As seen in Guitar Girl Magazine Issue 21 — Fall 2022
It’s time to stop becoming one-hit wonders and start building a career in music that lasts.When the shocking news of Naomi Judd’s suicide by hanging emerged in May, the world’s collective heart sank a little bit. She was a well-known advocate for mental health, but the news served as a reminder that even our favourite musicians are human. We have been accustomed over the past several years to hearing about famous musicians who have died prematurely, typically as a result of mental health issues including depression, bipolar illness, and substance addiction. We may write an honest obituary, take part in a tribute performance, or listen to all of their music online at once in their honour… and the beat keeps on going.
When will the market intervene to protect the mental health of the artists who make a killing? There is a rising issue in the mental health of the creative community. The Music Industry Research Association (MIRA), the Princeton University survey Research Centre, and MusiCares said in a 2019 survey that 50% of the musicians who consistently responded felt “down, depressed, or helpless.” Many artists in the modern day, such the bedroom-pop/hi-fi musician Chelsea Cutler, feel pressured to constantly document their life as content for social media and to never disconnect from their work. Only four months prior, British hip-hop sensation Little Simz had to cancel her trip to the United States because she lacked the financial and emotional stability to deal with the stress she would inevitably encounter on the road.
Obviously, the music industry is not the best place for you to cultivate your thinking. There is a way to keep on innovating without losing your head in the process.
Here are five ways that taking care of your mental health may make your career last longer and be more successful.
- Produce a healthy work/life balance
You will be expected to work evenings, late nights, weekends, and even holidays, as this is not a typical market that operates during regular business hours. While this plays to your naturally cooperative nature, it may quickly lead to burnout if you don’t give yourself time to rest and maintain good connections with those closest to you. To be successful in your professional and personal lives, you must have trusting, open lines of communication with your supervisor, your group, and yourself.
- Set reasonable profession goals
Being well-known may cut both ways at times. As we have seen with Curt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, and Britney Spears, being a global superstar may have serious consequences for one’s physical and mental health. Although being in the spotlight has its allure, the stress and sacrifice that come with reaching the top are not good for your mental health. Define what it is you consider to be a successful music career and give some thought to the sort of lifestyle you secretly like to lead.
- Develop a helpful network
As a practising artist, you may spend long stretches of time alone, either in the studio or travelling from city to city. In order to develop, we necessitate close relationships. Recharge your batteries by spending time with people you can trust and who will listen to you when you need a break from the chaos. Backline, a non-profit that provides mental health services tailored to the music industry, offers a weekly support system and group therapy sessions for anyone who want to become a part of a community of people with similar goals.
- Sign in on your total health
It has become more clear since the beginning of the epidemic that low-income and marginalised cultural groups face difficulties in gaining access to adequate healthcare services. While health isn’t often at the top of many creative people’s priority lists, frequent checks (physical and otherwise) may help spot problems early and set you up for long-term success. MusiCares provides preventative medical, dental, and health treatments, and Music Health Alliance removes obstacles to and provides health care access for rehabilitating music experts.
- Take note of your financial resources
The days of musicians being kept in the dark regarding the whereabouts of their money due to a lack of transparency with music agreements and offers are over. To keep your commitments and finances under control, you should educate yourself about the music business and basic market practises. You don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket and hope that efficiency and music sales will bring you enough money. Get yourself among artists of varying experience levels to see how they manage to keep their imaginations alive while making a living. The She Is The Music movement is a global initiative that supports women in technology by providing them with courses, events, and mentorship. On the other side, organisations like MusiCares and the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund are available to provide financial support.
We may be in unknown territory in the music industry, but we can chart a better road forward by repairing our minds and adopting more healthful lifestyles. Maintain your course even if the going gets rough.