“Mental health needs to be talked about like physical health.”
Inspired by artists including Bon Iver, James Blake and The Japanese House, Luna Pines blend modern electronica and dream pop to dizzying effect. We caught up with Lotte from the band to discuss anxiety, childhood memories playing cops and robbers and The Cure.
What are you listening to, reading and watching at the moment?
I’m listening to a lot of Tycho at the moment, and a lot of local bands here in Leeds like Dharma Wild’s new EP and the new Night Owls EP.
What has been your biggest life challenge so far and what did you do to overcome it?
About two years ago I was diagnosed with a serious anxiety disorder that mentally crippled me and ruined a lot of things for me, I wasn’t able to go outside easily for a few months. I finally got help a while later and went on medication and now go to therapy all the time. I think it’s important to be open and honest about it, without people thinking you’re ‘oversharing’ because they feel uncomfortable. It’s a real problem especially in my generation and even more so in men. 84 men a week in the UK take their own lives – it’s an epidemic and mental health needs to be talked about like physical health, I can’t stress how important I find that now.
What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
My favourite days are when I get to play live with the band, or we’re writing music. So something with them would be great.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
My mum – she’s always been my best help and supported me the most. She’s helped me massively in the past couple years and I don’t know how it would’ve turned out if she wasn’t so lovely and supportive.
Complete this sentence: “Ace mental health for me means…”
Being aware of yourself. I’ve learnt that you need to know yourself, and what you need, and how to get to that place where you’re OK again. For me, I realised there were things in my life that weren’t helping me in any way, so I cut those things out. It takes time to know how to do that stuff, and most people like me tend to be quite self-sabotaging, so it’s not easy.
Do you have a daily routine of exercise or do you make it up as you go along?
Usually I just make it up.
Here at The Mind Map we remember playing football and ‘tag’ – running around the playground every day and loving it – can you share a similar memory?
I remember playing games like Cops and Robbers and Snakes and Ladders at school, that was always fun. When I was a kid I played tonnes of basketball all the time too, I need to start doing that again.
What three songs lift your spirits?
‘Sisyphus’ by Tootless, ‘Picture of You’ by The Cure & ‘Want You Back’ by Haim.
What is your favourite self-help book, or motivational quote?
I read this book once called ‘Staring At The Sun’ which is written by a psychotherapist called Dr. Irvin Yalom. It’s a fascinating account of lots of different patients he saw over the years, and how anxiety and depression seriously affected them all. It’s a very raw piece of work that really helped me understand a lot more about my own mental health.
What advice do you offer to friends when they are feeling overwhelmed?
Everything kind of seems like the end of the world in those situations, so it’s hard – but I’d say try to keep a clear focus. I once heard that anxiety is thinking that you have to do everything, all at once. If you breathe and focus on the fact that you only really need to concern yourself with today, it makes you feel a lot better.