Many people have a musical or creative gift that they (and others) believe deserves to be in the spotlight. Motivated by their desire to share their talents with the world, they invest time, money, and energy into their musical abilities with the hopes of making it big in the music industry. While the competition is stiff and only a small percentage are chosen, those that make it soon learn that being a musical success is easier said than done.
When the high of being an artist in the music industry wears off, the demands of success become increasingly exhausting. Artists must meet requirements set by record labels and management, stay above the competition, and appeal to their audience while somehow sustaining some sense of normalcy in their everyday lives. As you can imagine, it’s a lot for one person to handle, resulting in mental health problems ranging from chronic stress and depression to anxiety and rejection sensitive dysphoria.
Keeping Mental Health In Check
Can an artist be successful in the music industry without putting their emotional well-being at risk? The simple answer is yes. However, it takes a lot of work. Below is some advice on maintaining your health as an artist in the music industry.
Remain True To You
Musical artists in the limelight are accountable for more than themselves. When you’re getting constant input from record label heads, fans, critics, and others, it’s easy to lose sight of who you are, what you stand for, and why you got started in the first place. You can sustain good mental health by remaining true to yourself.
Before signing contracts, agreeing to requirements, announcing new projects, or even showcasing your work, take a moment to evaluate whether it’s something you want to do. Does it align with your personal and professional goals? Does it support your core values, beliefs, and morals? More importantly, do you feel good doing it? If the answer is no, chances are you should avoid taking those actions to preserve your mental wellness.
Surround Yourself With Supportive Advocates
Being an artist in the music industry requires knowledge beyond your ability to sing, play an instrument, or put together a rhyme. You must also know about the business and laws of music and how to make informed decisions that are conducive to your well-being and success.
Many artists hire managers, attorneys, business experts, and financial advisors to help them throughout their careers. Unfortunately, they fail to determine whether these people have their best interests at heart. Ultimately, the people closest to them can cause the most emotional distress.
Everyone you hire to protect your interests as a musical artist is essentially an advocate. It is your job to ensure that whoever you work with will put your desires and needs before their paychecks and personal interests. Beyond having a college degree and professional experience, you should do your due diligence to ensure they prioritize their clients. You can talk to past or existing clients to learn more about their experiences and schedule an in-person interview to evaluate their personality, level of compassion, and willingness to work with you to get where you want to be.
Create A Work-Life Balance
While the schedule of a musical artist can vary from one day to the next, it’s essential to create a work-life balance early in your career (and adjust as needed). Whether that means working three months out of the year and spending the rest of your time with loved ones or breaking up your days dedicating part of your time to your career and the rest to your home life. Make your requirements known to higher-ups and your support team. If they aren’t willing to accommodate you, chances are you shouldn’t be working with them.
Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
You’ve probably heard about artists needing rehab or going on a hiatus due to physical and emotional exhaustion. Although there are multiple reasons for this, failing to maintain a healthy lifestyle is a common cause. They go days without eating, sleeping, and staying hydrated, causing them to run on fumes and eventually turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to get them through the day.
You must prioritize your health. You cannot provide your best performance if you’re not physically and emotionally well. Ensure that you’re eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising regularly, and getting at least seven hours of sleep every night. You must also know how to identify when you’re overwhelmed and take a break so you can refresh and replenish.
Many people dream of making it big in the music industry. However, maintaining fame and notoriety is often more challenging than getting your foot in the door. As you embark on your music career, it is essential to prioritize your mental health. Staying true to yourself, hiring supportive advocates, establishing a work-life balance, and adopting healthy lifestyle practices can help you navigate this often taxing industry so you can enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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