7 mental health tips for artists to stay sane in the music industry


In recent times, hip hop artists have turn into extra open about their struggles with psychological well being. From “backpack” rappers like Child Cudi, to “emo” rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, XXXTENTACION and Juice WRLD, it has turn into mainstream for artists to debate trauma and struggles with melancholy overtly on social media and of their data.

In 2017, millennial rapper Logic dropped a music about suicide ideation, “1-800-273-8255,” which doubles because the quantity to the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Hotline. The discharge, which was carried out stay on the 2017 MTV VMAs, has been linked to fewer suicides. Furthermore, G Herbo launched his 2021 album titled PTSD: Submit Traumatic Stress Dysfunction, overtly sharing his emotions about rising up round gun violence.

Whereas rappers are extra susceptible immediately, this pattern shouldn’t be unique to millennials and Gen Z, as 90s songs like Geto Boys’ “Thoughts Taking part in Methods On Me,” DMX’s “Slippin’” and Tupac’s “Adjustments” additionally explored the results of life within the “hood.” Since Could is Psychological Well being Consciousness Month, REVOLT spoke with Shanelle Clay, M.A. LPC NCC, for 7 psychological well being suggestions to assist artists keep sane within the music trade.

1. Due to social media, we stay in a microwave society the place immediate gratification is the underside line. With this, “out of sight, out of thoughts” is a real concern for artists. Maybe because of this many really feel the necessity to overshare and always “present up.” How can an artist handle their public picture whereas taking a break?

I can perceive the necessity for artists to be seen because of their notoriety being depending on being seen. Nevertheless, every little thing ought to be finished moderately. A number of the most well-known artists, resembling Beyoncé, curate their pages with selectiveness, offering sufficient to maintain individuals however being intentional with what they select to share. Artists ought to know that taking a social media break shouldn’t be abandoning their artistry or followers however relatively cultivating solitude. Artists can have their assistants submit to their pages whereas taking a break or schedule posts utilizing instruments or purposes to make sure they don’t should open the app to stay seen.

2. When a supervisor, publicist and file label management an artist’s each transfer, how can they study to talk up for themselves to get the assistance, relaxation and peace they want? How does an artist advocate for themselves successfully?

Artists should keep in mind that their welfare is simply as vital as their artistry, if no more. That’s the reason I encourage advocacy in evaluating what’s in your contract round expectations relating to work. You will need to establish your views on psychological well being and autonomy earlier than signing to a label or figuring out an individual to characterize you. You should talk and anticipate the long-term results of not having peace and solace and the impression which will have on you financially. Most file labels need to maintain their artists who deliver them notoriety and income, so leverage that to advocate on your finest pursuits.

3. Being an artist means carrying a number of hats and residing with a jam-packed schedule of interviews, appearances, styling and different invasive obligations. How can expertise find time for moments which are simply “enjoyable” for them with out feeling pressured to monetize them? Why are hobbies vital?

Managing many roles and creating an efficient work-life steadiness is vital for all individuals together with artists. Establishing time to interact with the individuals who knew you earlier than the celebrity, and doing issues that you just get pleasure from are tremendous vital as a result of it permits for an artist to nonetheless stay human in a world that makes them superhuman. When an artist dedicates their whole lives to entertaining the world, they’ll neglect time servicing themselves. It’s crucial to keep in mind that the expertise of peace can’t be monetized.

4. Out of your skilled expertise, why is it vital for an artist to rent a social media supervisor or delegate another person to take care of their on-line presence?

Social media managers function gatekeepers for artists when sustaining a web based presence is important. These gatekeepers basically act as stress managers and help with minimizing cyberbullying and different damaging impacts on their psychological well being. For all the nice, social media now makes artists who have been as soon as unavailable until we bought tickets to concert events, accessible with a click on and 280 characters. A social media supervisor can help in ensuring their publicity, whether or not optimistic or damaging, is proscribed.

5. It’s no secret that artists are handed every little thing they may ever need to carry out, together with issues that aren’t good for them. Additionally, we hear so usually of artists hospitalized for exhaustion. Why is it vital for expertise to know when to say “no”? What would you say to those that are afraid to say “no” for concern they’ll lose their spot?

I utterly agree that generally the tradition of movie star comes together with entry to new vices that might not be nice for the artist. It’s instances like this when “no” has to function a whole sentence. Typically instances, individuals really feel the necessity to clarify their “no,” however it’s essential to bear in mind that you could decline simply as shortly as you settle for any supply. It’s good follow to grasp what drives your concern in saying “no.” Are you nervous that “no” means you aren’t a staff participant? Do you suppose that “no” will make you replaceable? “No” doesn’t should be harsh, however it’s a boundary. Clinically and interpersonally, boundaries are for you, not for others.

6. How vital is it for an artist to be selective with who they maintain of their area? How can they navigate sustaining relationships they’d earlier than the celebrity/cash and the brand new individuals who come round after? What’s discernment and the way do you apply it?

Whether or not a celeb or an on a regular basis citizen, everybody must always consider the corporate they maintain and the relationships that they keep. For artists, this may be particularly troublesome so discernment performs an enormous half. Figuring out the behaviors of these round you earlier than you have been well-known is step one. In case you didn’t belief this particular person together with your secrets and techniques earlier than, they might not be an amazing particular person to interact with at a detailed degree now. In case you couldn’t belief your loved ones or buddy with funds earlier than, this might not be the time to experiment. Discernment is the nudge to judge if care and courtesy are contingent.

7. Why is it vital for an artist to have the fitting professionals round and the way do they choose the fitting enterprise coach, therapist or life coach?

You will need to have individuals round you who current opposition. In leisure, there are a lot of individuals who will let you know “sure” even when they don’t imagine in your imaginative and prescient, so it’s arduous to seek out individuals you may belief and who need nothing from you in return. As a therapist, my shoppers’ wellbeing is most vital. We’re non-bias sounding boards and don’t stand to reap something as a result of we’ve got to take care of confidentiality. It’s nice to test in with somebody in regards to the stress usually related to being an artist primarily based on the numerous roles they serve. Therapists, enterprise coaches and life coaches can assist to have a extra well-balanced model of you, which subsequently makes you a extra balanced particular person and artist.

Shanelle Clay is a Licensed Skilled Counselor (LPC) in Washington DC, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. She is a doctoral candidate learning counseling training and supervision and works because the medical director for Onyx Remedy Group, which is a Black-owned and operated personal follow in DC, Md. and Pa. Her analysis subjects embody racial stress, medical supervision for Black ladies and trauma interventions.  


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