BPI yearbook 2021: 94% of stressed Brits say music helped lift their mood during lockdown

Music played a central role in the wellbeing of Brits during the Covid-related lockdowns of 2020, according to a new report from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the Industry organisation for recorded music in the UK.

Some 94% of stressed Brits say music helped lift their mood during lockdown while 91% said that it helped them to escape and forget their problems, reveals the BPI’s ‘All About the Music 2021’ yearbook.

Of those who were feeling stressed, 73% said that they felt more able to manage their anxiety levels thanks to music listening during the pandemic.

The 42nd edition of the BPI Yearbook, which will be published on 14 April, also reveals that well over a quarter of those surveyed (28%) said they had listened to more music since the first lockdown began. 

The jump in music listening was particularly pronounced among 16-24 year-olds, with 45% saying they listened to more tunes compared to pre-lockdown times. 

Just 11% of respondents said they listened to less or no music at all. 

The findings echo the BPI’s January 2021 market update which reported that UK music consumption rose by 82% in 2020. Some 155 million albums or their equivalent were either streamed or purchased by fans, including 139 billion audio streams, 16 million CDs, nearly 5 million vinyl LPs, and over 150,000 cassettes.

According to the new BPI yearbook, 50% of those who said they listened to music said they did so to lift their spirits, while 42% said it helped them to relax or sleep. 

Some 27% said they used music to boost their concentration while working or studying. This was particularly important for 16-24 year-olds, with the figure rising to 50%, highlighting the challenges of home schooling. 

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI, BRIT Awards and Mercury Prize, said: “Music has many intrinsic additional benefits, not least in raising spirits and promoting wellbeing, but this new research underscores just how much of a lifeline it’s been for people since lockdown – inspiring and reassuring us and also helping many of us to work, study and exercise to greater effect. The transformational power of music to improve lives has rarely been more pronounced.”

The BPI’s industry annual aims to highlight UK music consumption and trends. The ‘All About the Music 2021’ yearbook’s findings were based on data commissioned through consumer research agency AudienceNet’s Audiomonitor survey in November 2020.