top of page

Artists Mental Health Check #MentalHealthDay

The Mental Plug by Quinn Barbour

The creative community is no stranger to struggle and pain. Everyone from your favorite breakthrough pop star to the greatest of greats endured some battle with mental health. The world of art can seem like a fun, excitement-filled place for those on the outside; for artists working within it, it can be scary and damaging. Worrying about how we'll ever make ends meet, how we'll be as successful as our heroes, and how we'll ever do work that matters again.

It's a question that's been raised countless times in the context of work. So, what is the link between mental health issues and careers in the arts? What is it about visual artists, musicians, and writers that can lead to anxiety and burnout? Managing your workload is an effective tool for lowering stress and avoiding professional setbacks.

What are some common mental health issues for artists?

Artists can have a higher risk of experiencing mental health challenges. The challenges that artists may experience include:

  • Burnout

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Work-related stress

  • Relationship problems

  • Irritability

  • Low self-esteem

  • Sleeping problems

  • Substance abuse

What are some things you can do as an artist struggling with mental health and its challenges?

If you are struggling with mental health challenges you're not alone, and oftentimes support from others, mental breaks, and therapy can help combat mental health challenges, consider a combination of these methods:

  • Allow yourself to take time out for your mental health: Overthinking can lead to major burnout and creative block. Take a break from your work to focus on yourself and do the things you enjoy or find relaxing.

  • Self-care & Mindfulness: Find activities/hobbies outside of art that you enjoy, and make time for them in your schedule. Your body is your template. Practicing mindfulness exercises, paying attention to your diet, keeping a constant sleep pattern, and exercising regularly.

  • Get Peer support: Your colleagues understand firsthand what you're going through. Many times they themselves have experienced a similar challenge to you. This can help you to feel that you are not alone and help normalize challenging emotions and experiences.

  • Get Social support: It's important to have a strong support system. It's common for those experiencing mental health challenges to distance themselves from friends and family. Staying connected with this support system can aid in allowing you to express your challenges.

  • Find Therapy: Speak to a professional. Professional therapies are crucial in helping us discover and uncover our mental traumas.

  • Regular Checkups: Sometimes medical conditions and/or the medications you take can contribute to mental health challenges. Making regular visits to your physician is important to eliminate any underlying health conditions.

  • Call Helplines: If you need immediate support, call 1-800-273-8255, or go the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.


bottom of page