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95% Of Young People Are Struggling With Mental Health Issues – But Music Can Help

With worryingly large numbers of young people reporting mental health issues, the UK is sleepwalking towards a mental health catastrophe, new research shows. But music can help and more of us are turning to music as a form of therapy

What does the research tell us?

New research commissioned by Direct Line Insurance and mental health charity Mind shows that young adults are struggling with their mental health, with 95% feeling anxious in the last 12 months and over a fifth (21%) experiencing these feelings all the time.

The research also shows that only 10% of young adults love themselves completely, while almost half of young adults (46%) have felt low often or all the time over this period.

Despite available support services, more than one in 20 young people said that they feel uncomfortable discussing their mental health with anyone. Meanwhile, 10% of 18-year-olds feel unwilling to speak about the topic. Opinium surveyed 2,000 18-24-year-olds as part of the research.

Music as a source of therapy

The report continues to reveal that when they need a mental lift, 59% of young adults turn to music to improve their mood, and a quarter (25%) of this generation said that music could make them feel less lonely.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of young adults say musicians are a force for good in opening discussions about mental health, with Billie EilishEd Sheeran, and Lewis Capaldi all seen as particular inspirations. Music can be a vital outlet, as half (50%) of young people experiencing poor mental health find it difficult to discuss this with others.

The link between music and a positive mood

To highlight the link between music and a positive uplift in mood, Direct Line and Mind have worked with mental health advocate and London-based rapper Marc Jones, who has over five million music streams, to produce a new track, Day by Day, which encourages young people to be open about their mental health.

It is free to download across all major streaming platforms for the month of April 2023.

The track, developed by Jones, 30, is an inspirational track to encourage young people to love themselves and to highlight there are support networks when they are struggling. The track is produced by London-based producer RP9, whose notable collaborations include Ed Sheeran and Big Narstie.

“Concerning findings” – Mind

Commenting on the research findings, Stephen Buckley, head of information at mental health charity Mind, said

“We are deeply concerned by the findings of this research – the fact that only 10% of young adults love themselves highlights the urgent need for support and resources to help this young generation navigate the complex challenges they face.”


Mr Buckly continued,

“We are excited to be part of the efforts of Direct Line and Marc Jones in producing the track ‘Day by Day’ to encourage young people to open up about their mental health and seek the necessary support when needed.”


The track Day By Day is available to stream on all major streaming platforms. You can find it on Spotify here.

In Summary

It has long been believed that music can act as a form of formal and informal therapy for those who require mental health support, not just for young people but for those of all age groups.

However, with mental health support services dwindling and the exponential rise in cases, particularly in young people, alternative therapy sources are taking on a whole new level of importance.

Music is just one of those sources, with those signing up for new music streaming accounts at record levels.

But it’s not just the music itself that is helping people manage. Those listening are taking inspiration from the artists themselves, that are putting the music out there. Particularly, there is strong interest in artists who have publically gone on the record themselves to talk about their mental health struggles.

According to the research, the top ten inspirational musical artists for young people are Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi, Selena Gomez, Eminem, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Adele, Juice World, Dave, and Demi Lovato.


Do you find that music can help your mental health? What types of music do you listen to most for your wellbeing? Tell us more in the comments.

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