Struggling with loneliness? Learn top tips to help you stop feeling lonely wherever you are and begin to enjoy these moments of solitude.
Disclaimer: Posts may contain affiliate links. We earn commissions if you shop through the links on this page. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. For more info, read our disclosure policy.
50 Ways to Help You Feel Less Lonely & Start Enjoying Solitude
Feeling lonely is like being stuck on a rickety raft in the middle of the ocean while everyone else is on a distant shore, laughing and having a good time. That’s a tough place to be, right?
While loneliness is a universal human experience, it’s not an experience we enjoy.
It’s not fun and can sometimes be downright painful. So, we want it gone.
If you’re looking for ways to banish extreme loneliness, then you’re in the right place. In this post, we’re going to explore 50 strategies to help you find your way back to the shore, to connection, to feeling less alone.
Ready to start this journey? Alright, let’s dive in.
What Is at the Root of Loneliness?
While there is no one single cause of loneliness, here are some commonly cited reasons:
- Negative experiences in early relationships, like neglect, abuse, or trauma, can affect your ability to form healthy relationships later in life.
- Social changes in old age, like social isolation, the loss of social networks, reduced mobility, and health problems, can also contribute to loneliness.
- Different ego functions, like aggression, anxiety, narcissism, and self-limitations can cause loneliness (and vice-versa!).
- Social norms and cultural expectations can play a role in shaping your social relationships and sense of belonging.
All these aside, the truth is that you aren’t alone in feeling lonely. Loneliness is a human condition. To be human is to be lonely.
In other words, it’s normal to feel lonely from time to time.
You don’t even have to be by yourself. Sometimes, we might feel alone even when we’re surrounded by people we love and doing things that make us happy.
And feeling this way can be painful.
Why Is Loneliness So Painful?
A brain imaging study showed that when other people reject us or when we reject others, our neural pain matrix gets activated. According to experts, we can say the same about loneliness. When we feel isolated and lonely, we physically feel the pain.
So, since this is inescapable, the only thing we can do is learn to cope with loneliness. The next few sections show you 50 things you can do that will help you connect with yourself, so you can feel a bit better.
1. Reach Out to Friends and Family
Reaching out to real friends or trusted family members may help you feel more connected, which is a great way to combat the pain of loneliness. Even a quick conversation with people you love and who love you in return can remind you that you’re not alone.
2. Join a Group or Connect With Like-Minded People
Joining clubs, meeting new people, or finding groups where you can connect with people with similar interests could help you feel part of a community and less alone. It helps when you come together because you share a common purpose.
Another great way to stop feeling lonely is to volunteer, which allows you to get out of your head and diverts your focus to helping others. Knowing that you’re able to make a difference in the lives of those around you can be a powerful and life-changing force.
4. Adopt a Pet
Pets provide companionship and unconditional love. They may also help comfort you in moments of loneliness and encourage positive habits such as regular walks or play. Among other benefits, pets can help ease loneliness by:
- Providing a sense of companionship
- Acting as go-betweens in human relationships, often facilitating the flow of emotion between human beings
- Giving physical tactile comfort, like cuddling or petting, which can help reduce stress and anxiety
- Boosting self-confidence
- Facilitating social interaction
- Providing a sense of purpose and responsibility
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment, helping you feel better about yourself and your life. By focusing on the here and now, you’ll slow down, sink into yourself, and relax. You may even learn to appreciate your alone time rather than dwelling on feelings of isolation.
6. Speak With a Mental Health Professional
Therapy can be a powerful tool in understanding and combating loneliness. Therapists offer professional help and guidance in developing coping strategies to ease chronic loneliness and social isolation.
7. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity doesn’t just improve your physical health. It also triggers the release of endorphins, which can improve your mood and help you feel a little less lonely. It also promotes better sleep and overall well-being.
8. Explore Nature
Have you ever wondered why spending time in nature can make you feel better? It’s almost magical, isn’t it? The great outdoors allows for quiet reflection and disconnection from digital distractions, fostering a sense of peace and connectedness with the world.
9. Start a New Hobby
A new hobby can engage your mind and give you back the excitement about life that you may have been missing. It also offers opportunities for social interaction with people who share your enthusiasm.
10. Join Online Communities
Feeling connected is a fantastic way to help you overcome loneliness. But what if your people aren’t anywhere near you? What if they’re on the other side of the world? Finding a group online could provide you with an opportunity to connect with them, providing you the sense of belonging that you’ve been looking for.
11. Write a Journal
Journaling can help you process your feelings, allowing for self-reflection and understanding. Why do you feel this acute sense of isolation? What could be contributing to your loneliness? What would make you feel less alone? You could discover the answer to all these questions by writing in your journal.
12. Read a Book
Reading offers a way to escape into different worlds and perspectives. A book can provide solace and an empathetic connection to the characters and the lives they live. If you keep a close eye, you’ll notice that nearly every human character in books also struggles with loneliness.
13. Learn a New Language
Learning a new language not only challenges the mind but opens up opportunities to connect with different cultures and communities. Other benefits include:
- Increased communication: If you can’t speak the language in your country of residence, you’re going to communicate less than you would otherwise. This can leave you feeling excluded from local life.
- Improved self-esteem: A study on bilingual people showed that they had improved self-esteem and were less anxious, less lonely, and generally much happier than monolingual people.
- More opportunities for social interaction: Learning a new language can provide opportunities for social interaction with people who speak that language, allowing you to meet new people and make new friends.
- Mental stimulation: Learning a new language keeps your brain more active, with bilingual people performing better on cognitive tests and having “greater brain connectivity.” As well as the benefits that learning a language has on brain health, the fact that you will be able to communicate with others means your brain will be more active and engaged for longer periods of the day.
14. Attend Community Events
Community events, such as fairs or concerts, offer a chance to interact with others and feel part of your local community.
15. Travel Solo
Travel, especially when you do it solo, encourages self-reliance and opens up opportunities for new friendships. Sometimes, the community we wish to build might not be where we are right now. Maybe you need to move to find them. Or maybe, the act of moving around and seeing the world is enough. I have to admit that this was my go-to before I got married.
16. Meditate During Your Alone Time
Meditation can help when you’re feeling lonely. By focusing on your breath and letting go of your thoughts, you begin to cultivate self-compassion and acceptance.
17. Engage in Artistic Activities
Artistic activities, such as painting, writing, or playing an instrument, can be quite healing. They allow you to express what’s in your heart in a way that feels natural to you and maybe even help you discover what lies at the root of your loneliness.
18. Play an Online Game
Playing games online can help ease loneliness by improving players’ moods and promoting relaxation. When I was growing up, computers were brand new, with only a handful of games available. I loved playing solitaire.
If this is something you’d like to try, then I recommend browsing Solitaire.org, which is a free website full of different online games.
19. Practice Yoga
Yoga promotes mindfulness and encourages a sense of peace and self-awareness, cultivates self-love, and helps you deal with loneliness. When you do yoga, you learn to appreciate these moments of solitude instead of stressing about them. If you’ve never done yoga before, read our post, “How to Start Yoga at Home for Beginners.”
20. Listen to Podcasts
Sometimes, we need to go further afield to find the people we click with. Podcasts can offer a sense of companionship and solidarity. Look for hosts whose voices and stories provide a comforting presence.
21. Write Letters to Connect With People
Writing letters can be therapeutic and provide an intimate sense of connection, particularly if they’re written to close friends and family. In fact, even if you don’t send out a letter, even if you address it to yourself, you’ll also benefit. The act of putting pen to paper will help you gain a greater understanding of and, sometimes, even a different perspective on your feelings…and yourself.
22. Take a Class or Course
Taking a class or course can help you find a group of people you can connect with, creating a shared learning experience that can help with feelings of loneliness. If attending a face-to-face class is impossible, don’t worry! Even online courses can have a powerful impact.
Why not try this self-love masterclass and allow it to change your life? Or learn how to create a space you love, communicate effectively, cook without having to follow a recipe, or even sleep better.
23. Visit Museums or Galleries
Visiting museums or galleries immerses you in new perspectives and ideas, providing a mental stimulus that can help you feel less lonely.
24. Join a Sports Team
Joining a sports team can offer camaraderie, regular interaction, and a sense of belonging, which are great weapons to help you overcome a sense of loneliness.
25. Cultivate Gratitude
Deliberately cultivating an attitude of gratitude can shift your focus from what you’re missing to what you have, fostering a positive mindset that can help combat feelings of loneliness.
26. Try Gardening
Gardening provides a connection to nature, an opportunity for physical activity, and the satisfaction of nurturing life, which can make you appreciate, not dread, your time alone.
27. Develop a Routine
Developing a suitable routine can provide structure and predictability, which can bring comfort and stability in times of loneliness. For ideas on what you could include in your routine, check out our articles below:
- How To Create A Personalized Self-Care Routine You’ll Love
- Your 10-Minute Morning Self-Care Routine For A Successful Day
- 20+ Quick & Easy Ways To Practice Self-Care During Lunch
- The Ultimate Bedtime Self-Care Routine For A Restful Night’s Sleep
- Spiritual Showers: How To Elevate Your Self-Care Routine Even When Busy
- 19 PEMF Benefits That Will Transform Your Self-Care Routine
28. Limit Social Media
Limiting social media — or doing a digital detox — can prevent comparison, which can exacerbate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Instead, focus on in-person interactions or deep, meaningful conversations. Or take this time to work on yourself, so you can look enjoy moments of peace and quiet.
29. Get Professional Help to Help You Overcome Excessive Feelings of Loneliness
Group therapy offers a space to share and understand your feelings with other lonely people, creating a sense of community and understanding.
30. Use Loneliness as a Tool for Self-Reflection
Use moments of loneliness for introspection to help you understand what triggers these feelings and how to counteract them, which will ultimately lead to personal growth. Sometimes, a therapist can help you explore why loneliness feels overwhelming.
31. Get a Houseplant
Believe it or not, taking care of a houseplant can also help when you feel lonely by:
- Giving you a sense of purpose — looking after a living thing always does!
- Reminding us of our connection to nature, which can be calming and stress-reducing
- Enhancing the beauty of your living space, improving your mood and creating a soothing environment
- Purifying the air and improving health and wellbeing
- Creating feelings of being away from social or physical demands…essentially, away from loneliness triggers
If you’re new to gardening, Ron Finley’s gardening masterclass might just do the trick for you!
32. Start or Join a Book Club
A book club can create a shared experience and discussion, offering an opportunity for social connection around a shared interest.
33. Reconnect with Old Friends
Reaching out to old friends can rekindle relationships and provide a nostalgic sense of belonging and familiarity.
34. Practice Self-Care
35. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal helps you focus on the positive aspects of life, shifting your mindset away from thoughts of “I’m lonely.”
36. Write or Read Poetry
Writing poetry is a great emotional outlet, helping to process feelings of loneliness and offering a form of catharsis. If you’ve never written poetry before and would like to start, I can’t recommend this poetry masterclass enough.
Alternatively, listening to poems can also help. I absolutely love this one:
37. Try Guided Imagery
Guided imagery techniques can transport you to imagined places and experiences, offering comfort and reprieve from feelings of loneliness.
38. Create a Vision Board
Creating a vision board can motivate you and help you focus on future goals, which can encourage a proactive approach to life and also nurture optimism and faith in your ability to achieve your dreams.
39. Listen to Music
Music can soothe and comfort, providing a sense of companionship. Creating playlists or discovering new music can sometimes be enough to ease the pain of loneliness. For some ideas, check out “The Ultimate Feel Good Songs.”
40. Take Long Walks
Long walks — or forest bathing —can provide quiet reflection, physical activity, and a connection to nature, all of which can help combat feelings of loneliness.
41. Learn to Play a Musical Instrument
Learning to play a musical instrument provides a sense of achievement, focus, and potentially new social opportunities through music groups or lessons — whether online or face-to-face.
42. Validate Your Feelings When You Feel Alone
When it comes to loneliness — just like other emotions, it’s sometimes better to just sit with it. You don’t even have to find a way to “cure” it. Feel your feelings without judging. Accept that you’re lonely. You’ll be surprised how quickly the feeling passes.
If you’d like to accelerate it, though, I get great results from Brad Yates’ tapping videos:
43. Join a Gym
Joining a gym can lead to regular interaction with others, as well as the physical benefits of exercise, which can boost mood and reduce feelings of loneliness.
44. Start a Blog or Vlog
Starting a blog or vlog provides an outlet to express your thoughts and feelings, connect with others, and form a virtual community. The downside? You have to let yourself become vulnerable and allow people to see you, which can be particularly scary, given how cruel some people can be online.
45. Attend Religious Services
If applicable to your beliefs, attending religious services can provide a strong sense of community and shared identity, helping to combat loneliness.
46. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calm and presence, reducing feelings of loneliness.
47. Explore Podcasting
Starting your own podcast can connect you with others who share your interests, providing a platform for conversation and engagement. Same disclaimer as blogs or vlogs applies here.
48. Go on Nature Retreats
Nature retreats provide an opportunity for peaceful reflection and disconnection from daily stressors, which can be beneficial in combating feelings of loneliness.
49. Try Dance Classes
Dance classes offer physical activity as well as social interaction, boosting mood and providing opportunities for connection with others.
50. Focus on Personal Development
Investing in personal development, such as improving your friendship skills or exploring self-improvement courses, can provide focus and personal growth, which can help alleviate feelings of loneliness.
Remember, You’re Not Alone in Feeling Lonely
And there you have it — 50 ways to help you alleviate the pain of loneliness.
You might be thinking, “This is all great, but I still feel lonely.” You know what? That’s okay. You’re not alone in feeling alone. Your feelings are real, and they matter.
So, where do you go from here? Well, that’s up to you. No, really. Maybe you could try just one of these suggestions today. Just one step. You’ve got this, right? Take it at your pace. And if you need to, remember that it’s okay to reach out for help.
FAQ About How to Stop Feeling Extremely Lonely
Have questions about what to do so you stop feeling extremely lonely? Check out the FAQ below:
1. Why do I often feel lonely?
Feeling lonely is a common and natural human emotion that might feel like isolation or a lack of connections with people. Loneliness can be influenced by various factors, such as life changes, social circumstances, or personal experiences. It doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s wrong with you.
2. What can I do to stop feeling lonely?
There are many ways to stop feeling lonely, like the 50 ways discussed in this article. Remember that overcoming loneliness can take time and effort. Here are a few things to get you started:
- Make connections with people who share similar interests or hobbies
- Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment — even if you’re alone
- Seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by loneliness
- Take advantage of alone time to self-reflect and practice self-care
3. How do I accept being alone?
Accepting being alone can be challenging, but it’s possible with a positive mindset and self-improvement. Here are some suggestions that may help you (according to experts):
- Shift your focus to personal growth and self-discovery
- Learn to enjoy your own company and embrace solitude when you feel alone
- Recognize that being alone or indulging in alone time is an opportunity for self-care and personal development.
- Practice mindfulness and gratitude to find contentment within yourself
4. What does it mean to feel lonely?
Loneliness means different things to different people. It’s a subjective experience that may include emotions of emptiness, sadness, or a longing for companionship. Loneliness can also manifest as a sense of disconnectedness from others.
5. Can I feel lonely even if I’m surrounded by people?
Yes, you can feel lonely even when you’re in the company of others. Loneliness is not solely determined by the physical presence of people but by the quality and depth of our connections with them.
6. Is it normal to feel extremely lonely?
Yes, it’s normal to feel extremely lonely at times. Loneliness is a common emotion experienced by many people at different times, and it can be a result of various factors such as social isolation, loss of relationships, or life transitions.
7. Does feeling extremely lonely mean there’s something wrong with me?
No, feeling extremely lonely from time to time does not mean there is something inherently wrong with you. Loneliness is a common human experience, and everyone may feel lonely at some point in their lives. Remember that emotions are a natural part of being human and do not define your worth or character.
8. Does loneliness ever go away?
Yes, loneliness may go away. Loneliness may be a temporary state of mind, and with time and effort, you can overcome it. Loneliness, after all, is a natural emotion and an indication that you feel like you’re lacking social connections. By actively seeking out social interactions and taking steps to improve your social life, you may find that loneliness is no longer as intense, or doesn’t happen too frequently.
9. Are there any benefits to feeling extremely lonely?
While loneliness itself isn’t desirable, experiencing feelings of extreme loneliness can encourage self-reflection and introspection. It may prompt you to evaluate your social interactions, values, and priorities, ultimately leading to personal growth and a deeper understanding of yourself.
Note: The information on this website is for general information only, and is not a substitute for medical, financial, or legal advice. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek independent medical, legal, financial, taxation or other advice to check how the website information relates to your unique circumstances. If you or the person you are concerned about appear at risk of self-harm or harm to others, please seek immediate professional assistance.