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Monday Mindset

Matt Haig collaborates on mental health awareness album

November 26, 2018

Girl with raised hands at a concert, against stage lighting.

Matt Haig collaborates on mental health awareness album

Matt Haig, best-selling author and mental health campaigner, and Andy Burrows, former drummer with Razorlight and We are Scientists, have teamed up to create a collaborative album inspired by Matt’s autobiographical book Reasons to stay alive.

Haig’s book Reasons to stay alive is his account of having a breakdown which almost claimed his life, and living with, and overcoming, depression and anxiety. Having read the book, Burrows contacted Haig on Twitter and they struck up a friendship and soon began to work on ideas for songs together.

On the album, also called Reasons to stay alive, Burrows was responsible for the instrumentation, while Haig worked on the lyrics. Burrows told NME: ‘There is a lot of hope and optimism in his [Matt’s] words, without being cheesy. There’s an acceptance of anxiety, whether within ourselves or as a result of what’s around us – I think we all go through that. At the core of it all though, there is a hope, and there is a love. He does it so tastefully, it’s helped me. It was a very uplifting experience to record these songs. I’ve tried to bring a lot of joy and colour to the music, but he’s nailed a lot of the issues that we’re all feeling.’

Reasons to stay alive will be released on 1 February 2019

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MHF launches nationwide DIY music festival

Next February also sees the launch of a nationwide DIY music festival to raise awareness of mental health issues.

MHF live is an initiative from the Mental Health Foundation inspired by the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival in which anyone put on or participate in a music event. It has the backing of a number of music stars including Rita Ora who made a short promotional video in support of the project.

MHF project manager, Hannah Currie, told The List: ‘Rita’s mum is a psychiatrist and she’s really passionate about mental health awareness, so she made us a video to show her support.’

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Girl with raised hands at a concert, against stage lighting.