9 Out of 10 Musicians Say Their Mental Health Has Deteriorated During the Pandemic

The vast majority of professional musicians have experienced a mental-health decline amid the pandemic, a new study has revealed. Photo Credit: Christian Erfurt

Nearly 90 percent of professional musicians say that their mental health has deteriorated since the COVID-19 pandemic began last March, according to a study conducted by Help Musicians UK.

The 100-year-old charitable organization just recently revealed this and other less-than-encouraging stats, which reiterate that the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures and large-gathering bans hasn’t been purely financial – especially for musicians. Per Help Musicians UK’s analysis, 87 percent of the 700 respondent creators stated that their mental health has worsened amid the pandemic.

More pressingly, 91 percent of the study participants relayed that uncertainty surrounding their career and their future has negatively affected their mental wellbeing. Additionally, 96 percent said that they’re concerned about their ability to earn a living from music moving forward, with seven out of 10 persons unsure whether they’ll be able to “cope financially” in the coming six months.

Over half of the respondents indicated that they’re not currently earning any income from music – down slightly from the 55 percent that Help Musicians reported back in October of 2020 – and 24 percent stated that they’re considering permanently walking away from the industry.

Though troubling, the latter figure represents something of an improvement, as a September of 2020 study determined that 64 percent of UK musicians were weighing the idea of exiting the music space for good. Separately, the pandemic has had a similarly unsettling impact on emerging artists, with some sources pinpointing a 47 percent drop in the number of new musicians touring Europe.

And for additional reference in terms of the pandemic’s initially noted mental-health byproducts, a 2016 study from Help Musicians UK and the University of Westminster found that 71.1 percent of self-identified professional musicians (with a sample size of 2,211 individuals) experienced anxiety and/or panic attacks, with nearly 70 percent of respondents having suffered from depression.

That the pandemic – and an inability to perform before non-socially distanced fans – has exacerbated these underlying struggles hardly comes as a surprise. Vocal lockdown critic Van Morrison last year established “The Lockdown Financial Hardship Fund” to help musicians who were unable to earn a living because of government restrictions, for instance, and said Fund was quickly oversubscribed.

Earlier this week, some in the British live concert industry backed the idea of a “vaccine passport” in an effort to expedite the return of traditional live music. Plus, a different study yet revealed last month that 55 percent of Australian musicians and live-music professionals are thinking of changing careers.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Wolfgang

    Thanks for the article. Similar here in Austria and Germany.
    Many musicians will go to the job center and never will return in this business. And this makes sick.
    But in the UK It is not only the pandemic it also has to do with the Brexit. It is no fun anymore to tour the EU.
    2 links:
    from a musician: http://scannerdot.com/2021/02/the-reality-of-brexit-to-musicians/
    about impacts overall: https://beergbrexit.blog/2021/03/07/brexit-2-months-in/
    best Wolfgang
    http://www.base.at

  2. Avatar
    Dean Hajas

    Socan came up with a whopping $12.30 to it’s 160,000 members in the first and only “Emergency Relief Fund”. Meanwhile paying the employees first, denying the payment to Jeff Price for Audiam, then selling Media Net during Court proceedings in New York Supreme Court with a net value of $6 Billion.
    I would like Dylan Smith to do a follow up piece on “License To Play” bullying by the PRO’s, empowered by the CRB, which in turn employ’s Gowlings in Canada in to a very dark, and rich corner.

  3. Avatar
    Like Any Of You

    Actually give a fuck except for the cheap headline…

    Don’t mention your part in the greatest art theft in history!!

    It’s almost over hold the line suck it up our troubles are over as soon as the market crashes

    It’s is the time artists to PREPARE!!

    All will be even when the dollar goes to zero

    Buy some seeds for a garden and some silver if you can constitutional silver works well too. Research The Mississippi Bubble And John Law!

    KEEP CREATING A get off the radar get out of gmail off spotify and yes even you tube these are hamster weels!

    The music monopoly monster is going to start writhing in death throws you don’t want to get caught in.

    THEY WANT U TO DESPAIR DO NOT PREPARE AND NEVER SIGN!!!!!

  4. Avatar
    BAC

    STOP WATCHING THE NEWS
    BECAUSE THE NEWS CONTRIVES TO FRIGHTEN YOU
    TO MAKE YOU FEEL SMALL AND ALONE
    TO MAKE YOU FEEL THAT YOUR MIND ISN’T YOUR OWN

    It’s time to just play gigs and to threaten government “officials” if they get in the way.

    They have ruined society with bullshit lockdowns and mask mandates, neither of which work, unless you want to ruin society.

    Mostly old people who were going to die anyway have died. So have gunshot and car crash victims, suicides, etc, all blamed on covid.

    When are you people going to stand up rather than bend over?

    Why do you people trust governments and bureaucrats who have lied to us for centuries?

    Why do you trust the stupid, inbred “royals”? Or fat Eton clowns like Boris? Or commie morons like Corbyn? They should all step into the woodchipper.

    Why do you trust lifelong bureaucrats like Fauci? He was wrong in the 80s about AIDS, you know.

    Why do you trust pervs like Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey? Because they’re billionaires? Gates flew on Jeffrey Epstein’s plane after Epstein’s first charge. Oprah hung out with that perv Harvey Weinstein for decades.

    Quit smoking pot, drinking all the high tax alcohol, and taking those anti-depressants. Act a little rebellious for once. Get out and hang out with people. You’re not going to die. You might change your life for the better.

    • Avatar
      Jerrod

      You’re quite the lunatic. Your posts are consistently unhinged, with desires and opinions based upon assumption rather than any reality or facts. If anyone needs mental help, it’s you.

  5. Avatar
    Dr. Faucibreath

    Get a job that pays and you will not be stressed. You chose the life and assumed the risk.

    The world needs ditch-diggers too, Danny.