Post-concert depression (PCD) occurs after you’ve been to a concert or live music event. There’s not a lot of research on it yet, but there are things you can do to help manage it.
PCD is something that music fans have often discussed, referring to feelings of sadness and low mood after a concert or festival.
PCD isn’t in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, so it isn’t a formal medical diagnosis. However, this doesn’t make it — and the feelings and emotions you might have after a concert — any less real.
But how do you know if you have PCD, and what can you do if you’re concerned? Read on to find out all you need to know about the condition.
PCD may be triggered by the joy and intense excitement (euphoria) felt during and after a concert.
During these fun events, your brain produces ”happy hormones” like endorphins and dopamine. Feeling low after something exciting is natural — when these hormones dip or level out, you might feel sad comparatively.
You might want to relive the experience once you realize it’s over, but you know you can’t. You might worry that you’ll never get to feel that way again.
Maybe you didn’t do certain things during the moment, like pick up a souvenir at the merch booth or missed part of the set because of long lines getting into the venue.
Knowing that you must return to everyday responsibilities the following day might also play a role. There’s a stark contrast between the euphoric highs of the concert and the ”regular” life that follows it.
Many people spend so long planning and looking forward to things like concerts, festivals, or holidays that they might feel numb or empty afterward.
A large body of
Many symptoms of PCD will overlap with symptoms of clinical depression, but there are some differences between them.
While people with clinical depression sometimes experience these symptoms constantly, people with PCD may only experience them occasionally.
As per the 2020 study, less than one-fifth of survey respondents (17.1%) reported having symptoms of depression all day, nearly every day for 2 weeks. Most reported having symptoms once or twice weekly or every other day.
PCD tends to resolve within a few weeks after the event. To receive a clinical depression diagnosis, your symptoms must last at least 2 weeks.
Over two-thirds (68.3%) of respondents reported their feelings lasting for over 2 weeks. But these feelings were more likely to come and go or leave after around a month than remain there constantly.
If you also experience positive thoughts or feelings about the concert or look back positively on memories of the event, you might wonder whether you have PCD. However, some people who took part in the research did report this.
You might also find yourself withdrawing from the real world, reminiscing about the concert, or talking constantly about the event.
Concerts and festivals can be quite intense or tiring, so resting up can help ease symptoms of PCD — particularly if you get home late at night and can’t catch up on sleep in the morning.
This doesn’t mean you need to lie in bed for days after a concert. But you might want to take things slightly easier for a while, and you’ll likely feel better for it.
It’s a good idea to eat foods high in tryptophan and carbohydrates. This combination is thought to help boost your ability to produce serotonin. Among the foods high in tryptophan are lean meats like chicken, turkey, salmon, nut butter, eggs, and peas.
Talking about the concert with friends or loved ones who were there too might help you relive the positive experience. Also, if they’re feeling depressed as well, discussing it with them may benefit both of you. Even talking with other fans online or posting about the concert on social media might help.
Listening to music can also help. Streaming music or listening to a CD or record might not be quite the same as seeing your favorite artist live in concert. But as music can positively affect
If you were drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages in a warm, sweaty venue or outside in the sun, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water the following day. It’ll help lower the chance of headaches or hangovers, which may improve your mood a little.
There’s no guaranteed way to prevent PCD. Being aware that PCD exists and that some people can feel sad or low after an event like a concert can help. And having this awareness, you’ll be better equipped to prepare for the experience.
It might be beneficial to have another concert or event booked further in advance so that you’ve got something else to look forward to after the concert.
You might also incorporate strategies people use to help prevent or manage symptoms of more general depression. These strategies may include getting high quality sleep, being physically active, and eating a balanced diet.
Most people with PCD won’t need to reach out to a mental health professional.
But if your symptoms are interfering with your daily life or last for over 2 weeks, you might benefit from mental health support.
Connect 24/7, 365 days a year by:
- Calling TrevorLifeline at 866-488-7386 or texting START to 678678
- Calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
- Texting HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line
Adam England lives in the U.K., and his work has appeared in a number of national and international publications. When he’s not working, he’s probably listening to live music.