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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