New research from Direct Line Insurance and mental health charity Mind has shown that only 10% of young adults in the UK love themselves completely, indicating a potential mental health catastrophe. The study was conducted by Opinium among 2,000 18–24-year-olds and found that 95% of young people are struggling with their mental health, with 21% feeling anxious all the time. Additionally, 46% of young adults have felt low often or all the time over the last 12 months.
Despite support services being available, more than 1 in 20 young people said that they feel uncomfortable discussing their mental health with anyone, and 10% of 18-year-olds are not willing to speak about the topic at all. Almost three-quarters (70%) of young adults also feel lonely, even when around peers, friends, classmates or work colleagues, and 83% reported having less energy than they did previously.
The survey also showed that music is a vital outlet for young adults experiencing poor mental health, with 59% of them turning to music to improve their mood, and a quarter (25%) finding it makes them feel less lonely. Almost two-thirds (65%) of young adults surveyed believe that musicians are a force for good in opening discussions about mental health, with Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi being seen as inspirations.
To highlight the link between music and a positive uplift in mood, Direct Line and Mind worked with mental health advocate and London-based rapper Marc Jones to produce a new track called “Day by Day“, which encourages young people to be open about their mental health. The track is free to download across all major streaming platforms for the month of April.
Marc Jones, who has over five million music streams, developed the inspirational track to encourage young people to love themselves and to highlight the support networks available when they are struggling. The track was produced by London-based producer RP9, whose notable collaborations include Ed Sheeran and Big Narstie.
Sam Taylor, Marketing Director at Direct Line, emphasized the importance of mental health for young adults and the need for support in navigating the complex times they face. “Understanding the issues faced by a generation of young adults we partnered with Marc Jones, an inspirational musician, to develop a track encouraging young people to open up about their mental health, whether that’s in the car when the song plays on the radio or at home, with friends streaming the track,” he said.
Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, expressed concern over the study’s findings and the urgent need for support and resources to help this young generation navigate the complex challenges they face. “We are excited to be part of the efforts of Direct Line and Marc Jones in producing the track ‘Day by Day’ to encourage young people to open up about their mental health and seek support when needed,” he said.
Niamh O’Connor, 23, from Worcester, shared her experience of using music to cope with mental health issues, stating that “music became the only thing that helped take my mind off everything that was going on in my life”. O’Connor noted that her therapist helped her to open up about her feelings through music, and she now uses her experiences to create conversations with friends about mental health.
The track “Day By Day” is available to stream on all major streaming platforms, including Spotify, and encourages young people to seek support when they need it. The study also provided a list of the top ten inspirational artists for young people, with Billie Eilish taking the top spot, followed by Lewis Capaldi, Selena Gomez, Eminem, Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Adele, Juice World, Dave, and Demi Lovato.