Stephen Fry says Beethoven's music helps with his mental health

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Stephen Fry during filming of the Graham Norton Show in 2017. (PA via Getty Images)

Stephen Fry has told how Beethoven’s music helped to bring the “colour” back into his life amid his mental health struggles.

The TV star and actor has bipolar disorder and has previously spoken out about attempting suicide, revealing in 2013 that he had tried to take his own life the year before but was saved when his producer found him unconscious.

Speaking on the Art Of Change: Nothing Concrete podcast, Fry said the German composer’s music was beneficial to his mental health.

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“There is a healing quality to listening to it that actually helps,” he said.

“When combined with not drinking too much and walking and eating properly and all the other things that supposedly help one’s mental health as well as clearly one’s physical health.

“The purity and passion of art does help with the mind I think,” added the 62-year-old.

Stephen Fry poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Genius, in London in 2017. (Invision/AP)

Discussing his coping mechanisms, the QI star said he liked to “bathe” himself in music like Beethoven’s and to “think of people who have gone before me who have been lit by the flame of mania and doused by the icy water of depression and lived those lives of flaring up and going down and being close to the edge and how they have managed to do things and to achieve things and to retain their love and hope”.

He said one “clings to that”.

Fry said everything can feel “hopeless” and flavourless when you are feeling suicidal but that during the recovery period “you suddenly find that flavour”.

“Suddenly life has colour again,” he said.

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“And Beethoven is a perfect example of someone who brings that colour back to you quicker than almost anything else.”