A new survey by Stockholm-based digital music distributor Record Union says that number for younger musicians is even higher—80 percent.
The report finds that 73 percent of independent musicians—as in, artists not signed to one of the three major labels (Universal, Sony and Warner)—are suffering with mental illness, which is defined here as experiencing "negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and/or depression in relation to their music creation." That number is even higher among artists who are 18-25 years old, with 80 percent reporting that they struggle with mental health issues. This is the age group also reported to be the least likely to seek treatment.
Financial woes and its greater implications were one of the leading causes of stress among respondents. "There needs to be a culture change, of art before profit, of encouraging variety, of benevolence, of selflessness," one artist wrote in the survey. "Feeding cultural diversity is good for everyone, but putting money first starves the industry of flames, of diversity and sustainability."
Record Union is looking to invest $30,000 into projects that support independent musicians dealing with mental illness. Submit a project for consideration and learn more here.
Watch a video summarising the survey results.
Photo credit: Mill H