I was in the DJ booth with thousands of people in front of me going crazy, but I think I was losing the plot.’ - Sasha
That quote is from the DJ and producer who defined the party scene of the 90s. The first DJ to travel by private jet, to be offered £50,000 for a two-hour set, who was, and still is, the don of the house scene, is nothing if not illuminating.
Music is powerful, transportive. It can have a profound effect on our emotions. Good and bad. It can take us to the highest heights and bring us back from the brink of despair. To deny the relationship between music and mental health is like denying that we need food to survive.
And yet, it’s not talked about as much as it could – and should be. For some, music is more than a dopamine hit. More than a release of pent-up frustration, stress and anxiety. It’s as necessary as air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. Music is life.
As powerful as the opening quote is, there’s another Sasha quote from an interview a few years back when talking about days of old that is even more powerful, ‘the one thing I will say is that your health and sanity is the most important thing to protect.’
We’ve all been there. It’s four am, the lights come on and the party has stopped. DJs have smashed it. You’ve likely necked more Red Bull or JD and Coke’s than you care to remember. Your t-shirt is covered in sweat. Your legs like jelly.
You grab your mates and push your way through the hordes of party goers to the exit of the club. The world outside has stood still for hours. Nothing mattered except the next beat, the next drop, the next tune. It’s all you cared about. Now your real life awaits you.
That’s the problem with parties – sooner or later they come to an end and in the cold light of day (well, early morning more likely) you come face-to-face with life again. Your studies, your 9-5 haven’t magically disappeared. Projects. Deadlines. Exams. Colleagues. Responsibilities. Pressure. Tension. Stress. Anxiety. All these things are part of our lives at some point. And they’re waiting for us when we leave the club.
Take Care of Your Mental Health
Rewind fifteen or twenty years or more and very few of us talked about how we were feeling. There was a stigma around it, like those people were – as shameful as it is to say now – mental. They were that bloke or bird who would kick-off at the slightest thing, throwing punches or that bird you’d see wailing like a banshee.
Now, we know that’s a blunt (and unfair) way of looking at. But back in the day this was how people were often labelled.
Thankfully, today this has all changed. People are more open, understanding, inclusive. No one should be labelled as being mental. It just isn’t the done thing. End of.
Of course, we’re not saying that particular bird who you know as being confrontational, or that bloke who recklessly pushes the boundaries struggles with their mental health. What we’re saying is that we’ve finally reached a place where most of us can open up a dialogue and be honest about how they’re feeling without fear of being ridiculed. This allows for healthy emotional expression.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. You wouldn’t jump off the roof of a building knowing all that waits for you below is a concrete pavement, right? In the same vein, you wouldn’t get on it all weekend, Friday through to Sunday, surviving on little to no sleep for a full 72 hours and then expect to start the Monday fresh as a daisy, right?
Your mental health is important because it impacts your thoughts, behaviour and emotions. You need to take care of your mental health. If you don’t, your life will go downhill… quicker than you may think. The good news is that looking after your mental health isn’t too difficult to do – when you know how.
Over the years, our attitude towards mental health has changed dramatically. The older generation just didn’t talk about mental health. Anyone who was upset was told to man-up or just get on with it. That’s the way it was.
Today, this has all changed. Generation Z take a frank, open approach to mental health. They engage in conversations. Share their feelings. Empathise with others. Make changes. In a society, this is called progression.
May 10th – 16th is Mental Health Awareness Week – something that Blanc believes in and supports. Run by the Mental Health Foundation, the purpose of the week is to raise mental health awareness and promote the message of good mental health for everyone.
The last year has been challenging for everyone. Millions of people have struggled in lockdown or watched a loved on face their own mental health challenges. The biggest message to take from this is that we should support each other.
Now is the time to open that dialogue, to use your voice, to make a change to your life, to be there for someone. blanc has committed to opening a dialogue about mental health. We’re not afraid of talking about it. We’ll tell you like it is.
Get involved with Mental Health Awareness week. Take some time from your busy day and focus on the small things. Take a minute to appreciate connections to the world around us. Share images, videos, stories online using #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.
Keep checking Mind’s Gone blanc in the coming months to learn more about the importance of maintaining good mental health, learn how to get into good mental health habits, understand why music is so essential to mental health, be part of a community that’s here to support you and much, much more.
It’s a time to rethink mental health. To look at the positives. Help yourself and those you care about. Let’s create a movement for change – one that uses music and community to make a difference.