73% of independent musicians have experienced negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and/or depression in relation to their career, says a new study which surveyed 1500 indie artists. Among those 18-25 the number rose to 80%.
A full 33% have also experienced panic attacks. Fear of failure, financial instability, loneliness and the pressure to succeed are given as main drivers.
57% of the respondents said that they worry about their mental health and well being. Of those, 41% worry several times per day. Fear of failure, financial instability and the pressure to succeed and deliver top the list of concerns.
"The music industry has traditionally been defining success on commercial terms. To be seen as successful you need to reach high sales and tour goals. It’s always money first," says ays Johan Svanberg, CEO at Record Union who funded the study. "To create a more sustainable music climate with healthier artists, we believe that this needs to change and that artists need to start thinking about their mental health as part of the success."
Hiding From Peers & Professionals
Of those who said that they have experienced negative emotions in relation to their music creation, 65% said that they talk about mental health and well being with the people around them. But they prefer to talk to personal rather than professional contacts. 90% to talk to close friends and 64% to family members, whereas only 31% talk to band members and just 6% percent to their manager.
Of those who didn’t talk about their mental health and wellbeing, 29% said that they didn’t do so because they don’t have anyone to talk to.
"In a society so focused on sustainability, it’s disappointing to witness how the music industry just goes on and on in the same old patterns. The big labels wouldn’t be anywhere without the creativity of its music makers, but still there seems to be a social taboo for music makers to talk about their wellbeing," says Svanberg.
A full 81% said that they think that the music industry could do more of to create a sustainable music climate.
"Our study is telling us that something needs to change. It’s time to put the state of our artists’ mental health on the agenda, before streams and commercial success. We as an industry must wake up and ask ourselves: What’s our responsibility in this and what can we do to create a healthier music climate?," says Johan Svanberg.