Mental Health

Musicians: 6 Ways to Define Yourself

Justin Vernon, from Bon Iver, and André 3000, from OutKast, talk to great length about their anxiety. The stigma of mental health in musicians is largely avoided and I respect these two for bringing the painful truth to the world. Not only do they talk about how fame can affect a person, but how they started a journey to truly know themselves.

The music from Bon Iver has been a staple in my music catalogue since his first record For Emma, Forever Ago. When I first read this article, written by Laura Barton from The Gaurdian, I was flabbergasted by how much depression and anxiety he was dealing with. Isn’t it every musician’s dream to make a record in a cabin and gain notoriety for writing the most amazing break-up songs you’ve ever heard? Turns out fame isn’t everything you could ask for.

The same goes for André 3000—OutKast has been an influence on me ever since high school. I remember waking up, eating breakfast, and bumping Liberation on my way to school. To me OutKast was the definition of success. They were making music in their basement and coming up with catchiest hooks, beats that will make you move, and lyrics that hold an incredible amount of weight. After reading this GQ article, written beautifully by Will Welch, I thought twice about success and what it means to follow your passion. 

Here are six ways know the true you:

Meditate – get to know yourself

Contemplate – understand that you aren’t the only one that suffers

Love – if you love yourself you can be an example for others

Awareness – understand your feelings and instincts

Get Help – ask for help when you need it

Transparency – be honest, be real

Seeing the impact of fame worn by these musical giants makes you think twice about what you wish for. Exposing your depression and anxiety is only the beginning. It’s about the actions you take to become your true self. How will you define yourself?