Musicians and others in the entertainment industry are creative individuals whose best work tends to comes from strong emotions. It’s no surprise that many of us also struggle with mood disorders such as depression.
I’ve gone through several cycles of severe depression throughout my professional career. However, knowing these horrible days will pass is not much of a consolation in the moment – and while being fully aware that people only posts their highlights reel on social media, my worn-out sweatpants-wearing, mascara stained, couch-ridden self also knows that social media algorithms penalize those who don’t post consistently, and I need to come up with something to at least keep my content machine running for the next little while until things start getting better again.
Following these suggestions and using these ideas is not a substitute for taking the proper steps towards recovery. This article isn’t about encouraging “faking it for the cameras,” but rather a collection of band-aid maneuvers to bring out while in the phase of waiting for your body and brain to catch up to all the right steps you (and your support team) are taking.
Use Tools To Schedule Posts in Advance
Did you know you don’t have to be at your electronic devices to have things post on your social media feeds? Yes! If what you need to do to recover right now is to sleep during the times your fanbase is awake, I recommend scheduling your posts to go out at a predetermined time and date.
Facebook has an internal scheduler, Twitter is friendly to a number of third-party apps (I use Hootsuite myself, it’s free for up to 30 posts), leaving only Instagram needing you to post live out of the main three platforms.
Take Photos That Aren’t Selfies
One of the biggest hesitations some people in their depressive episode have when it comes to posting online is that they can’t post photos of themselves. Whether body image issues hit us where it hurts, or we haven’t showered or left the house in days, we’re a mess and selfies aren’t not going to fly.
So, it’s time to think of something else that’s relatively quick and easy to post to Instagram or Facebook. From household objects with a story behind them to the classic food shot from above, I have complete faith that you can think of something that fits your brand
Have Another Musician Do A Social Media Takeover
Do you know another musician whose fanbase has a huge crossover appeal with yours? Maybe you’ve both played shows together, collaborated, or have been friends for years.
Reach out to them, explain your situation, and ask them if they would be interested in doing a Social Media Takeover. What this means is that they would be granted access to post on your social media channels, posting as themselves, maybe sharing stories of things you both have done, interacting with (and hopefully winning over) some of your fans, and keeping your accounts active while you recover.
Then, once your spark has returned, you can return the favour.
Put A Close Friend of Loved One In Charge
If you don’t have a close musician friend, or don’t feel comfortable letting someone else in the industry know what you’ve been dealing with, the next best thing would be to ask your best friend, significant other, or sibling to help by pretending to be you for a few days.
Ideally, this person should be tech-savvy, and know your style of content and writing conventions – grammar, capitalizations, choice of emojis, etc…
Create A Backup Content Bank
Take photos in advance, write down clever statuses as notes on your phone when you thinking of them. Slowly build up a list of pre-made posts you just need to copy and paste, and ration them out during times of mental drought.
Share Someone Else’s Content
An easy trap to fall into is the comparison game. So if you find yourself, yet again, scrolling through other friends’ success stories and seemingly perfect lives… Let’s take control and change the narrative.
Repost/Retweet/Share their exciting announcement, congratulating them publicly on their new release, award, tour, or another milestone! Not only does this simple action require low effort in your personal creative department, you’re also showing support for your scene, and the act of showing gratitude and care for someone else in periods of depression has been proven to lift spirits.
Recycle Old Content
Social media content does not expire like a bag of milk (my Canadian grocery list is showing). You are allowed to recycle old statuses, share a photo for #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFriday from a time where you had brushed your hair, or take this occasion to introduce new fans to your early music.
Be Honest To Your Fans
Lastly, you can open up to your fans and tell them what’s going on in your life right now. Not everyone is at a point where they can, but I know that personally, I have received nothing but messages of support from fans all around the world by letting them know that I am imperfect, and have my inner demons, just like so many others.
In Case Of Emergency, Break Glass: 10 Days Of Posts To Use In Times Of Need
Day 1: A Photo Of Your Shoes. Your shoes need to be clean, and you need to be wearing them.
Day 2: A Photo Of A Healthy Meal. The classic Instagram food shot. Yes, you are required to eat this healthy meal after taking the photo.
Day 3: A Throwback Post. Can be a photo from childhood or from last month. Find a memory of when you were happy, and share it.
Day 4: A Photo Of Your Clean Workspace. Whether your workspace is a desk or a music room, you deserve to have one spot of your home clean and inviting. Hold on to that photo for future reference.
Day 5: A Photo From Outside. This photo requires you going outdoors. Take a photo of the tree in your yard, that cool downtown mural, or the fresh snow.
Day 6: A Simple Selfie. You don’t need to do your makeup and dress to the nines if you can’t manage it. But clean clothes, brushed teeth, and manageable hair are a must.
Day 7: Ask Fans For Reviews / Testimonials. Having friends and fans say nice things about you is always nice when you’re feeling low. The bonus is social engagement.
Day 8: A Photo Of You With A Friend. If you don’t feel up to going out, invite an understanding friend over. Drink herbal tea and take a photo of you both on the sofa.
Day 9: A Video Of A Cute Animal. If you have a pet, this one is easy. If you don’t, today’s task is to call up a friend with a pet and go walk their dog with them or snuggle their cat.
Day 10: An Action Shot Of You Exercising. Whether you’re attempting a yoga pose on your bedroom floor, using Boomerang to showcase jumping jacks in your driveway, or living weights at the gym, getting your blood pumping will make you feel a little better too.