Working in the music industry requires a tough skin. Artists experience successes,
setbacks, challenges, and disappointments throughout their career. Resilience, a good support network, and looking after your well being is essential to your survival as an artist. MAS Records provides unique access to expert mental health and professionals who understand the music industry and the highs and lows it can bring.
MAS Records provides expert information and resources to help artists build their resilience and stay well so they can focus on their career and all the amazing experiences the music industry provides – all easily accessed via the label’s website and social media platforms.
The label also provides personalised wellbeing support for artists and bands from industry professionals. Both solo artists and bands have access to bespoke MAS Mind Coaching sessions. The hour-long sessions can be booked via Mentors and provide a masterclass in artist wellbeing – finding bespoke evidence-based strategies to help solo artists and bands manage their wellbeing and build their resilience as artists.
Why is mental health important in the music industry?
There’s been loads of research… Help Musicians UK did some research and found that 71.1% of respondents had experienced high levels of anxiety and/or panic attacks whilst 68.5% reported experiencing depression, meaning that musicians are three times as likely to experience depression than the national average.
We know creating music can be therapeutic - but lots of musicians find the pressures of working within the industry can be detrimental to their psychological wellbeing.
Mental health is important for everyone – we all have good or bad physical health sometimes, likewise we have good or not so good mental health sometimes too. Stress and anxiety can make things worse. MAS wants to support artists to be their absolute best – to prevent issues becoming so big they become a problem – and give artists the skills they need to succeed. Just imagine you’ve got an album of material ready to go, a tour lined up, merch and promotion all sorted, and you’re too poorly to do it. We don’t want artists to miss opportunities.
So, what is MAS Mind and how can artists get involved?
MAS Records provides expert information and resources to help artists build their resilience and stay well so they can focus on their career and all the amazing experiences the music industry provides.
We can also provide personalised wellbeing support for artists and bands from industry professionals. Both solo artists and bands have access to bespoke MAS Mind Coaching sessions. The hour-long sessions can be booked via Mentors and provide a masterclass in artist wellbeing – focusing on finding bespoke evidence-based strategies to help solo artists and bands manage their wellbeing and build their resilience as artists.
If you’d like to access support from MAS Mind Coaching, either as an individual artist or as a band, get in touch with your Mentor who will link you with the MAS Mind coach. MAS Mind Coaching via Skype helps solo artists and bands manage their wellbeing and build their resilience as artists so they can get on with making music
What sort of things can MAS Mind help with?
Band dynamics, stage fright and anxiety, juggling time and commitments, looking after yourself, self-care, developing resilience, positive mental mindsets, building confidence
You might just want a one-off session to talk through something specific, or you might want a few sessions to work out something and check-in with me to see how it’s going. For example, maybe you’re not looking after yourself and we need to work out a self-care plan to keep you well and able to keep working, we could then meet on Skype every two or three weeks to see how things are going. It’s not therapy, it’s coaching support, but we can work out where you want to be and how we can get there together.
What is self-care? You hear a lot about it these days but how does it relate to us?
Self-care is anything you do on purpose to look after yourself and make your life easier
Boring self-care / self-care pledges / self-care especially when things are busy/tough
Thinking about boundaries
What do you mean by boundaries? How could that help an artist?
Having good boundaries is essential to prevent burn-out. The music industry can be 24/7, working antisocial hours, sometimes freelance or home-based. Artists need to be many things to many people: writing and creating music, rehearsing, recording, producing, marketing and promotion, creating merchandise, networking promotors, venues, other bands, attending meetings, working in your part-time or even full-time job alongside, running social media accounts, sorting out finances, travelling to gigs, family responsibilities, having relationships and a social life… the list goes on.
Artists need to know how to create and maintain a healthy work/life balance, to have time off to recover, rest and prepare for the next thing, to find ways to move between work-mode and non-work-mode. Simple things like managing your time, or working from a specific room at home can make a massive difference to wellbeing.
Not being able to say no can end in stress. Lots of artists, particularly artists who are freelance, find themselves saying yes to everything – sometimes this is finance-driven, other times it’s about wanting to do everything, or being unable to say no. Good boundaries help artists say yes to the right things.
How can you help artists work out how to stay resilient in the industry?
There’s been loads of research around keeping well, about wellbeing, and mental health, and resilience. One example would be The Five Ways to Wellbeing
We also help by making plans – where are you and where do you want to be? What do you need to do to make that happen? Is it all about the music, or is there stuff around your mindset that you need to address too? How are you going to deal with success and rejection? How are you going to look after yourself? To keep going with your dreams and aspirations despite the challenges? Do you need to do other things too to support yourself financially? How can you manage your time? There’s loads to think about – and a plan can help.
Some of what MAS Mind does is about building support networks. Sometimes it’s hard to find people outside of the industry who ‘get it’. We can link you to national support networks for musicians, support by artists for artists. A good support network is essential. As well as the people who will meet through the programme locally, we can link you up with artists across the country, as well as mentors and artists who support the programme. They know what it’s like so don’t stay quiet – talk about it with us.
Why offer artists MAS Mind?
Being an emerging artist is unique; most support doesn’t work for musicians.
To provide support for artists nationwide that is accessible – online resources and online support sessions for individuals and bands
To provide tips and guidance to help artists cope with common industry-specific challenges faced by artists as they navigate the industry (stage fright, band politics)
To support artists to develop resilience, and reduce missed opportunities due to poor mental health
Resources (Music Industry-Focused)
Help Musicians UK
HMUK is an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement. They offer practical, positive support to emerging, professional and retired musicians – whatever the genre.
HMUK understands that a musician’s profession is unique. With the highs and lows of performing, financial insecurity, and anti-social working hours, HMUK want to help ensure that those who pursue a career in music will not have to do so at the expense of their mental health.
Music Minds Matter
Whatever you’re going through right now, you can contact Music Minds Matter on
0808 802 8008 or email us at MMM@helpmusicians.org.uk.
If you work in music and are struggling to cope, or know someone who is, talk to us.
It doesn’t have to be a crisis, or about music. We have trained advisors that are here to listen, support and help at any time.
By the industry for the industry. Music Support is a registered charity founded and run by people from the UK music industry, for individuals in any area of the UK music industry suffering from mental, emotional and behavioural health disorders (including but not limited to alcohol and drug addiction).
Our helpline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year: 0800 030 6789
Musicians Union have produced ‘The Young Freelancer’s Guide to Mental Health and the Music Industry’, which looks at common challenges facing freelance musicians, strategies for meeting them, and how to access support.
Life as a musician can be exciting, satisfying and rewarding. The flexibility can give you a real sense of agency and freedom. But it can also be demanding, unpredictable, isolating and stressful. And if you feel those things then we can tell you, with total certainty, that you are not alone. The guide is designed to provide helpful insight and clear, practical advice to use as you navigate the music industry.
Music Managers Forum
The Music Managers Forum produced a mental health guide which is available here:
‘Advice for Musicians Demoralized by Trying to Establish Themselves as an Artist’, Andy Edwards,
An article exploring the challenges around establishing as a ‘professional’ artist.
Music Business Worldwide ADHD Article
Further Resources (National)
Youth Wellbeing Directory
The Youth Wellbeing Directory provides a list of free local and national support organisations for anyone up to the age of 25.
Shout is a 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.
The Mix is a free, confidential helpline service for young people under 25 who need help, but don't know where to turn. Open 365 days a year, for absolutely anything you are going through.
Call: 0808 808 4994 (11am-11pm, every day)
Group Online Chat: www.themix.org.uk
Big White Wall
Big White Wall is an online mental health and wellbeing service offering self-help programmes, creative outlets and a community that cares. When you're dealing with everyday stressors or major life events, we'll help you get through it.
It is a peer support network that encourages you to be open about what is on your mind, to learn more about yourself and to work through what is troubling you. The service does cost to join, but it has many free areas.
CALM Helpline (The Campaign Against Living Miserably)
The Campaign Against Living Miserably offers confidential, anonymous and free support and information for men in the UK through their helpline.
Call: 0800 58 58 58 (5pm to midnight, 7 days a week)
Online chat: https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/webchat/
The Samaritans are a 24/7 confidential listening service, providing emotional support to anyone in crisis. You do not need to be suicidal to contact them.
Call: 116 123
Calls are free and confidential and available any time, day or night. Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you.
Call: 0800 11 11
Online chat with a trained counsellor: www.childline.org.uk/get-support/1-2-1-counsellor-chat/
Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline
Switchboard provides a listening service for LGBT+ people by phone, email and instant messaging.
Call: 0300 330 0630
HOPELineUK Helpline (PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide)
HOPELineUK is a national confidential helpline for young people (under 35) who are thinking about suicide, or anyone worried about a young person at risk of suicide.
Call: 0800 068 41 41 (10am-10pm weekdays, 2pm-10pm weekends, 2pm-5pm Bank Holidays)
Text: 07786 209 697
FRANK provides honest information about drugs.
Call: 0300 123 6600 (24/7)