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Study Finds Being a Musician Could Make You Depressed

A study performed in the UK brings to light the effect of having a career as a musician has on one’s mental health. The study, Can Music Make You Sick?, discovered the contributing factors that led to the likelihood of musicians becoming depressed.

The results of the study showed that musicians are THREE times as likely to suffer from depression. Over 2,200 people took part in the academic study and it was discovered that two main characteristics were the cause of final results. It is important to note that musicians found producing music enjoyable and cited the industry as the main source of negative mental impacts.

Musicians have developed a higher likelihood to becoming depressed because of poor work conditions and the struggle to have a successful social life. A huge factor that leads to both of these conditions includes inconsistent or small pay. An unreliable money source typically causes musicians to be unable to take part in normal social activities.

Stress and pressure from managing gigs and relationships can also lead to depression. For women in the industry sexism was also common. Results also showed that sexual abuse, discrimination and bullying contributed to poor mental health.

Quick Numerical facts:

  • 2,211 (self-selected) respondents took part in the industry-wide survey
  • 71.1% of all respondents believed they had experienced panic attacks and/or high levels of anxiety
  • 68.5% reported they had experienced depression
  • [Of those that reported] 30% claimed they would be very likely to, or had already sought help
  • 55% felt there were gaps in the provision of services for musicians

Can Music Make You Sick? is the largest academic study performed of its kind, therefore the results should be payed attention to. University of Westminster researchers Sally-Anne Gross and Dr. George Musgrave funded the research through charity. The results of the study are aimed at helping improve the working conditions of British Musicians.


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