Humans are biologically wired to seek connections with other people. When this innate need goes unmet, it can be easy to feel the pangs of loneliness start to creep in. Everyone copes with feeling lonely in different ways, but for some, music can be a bridge to catharsis, belonging, acceptance, and companionship. Songs can soothe our emotions and allow us to feel like we’re not alone. Below are some of the best songs about loneliness that may help you through the moments when you feel like you’re all on your own.
“The Beatles” is a classic song about loneliness. One of the common downsides of loneliness can be a feeling of isolation. Although everyone in this song is separate and alone, they're all going through loneliness together. When you consider that there are plenty of others out in the world feeling just like you are, it may help you feel less alone. This song illustrates that all these visible people, like the priest, may not seem alone on the surface, but are lonely on the inside. It also hints at the idea and importance of reaching out and asking people how they're doing even if you're not that close with them or they seem fine.
In situations where people are happy (like the wedding mentioned in the song), it can be difficult to see beyond those moments—people come together, but after they've left, life goes on. In the case of Eleanor Rigby, all she has left is the rice on the floor of the wedding venue. This stands as a powerful image because even though weddings are typically busy and happy, the empty church following them is an antithesis.
In true 80's style, “Owner of A Lonely Heart” is far from a sad, cry-inducing ballad about loneliness. Rather, the song is about someone who is alone, but instead of feeling upset, feels strong. It is about taking a second chance at love even when you've been hurt before. Many people who struggle with loneliness may feel scared to reach out and create new relationships. They've been hurt before, so instead may choose to remain alone rather than risk being hurt again.
This is a powerful song for people who feel lonely because it shows that there can be strength in isolation. Retaining the ability to self-isolate and enjoy one’s own company can show that they're stronger than any hurt.
Many people experiencing loneliness are eager to fill that empty feeling with the company of another person. Often, this can mean that they settle for someone who might not be a healthy fit. The person they're with may not be right for them, but the craving for human interaction can outweigh this fact. Loneliness may not have anything to do with being alone, but everything to do with being around the wrong kind of people, which is emphasized in this song.
Many people feel as if they’ve found "the one," and when it doesn’t work out, every relationship after is compared, yet never measures up. This song talks about forgiveness toward a person who is trying to move on but is haunted by the shadows of the relationship’s failure and is fighting feelings of loneliness within a new relationship. It may be comforting to those who are still grieving the loss of a relationship.
The flipside of Eric Paslay's song comes from the viewpoint of the person on the other side of the relationship— the partner who is trying to make it work with someone who is lonely. This dynamic can be hardest on the partner because they cannot help or "fix" the other person’s feelings of loneliness. This song shows that someone right in front of us can often help address our lonely feelings if we only look their way and remain present. Many times, we don't realize how lonely we are or that we may be the lonely character in our own story. However, “Lonely Girl” can help us come to that recognition.
Suicide is a concern among people who are lonely, especially when their loneliness is connected to traumatic events. Many people who have suicidal thoughts isolate themselves and avoid reaching out to others. Depression can lead to isolation because people may believe they're better off not interacting with others or that they are a burden to those around them.
“How Do You Get That Lonely” is emotional because it talks about a stranger watching someone living with depression and wondering how symptoms can become so severe that they lead to suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., yet it is preventable.
If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and is available 24/7.
There's a difference between feeling sad and being depressed. If you are experiencing depression, a mental health professional can help address your symptoms.
A ‘90s classic, this song illustrates how it feels for people who have lost someone they loved and how it symbolically tears something from their hearts as life goes on around them. When a person dies or otherwise leaves our life, the grieving process can often stretch on for months or years; in some cases, a person may not move past the loss of a loved one. Grief counseling can help patients work through their feelings of loss and help them learn how to live in a world where "something is missing" due to loss. In the music video for this song, the girl in question dies by suicide. Death can leave loved ones feeling lonely themselves.
People experiencing loneliness may have trouble sleeping and find their minds wandering. The music video for this song paints a poignant image that can be easily relatable – the lone stranger wandering the streets in the dark. The lyrics include an interesting part that many songs about loneliness miss – it's all in the mind.
Many people who are lonely try to reach out for support but feel as if they fail to connect even when attempting to be social. People who are struggling to be social and make connections may benefit from therapy. If you are having a hard time reaching out to others and feel that your loneliness is getting worse, it can be important that you get help. Not interacting with other people is not necessarily a precursor to being lonely. However, less interaction with others can damage your ability to connect.
“Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” is another song about reaching out. While the girl in the song isn't lonely to the depths that many people are, her experiences – sitting in the club alone, walking aimlessly, etc., – are things many people can empathize with. The singer wants this girl to reach out for help because he wants to be there for her. In the song, he's trying to help end her feelings of loneliness. Many people do not have a supportive friend or loved one willing to help them through tough times and lonely periods. In these cases, talking to a trusted counselor can help.
Part of the song also illustrates that lonely people sometimes reach out to the wrong people who end up leaving them feeling even more lonely – "You don't have to wake up and miss me." The singer is saying he won't be there for this person in the morning, and they’ll wake up on their own to feel lonely once more. This is a fear many people have; they choose to remain alone rather than reach out because they don't believe anyone will be there for them in the future.
Online Counseling With BetterHelp
If you’re struggling with loneliness, having someone consistent and reliable to talk to may be helpful. With BetterHelp, an online counseling platform, you can schedule live video and phone sessions and exchange messages with your counselor. Every BetterHelp therapist is licensed and experienced in a variety of areas. Whether you feel most comfortable at home or elsewhere, online counseling allows you to connect with a mental health professional wherever and whenever,
The Efficacy Of Online Counseling
Online counseling can be a convenient way to connect with a mental health provider, and studies show it can improve your mental health. One such study from Palo Alto University found that video-based cognitive behavior therapy is effective in treating depression and anxiety. According to the research, approximately 73% of study participants saw an improvement in symptoms after six weeks, and the data suggests a “decelerated decrease in symptoms over time.” Those struggling with loneliness can often develop conditions like anxiety and depression and may therefore benefit from online counseling.
“I look forward to my counseling sessions. I have felt kind of lonely and cut off from a lot of people for this past year for obvious reasons and speaking to someone who is so knowledgeable and empathetic really helps me to remember that everything is working out.”
“Jamie has consistently helped me to work on myself. and I have never felt in any way judged by her. I feel I can be open and honest. which is very important as I have previously struggled with this (& as a result, counselling has failed). I feel Jamie understands me, my triggers. and my needs and her empathetic approach is greatly appreciated. I no longer feel alone in addressing my demons and am confident that with her support. I will get to where I need to be. I couldn’t ask for a better counsellor.”
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