New book, Can Music Make You Sick?, explores mental health in the music industry | Skip to main content

New book, Can Music Make You Sick?, explores mental health in the music industry

New book, Can Music Make You Sick?, explores mental health in the music industry

The book will be available at the end of September

A new book about mental health in the music industry is set to be published.

Titled Can Music Make You Sick?: Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition, the book will take the reader through detailed studies of recording and performing artists in the British music industry, understanding why making a career from music can often be detrimental to mental health. 

The authors of the book, Sally Anne Gross, a lecturer from the University of Westminster and music manager, and Dr George Musgrave, an academic and musician, hope the book will not only offer insight and guidance to musicians, but support future research on mental health, wellbeing and working conditions in the music industries and across the creative economy. Part of their research indicated that musicians are three times more likely to experience mental health issues than the general public.

"By listening to how musicians understand and experience their working lives, this book proposes that whilst making music is therapeutic, making a career from music can be traumatic," the blurb reads. "The authors show how careers based on an all-consuming passion have become more insecure and devalued. Artistic merit and intimate, often painful, self-disclosures are the subject of unremitting scrutiny and data metrics. Personal relationships and social support networks are increasingly bound up with calculative transactions."

"Going beyond self-help strategies, they challenge the industry to make transformative structural change. Until then, the book provides an invaluable guide for anyone currently making their career in music, as well as those tasked with training and educating the next generation."

You can pre-order the book, which will be available on the 29th September 2020, here.

As part of DJ Mag's mental health edition of our flagship magazine in 2019, we spoke with three DJs who have subsequently become mental health & wellbeing practitioners in their own individual ways.

Last year, Sirin Kale spoke to artists such as Luciano, Courtesy and Marie Davidson, as well as some PRs and promoters, about how mental health is affecting the dance music scene, and the potential solutions to this pressing problem.