in the music industry
Promoting good mental health
Bespoke training and support for music industry professionals
Many people working in the music industry experience mental health issues. They can be brought on by the highs and the lows, the touring, the late nights, and the lifestyle. The industry can be volatile and competitive, with no financial security. This leaves music industry professionals vulnerable to developing mental health issues.
Tonic Rider addresses this by providing music industry-specific mental health support.
Mental Health First Aid
Two-day course training music industry professionals how to identify, understand and help someone who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.
MHFA England accredited.
Suicide First Aid Lite
Four-hour course training music industry professionals in the theory and practice of suicide intervention skills that can be applied in professional and personal settings.
Suicide First Aid accredited.
Mental Health Awareness
in the Music Industry
Six-hour course training music industry professionals to gain an awareness of the major issues unique to the music industry and how they affect mental health.
Peer Support Group
Weekly 90-minute group across six weeks supporting participants to share their experiences with other music industry professionals.
Funded by Help Musicians.
Weekly 90-minute group across three weeks supporting music industry professionals with practical strategies to reduce the impact of stress, anxiety and low mood.
Two-and-a-half-hour workshop teaching music industry professionals mindfulness practice and how to use values to reduce influence of unwanted thoughts and feelings.
Two-and-a-half-hour workshop teaching music industry professionals mindful awareness of emotions and practical ways to build resilience.
Music Performance Anxiety
Two-and-a-half-hour workshop teaching music industry professionals to identify and manage the effects of anxieties related to performance.
To register, follow this link:
Any questions, email:
Tonic Rider provides free resources to promote good mental health in the music industry.
Use the links below to view and download Tonic Rider information and resources.
Watch our short film 'In The Green Room'
Hear it like it is from the music industry and those around it.
'In The Green Room' showcases the Tonic Rider programme with wise words from Barry Ashworth and Seanie T (Dub Pistols).
Jeff Horton (100 Club) speaks about the importance of having a charity tailored for the music industry.
The talented actress Denise Black speaks out about why she loves Tonic Rider and how it supports music industry professionals.
Music journalist Ian Winwood talks about how working in the music industry provided a freedom in which to run wild, and why the work of Tonic Rider is so important.
Facilitator of the Tonic Rider Peer Support Group, Adam Ficek (Babyshambles), speaks about experiencing the highs and lows as a successful artist in the media, while trying to navigate the tectonics of fame and the need for a nurturing, grounding path.
“Tonic Rider is a new programme to promote good mental health in the music industry, providing mental health support both remotely and at venues. With the music industry on its knees and many people having lost their livelihoods, it is needed now more than ever.”
Dub Pistols / Patron
To mark the launch of Tonic Rider, Barry Ashworth recorded a cover of New Order’s 'Blue Monday' with Canadian artist Dubmatix and dub producer Gaudi, with all proceeds donated to Tonic Rider.
Please listen to or download the single to support Tonic Rider.
Peer Support Group
A peer support group of 10-12 music industry professionals, meeting weekly across six weeks, is being run by Adam Ficek – musician, psychotherapist and Babyshambles drummer. The group offers a free and safe space for music professionals to be heard and supported. The Peer Support Group is funded by Help Musicians.
“I divide my time between being a professional musician and a psychotherapist immersed in the world of the music industry.
“From my experience in both worlds, I have witnessed the steady increase in psychological distress across the board in these environments. The pressures faced within the volatile and precarious infrastructure of the music industry can lead to both high rewards and crashing lows. From my own psychological journey, I highly value the specialist support and understanding that the Tonic Rider programme provides.
“I feel privileged to be a part of Tonic Rider, and I look forward to using my own experiences as a musician and psychotherapist to develop a much-needed resource for everyone in the music industry.”
Musician / Psychotherapist / Babyshambles
Mental Health Awareness in the Music Industry
A CPD-accredited Mental Health Awareness in the Music Industry course is being run by Rachel Jepson – musician, psychotherapist and counsellor. The six-hour course covers unique issues associated with mental health in the music industry.
“Now, more than ever, it is apparent that the music industry comes with its own unique set of circumstances that can be associated with mental health issues. Having knowledge of these issues can help raise awareness and support music industry professionals to achieve good mental health.”
MHFA and Suicide First Aid Lite
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Suicide First Aid Lite (SFAL) training are being provided free to all music industry professionals.
MHFA training provides the skills needed to recognise and support someone experiencing mental health difficulties.
SFAL training teaches the theory and practice of suicide intervention skills.
You can ask Tonic to provide your staff with MHFA and SFAL training through the Tonic Rider programme – transform your venue into a safe environment for people experiencing mental health difficulties.
Mental Health Guides
A collection of Mental Health Guides is being written by our team of mental health professionals in consultation with our contacts in the music industry.
They cover a variety of topics, including:
the pressures of the music industry
Digital versions of the Mental Health Guides are freely available in the Resources section.
Tonic stands at events
Tonic already has years of experience providing pop-up stands at gigs, festivals and events under the banner of our Never Mind the Stigma campaign. We provide information, promote our cause, and raise funds to keep Tonic services free for those in need.
These stands have been expanded to include Tonic Rider, enabling us to provide direct support to anyone in need, including backstage support for musicians on tour.
Tonic have been attending festivals, gigs and tours since our very beginning. We receive such an incredible response, with so many people opening up to us about their experience of mental health, and we know we can make a bigger impact with Tonic Rider.
To visit the Tonic Rider blog, follow this link:
If you are a musician, venue, festival, band, crew member, or anyone else involved in the music industry, we would love to hear from you!
Music Industry Professionals
Register with Tonic Rider to attend our groups, workshops and courses.
If you would like to share your story and have it published on our blog, please get in touch – we can support you to do this. Sharing your experiences will encourage more music industry professionals to open up and seek support when needed.
Venues & Festivals
Help support musicians, crew and staff by providing Tonic Rider Mental Health Guides at your venue or festival.
Get in touch if you would like your staff trained in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Suicide First Aid Lite (SFAL).
Adorn your bar with Tonic Rider collection pots to help us provide our services for free to those in need.
The Tonic Rider programme works with musicians and crew to help get the industry talking. Through discussion and education, we can break the stigma and promote good mental health in the music industry.
Any questions, email:
Tonic Rider Supporters
Tonic Music for Mental Health is a small charity with limited resources.
For Tonic Rider to succeed, and for us to be able to provide our services to music industry professionals for free, we require financial support.
Please support us in any way you can:
Make a donation
Hold a fundraiser
Donate a signed or unique item
Invite us to have a stand or area at your gig, festival or event
Dedicate a song to Tonic Rider with proceeds going to the programme
Promote our cause on social media
Sponsor our programmes
Give your time and get involved!
To offer your support, please email:
“Having completed six sessions of the Tonic Rider Peer Support Group, I have found the experience to be of great value, both personally and professionally.
“Working within an industry that has been so adversely affected by the events of the last two years, these sessions have provided both comfort and guidance. They allowed me to articulate a number of concerns that I would have found difficult to disclose with friends, family and colleagues.
“The nature of the group, with associated like-minded anxieties and concerns within a fragile music industry, allowed for a productive forum to set a framework for improvement. The diverse nature of the group meant that some themes discussed resonated well, whilst with others, I was happy to sit back and absorb. Nonetheless, the whole experience proved insightful. Thank you Tonic.”
“Being amongst a group of peers from all walks of the entertainment world, who were all so open and honest, was incredible. We all bonded very quickly, and over the six weeks that the Peer Support Group ran, we became a tight-knit group. I looked forward to seeing them all every week. And even if that week had been a ‘good’ one, just being there for others, and hearing their stories, was so worthwhile, and in fact vital. When a few of us met at the 100 Club a few weeks after the end of the sessions, we felt like we’d been friends for life.”
PRS Members' Fund
“I’ve attended two courses to date - the Acceptance Commitment Therapy workshop and the Mental Health Awareness in the Music Industry course - and I highly recommend them.
“The facilitators on both (Jo and Rachel respectively) were open, relaxed, friendly and encouraging. They provided a safe space for sharing, and there was plenty of opportunity for participants to engage with each other and with the exercises. The information provided was excellent and backed up by research, as were the follow-up handouts and workbooks.”
Tour Manager / The Back Lounge
“Thank you Tonic Rider for everything that you do for our industry. I participated in one of the Peer Support Groups and the community and camaraderie was amazing, as was Adam Ficek’s facilitation. Having a safe space to share personal experiences is invaluable, now more than ever, as we slowly come out of the pandemic into what could be a difficult 2022.”
Artist Manager / Drummer
“What Tonic has done, and is continuing to do, is provide a platform for musicians and music industry professionals, where we know that anyone who is at a Tonic event is likely receptive to the sharing of personal issues and discussing mental health. I also know that, if I was really struggling, I could email or phone any of the Tonic team to share that I am not OK, and that they would help me.
“Tonic really is a vital organisation. I feel it’s pivotal for this conversation to grow and support more of us in the music industry, becoming more effective as time goes on.
“To see the beginning of a new era where this conversation is pushed into the mainstream of the industry, making it acceptable to speak openly about our vulnerabilities, will no doubt have a profound and positive effect on future generations of artists (and their art), as well as industry pros. This transformation will come as a direct consequence of the work Tonic is doing.”
Postgraduate Researcher in Popular Music and Mental Health, University of East Anglia
“Taking part in Tonic Rider's training courses and social events have encouraged me to become a better researcher and musician. I gave up playing the guitar due to confidence issues from past music education, but having met kind people in the industry, I now feel an urge to continue. Talking to others at Tonic reminds me why I started my PhD research in Popular Music and Mental Health, as the topic is very important to those of us it has affected. Thank you Tonic.”