73% of independent musicians experience negative mental health issues, study finds

A recent study conducted by Swedish digital distribution platform Record Union has found that at least 73 per cent of independent musicians have experienced “stress, anxiety and/or depression” in relation to their work.

The results are based on a web survey of nearly 1,500 independent musicians carried out earlier this year. It found that almost a quarter of those surveyed had faced negative mental health issues. Among those aged 18-26, the rate was even higher, with 80 per cent reporting negative mental health effects rooted in their music careers. Moreover, 33 per pent of all respondents said they experienced panic attacks in relation to their work.

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In light of the findings, Record Union is donating $30,000 to projects that aim to prevent or treat mental illness among music makers.

Record Union CEO Johan Svanberg said the findings shed light on the industry, and the importance placed on commercial success in lieu of artists’ mental health.

“Our study is telling us that something needs to change,” Svanberg said in a statement.

“It’s time to put the state of our artists’ mental health on the agenda, before streams and commercial success. We as an industry must wake up and ask ourselves: What’s our responsibility in this and what can we do to create a healthier music climate?”

This sentiment was shared by respondents, with only 19 per cent of those surveyed reporting that they think the music industry is working to create a “sustainable music climate with healthy artists”.

You can find the full report here.