Speaking of things that DO NOT help with writing: television.
I know, I know, I’m sure that you do not want to hear me nag you about the evils of television. I know I watch too much television, but it’s a vicious cycle: in the evenings, after either a full day at work or a full day of writing, I’m weary. And I have the type of brain that’s always darting around and thinking and analyzing (not always in a productive, useful or healthy way) and good grief is it tiring. So I like a little break. Watching television does often calm those voices, but I’ll tell you what else it does: I think it shuts off part of my brain, entirely. When I was a little kid my mother accused me of turning zombie-eyed in front of the television, and I think that still happens.
When I have a day to write, I do whatever I can to avoid turning on the television. The fact that we don’t have cable and only get about eight channels helps a great deal. While part of me would LOVE to have Animal Planet, I can’t imagine how much time I would spend watching Growing Up Leopard (don’t laugh at me). Television can be entertaining and have educational value, but it can still be a very time consuming distraction. If you’re trying to write, beware.