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Mental Health in Music

When I first started thinking about writing this article about mental health in music, I thought about writing a list of the artist and bands who sing about mental health in their music, but realised quickly that almost everything I listen to has mentioned it somewhere. I think that maybe it has something to do with being artists and how venerable songwriters are when they write their music, because to them it’s the way they deal with their emotions, and make sense of it themselves.

Mental health has become an increasingly popular topic in music today, more so than ever, especially in the last 20 years, of course it was there before, you only have to look at bands like Green Day and Nirvana to see that, but I think it’s more common now days because the stigma surrounding mental health has lessened. I think that it’s a good thing that it’s being talked about more, especially in an industry where it is very relevant. The artists are writing about their struggles and by doing that it is helping not only them but the devoted fans that listen to their music who may be going through something similar.

However, some people may argue that mental health in music is romanticised and may encourage fans to act a certain way. I think though if you look deep enough into the music and the fan-bases surrounding those bands and claims, you will see that the fans do not think that and the music is genuinely helping them. There seems to be a common misconception that bands that sing about mental health openly and frequently are bad influences on the listeners. For example, bands like Twenty One Pilots, My Chemical Romance and Yungblud have had bad publicity in certain media outlets because some people are quick to jump to conclusions about bands that discuss mental health as it’s seen as a taboo topic. It’s as if these media outlets have pre-conceived ideas about the bands because of the topics they write about without listening properly or just missing the tone of the song completely. It’s reasons like this that there still seems to be a stigma around mental health, when there is no need.

Is it healthy to talk about mental health in music? Because musicians are talking about mental health more in their music it creates an open conversation about it in the media and between fans. For some, it’s the only way they feel like they can explain how they feel or the only way they have to talk about it. You don’t have to go far to see this, just look in the comments sections of music videos or Instagram posts made by any band and I guarantee you will see something about how that band helped them with their mental health by talking about it. For the musicians talking about it can help them too, but the industry can sometimes be one that can put a lot of pressure on bands to be a certain way and some may feel like it’s too much pressure to uphold. It raises the question that maybe it’s the way the music industry is manufactured and the pressures bands feel that cause more mental health issues for the artists. However because the artists are writing about it, I believe it can be healthy for them too, as it’s seen as a form of therapy for them, especially if they are writing it down. I think it’s healthy that it is something that is being spoken about more in the media and artists are opening up about something close to them which helps them create more connections with the audience and creating awareness at the same time.

These are just some quick thoughts that I’ve been thinking about a lot in the past week and wanted to share with everyone. Maybe in the future I will do a more in depth look at this, but for now this is what I believe, but let’s keep the conversation open. Comment below any thoughts you may have, or go to my Facebook page and leave a comment there. I am open to talk to anyone about this topic, or if anyone needs help or just someone to talk to then send me a message and I will be around.

Here is a link for support regarding mental health.

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Thanks for reading.

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