1 in 5 Young Adults ‘Always Anxious’, As Study Shows Artists Like Billie Eilish and Lewis Capaldi Are Helping 18-24-Year Olds Open Up About Their Mental Health

  • Study of 2,000 18–24-year-olds reveals 21% feel anxious all of the time while half of this age group find it difficult to talk with someone when they’re experiencing poor mental health
  • 6 in 10 young adults listen to music to improve their mood with 50% saying hearing musicians talk or sing about their mental health struggles has helped them open up about their own feelings
  • Poll reveals Billie Eilish, Lewis Capaldi and Ed Sheeran are the most inspirational artists helping to destigmatise mental health
  • Streaming sensation, rapper and mental health advocate, Marc Jones has produced a new track Day by Day that is available now across all major platforms to encourage young people to open up about their mental health

More than a fifth (21%) of young adults in the UK are ‘always anxious’ according to a new study with 97% experiencing anxious feelings in the last 12 months.

What’s more, of the 2,000 18-24-year-olds polled, only one in ten (10%) claim to love themselves.

The research, carried out by Direct Line Insurance and mental health charity Mind, goes on to show that despite support services being available, half the people in this age group find it difficult to talk with someone when they’re experiencing poor mental health.

When they need a mental lift, almost two thirds (59%) of young adults turn to music to improve their mood, and for a quarter of this generation, doing so makes them feel less lonely.

Almost two thirds (65%) of people in this age group believe musicians who have opened up about their own struggles are helping to destigmatise conversations around mental health, with Billie Eilish, Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi being the biggest inspirations.

Half of young adults say that they have opened up about their own feelings after listening to musicians talk or sing about their own mental health issues.

To highlight the link between music and a positive uplift in mood, Direct Line and Mind have worked with mental health advocate and London based rapper Marc Jones, who has over five million streams, to create and release his new track, Day by Day, which encourages young people to look after and be open about their mental health.

It is free to download across all major streaming platforms for the month of April. Marc Jones has worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Big Narstie, and his music has featured on the TV show Atlanta, starring Daniel Glover.

The inspirational track aims to encourage young people to love themselves and to highlight there are support networks when they are struggling.

Table One: Top Ten Inspirational Artists for Young People

RankMusic ArtistPercentage of young people
1Billie Eilish76 per cent
2Lewis Capaldi65 per cent
3Ed Sheeran61 per cent
4Selena Gomez43 per cent
5Taylor Swift35 per cent
6Adele31 per cent
7Juice World29 per cent
8Dave28 per cent
9Demi Lovato28 per cent
10NF26 per cent

Sam Taylor, Marketing Director at Direct Line, said: “The mental health of young adults is incredibly important and many are struggling to navigate these complex times“.

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”.

Alex Bushill, Head of Media at Mind said: “As a mental health charity, we are deeply concerned by the finding of this research, which revealed a shocking situation for young adults in the UK. The fact, that only 10% of young adults love themselves is a heart-breaking statistic that highlights 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 the support when needed”.

Marc Jones continued: “The purpose of my music has always been to lift spirits and encourage young people. This new track I released with Mind and Direct Line does just this. I personally have always turned to music when I am feeling low, it really helps and so does having charities like Mind, for expert support”.

Find below Cass’ interview with Marc Jones and Alex Bushill:

Want to make sure you don’t miss anything? Sign up to our newsletter, it’s free!