Image Credit: IFPI

A worldwide survey shows the positive influence of music on mental health, particularly in the pandemic.

A new global study by the IFPI has overwhelmingly proved the benefits of music on mental health – something that has been especially noticeable over the past year. As a global catastrophe grew, thousands of isolated people turned to music to help get through unfamiliar and overwhelming pandemic restrictions.

The Engaging with Music 2021 survey contacted 43,000 music fans from 21 countries around the world and looked at factors like listening habits and most popular music genres alongside music’s effect on wellbeing.

What do the results tell us? Three quarters of those surveyed agreed that music “provided a sense of normality,” which was clearly welcome in the year of the coronavirus pandemic. A similarly massive 80% said music helped their emotional wellbeing – and from respondents in India the figure was 97%.

Image Credit: IFPI

87% of respondents reported that music gave them “enjoyment and happiness.” Teens unable to be at school in person were especially grateful for the power of music during the pandemic, with 85% of 16–19-year-olds saying it had a positive impact on their wellbeing.

And at a time when gigs were being cancelled and rescheduled around the world, those aged 16-19 still managed to connect with their favourite artists, with 68% of the teenagers surveyed saying new releases had helped them get through the turbulent time.

Chief Execute of the IFPI, Frances Moore, said: “Music has provided fans with comfort and healing through these challenging times. Engaging with Music reflects music’s powerful contribution to emotional wellbeing. Younger fans in particular acknowledged the supportive role that music plays in their lives.”

Image Credit: IFPI

In 2021 the accessibility of music streaming became more essential than ever, and three quarters of people found time to still listen to music as a familiar constant despite their new routine. 63% found one positive during COVID restrictions was finding time to discover some new favourite artists.

The irony of the findings is that over the last 18 months whilst musicians were struggling from isolation and a serious loss of income, simultaneously listeners around the world were finding comfort from their music. It still continues to be a lighthouse helping the world through the pandemic.