Music & Mental Health

“As soon as I started singing, I felt at peace again” AIM Alumni and singer, RISSA, shares an insightful glimpse into her journey at AIM, reflecting on her passion for music and candidly discussing the challenges she’s faced with mental health…in an industry where such struggles are not uncommon, RISSA bravely highlights the importance of addressing and destigmatising these issues. Her openness emphasises the experiences within the artistic, musical world, each narrative invaluable and deserving of recognition.

How did your time at AIM influence your journey in the Sydney music scene?

My time at AIM has contributed to my journey in 2 major ways – Firstly, being connected with so many other artists/musicians that I still work closely with today, forming a community of creatives around me/my art. Secondly, being well-versed in the performance space and feeling capable of working in environments that were practiced at AIM. 

Mental health is so important for musicians, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced? 

I think the biggest mental challenge I’ve faced is the common hole of self doubt in my art. It is so easy to be consumed by questions like “Is this song good?” , “Should I be releasing more often?” “Should I be playing more shows?” “Should I be posting more on socials?” and in a world where so much content is being pumped out on so many platforms it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but I have learnt myself that these questions only cloud my self-belief and distract me from simply creating art for myself – which is where I believe the most genuine art is created and most fulfilment as an artist comes from.  

In such a demanding industry, how do you prioritise your mental health and wellbeing? 

Remembering my individuality is key for me to stay solid mentally in music, as well as a good support system! 
I think it’s super important for artists to really discover who they are in their own art away from what is “trending” or what another artist is doing. Once you know who you are, what you love creating – make it great, because that’s yours and no one can do that the exact same way you do.  

If you could say anything to a music student struggling mentally, what would you say? 

Keep yourself a priority in your personal, creative and work life. Find space to do the thing that makes you feel happy daily whether its for 10 mins or a few hours and remember that any doubt or negative feelings you may feel, another person/creative has felt the same in some way and you are not alone.  

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RISSA’s story is a strong reminder of resilience and determination, offering genuine hope and inspiration to other musicians out there navigating their own mental health ups and downs. Our conversation with RISSA was truly enlightening, as she shared her path of overcoming obstacles and finding joy within the music industry, her authenticity and perseverance shine though, highlighting the importance of addressing personal struggles and finding happiness in the dynamic landscape that is the music industry!

Are you struggling with mental health, or need someone to chat to? Don’t be afraid to reach out to AIM Student Support where we can offer help such as one-on-one catchups to discuss your health and wellbeing.

Do you have a question?

Speak with us today.