Photographer - Frankie Cordoba

Music - the ultimate pick me up

Whether you’re a skilled musician or prefer to sing solo in the shower, new Virgin Money research finds music is fuelling optimism and inspiring creativity during lockdown.

Music in lockdown

“I’ve always wanted to play the guitar, having been inspired by Keith Urban’s guitar playing,”

says Wendy from the Virgin Money team, who is currently learning to play the guitar.

“Lockdown has given me extra time so has been the perfect opportunity. It’s total escapism from everything that’s going on and has given me a positive focus. I see improvements each day which keeps me motivated.”

Are you a Lockdown Led Zeppelin, like Wendy? If so, you’re not alone, as our research* finds many people are turning to music to boost their moods during these unsettled times. Music is also the second most popular way people have been connecting with each other in recent months. We’re huge fans of music but even we were surprised to see it ranking so highly, only beaten by TV & Film. In fact, music has as much of an impact on the nation’s mood as catching up with friends and family.

Critically, music is a source for improvements in mental health and in helping people develop stronger, more meaningful relationships. Over a quarter (28 per cent) of people say they have developed better relationships with people they live with through shared virtual festivals and playlists, whilst one in four people admit they have opened up about things they usually wouldn’t talk about through music.

New technologies have also made attending/hosting virtual gigs and creating playlists a more interactive and accessible experience, inspiring greater creativity and togetherness at a time when physical contact has been restricted. The research shows 1 in 8 Brits are creating their own music – for example, learning instruments thanks to online tutorials or producing records – from home.

When it comes to what people are tuning in to during lockdown, pop music (34 per cent) tops the charts as the most popular genre Brits are listening to. This is followed by rock (26 per cent) and R‘n’B (15 per cent). The research also found that 38 per cent of people are using the additional time at home to discover new music, which is something we’re very passionate about at Virgin Money.

Ali from the Virgin Money team is a big supporter of finding new tracks and artists:

“Discovering new music has become a real passion point of mine in lockdown. Through listening to new music playlists on Spotify, catching new songs I hear on TV and films and listening to different radio shows – I am actively on the lookout for new music on a daily basis. To challenge myself to keep that up, I have started my own ‘Lockdown Playlist’ where I add a new song (sometimes two) every day – it is an eclectic collection! I’ve loved finding so many new favourite songs and it’s been great to share these with friends too, to keep us all going through these weird times!”.


Virgin Money’s Brighter Music Moments

COVID-19 has been deeply unsettling for us all in so many ways. We’re firm believers in music having the power to transform moods during dark times and this research proves that is true for UK consumers. 

The transformative power of music is at the heart of Virgin Money’s ‘Brighter Music Moments’ campaign. We want to help customers discover the most exciting new British music, both through our own innovative new talent pathway and our partnerships with two of the UK’s most prolific venues – London’s The O2 and the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, all while creating memories with friends and family through virtual experiences, unforgettable live events and exciting content.  

With festivals cancelled and venues unable to open due to lockdown restrictions, music continues to be very much alive for us – the Virgin Money Emerging Stars programme will launch in July and we remain fully committed to supporting this British music industry through this difficult period. We can’t wait for artists to take to the stage again and for music venues to be back up and running.


*About the survey
The research was conducted by Censuswide, with a sample of 2,004 general population between 22.05.2020-26.05.2020.


Before making financial decisions always do research, or talk to a financial adviser. Views are those of our mentors and customers and do not constitute financial advice.