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COVID: Mental health of musicians is taking a toll

March 31, 2021

Musicians have been hit hard by the pandemic, and not just financially, but also in matters pertaining to mental health. On top of the lack of income, there is also a loss of perspective and a huge feeling of insecurity which lie heavily on the mind. According to a British study, 87% of respondents reported a decline of their mental health over the course of the pandemic.

Lack of perspective and financial worries

91% think the reason for this is the current and continuing uncertainty surrounding their music careers. 96% wonder how they can keep making a living in the future, 70% of those don’t even know how to financially survive the next 6 months, and 24% are considering a career change. This research is consistent with a survey conducted among musicians in Berlin, of which a third responded that they will have to find a different job or have already done so.

Considering that the business is generally very competitive, mental health problems have always been prevalent among musicians. Now, corona has only made it worse. A similar study has already shown in 2016 that 71% of musicians suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, while 68% have or had depression.

How to deal with the situation

Here are some suggestions that might help you cope with the situation:

  • Talk about it – whether with friends, with other musicians, or with a professional. That way, you might also gain some different perspectives.
  • You are not alone – if nothing else, this study has demonstrated that many others are fighting the same problems.
  • Maintain your routine or develop a new one. Make sure your daily schedule includes different activities.
  • Pay attention to your physical health: Go outside, exercise, get enough sleep but not too much, try to eat healthy, and don’t overdo it with the alcohol. Listen to what your body is telling you!
  • Make plans. It certainly won’t be easy, but try to draft up and take on new projects. Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Remind yourself that things will go back to normal in the foreseeable future. You are still a musician and soon enough you will be able to show that on stage, as well.
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