Belly of the Beast: Mental Health and the Music Industry

Last year was a tough one for so many people. We are very fortunate here in Western Australia to have escaped many of the challenges faced by people around the world during this devastating pandemic. With friends getting sick and losing loved ones in Europe and the US, I was also touched by those who were suffering more silent symptoms of the pandemic – mental health struggles and suicide.

I decided to write a piece on the impact that the events of 2020 were having on creatives and, specifically, as Around the Sound is a music magazine, on those in the music industry.

I put a call out for songwriters, musicians, managers, industry coaches, therapists and organisations offering support services, to talk to me about their experiences in 2020 and offer advice on how people can reframe, refocus and move forward in this challenging time. 

I was overwhelmed with responses and it took me four months to put the article together. If you would like to read it (and I hope you do) I recommend you put the kettle on and get comfy.

A few months ago, I was sitting in a hotel room in Sydney watching a line of hand-washed, homemade face masks drying in the breeze across the balcony and back home in Perth I was pretty sure I’d left a shoe in the bathtub. This was neither where I expected to be, nor what I expected to be doing in September 2020. I should have been in LA on a reconnaissance mission of meetings and Mai Tais on Venice Beach but as John Lennon once famously said, “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.”

For those who aren’t aware, every year in the music industry is a tumultuous year. As artists ride the perpetual rollercoaster of what I call Life in the Arts Lane … we are nothing if not resilient, adaptable, fierce. But there are times – too many times if the number of people contacting me for this article is anything to go by – when it all gets too much and we just feel like giving up…