Why MSNBC’s Ari Melber Embraces Carbs—and Cinnamon Rolls

Courtesy of MSNBC

The news has never been busier than it is these days. No matter how you feel about our current administration, everyone can agree it has been untraditional, chaotic, and dramatic. There are times I have to go on the air without knowing what I’m about to report, so it’s important to be able to focus—to take in new information and respond on the fly. I need to be healthy to make that happen. I put a lot of work into keeping my head right.


Pose for the Camera

Yoga is one of my favorite ways to stay in shape. It can change your mood more than any other activity. Even if you’re not feeling it at the beginning of class, by the end you know you’ve done yourself a favor. I love the way yoga instructors speak. They’ll say, “There is no such thing as competition,” or “You can only measure against your own practice.” They sound like lame Instagram quotes, but it is actually helpful for me to hear.

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Running Time

I grew up in Seattle, where there were incredible trails. I did a lot of hiking, mountaineering, and running. These days, I run between three and five evenings a week around my neighborhood in Brooklyn, always with music. I lose track of time easier and run farther if I have the right album on. My playlist is rap and trap songs. I imagine most people who watch me report on the Supreme Court don’t immediately think “trap music,” but I’ve loved hip-hop ever since I was a teen. I have been listening to the new albums by J. Cole, Pusha-T, and Kanye West. I study Jay-Z’s lyrics and bring him up on my show.

Media Consumption

I take carbs very seriously. And by that I mean I will often have a cinnamon roll from Au Bon Pain before the show. It gives me that perfect little kick I need. Sometimes I will have chocolate right before we go on. A producer came up to me once and saw that I was eating a chocolate bar. He was like, “Are you really eating that right now?” What can I say? It works for me.

Work-Life Balance

The rapper Kevin Gates has the anthem “2 Phones,” where he says he has “one for the plug and one for the load.” While I don’t encourage people to have a separate phone for contraband, I also have two phones: one for work and the other for real life, reserved for friends and family—and no social media. I try to have a total news holiday from Friday night to Monday morning. I think it’s important to decide what is worth our energy and whether we need to be totally available, even after clocking in 52 hours a week. I personally enjoy spending my weekends tweeting less and living more.

— As told to Charles Thorp

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