From Sam Fender to Justin Bieber: The singers are exhausted – and so am I

In the space of a week, three massive touring artists have cancelled shows to look after their mental health.

This week, Sam Fender canned shows saying it was ‘exhausting feigning happiness for business’, and Wet Leg found the mental and physical exhaustion of being on tour too much they couldn’t get on a plane.

Earlier this month, Justin Beiber cancelled his world tour citing similar reasons, and in his recent documentary End To End, George Ezra said touring leaves him emotionally and mentally drained.

And as I’m writing this, Howard – one half of dance duo Disclosure – revealed he was at ‘breaking point’ after struggling with being on the road, and wouldn’t be joining his brother Guy on their Australian tour.

They’re not the first to put a plug in a bunch of tour dates – Shawn Mendes, Solange and Selena Gomez have also been forced to do it in the past- and they won’t be the last.

And I hope they aren’t the last. The kids are exhausted. Jesus, we’re all tired.

I don’t mean that in any kind of ‘woe is the life of the celebrity’ way, I really mean it sincerely. Life on the road, and just being even mildly famous in general, looks horrendous.

Team that with probably incrementally increasing sales pressures, social media expectations (not to mention the dumpster fire of a place social media can be for people), pressures of simply existing in 2022 and, also, like, the general physical effect one flight has on the body let alone daily flights. It’s no wonder these artists are tapping out.

While a different routine, it’s not just the famous that live this go-go-go storm of a lifestyle.

Hustle culture has become a real mainstay of Gen Y mentality, from careers to social lives and the acai smoothie bowls we prepare after our 5.30am gym session (I don’t know, are we still having acai bowls? It’s hard to keep up). We must always appear to have our sh*t together, when, spoiler alert, no one really does.

So why do these people often face such horrendous criticism when they put their mental health above their careers? We all saw the vitriol Naomi Osaka copped when she took a moment to get herself together off the court.

t’s no wonder we, normal, non elite-athlete people, shove those sorts of feelings down in order to not appear weak or like we can’t handle it all.

Can we please stop pretending mental health isn’t a really bloody important thing we need to be on top of?

We’re constantly bombarded with aesthetically-packaged morsels of aspiration in which we’re to have a soaring career, booming social life, romance, while also finding the time to achieve that physically-impossible Kardashian-esque bod in the gym, call your mum, cook organic, sustainable meals that save the dolphins, save for a house just in case one day you can afford one, save the planet while you’re at it, and throw in some sound bath meditations to chill the eff out, because you’re looking a little tired, Mel.

It’s too much.

We don’t have the same pressures as these artists I’ve mentioned before, but they’re pressures all the same and I hope that through the likes of Biebs and Fender sharing brutal honesty in how it’s just not sustainable to keep 100% of one’s plates spinning 100% of the time it will show us we don’t need to either.

Hustle culture needs to take a sabbatical.

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