Big, messy emotions can be uncomfortable to talk about, especially when you’re in the thick of them.

Sometimes, life gets really challenging. It’s times like these that we need to reach out to one another and normalise opening up about our struggles and asking for help or support.

For the most part, we are reluctant to reach out for help. This is because it can be scary to put ourselves out there in a vulnerable way and admit we’re hurting or struggling. You might think that asking for support makes you a burden or puts too much pressure on others. Or maybe you’ve internalised unhelpful messages from society and formative relationships that have framed help-seeking as an act of weakness.

It’s time to push past these obstacles and recognise that seeking help is actually an incredibly courageous act. It means that you know enough about yourself to know you’re not doing great, and it shows that you understand that other people can provide a valuable means of support and solidarity.


  • We think that asking for help or expressing emotions is a sign of weakness or deficiency
  • We’re worried people will think less of us – like we’re incompetent or incapable
  • We don’t want to be a burden on others
  • We’re uncomfortable around our own big, messy emotions, and don’t want to let others in on them
  • We are concerned we’ll bring people down with our “negative” emotions 
  • We minimise our struggles and tell ourselves that it’s not that bad
  • We want to be able to fix stuff ourselves, and feel inept when we can’t
  • We are afraid of saying the wrong thing or giving the wrong impression


Instead of seeing it as asking for help, why not reframe it as letting someone in

1. Identify someone in your life that is mostly supportive, compassionate and non-judgemental (we say mostly, because, you know, nobody is perfect). This might be someone who has been kind and empathetic to you in the past, has let you know that they’re free to listen if ever you need someone, or even someone who has been open and vulnerable with you about their own struggles.

    But what if I don’t have anyone like that? It can be isolating and lonely to not have a single person you can reach out to in times of need. Unfortunately it’s not all that uncommon in our modern societies, where, post-COVID, rates of self-reported loneliness continue to climb. If you don’t have anyone right now in your social spheres whom you feel you can reach out to, you can chat to a friendly and supportive counsellor via our Wellbeing Helpline. 

2. Mention that things have been challenging for you lately, and ask if they have space to chat. Most people are willing to be a compassionate ear, particularly when they recognise someone is struggling. If you feel awkward or invasive at this point in the process, feel free to call that out, e.g. “I feel kind of awkward asking but…”

3. Open up and share what’s real for you right now. Depending on how normalised these types of conversations are for you, it might be uncomfortable, vulnerable or unfamiliar. But by being open and letting someone in, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to be seen and supported. 

4. Reflect on how it feels to let someone in. If you find yourself supported by someone compassionate and supportive, you’ll likely notice that it feels freeing and consoling to open up and let someone in on what you’re going through. Unfortunately, there might be times when that other person is dismissive or invalidating, and that can hurt (particularly if you’re already dealing with some hard stuff). Most of us aren’t necessarily experts when it comes to sitting on the other side of vulnerable conversations, but if you want to speak to someone who is, you can always call our free Wellbeing Helpline.


Opening up and letting someone else in on what you’re going through is a powerful and courageous act. It can be the difference between you descending into crisis and reclaiming your sense of wellbeing, connection and vitality. But there are also a number of other avenues of support that are available to you that are free and available through Support Act.

If you ever feel like you need a little help, or if you find yourself on the other end of a vulnerable conversation and would love to have more resources and supportive tools to recommend, check out the offerings below.

You don’t need to be in crisis, you don’t have to BE anything – Sometimes you need to talk it out. Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline is the perfect place to do this. 

The Wellbeing Helpline, delivered in partnership with AccessEAP, is a FREE, confidential phone counselling service for anyone working in Australian music or the arts, easily accessed by calling 1800 959 500.

Connect with a compassionate support person, who understands the unique challenges associated with working in music.

Looking for support with your mental health, but not sure where to start. 

On top of our Wellbeing Helpline, we’ve partnered with the wonderful people over at THIS WAY UP to offer you FREE ACCESS to evidence-based and effective online treatment programs. 

These are great to use alongside counselling or therapy, or a wonderful place to start if you’re wanting to learn more about how to manage your own stress, anxiety and low mood. 

These tailored online programs are designed to teach you proven psychological skills to transform your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours so you can make positive changes in your life.

Stress management, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Depression, Insomnia, Social Anxiety, OCD and more.

Support Act has curated a wealth of evidence-based mental health resources, specifically for those who work in music in our Guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing.

A regularly updated resource of evidence-based information, articles, videos, plus app and book recommendations.

Crisis Relief Grants are available for those experiencing financial hardship as the result of illness, injury, mental health, older age or another current crisis that is impacting their ability to work in music.

We know it can be hard asking for help. Every request is confidential and we make no judgment about people’s circumstances.

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