A new study from Swedish music distributor Record Union shows the mental effects of the business. According to their study, which polled almost 1,500 independent artists of differing gender identity, country and genre, 73% of respondents said they experienced anxiety, depression or stress as a result of their work.
The most common symptom was anxiety at 73%, while 69% experienced depression and 33% even said they experienced panic attacks. According to the respondents, the most common reason for these symptoms were fear of failure (67%) and financial instability (59%).
Half say they self-medicated with alcohol, drugs or other substances.
65% say they talk to someone around them about their problems, but somewhat shockingly they don’t usually talk to people in the business. Only 31% say they talk to bandmates and 6% to their manager. 29% said they didn’t have anyone to talk to. Only 19% of respondents say the music industry is working to create a sustainable music climate with healthy artists.
63% would like to prioritize their mental health and general well-being and 57% worry about their mental health.
In response to the study, Record Union is donating $30,000 to finance projects that aim to prevent or treat mental illness among music makers. Those who wish to get involved can submit projects here and an expert panel will choose the winners. Projects can be submitted from May 7 to June 2.
“The fact that mental illness is a big problem within the music industry doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. The challenge has been raised before and we’ve seen different initiatives and talks on the topic, but we need more action. We believe that more players and people need to do their part if we should be able to achieve a healthier music climate,” says Johan Svanberg, CEO of Record Union.