New research on mental health in the music industry: What works, and what now?

In recent years, a number of music creators and performing artists have publicly come forward to describe their lack of well-being in the music industry. Some well-documented challenges in the industry include atypical and long working hours, income-related problems, widespread substance abuse, anxiety, depression and stress. International research shows that music creators and performing artists are up to three times more likely to suffer anxiety and depression-related disorders than the general population.

To learn more about these challenges in a Danish context and what the music scene specifically can do to improve mental health in the industry, the Partnership for Sustainable Development in Music has initiated a major industry research.

The research is intended to help the Danish music industry determine the next steps in its efforts to address the industry’s collective mental health challenges, as well as to identify which interventions and solutions can deliver the best results for music artists.

The research therefore aims to provide:

  • Solid, representative data to shed light on the mental health and well-being of artists in the Danish music industry.
  • The first mapping and evaluation of relevant evidence-based tools and methods for enhancing mental health and preventing poor well-being in the music industry specifically.
  • Concrete recommendations and solution models that can drive social and cultural efforts to address mental health and well-being in the music industry.

The Partnership for Sustainable Development in Music has teamed up with Westminster University, London, and two leading researchers, George Musgrave and Sally Anne Gross, who, in addition to their academic careers also have a professional background in music. To be launched in February 2023, the research is expected to be completed by January 2024.