Music can help people in different ways and it can be quite a powerful coping mechanism for mental illnesses. This can either be through playing instruments, going to concerts, or simply listening to a favourite album.
Although a lot of people, including myself, can lose motivation for playing an instrument due to their mental health, some other people may use it as a coping mechanism since it can be a distraction for them. Writing and composing music can also be a way of expressing emotions rather than keeping it bottled up.
Concerts are another great distraction to all of the negative things going on in someone’s brain. Even though they can be an expensive night out, it’s definitely (usually) worth it. Not only does it give you an excuse to get out of bed on those days where it feels like it’s impossible because of your depression, but it also gives you the opportunity to meet new friends!
The most common way that music can help with mental health problems is the music itself of course. Music is a form of expression but the vast majority of lyrics you hear on the radio are expressing feelings of love rather than more miserable songs. However, there are a handful of artists who write lyrics about their own experiences with mental health illnesses which can often help others remember that they’re not alone.
One of my favourite bands who have quite a major part of their discography related with mental health issues are As It Is. Their recent album, in particular, explores their own experiences with some of the struggles they’ve faced. As well as the music itself, this band talks quite openly about their own struggles during interviews as well as social media. This, of course, helps young people realize that they’re not alone which is extremely important.
Another band, Broadside, have a few songs on their first album “Old Bones” which explores the topic of mental health but they have also recently released a single called “Laps Around a Picture Frame” where the lyrics focus very heavily on feelings of depression and anxiety. The guitarist, Dorian Cooke also explained the meaning behind the title of the song;
“It was an exercise my therapist taught me to utilize when I’d have really bad panic attacks. Make your eyes follow a picture frame in the room. Inhale while looking across the top, hold it on the side, exhale along the bottom, hold along the other side, repeat.” – Dorian Cooke
A few other artists who write lyrics about mental health include Halsey, With Confidence, Dodie Clark, Luke Rainsford, and Sorority Noise.
Musicians openly talking or singing openly about their personal struggles with mental illnesses is extremely important as it helps make it less of a taboo topic. It reminds us that anyone can suffer from bad mental health, whether that be our friends, family, or even the people we look up to in the media or hear on the radio.
I have seen a countless amount of people say that music has helped them feel a bit better which goes to show that music can be of much more use than just a fun dance around the kitchen.