for resetting amidst life's whirlwind.

Could you share more about your personal journey from working in the music industry to embracing meditation and eventually founding MINDFUL NATION?

In my early 20's I was living the dream job touring the world on back-to-back tours working with some of the world's amazing artists such as U2 and Madonna. After four years, I was totally burnt out and suffered a panic attack that changed the trajectory of my life. I loved what I was doing but something needed to change. A doctor told me to take deep breaths and it was like an epiphany. From that moment, I studied and practiced meditation including with Deepak Chopra, which eventually led to me launching MINDFUL NATION.

As Madonna and U2's former assistant manager, how has your experience in the music industry influenced the development of MINDFUL NATION?  

MINDFUL NATION started as a wellness tool for the music industry with me leading corporate meditation sessions for stressed-out music execs. Music was always key in helping these people, who said they didn't have time to meditate, to access mindfulness. This same principle applies to the app – I want people to experience mindfulness through music in only a few minutes each day.

Image courtesy of @dualipa/Instagram

If MINDFUL NATION were to collaborate with a famous musician or band for a special meditation session, who would be your dream collaboration? 

I would love to collaborate with Dua Lipa!

What's your go-to ritual or practice for maintaining your own mental well-being amidst a busy schedule?

My go-to practice is the MINDFUL NATION Jasmine Classes.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is new to meditation?

I would tell them to start today – it will be worth it. I'd also tell them that there is no goal. Just sit there and allow everything to happen without judging the experience.

What are 5 wellness items you carry with you everywhere?

I always bring my essential oils, rose water spray, Bala weights, Shiseido face SPF, and activated charcoal wherever I go.

Where do you go unwind?

India is where I go to properly unwind. I go to Sita Ram in Kerala every winter for two weeks to do a pancha karma detox.

Lastly, how do you hope MINDFUL NATION will contribute to the broader conversation around mental health and well-being, particularly within the context of today's fast-paced world?

I hope that MINDFUL NATION will spread the tools and awareness that we can control how we feel, and in turn, create a healthier, more peaceful world with conscious beings. 


Download Mindful Nation on the Apple App Store

Follow Niamh McCarthy and MINDFUL NATION on Instagram


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