The Musician’s Mental Health

The world can sometimes be a heavy, confusing place. Especially in this past year, you may have found yourself and loved ones in a state of mind filled with fear and questions. Can it at times be even more cumbersome for the musician or do we all feel this way at one point & it simply manifests differently in our lives depending on so many variables? Let's talk. 

If you've been reading alongside us for a while now, you've surely come across our incessant disclaimer of the very fact that we are not doctors, nor experts, nor technically trained in any way to give medical or mental health advice, however, the one that that we've got is experience.

Much like anything, the first key in any problem is identifying it honestly and openly. Even if you don't know how you feel or aren't comfortable expressing it, just start talking or writing it down. This is the time to employ your friends and family. Be sincere with yourself about whether you'd prefer to talk to someone who knows you well or doesn't know you at all. 

In today’s world of social media and 24/7 news outlets, it’s very easy to become swayed into believing that you are alone and you’re becoming very susceptible to developing “FOMO” - The Fear of Missing Out. This can seriously twist our perspectives on the beautiful gift that is life. It’s important that we pause and take into account what feelings we have after interacting with certain modern technologies. 

So, how does all of this differentiate from the music listener and the musician? We know that it's safe to say that we all have our ups and downs, but could this potentially be worse for a musician? We wouldn't necessarily say worse - just different. It has been said many times over that the creative soul is often highly sensitive. The debate could go on forever regarding varying degrees of sensitivity and whether or not they exist, but it may be safe to say that the typical musician has their ears and eyes often open to the world, perhaps become slightly more vulnerable than others. Perhaps a creative who wears their heart on their sleeve is more susceptible to outside criticism than someone who thinks in terms of numbers and absolutes? Perhaps not and they simply manifest differently instead. 

One element that is certainly amplified within the musician’s life is that their work is often displayed on a platform where everyone can give their opinion - both good and bad. Whether it’s one negative review or hundreds of comments from fans who are upset about your newest creative liberties, this can be a major crush to our egos, albeit even subconsciously. Whether you’re a musician or not, if you put yourself out there in today’s world, you surely must expect to at some point interact with another who has a different opinion than yours, yet the downside of cultivating a large following is that sometimes you can lose your sense of self within that. 

Let's look at the flipside. The wonderful part of being a musician during an event or period of mental health issues within your life is that you have the incredible ability to express yourself. This is something that many people crave to do but are unable to find the mechanisms, confidence and tools to do so. You've already won so much of the healing battle with the fact that you can transmute and alchemize your painful feelings into a work of art. 

Sometimes it helps to speak to yourself as a friend. It's very easy to be self-defeating and self-sabotaging. Give yourself a break. Feeling discomfort is not a failure. Once you're over this current issue, you can certainly count on that fact that another will pop up throughout the journey of your life. Our lives are often made up of a mix of beauty and chaos. If we're lucky, our chaos is minimized and beauty is maximized.