Why 2016 was a breakthrough year for mental health in music

With high profile artists speaking out and new campaigns tackling the problem head on, this year has seen a sea change in the music industry’s perception of mental health issues

If at some point in 2016 you’ve noticed the overwhelming number of musicians who’ve come forward with their personal stories of mental health, you’re not the only one. The past 12 months alone have seen Adele speak out about her own struggles with postnatal depression, Lady Gaga pen an open letter about her own diagnosis of PTSD, Zayn Malik share both his experiences of anxiety after pulling out of a concert and his struggles with an eating disorder, and Years & Years’ Olly Alexander speak out about his treatment for depression, anxiety, and bulimia. Add to that both Halsey and Kehlani talking openly about suicide attempts, Selena Gomez sharing that she’s taking time off to deal with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, and Justin Bieber admitting to feeling “emotionally exhausted to the point of depression” after fan meet and greets, it seems that mental health in music has been everywhere this year.

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Danske Retro Kid bidrager til britisk kampagne mod selvmord

Der er et dansk bidrag med i en ny kampagne, der skal sprede opmærksomhed på mænds høje selvmordsrater i England.

Den danske elektropopgruppe Retro Kid bidrager til den britiske kampagne Torch Songs, der har til formål at sætte fokus på mænds høje selvmordsrater i England igennem musik. Retro Kid er det eneste ikke-britiske band der er inkluderet i kampagnen. De øvrige bidrag kommer blandt andet fra The Vaccines og Years & Years.

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Years & Years’ Olly Alexander: 'It’s so important to talk. The biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK is suicide'

The frontman of Years and Years is getting involved with Torch Songs, a new campaign focused on music as a therapy for depression - something he himself has suffered with

To coincide with International Men’s Day earlier this month, UK charity CALM launched Torch Songs, a campaign celebrating the healing power of music. Championed by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, the concept is simple: bands including The Vaccines and Blaenavon have been asked to cover their own Torch Song, the track that helps lift them out of dark places. Also getting involved is Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander, who’s recorded his version of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’.

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LISTEN TO TWIN ATLANTIC’S INSPIRING COVER OF BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN

Twin Atlantic have covered Bruce Springsteen as part of the Torch Songs campaign for CALM.

Torch Songs is a new campaign set up by CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) to celebrate the music that lifts us out of life's low points. Twin Atlantic are just one of the acts who are involved, with their cover of 'The Rising' by Bruce Springsteen.

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Francis Lung reveals his tender take on “Rock Bottom Riser” by Smog for new Torch Songs project

Francis Lung has covered Smog's "Rock Bottom Riser" for CALM's Torch Songs project.

Lung's take is almost a cappella, with only bassy strums, finger clicks, and sparse, bluesy notes accompanying the singer/songwriter's mesmerising voice. Lung's vocals are hushed and almost distorted, resting above a nest of 'ooh'-ed harmonies and semi-choral refrains - it's a beautiful take. Smog, led by Bill Callahan, released the original version on 2005 LP A River Ain't Too Much Love.

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Years & Years hicieron un emotivo cover del tema “Both Sides Now” de Joni Mitchell

Como parte de la campaña "Torch Songs" para la salud mental masculina, Olly Alexander de Years & Years hizo esta versión de uno de sus temas favoritos.

El fin de semana pasado se lanzó la campaña Torch Songs en el Reino Unido a manos de la organización no gubernamental CALM, que busca la prevención del suicidio masculino, y para arrancar con este esfuerzo a favor de la salud mental, Olly Alexander y su banda Years & Years hicieron una versión del track Both Sides Now de la legendaria Joni Mitchell.

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THE VACCINES AMONG ARTISTS RAISING AWARENESS OF MALE MENTAL HEALTH

This week, numerous notable artists have released covers to highlight how music can raise our spirits and help to turn things around during tough times. The project, ‘Torch Songs,’ which “light the way out of the dark,” was launched by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to raise awareness of male mental health and combat depression. Last year, men accounted for 75% of suicides, with 4,618 men taking their own lives, which means 12 men a day, or one man every two hours. Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 45. These statistics are shocking and horrifying, and more needs to be done to raise awareness and help men suffering from depression. CALM works to achieve just this and to prevent suicide by offering frontline services, promoting culture change, campaigning for better understanding of suicide and prevention, encouraging men to talk and seek help, and by breaking down the unrealistic expectations on men to always be infallible.

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MUSICIANS COVER THEIR 'TORCH SONGS'

What’s your torch song?

It’s a question which is currently being shunned in the faces of established musicians to support the campaign against living miserably…Or ‘CALM’ for short.

A torch song is a track which moves you, inspires you…a tune which can change your emotions and sometimes music is the most sufficient way of expressing yourself, especially through difficult times.

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Keep CALM: The Vaccines' Justin Hayward-Young

Musicians’ campaign to raise awareness of male suicide…

Campaign Against Living Miserably have announced a new campaign titled Torch Songs highlighting the power of music with mental health problems and it’s ability to lift people out of dark times.

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DU ROCK POUR SE VACCINER CONTRE LA DÉPRESSION

Une organisation britannique a appelé des artistes à reprendre leurs morceaux favoris pour combattre cette maladie.

CALM, en plus d’être la version anglaise de « calme », est également l’acronyme de « Campaign against living miserably », une action pour lutter contre la dépression chez les hommes. À l’occasion de la journée internationale de l’homme, qui a eu lieu le 19 novembre, CALM a lancé la campagne des Torch Songs.

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The Vaccines’ Justin Young on raising awareness for male mental health

He joins Years & Years and Frank Turner in helping to battle depression though music.

The Vaccines have spoken out about raising awareness for depression among men and using music to fight it, as they join a new campaign for male mental health with Years & Years, Frank Turner and more. Read our full Q&A with frontman Justin Young below.

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Blaenavon reprend “Everything Reminds Me Of Her” d’Elliott Smith, pour la bonne cause

A l’occasion de la journée internationale des hommes, le groupe participe à la campagne “Torch Songs”.

Bleanavon, ce n’est pas qu’une ville du sud du pays de Galles. C’est aussi un groupe, composé de trois jeunes anglais. Et pourtant, leur musique n’a rien d’amateur ou d’immature. A l’occasion de la journée internationale des hommes (plutôt méconnue, elle se déroule chaque 19 novembre), le groupe a participé à la nouvelle campagne de Calm (Campaign Against Living Miserably) : “Torch Songs”. Le slogan de l’opération : “Songs that guide us out of the dark”. L’idée est la suivante : si tout le monde traverse des moments difficiles, la musique est là pour nous aider à nous en sortir .A cette occasion, les artistes sont invités à reprendre des morceaux qui les ont inspirés durant ces moments de la vie. Bleanavon a donc décidé de reprendre Everything Reminds Me Of Her d’Elliott Smith.

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Blaenavon Cover Elliott Smith

As part of the new Torch Songs project...

Blaenavon have delivered a tasteful Elliott Smith cover as part of the new Torch Songs project. Music has the power to inspire, to speak to people at dark and lonely points in their life. The new Torch Songs initiative has been launched by CALM and coincides with International Man's Day.

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listen to olly alexander's heartbreaking cover of joni mitchell's 'both sides, now'

The Years & Years frontman and actual angel selected the song for CALM's Torch Songs initiative, which aims to prevent male suicide by celebrating the life-affirming power of music.

Years & Years are a dominant presence on UK charts and awards show stages, but the Brit band is familiar even to those who don't know their discography. That's mainly thanks to frontman Olly Alexander, who has been a powerful voice in the ongoing struggle to mainstream conversations around mental health, using his platform and experience to speak out on body image, queer identity, and depression. Alexander has now teamed up with the male suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) for its new Torch Songs initiative, which celebrates the power of music to lift us out of life's dark spots. Alexander's contribution is a heavenly, heartbreaking take on Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now" that people all around the world could probably use at this moment in time.

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Frank Turner joins Years & Years, The Vaccines and more for Torch Songs

Frank Turner is one of four artists to launch Torch Songs, a music campaign in aid of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Turner is joined by Years & Years, The Vaccines and Blaenavon, all offering a cover of songs that have helped them through particularly difficult times in their lives.

“Music is a constant, a saviour in the world which is unique to everyone,” says BBC Radio 1 and CALM champion Huw Stephens. “We all know how much music means to us, and can help us sometimes.

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Years & Years cover Joni Mitchell for mental health campaign

The UK band cover ‘Both Sides Now’ for Torch Songs, a new project by male suicide prevention charity CALM celebrating the therapeutic power of music.

Years & Years have covered Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” for Torch Songs, a new campaign launched by CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide) to celebrate the therapeutic power of music. “Men especially can find it hard to speak up when things get tough, but Torch Songs shows it’s not unusual to struggle sometimes,” CALM write on the Torch Songs website. The cover was released on Saturday (November 19) to mark International Men’s Day.

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Blaenavon cover Elliott Smith in support of CALM

Blaenavon have shared a cover of Elliott Smith song ‘Everything Reminds Me Of Her’ in aid of CALM.

The charity’s new campaign Torch Songs aims to celebrate the power of music to lift us out of life’s low points. Other bands taking part include Years & Years, The Vaccines, Frank Turner and Twin Atlantic.

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Frank Turner, Years and Years and The Vaccines light up International Men's Day with Torch Songs

Top bands from around the world build playlist of songs to help fight male suicide as part of CALM.

A host of top music names have joined forces to create Torch Songs for International Men's Day (19 November) – a playlist of songs inspired by the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) which aims to combat male suicide.

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The Power Of The Male Voice

‘I am going to make it through this year / If it kills me.’ - The Mountain Goats, This Year

Today is International Men’s Day. CALM, Campaign Against Living Miserably, launches a new music project called ‘Torch Songs’, which invites any male musician to cover the song they go to for comfort and inspiration when life darkens.

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Justin Young, Olly Alexander and more pick their songs of hope

From punk’s cathartic power to the raw vulnerability of a folk icon – artists involved in Calm’s Torch Songs, a campaign celebrating the music that uplifts us, share their most empowering tracks.

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