Let’s Talk About: Music and Mental Health

Mental Health and the Music Industry is a topic which has been continually brought in to focus over the past few years, with artists, music journalists and occasionally labels fully discussing the issue. However, it is also a topic which people wish to avoid, whether it be due to the conflict in opinions or the simple fact that the issue has such an impact on the lives of many. On the face of it, this issue seems simple, if we are able to rid ourselves of the stigma that surrounds mental health we can truly address the issue with the seriousness and care that it needs. However, due to many mainstream journals and the way social media works the stigma still remains, some even stating the stigma has grown which continues to hinder our ability to truly talk about this particular issue.

However, this isn’t to say that over the past two years there haven’t people attempting to talk about this issue in any way they can. Wishing to get people talking about the issue, but also to help propel the importance of the message in to the mainstream audience in a broad, yet focused sense. Three key examples of this come to mind, the first of which is Lady Gaga, an artist who last year presented issues that many find distressing and spoke about mental health in an unfiltered and raw way. Throughout the year Lady Gaga spoke about the issue and stigma that surrounds mental health and that it shouldn’t be considered such a taboo topic and people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about something that effects peoples lives in an incomprehensible way.

Another key example of this ability and want to talk about Mental Health more freely comes from an acoustic artist who is managing to make people open up about mental health, maybe not on the scale of Lady Gaga, but is achieving the same desire effect. This artist is Luke Rainsford an acoustic musician hailing from Wolverhampton. Luke Rainsford has never been one to back away from these topics and this has been especially true on his latest album I Feel At Home With You, it was on this record that Luke spoke in honest words about his mental health and encourages people to do the same without the words needing to be explicitly said. However, it is not only through Luke Rainsford’s recordings that this message comes across, as in his live shows he speaks truthfully and honestly about the messages inside these tracks and reaffirms the fact that it is okay to talk about the issues and to never bury it down and forget about it. Mainly because these issues need a platform to be spoken about, whether it be in person or through social media.

The last key example of this urgency and want to break the stigma surrounding Mental Health in the Music Industry comes from a band called Modern Baseball. A band whom have spoken about their own mental health issues and have seen the backlash but have also seen support and respect from their fan base due to their openness on such issues. However, their label has also given them their support, and that is something that is truly key when it comes to mental health and the music industry and is something that needs to be dealt with. Because more often than not an artists well being seems to take a back burner especially when they are heavily centered in the lime light.

It is in this notion of labels and companies supporting their artists with the issues of mental health that Help Musicians UK is aiming to do with their campaign.  The campaign ‘aims to break down stigma and start conversations for the first time within the sector about depression and other conditions linked  to mental and emotional wellbeing.’

What are you’re thoughts on this issue? Leave your thoughts below.



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