For those of you in the UK who insisted on sending multiple emails throughout the day on bank holiday Monday, I suggest you revisit the excellent feature written by Kobalt’s David Emery last year, which also appeared in Music Week, in which he discussed the importance of balancing work and home life.
I know, there were only four days in the week last week, so why not get a head start, right? Wrong. You are perpetuating the always-online culture, tethered to our phones in fear of missing out, in fear of not being heard through the noise and ultimately, I suppose, in fear of not having a job.
Too much work and no rest lead to stress. Chronic stress reduces levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which has been linked to depression. Both stress and depression prevent you from doing your best work. And it is about time that we talk about the general health and wellbeing of the music industry’s workforce.
It was refreshing to see the issue placed centre stage at The Great Escape in Brighton last month, with the conference strand called, What Has The Music Industry Ever Done For You? Help Musicians UK and Vice were among the organisations that took part.
Help Musicians UK has also commissioned a study called, Can Music Make You Sick?, exploring how the music industry can have a negative impact on the mental health of its workforce and will try to identify measures to tackle the problem. It is very encouraging to see the music community come together to talk about these issues, because they absolutely can’t be ignored anymore.
If music professionals don’t enjoy what they do because it’s stressing them out and making them feel low, then what is the point of being involved?
So, turn off your emails when you’re on holiday, go for a walk in the park and try to strike a better balance between your work and home life. The happier you are, the better you work and the better the industry works.
Murray Stassen, Deputy Editor