A psychologist relies on mental health for musicians – Spotify for artists

This material has been created for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not rely on health advice. You should consult your own counselor and / or mental health professional before making any personal decisions.

Being a professional musician is exciting, rewarding, and full of potential – and it’s overwhelming with the intense, challenging, and potential dangers that can burn you out. Earlier this year, the digital distribution platform Record Union shared the results of a survey conducted with about 1,500 musicians. The report It has been found that more than 73% of independent music producers suffer from symptoms of mental illness and anxiety and depression were the most experienced negative emotions in music creation. In response, the Record Union formed an initiative to fund projects aimed at preventing and treating mental illness among music producers.

Joe Burnaby, a doctoral researcher at King’s College London who studies faith neuroscience and psychology, was one of six experts on a panel that evaluated submitted projects and helped determine how the Record Union would allocate $ 30,000. As a former musician, Burnaby was uniquely suited for a position on the panel, which provided three programs with funding –A counseling boot camp, An information analysis research project on addiction in the music industry, And A podcast that interviews musicians about their struggles with mental illness. Burnaby shares insights into the effects of poor mental health, how the music industry presents artists with unique mental health challenges, and preventive measures and possible solutions to this obvious problem.

“Without mental illness, your mental health can be bad, but the worse your mental health, the greater your risk of developing chronic illness,” Burnby explained. This difference is important when considering how mental health effects can affect a musician’s career. “If you don’t have very good mental health, it’s not really good to be productive or especially happy, because we know that poor mental health can increase anxiety, and increase the experience of not being able to concentrate or not. Be patient or calm, Or even as creative, ”he says.

Money is a headache

According to Burnaby, there are three pretty compelling reasons why independent musicians face mental health challenges. The first is financial instability. “If you are going to be a musician, long before you reach a place that is financially stable” This kind of stress can not only cause a lot of concern about your financial situation, but also make it difficult to take care of your own best possible. “It could mean that you are not able to afford healthcare, or that you can afford something that would otherwise keep you balanced, such as going to the gym,” Burnaby said.

Stress to make happy

Identifying Burnaby among musicians Another common mental-health challenge is the pressure to act and resonate with the audience. “Most people who enter music probably want to make a difference or appreciate their particular brand of music and recognize it as something great to the public – and I think the pressure to get to a stage where your music is well-regarded is a long way off, “He said. Burnaby added that over time, persistent feelings of inadequacy can increase the risk of anxiety and depression. “I know from talking to other musicians [that] There is a lot of pressure on you to keep working, ”he added.


Finally, Burnaby said the culture of self and drug use in the music industry is a unique mental-health challenge for musicians. According to a report by the Record Union, one in two of the independent music producers who have experienced negative emotions in their music creation have taken self-ated drugs as a treatment for mental illness. There is not enough research to establish that musicians fight addiction at a higher rate than the general population, but Burnaby acknowledges that archeology of the hard-parted rock star did not evolve out of thin air.

“The classic idea of ​​musicians is more open to drug use … it’s one thing and of course it can increase your risk of mental illness,” he says. “I think there’s a misconception that taking medication makes you more creative,” he added. “[That’s] Of course not for everyone, and for some people it is [can] It actually makes them less creative if it disrupts their mental health.

Ability to destroy

Burnaby’s research focuses specifically on belief systems and how they think about us and interact with others. One thing he has tested is that problematic beliefs, such as paranoia, can make people reluctant to trust others and talk about their emotional experiences – something he recommends to prevent mental health symptoms from developing mental illness. .

“Very well-known people come out and talk about their mental illness or mental health has deteriorated এটা that’s it [become] It’s less embarrassing to talk, “said Burnaby. He attributed this cultural change to a broader understanding of the social and psychological issues that contribute to mental illness, indicating that there is no shame in seeing a doctor about it if you hit your leg – and the same if you are truly suffering mentally. Burnaby suggests that learning to distinguish depression and anxiety from our identity as individuals, as we do with physical illness, is an important step.

Especially for musicians, Burnaby recommends having a group member dedicated to emotional support. “Like you can have one [physician] Having a psychologist on a sports team, a music tour team would not be the worst idea in the world, ”he said. “You want to build a culture where people can voice their weaknesses and voice how they feel, because a lot of the time, someone out there can listen to what you’re saying sympathetically and unjustly. Far, far away.”

Burnaby advises you to communicate what works and what doesn’t work for you before achieving specific goals as a musician. “Are you someone who is anxious enough? Are you someone who is sensitive to social situations, or do you have special fears? Do you have occasional frustrating episodes? If so, you may be more at risk for those experiences in a high stress environment. Can, ”he says.

Burnaby sees opportunities to become more online resources where musicians can interact with them and learn from each other about the things they face. “I think most of these things are preventable that we can develop for free, only through free online forums. [where] They can discuss what they do and what helps, and normalize the experience of people with poor mental health, “he advises.” Okay, and we should talk about that. ”

Extra reading and resources

Tips for managing your mental health
How the Royal Mountain Record is supporting mental health
Healthcare 101: Know Your Resources
Drug abuse and mental health care administration
NAMI Helpline

– Khalila Baro

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