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Looking for songs about loneliness?
Even if it’s an unwelcome emotion, loneliness is universal. It pays all of us a visit at some point in our lives.
The feeling of loneliness is not necessarily the effect of being physically alone. One can feel lonely in a crowd.
The physical distancing, lockdowns, and sheltering in place required during the pandemic mean that many of us have been living in isolation. Because of this, the CDC has declared loneliness as a public health risk.
Musicians are adept at describing the pain of loneliness. Hundreds of songs have been written about the experience of being lonely, and that’s just counting songs written in English!
For today’s article, we’ve rounded up 17 songs that best depict the feeling of being lonely.
The majority of the songs describe loneliness that’s caused by physical separation from a loved one. In addition, there are also songs that describe the pain of social isolation because of being different.
Before we dive into this collection, here are some tips for keeping loneliness at bay. Please note that these are only suggestions and should not replace the advice of a medical expert.
Quick Tips for Combating Loneliness
Whether you’re going through a low point in your life right now or are just in need of new tunes to mix things up a bit in your playlist, we wish you cheerful days ahead.
1. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely, Backstreet Boys
via Backstreet Boys
“Show me the meaning of being lonely. Is this the feeling I need to walk with? Tell me why I can't be there where you are. There's something missing in my heart.”
How would you describe the feeling of loneliness? For some people, loneliness is akin to having a hole in their heart.
This song is about heartbreak and the inevitable loneliness that comes from being separated from a loved one. In this song, loneliness is like having something missing from them.
2. I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry, Hank Williams
via Hank Williams
“Hear that lonesome whippoorwill. He sounds too blue to fly. The midnight train is whining low. I'm so lonesome I could cry.”
Sometimes, being in a strange place can bring on a wave of homesickness and loneliness. This song describes the isolation one feels when far away from everything familiar and dear.
3. Another Lonely Night, Adam Lambert
via Adam Lambert
“Another day, another lonely night. I would do anything to have you by my side. Another day, another lonely night. Don't wanna throw away another lonely life.”
Have you ever pined for a loved one who’s far away from you? This song describes that lonely, empty feeling when the one you love is not physically present.
4. The Outside, Taylor Swift
via Taylor Swift
“How can I ever try to be better? Nobody ever lets me in. And I can still see you. This ain't the best view. On the outside looking in. I've been a lot of lonely places. I've never been on the outside.”
At 12 years old, Taylor Swift’s interests and hobbies were different from the other kids at her school, and she was made to feel like an outcast because of it.
At that time, she had just gotten her first guitar. She wrote this song describing the feeling of isolation she experienced at school.
5. Wake Up Alone, The Chainsmokers ft. Jhené Aiko
via The Chainsmokers
“Will you still care in the morning when the magic's gone? And will you be there in the morning? Do you stay when it all goes? Or will I wake up alone?”
This song is about the uncertainty of showing one’s true self to another person. In it, the singer wonders whether showing their vulnerability to another causes the person to turn away, leaving them alone.
6. Astronaut, Simple Plan
“Can anybody hear me, or am I just talking to myself? My mind is running empty in the search for someone else who doesn’t look right through me. It's all just static in my head. Can anybody tell me why I'm lonely like a satellite?”
Many people who feel the pain of isolation equate it with being an astronaut adrift in outer space. There’s no one to reach out to.
Just like everybody else, lonely people long for connection. They long to be seen, heard, and acknowledged.
7. Away From the Sun, 3 Doors Down
“Cause now again I've found myself so far down. Away from the sun that shines into the darkest place. I'm so far down, away from the sun that shines to light the way for me. To find my way back into the arms that care about the ones like me. I'm so far down, away from the sun again.”
This song likens loneliness and isolation to being away from the sun, where everything is dark and nothing grows.
Loneliness shows us what we lack — the presence of a loved one, the acceptance of peers, or the company of others with whom we can share our life experiences. In fact, in her poem The Loneliness One Dare Not Sound, Emily Dickinson described loneliness as a “horror” and something to be scared of.
8. The Lonely, Christina Perri
via Christina Perri
“Dancing slowly in an empty room. Can the lonely take the place of you? I sing myself a quiet lullaby. Let you go and let the lonely in, to take my heart again.”
In this song, Christina Perri wonders whether loneliness is the appropriate replacement for somebody after a breakup. She ultimately learns to let go so she can put her life back in order.
9. I'm With You, Avril Lavigne
via Avril Lavigne
“I'm looking for a place. I'm searching for a face. Is anybody here I know? ‘Cause nothing's going right and everything's a mess. And no one likes to be alone.”
In this song, someone who is lonely is reaching out to others to end their feeling of isolation. They’re asking for help, hoping someone will recognize they are in need of companionship.
10. Invisible, Hunter Hayes
via Hunter Hayes
“Crowded places are the loneliest places for outcasts and rebels, or anyone who just dares to be different. And you've been trying for so long to find out where your place is. But in their narrow minds there's no room for anyone who dares to do something different…”
This song describes the fear and isolation felt by young people who are bullied for being different. Hunter Hayes offers a reassuring message that it won’t always be that way.
He assures listeners that, one day, there will be people who will offer support for those who have felt the sting of social isolation.
11. I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Whitney Houston
via Whitney Houston
“Oh, I wanna dance with somebody. I wanna feel the heat with somebody. Yeah, I wanna dance with somebody, with somebody who loves me.”
In this song, Whitney Houston expresses her loneliness due to being single. She longs to be with someone who can give her the love she wants.
12. Blue Moon, Beck
“I'm so tired of being alone. These penitent walls are all I've known. The songbird calling across the water, outside my silent asylum. Oh, don't leave me on my own, left me standing all alone.”
Sometimes, we just have to vent the frustration we feel that is caused by our loneliness. Beck does just that with his song Blue Moon.
In the song, he states that he’s tired of being alone. Perhaps he has built emotional walls around himself to keep others out. But now he’s tired of the loneliness.
Perhaps it’s time to break down those walls and let whatever’s outside in.
13. All by Myself, Celine Dion
“Living alone, I think of all the friends I've known. But when I dial the telephone, nobody's home. All by myself. Don't wanna be all by myself anymore.”
Here is another song that speaks out about loneliness. It’s about someone who has taken her previous romantic relationships and friendships for granted.
Now she’s alone and wants to reach out to others, but no one’s available.
Nevertheless, as the song progresses, Celine Dion realizes that love is the cure for loneliness.
14. Lonely Day, System of a Down
via System Of A Down
“Such a lonely day and it's mine. The most loneliest day of my life. Such a lonely day should be banned. It's a day that I can't stand.”
This song is a straightforward account of a person’s experience of loneliness.
It describes the day as the “most loneliest day” of that person’s life. The narrator even declares that a day like that ought to be banned. Wouldn’t you agree?
15. Scared to Be Lonely, Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa
via Martin Garrix
“Is it just our bodies? Are we both losing our minds? Is the only reason you're holding me tonight 'cause we're scared to be lonely? Do we need somebody just to feel like we're alright? Is the only reason you're holding me tonight 'cause we're scared to be lonely?”
This song raises the question of whether people are scared of being alone and that's why they stay in unfulfilling relationships, putting up with toxic people.
How about you? Are you scared to be alone?
16. Only the Lonely, Roy Orbison
via Roy Orbison
“Only the lonely know the heartaches I've been through. Only the lonely know I cry and cry for you.”
This song is about how only those who have experienced loneliness can understand why someone would shed tears when the person they love is gone.
17. How to Fight Loneliness, Wilco
“How to fight loneliness? Smile all the time. Shine your teeth 'til meaningless. Sharpen them with lies.”
Here’s a song that offers ways to deal with loneliness. However, as the song progresses, listeners find that, instead of being uplifting, the solutions only seem to make one sadder.
There you have it — 17 songs about loneliness. This may not be the most cheerful collection of songs we’ve rounded up for you, but we hope that this post can help raise awareness about how loneliness impacts our lives.
If you feel that you’re at risk for the negative effects of loneliness, we encourage you to seek the help of a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment.
Meanwhile, here are some useful resources for dealing with loneliness:
In addition, check these posts out if you’re looking for song collections for specific topics:
Finally, if you want to use these songs to make a lasting change to your life, then check out these 100 LIFE GOALS that can help you wake up each morning with a sense of enthusiasm about making progress toward what's important..