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Musicians: Be Aware and Beware of the Dark Side of Musicbiz

What did Avicii, Chester Bennington, Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Whitney Houston, and Kurt Cobain have in common? Truckloads of talent, money, a serious case of depression, and untimely deaths. If you are wondering what these famous musicians had to be depressed about, then join the club. You’d think they would be happier and lead more fulfilling lives in their extravagant million dollar homes, cruising about in their expensive rides, and surrounded by hip and happening people 24/7. But they weren’t. They battled with loneliness and depression, drugs and alcohol, and when they died, they died alone. Some by overdosing and others by taking their own lives. Leaving us to wonder if the price of reaching stardom and entertaining millions is really worth it?

Becoming a musician is hard work; the hours of practice, the investment on instruments and coaches, balancing college/work life and gigs… For those whose dream is to become a musician, don’t give up, but proceed with extreme caution. Don’t think that only musicians selling platinum albums are the ones who need help. If you are just starting out or been in the music circuit for a few years still hoping for your big break, the path to self destruction can find you. Here are a few ways to keep yourself grounded when you start preforming and rising to stardom.

Choose your inner circle well

You need to be extremely careful when selecting your inner circle. This group maybe made up of your manager, friends, and family. These are the people whose counsel and comfort you will be counting on when you hit a rough patch. If their motives are purely monetary or for entry passes to fly clubs, then you’ll be in trouble. Because even when they see you are about to crash and burn they will egg you on to work harder.

Keep your therapist on speed dial

Just like the gym isn’t meant only for overweight people but for the fit looking to remain fit, therapy isn’t exclusively for people with severe emotional and mental problems. Therapy can be your safe place to talk about all the good and bad stuff that you experience on your journey of becoming a famous musician. Talking to a therapist will ensure you don’t bottle up stuff or run to the bottle to forget stuff.

Take regular breaks before you break

Whether you are a musician after your 9-5 or full time touring the globe, take a break every few months. Your mind and body need the rest.

Don’t get into a fix Apart from a handful; most famous musicians have struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction, which cost many of them their marriages, careers, and health. They too would have promised themselves when they started out that they would never succumb to drugs and alcohol and always be in control of their lives. But after the first few fixes, they got addicted. Stay away from friends who urge you to try new stuff. No one is asking you to live like a hermit, but draw your boundaries and stick to them.

Know when its time to say goodbye

Yes, all musicians would love to play/sing till their last breath but wisdom lies in knowing when its time to bid farewell to the stage. This way you’ll save yourself from huge plastic surgery bills on fighting to look young and you’ll be able to finally focus on your other passions.

Being a musician is an exciting adventure – from the initial days of struggle to reaching the top. The beauty about music is that it has the power to change lives. So while you are filling peoples lives with your expert strumming, drumming, playing or singing, make sure your life is also being filled with good things.

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