73% of Musicians Suffer From Mental Illness


Not that mental health isn’t an issue worth exploring among musicians. It definitely is. But this study is bullshit. Among other things, “stress”, “fear of failure”, “financial instability”, “loneliness”, “negative pressure” - these are not the same as having mental illness. Under their standards, I’m surprised the conclusions they came to weren’t that 100% of independent musicians suffer from mental illness.

Record Union (a PR and distribution firm, from what I can tell) are “not mental health professionals” by their own account, and they have no rigorous methodology. Their study wasn’t peer reviewed. They got the basic fundamental premise of what mental illness is completely wrong. They should delete this embarrassment of a site and PDF, frankly. Leave the studies to actual mental health professionals, psychologists, sociologists, or honestly, anyone who knows what they’re doing and isn’t trying to promote themselves and make a buck off of an issue that deserves real (properly vetted) study.




The conclusion they draw are simply wrong. If they added the question “Do you like chocolate?” They would have concluded that xx% of chocolate eaters are musicians and mentally ill, therefore chocolate is causing depressions and must be banned.

Same BS argumentations as with cannabis vs alcohol and so forth.

From my 48 year Perspektive, the problem is our economic system that purely is concentrating on making money and only money and pressuring everyone, including creative people, to constantly perform a high Output, to deliver! Emotional things like a persona feelings are valued very Low, or the environment health of our Planet, unless it can be instrumentalized to make more Money or deliver Performance to make more Money. Oh and as Marilyn Manson Said once in an Interview…, the Western world, leaded by the USA is practicing a culture of fear, to keep the people under control and force them to be a willingly cheap workforce.
The system is riding us.

That is causing all of us to be mentally ill.

French ppl. realized that and are now constantly demonstrating against this. In the german Media they try to belittle this movement and/or demonize them as radical stone thrower. Well same fear mechanisms. Desinformation, fake news from the government.



We need a new system, that puts the Nature, the earth and us Humans and the animals First, and economics least. A socialmocracy.

First Thing that must be changed… every politician and every company owner are personally accountable for the BS they are causing.


I take issue with the term Mental Illness.

It’s called being alive, warts n all. It’s how you handle it and maintain a balance that makes a difference.

Those who don’t struggle at some emotional and spiritual level with navigating the rapid passage of time, aging, death, the cosmos, joy, sadness, unfairness, bad luck, missed boats, happy accidents and the meaning of life, would seem more so the ones with delusional tendencies!

Feeling no pain is not a good way to be either.


I’ve lost two friends to suicide in the last two years. Both extremely talented musicians and both with plenty to live for. One who was a close friend who I performed with on the surface had everything, good looking guy with good job and plenty of talent who went to the gym and was fit and healthy. He had loads of friends and was very social. You’d never have thought he would suffer from ill mental health but he did and couldn’t go on. His family and friends have started a foundation in his name to raise money and help with support projects.

Mental illness is a real and serious problem where I live. From growing up in my childhood street all 5 of my best friends are no longer here who I played with from aged 7 to 12 until I moved. Two suicide, two drank themselves to death and one got drunk and crashed a car.

It’s a big reason I studied psychology and moved into disability support. I now mainly teach but in each class I’ve a number of kids with complex issues and dealing with various mental health problems.

For me the big issue is lack of support and understanding from the government along with a lack of money going into poorer areas which in turn create a greater number of triggers and make recovering or dealing with mental illness more difficult.

That article though is not peer reviewed findings or carries much substance but if it helps get the issue circulating hopefully, like here, it gets people talking and discussing the issue


You cant make Money with healed mental ill people. Thats why the Corporate government has nö interest.


I saw that article. It’s probably pretty accurate, it also explains why there’s so much drug abuse among musicians, trying to self medicate. It definitely applies to me, I have an anxiety disorder that’s affected me as far back as I can remember. I’ve never had depression, just crushing anxiety that always seems to be in the way. It makes everything about life harder, always in a rush, always stressed, it sucks. But at the same time, I think it has caused other things to happen in my life. I think there are many unseen or unrealized benefits to having the kind of mind that I and many others have, natural musical/artistic talent being one of them. Our brains are just wired differently, sometimes to our benefit.


It’s already been pointed out on this thread and I’m not sure it’s covered by this “study” but there’s been a long history of mistaking neurodiversity for mental illness.
If we refer to everyone who is not neurotypical as having a disorder and treat them as if they are mentally unwell rather than simply understanding and accepting their differences to prescribed behavioural norms then it’s no wonder they then begin to suffer poor mental health.
Given the above average levels of neurodiverse people in creative industries, I would not be surprised at all to hear about those same people reporting an above average level of anxiety and mental health difficulty.
None of this means that there is anything specific about being a musician or part of the music industry that would necessarily make you more likely to be depressed. Or that being depressed makes you a better musician.


If only what you see in someone in a day to day encounter was the extent of what’s going on in their minds…:roll_eyes: It’s just a little bit deeper than that.


Xanax isn’t an Opioid, totally different category of drug.



Thanks for the comparison. Do you know where that number actually came from or other sources to learn more? I feel like it’s a big, broad topic for such a concise conclusion.


Thanks a lot. Now I’m just a depressed/anxious person who’s ALSO a lousy musician.

Thanks. A. Lot.

Now I’m going to have to tear down my banner I have hanging in my studio saying “I know my musics good because I’m depressed”


For example, here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-uk-and-worldwide

Another important question is are those numbers accurate and how many never go seek professional help when they need it. In my views, we are all suffering in our own ways and we can all use help. When we see someone we can’t help, we should try to direct them to someone who can, instead of succumbing to individuality, it would be a great start.


The most outgoing, upbeat, popular, well-loved person in my local music scene took his own life a few years back. I didn’t know him well, but from all outward appearances he was living an incredibly dynamic, adventurous and happy life, surrounded by friends and family, collaborating with dozens of local musicians, volunteering in the community, etc. In fact, his life looked so ideal it made me unhealthily ponder on more than one occasion - Why am I such a loser? Why can’t I be more like him?

Wow. Couldn’t ever guess that he was unhappy whatsoever, and then he killed himself. That to me was absolute proof that you just never know what is happening on the inside.


Love this! Looked it up and the story behind it is wonderful too.


i’m also a depressed guy sometimes and permanently in bad mood, that’s why i’m not able to produce a full song. if i manage it, i don’t like it anymore later, after listen to it countless times, so i have even more bad mood because of this. if you’re in very bad shape mentally or you do suffer on heavy depressions, this will rob your creativity and all the passion that is absolutely necessary to make music i believe. if you’re a full time musician and this is your only income, you are in big trouble and you probably need drugs to compensate it^^ but everyone handles this differently. anyways…i don’t consider myself as a musician, because the making of sounds and tracks that will be mostly discarded later on, doesn’t makes me a musician. i think, the most part of you here are not musicians too but wannabe’s. so we are not among this 73% :wink:


I am a musician, though not a professional one. I find the term Wannabe very unfair and hurting and unappropriate.
Trump is a Wannabe politician.