Surviving Through Adversity

The NZ music industry has one of the highest rates of mental health conditions and suicide in New Zealand. Navigating through our music industry can be both daunting and stressful, which can make it difficult to overcome challenges.

If you need someone to talk to, please refer to the following:


MusicHelps provides caring, confidential and practical support to Kiwi music people experiencing illness, distress & hardship. They provide vital support including medical treatment, counselling and hardship assistance to Kiwi music people and their families in times of crisis.

Available 24/7 online and on-phone.



0800 623 1700

Auckland – 0800 623 1700
Wellington – 0800 367 4357 (press 0 at menu)

Phone 0800 044 334
Text 4334

Email [email protected]
OUTLINE – LGBTQI+ Support Line


Phone 0800 111 757
TXT 4202

Phone 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Web chat, email chat or free TXT 5626

Phone 0800 543 354

Phone 0800 726 666

Phone 09 623 4812
Click here to access free resource and information service

Phone 0800 376 633
Free TXT 234
Email [email protected]
Online chat and other support options here

Phone 0800 732 825

Phone 0508 TAUTOKO (0508 828 865)

Phone 0800 800 717

Free call or TXT 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor

More information is also available via the No More Directory.


Stress can come in many different forms, and it can have many different effects on you. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to keep calm no matter what. Problems will be easier to solve and arguments will be less likely to arise if you can keep calm.

While some people may find that keeping calm comes naturally to them, others may need extra help to make it possible to stay calm. The following steps may help with keeping calm, whilst also helping to reduce your stress levels.

  • Stop to smell the roses
    Appreciate your surroundings
    Take time out to experience and enjoy nature
  • Accept that some days you will not be 100%
    Problems are not always as big as they may seem
    Confide in a friend, or write a letter to yourself
  • Accept that you cannot change everything, and move on
    You can’t change other people
    Accept others as they are
    Don’t put energy into something that doesn’t have a solution
    Don’t let other’s actions influence you
  • Remember you are only human
    Everyone makes mistakes
    No-one is perfect
    Be patient with yourself and others
    If you are struggling, seek help
  • Don’t care what other people think
    If people cannot accept you for who you are, it is their problem
  • Weigh up the costs and benefits
    Sometimes the costs outweigh the benefits
  • It could be worse
    Consider those less fortunate
  • Communicate and make your intentions clear
    Listen to others
    Other people won’t know how you feel if you don’t tell them
  • Don’t take on too much work
    Learn to say no
    Don’t feel guilty when you have to say no
    Understand that sometimes it is not possible to do everything
    There are times when it is necessary to take a step back and reduce commitments
    Learn to take back time for yourself
  • Remind yourself you have coped before
  • Eliminate fear
    90% of what we fear never happens
  • Be decisive
    Don’t dwell on decisions
    It is ok to make a wrong decision and to learn from your mistakes
  • Try to live without placing too many expectations on yourself
  • Live in the moment
    Take each moment as it comes
    Go with the flow
    Don’t regret the past, you can’t do anything about it
    Don’t let ‘what if’s’ rule your life
  • Listen to music
  • Put the brakes on
    Don’t rush
    Don’t try to fit too much into your day
    Take time out between activities
  • Find the silver lining
    Look on the good side of things
    When one door shuts, another door opens
  • Have faith that everything is working out for the best
  • Forgive yourself and others
    Don’t bring up old arguments and complaints (i.e. if the issue was resolved before, don’t keep bringing it up again and again)
  • Keep things in perspective
    Take credit when you get things right
  • Stay calm
    Mentally visualise a circle and place your problems outside that circle
    Take 5 deep breaths
    Consider meditation or yoga etc
    If you have anger to deal with consider punching a pillow or soft toy, writing all your thoughts down or going for a brisk walk
  • Be imperfect
    You don’t have to be the best of everything
    You don’t have to be right all the time
    Learn from your mistakes
    Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals
  • Find your happiness within
    Accept yourself as you are
    Be optimistic in your approach to life
  • Focus on the solution instead of the problem
  • Don’t let it become a big deal
    You can cope
    Don’t assume the worst
    Don’t let any fears and worries escalate out of control
  • Vent
    Get it out of your system by talking about it – even if only to yourself
    Don’t get yourself worked up by going over the same issues over and over again


Repeating affirmations can motivate you to act and help you to concentrate on your goals whilst changing your negative thought patterns into positive ones. They can also help you to feel good about yourself, and boost your self-confidence.

Consider incorporating the following affirmations into your daily life:

  • I can do anything if I put my mind to it
  • Failure will test me but it won’t defeat me
  • I trust that everything happens for my higher good
  • I am the best I can be
  • I am true to myself
  • I am pleased with all I have accomplished
  • I am a necessary and integral part of other’s lives
  • This year is going to be the best yet
  • I am ready to take on everything that comes my way


  • If you don’t do something to stand out, no-one will notice you. You have to be different to make it in today’s world – show confidence, and don’t bring yourself down to other people’s levels
  • The greatest revenge is doing well
  • No-one is ‘better’ than anyone else
  • You don’t have to pay any attention to what other people say
  • What you have on the inside counts more than what you have on the outside
  • True friends accept you for who you are. They will support you, even if they don’t like what you are doing
  • Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement
  • It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice
  • Out of trial and tribulation comes lessons learnt and stronger relationships


  • Surround yourself with positive people who support you
  • Have days off when you need a break
  • Create a list about all the good things in your life
  • Start a journal where you write about good things that have happened each day
  • Practise visualisations
  • Know that you have done the best you can based upon the existing circumstances
  • Ask yourself two questions each day – 1) what did you enjoy about the day? and 2) what have you got to look forward to?
  • Look over things that make you feel good – old photos, certificates from school, or keep print outs of social media comments where people have said nice things about you
  • Remember, regardless of what happens in life, you are loved by someone

I'm Lisa,'s founder and manager. I also manage the Aotearoa Music Industry Collective and Gig Space Facebook groups.