ISBN: 978-1-909750-11-1

Can Music Make You Sick? Music and Depression

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Gross S A, Musgrave G

Year of Publication:

University of Westminster

Publication Type:


Help Musicians UK commissioned a new, specific study into the mental health issues faced by musicians and the wider music industry workforce. With a remit to support professionals whose income from musical work provides the majority of their earnings, Help Musicians UK looked to extend their previous research base to a wider, more inclusive cohort of music professionals.

This new research conducted by a team from the University of Westminster, entitled Music and Depression, is the largest survey of its kind ever carried out in the UK, to date. In this initial phase of the research, they were seeking to ascertain the scale of the ‘problem’ as understood from the perspective of this workforce. In order to do this, they launched a survey comprised of ten simple questions, with space at the end for respondents to share additional comments. 2,211 musicians responded to the online survey.

The majority of respondents were aged between 18-35 and the musical genres were varied including pop, hip hop, electronica and dance. This survey was designed to find out how much of a problem musical workers perceived mental health issues to be. The answer was startlingly clear: mental health is an enormous problem. The most striking of all their findings was that irrespective of genre, musicians are suffering from anxiety and depression in huge numbers. These results therefore suggest that musicians could be up to three times more likely to suffer from depression compared to the general public, according to the ONS data on national wellbeing.

Main Focus: Wellbeing / Quality of life

Research Purpose: Survey

Context: Community

Art Forms: Music

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Gross, S. A. and Musgrave, G. (2016). Can Music Make You Sick? Music and Depression. University of Westminster: MusicTank Publishing.