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Talking About Our Experiences With Post Eurovision Depression Written by on May 15, 2023

It’s the Monday after the Eurovision Song Contest. Everyone is coming down from the highs of Liverpool, and many are finding themselves hit with what the community calls Post-Eurovision Depression. The ESC Insight team talk about their experiences on coping with PED.

We’ve taken a closer look at what PED is, here on ESC Insight, and one of the key things is to talk about how you are feeling – be it over PED or any other issue (depression addresses a wide spectrum of issues). With that in mind, we’ve sat down to talk about how we each address PED in our own different ways, how it makes us feel, and how we address it.

Ben Robertson

Only once have I truly felt that PED hit me hard, but I think part of that is because I have to be healthy about my relationship with the Song Contest. Once the month of May is over I take a break from the Song Contest, taking apps like Twitter off my phone and saying no to obligations to do with anything Eurovision based until the start of the National Final season picks up again. I ‘enjoy’ running which is far easier without ice on the ground and generally I emerge far fitter and healthier after a summer away from obsessing over every rehearsal and tidbit of statistical significance.

Without that break this circus is unsustainable, and while all of you know me for what I bring and comment on through the Song Contest, it is by far not my only identity. At this time of year I always wonder how I could ever have a world away from the Contest, whereas in October time I genuinely wonder how I could ever be in that world again.

It wasn’t always like this. I would say there was a window, between 2014 and 2017 at the beginning of my time at ESC Insight, where Eurovision defined me. I left Kyiv in tears. Those Contests prior in Sweden and Ukraine I had been heavily involved with and that wasn’t to be the case in 2018 as soon as we knew Salvador Sobral was announced as the victor. That feeling of loss hit hard.

You do not have to be defined by the Song Contest. Be prepared to leave it all behind in May, and come back to it whenever you are ready. This beast isn’t going to disappear.

Samantha Ross

The beauty of Eurovision is that, while a yearly cycle may end when the credits roll, the stage is struck, and I trudge, bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, to the airport the next day, I take comfort in the fact that I’m the one who drives the narrative of my memories of the show.

I can dive into my playlist whenever I want to. Instead of being beholden to the show’s set running order I can even change the order of the songs I listen to, skip over the ones I don’t want to hear, and even listen to the brilliant National Final songs that didn’t even make it to the international level. I can roll down the windows in my car and sing at the top of my lungs, just like I would have at Euroclub, a viewing party, or in the arena. I get to decide how Eurovision 2023 looks in the rearview mirror, and what I bring forward with me into the next cycle.

And between now and that next cycle, there’s always a smattering of news to dive into if you feel like it, and if you want to give yourself distance, that’s fine as well. We’ll start hearing word from delegations on their plans for 2024 before the leaves change in autumn, and Junior Eurovision will be gearing up soon, if that’s your thing. Take a breath if you wish, enjoy the summer. Eurovision will be back where you left it.

I’ve got lots to distract me before we head to our 2024 host city. I’ve got a wedding to plan, a job waiting for me back in Minnesota, and a cat to give chin scritches to. But I know that my well-curated memories will be ready for me whenever I’m ready to hit “play”.

Fin Ross Russell

In London, they have a saying which reflects that in their city, you’ll wait ages for a bus and then three will come along at once. This accurately reflects my feelings about the month of May, a month in which I celebrate my birthday, the culmination of the football season and most importantly, the Eurovision Song Contest all in the same 31-day period.

Once all these things have been celebrated, I always feel happy for the memories created but sad about the next twelve months I’ll have to wait until celebrating these events again. To make matters worse, the news cycle tends to slow around football and Eurovision in the immediate aftermath of the season forcing fans to go cold turkey on engagement with an important parts of our life.

For me, a really simple thing to do is go outside and take a walk, listen to my favourite songs and take in the sunlight. Physical exercise (even at simple levels) releases endorphins, naturally making you happier and depending on where you live, there are all kinds of fun ways to get active whilst enjoying summer. Even sitting on a nearby bench with exposure to the sun can provide your body with a natural source of vitamin D, a lifeline to your body’s energy levels and a massive mood boost.

As somebody who lives in Northern Europe, enjoying the hot summer weather and long daylight hours are a highlight of my year that I always try to take as much advantage of as possible. Whatever you choose to do, your feelings are always valid and you shouldn’t let anybody pressure you into moving beyond post-Eurovision blues until you feel ready to do so.

Matt Baker

For me, PED feels like a loss. Going to Eurovision is like meeting up with 300 of your mates for some oddly specific stag do. When you experience the Song Contest on the ground, you’re treated to a mind-boggling number of events, activities, invites, and ‘off-Eurovision’ sideshows. So, having Eurovision in abundance and then having it suddenly taken away from you when the contest ends is the biggest whiplash from heady ecstasy to unremarkable mundanity.

But when the wind machines are finally turned off; the last bit of confetti has been swept up, and acute PED has set in, there are now so many ways in which to treat symptoms. Nowadays, Eurovision has extended beyond the month of May. Fan events and meet-ups are a great way to feel connected again – a worthy excuse to rewatch that year’s contest!

I co-host the Second Cherry podcast which takes a retrospective look back at the songs that didn’t make it to Eurovision through the national selections. The episodes run from June to October, culminating in a live show in London. Listeners tell me it fills a void left by the contest but, in truth, I think it helps me get over my own PED!

John Lucas

From the dramatic build of National Finals season to the fast-paced rollercoaster that is the final week, Eurovision is a crazy, exhilarating circus that can leave you breathless and exhausted by the end.

Having been on the ground at Eurovision every year since 2013, I have a ritual of staying an extra couple of nights in the host city to decompress, take in some tourism and avoid the emotional whiplash of being on the first plane home on Sunday morning. If you’re watching at home, I recommend something similar. Once the dust has settled, make a plan to do something non-Eurovision just for you. Even if it’s just as simple as going for a walk or taking in a film you’ve been meaning to see for a while. The stats and the discourse will still be there when you get back, trust me!

Ewan Spence

I do take time to decompress after the Song Contest, and one of the things that help is the traditional articles from ESC Insight after the Contest ends. We have our “on the way home” podcast looking back at some of the moments of the Contest (you can find this year’s pod here, recorded just south of Carlisle, halfway between my Eurovision home and my family home). Our “Nine things to expect from the next host city” helps me look forward, while “National Finals that made the right call” reminds me of a whole year of music. I have less of a crash down and more of a glide.

The other thing is the Edinburgh Fringe. I’ve covered the annual arts festival since 2005 and Spring is when the artists, performers, agents, and managers are all looking to get interviews booked or features written. I have good relations with many of them, and they all know to wait until the Tuesday after Eurovision before approaching me.

72 hours after the Contest i have calmed down with a well-used routine, and I have a huge distraction to deal with. Does it banish the blues? I’m not sure, but it certainly gives me some focus to help me through.

A Final Thought

It’s okay to feel how you feel. Everyone is different. Talk about it. And if you need to find a professional to talk about it, do it.

Here in the UK, the NHS has listed a number of helplines if you feel you need to talk to someone anonymously about your mental health. Outside of the UK, there will be options, a Google search will find them.

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