Studies show that one in five people experience loneliness at any given time. And the fact that we’re not doing more shows how much stigma continues to exist, and how unwilling we are to open up. Here are 15 tracks that embraced vulnerability and acknowledged a frail state of mind.
One More Light by Linkin Park
Not a lot of songs can move me. But this track did. And what’s heartbreaking is we saw the signs. But we were too late to stop them from unfolding. I guess the cynics are right to question the human race’s significance in the grand scheme of things. But when viewed from the lens of an individual, a person can mean the world. Chester was that for many.
I Get Lonely by Janet Jackson
There’s the loneliness caused by isolation. But often, there’s one brought about by the memory of a person who used to be yours. Janet Jackson’s soft and intimate voice adds to the longing and despair. When dealing with something similar, many get angry and frustrated. But separation can also cause weakness and surrender like she’s conveying.
Another Lonely Night by Adam Lambert
People can tell you to get out of a rut or to turn things around with a sense of urgency. But the truth of the matter is, there’s nothing you’d want more than to do the same. Loneliness is a bitch. And it can haunt you day in and day out. And Adam Lambert captures just how inescapable the feeling becomes.
I’m With You by Avril Lavigne
When I was young, I always thought there’d be someone meant for each and every one of us. I think I was stupid for believing in soulmates. And part of what gets you through the experience of being single is the thought that things will change. But what if it doesn’t, and we are on this journey with nothing but our imagination?
Love Song for No One by John Mayer
I think John Mayer has a way of verbalizing what’s in many of our heads. Not that “tired of being alone” is groundbreaking lyrics. But there’s a simplicity and directness that’s rare, and at the same time, accurate about his songwriting. If John Mayer still gets lonely despite his talent and fortune, then our company isn’t too bad.
Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo
One ugly aspect of loneliness is the coping mechanism we choose to endure the pain. A lot of times, they deal with experiences that reduce suffering and heighten our senses to maximum pleasure. Not all of them are healthy – getting high, drinking alcohol, sleeping around, etc. But it does make a difference in getting through the day.
Skinny Love by Bon Iver
The cliche that being alone doesn’t mean being lonely is equally valid if we reverse the phrase. Justin Vernon has the physical connection that would make for momentary pleasure in “Skinny Love.” But intimacy is the last thing motivating the two. While that alleviates some urges, isolation is a more potent force that persists.
Song for the Lonely by Cher
Besides the song title matching the article name, “Song for the Lonely” is a necessary selection in a playlist about loneliness. This is a needed anthem from one of the biggest pop superstars to walk this planet. Her powerful voice gives us an anchor to hold onto, and the beat nudges us to a slightly more cheerful position.
Unsteady by X Ambassadors
Given how widespread loneliness has become, that not a lot of people are reaching out is troubling. X Ambassadors seek out help in “Unsteady.” And we should make the same request if we end up in a similar predicament. The feeling is one I’d never wish on my worst enemy. And lending a hand is something we should extend to anyone asking for it.
Kiss the Rain by Billie Myers
If Hollywood overused an image to depict drama, it would have to be conversations and walks in the rain. And it doesn’t help that Billie Myers used it for his 90s hit. The experience is to be avoided. But to get a sensation other than longing, the water’s contact with our body helps take away the mind from the real distraction of separation.
Nobody by Mitski
Mitski put into words why many of us with a lot of pride prefer the agony of loneliness. And that is the rejection of pity. As if our perceptions are accurate. And even if they were, does it matter? But in her most straightforward is where’s she’s at her best. Despite doing what people expected of her, she’s still unwanted. And that just sucks.
Solo by Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean’s play on words is genius. Going solo can get you so low. While I don’t discredit people who want to experience things alone, the journey can get lonely for some. There’s irony in being free from expectations and having no one to impress. But it also means dealing with life’s problems on your own. Or at times, with your vices.
Winter Winds by Mumford & Sons
If you’ve ever been heartbroken, the heart and the mind tend to clash. If love can hurt that badly, why subject yourself to the same experience again? Yet, the absence of love creates loneliness, which is just as evil. Mumford and Sons get themselves on a tug of war on how to move forward. And the cold doesn’t help.
The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
Our thoughts are crazy and bring our emotions on rollercoaster rides. And when you get to the climax, nothing is scarier. And it pays to put things into perspective. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World gives us comfort in knowing that many of the problems we face today will pass.
Dancing on My Own by Robyn
Being in a crowd and not being seen is awful. But Robyn described the situation we all once ended up at – the one you’re eyeing getting caught up with someone else. If subjecting yourself to the image of the pair isn’t going to trigger emotions of loneliness, I don’t know what else will.