Perhaps you can say that loneliness is one of the most profound emotions in the human condition. Loneliness makes us feel alone, isolated, and in a way, more introspective. Being alone isn’t always bad, though. Sometimes you can learn more about yourself, what you want, and what you should do when there’s no other person to focus on but yourself.
However, loneliness is altogether different. It’s a mix of sadness and the feeling of missing out on something. And what’s worse is that it’s highlighted even more when we see people having fun together.
There is no sure cure for loneliness. Oftentimes you just have to go out there and be around people until you find a group you can belong to. But as for the quick-fix for loneliness, there’s nothing like a good playlist to get all those feelings out. After all, sometimes it’s also good to embrace your loneliness so that you can better appreciate the times when you’re with great company.
Elvis Presley – Are You Lonesome Tonight
Let’s start off with this Elvis classic. Are you Lonesome Tonight was recorded and released after he was honorably discharged from the military. It’s such a fitting song for the time because of how lonely so many people have become after the war. The song took the top spot in the Billboard Top 40, and stayed there for quite some time. And that’s not surprising since it’s a song that so many people can relate to.
Lonely lines: I wonder if you’re lonesome tonight
You know someone said that the world’s a stage
And each must play a part
Fate had me playing in love you as my sweet heart.
Act one was when we met, I loved you at first glance
You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue
Then came act two, you seemed to change and you acted strange
And why I’ll never know
Roy Orbison – Only the Lonely
As for Elvis’ softer-sounding counterpart, Roy Orbison’s song is like a shout-out to everyone who has ever been lonely. Only the Lonely is about feeling so sad and along when the one he loves leaves him, and only the fellow lonely people of the world know the pain.
Lonely lines: Only the lonely know the way I feel tonight
Only the lonely know this feeling ain’t right
There goes my baby, there goes my heart
They’re gone forever, so far apart
Al Green – Tired of Being Alone
Who isn’t tired of being alone? Al Green’s soulful R&B song is about him pleading with a girl to end his loneliness. But no matter how smooth his voice is or how convincing his argument is, the girl he loves wants nothing to do with him.
Lonely lines: I’m so tired of being alone, I’m so tired of on my own
Won’t you help me, girl, soon as you can
Even though you don’t want me no more
The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby
“Look at all the lonely people,” The Beatles ask, and it just makes us see how there are so many forgotten souls out there living and dying alone. Even though Eleanor Rigby sounds catchy and upbeat, it’s the lyrics that really strike a chord with all the people out there who just want to belong.
Lonely lines: All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
Air Supply – All Out of Love
As with most songs about loneliness, All Out of Love pleads with a distant person to come back and set the singer’s life straight again. There’s nothing like being left by the one you love to highlight how lonely you feel. And in that loneliness comes the feeling of being lost without them
Lonely lines: I want you to come back and carry me home
Away from these long, lonely nights
I’m reaching for you, are you feeling it too?
Does the feeling seem oh, so right?
The Cars – Drive
This song has so many interpretations, but here’s a popular one: The song is asking you who’s going to go through all that trouble to make sure you’re okay? If you’ve got someone in your life, that person comes to mind. However, if you’re lonely and have no one to turn to, the song becomes so much sadder.
Lonely lines: Who’s gonna pick you up when you fall
Who’s gonna hang it up when you call
Who’s gonna pay attention to your dreams
And who’s gonna plug their ears when you scream
Celine Dion – All By Myself
Through originally recorded by Eric Carmen, the Celine Dion version is undeniably the more popular one. All By Myself is a song about how loneliness suddenly sets in when you realize what you want in life. Sure, in your younger years you wanted to play around and just have fun. But as you grow older and more mature, you start to look for a meaningful relationship that will last. Sadly, with all those years of playing around and not working on building relationships, you find that you’re all alone.
Lonely lines: When I was young, I never needed anyone
Making love was just for fun,
Those days are gone
All by myself, don’t wanna be all by myself anymore
Vertical Horizon – Best I Ever Had
This is by far one of the saddest love songs to come out of the 90s. Best I Ever Had is about knowing that the best you’ll ever have is now just someone from your past. In a way, you tell yourself that you’re glad you got to have some time together, as short as it was. However, it’s like looking into a bleak future of loneliness knowing that the best days with the one you loved intensely are far behind you.
Lonely lines: So you sailed away into a grey sky morning
Now I’m here to stay, love can be so boring
What was it you wanted? Could it be I’m haunted?
But it’s not so bad, you’re only the best I ever had
Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely
The Backstreet Boys may have been known to sing cheesy pop songs about love and heartbreak, but the first single from their album Millennium seemed to mark the maturity of the band. Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely is about missing the person who used to give you joy. But now that that person is gone, you ponder on how lonely your life will become from then on.
Lonely lines: 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
Sam Smith – Stay with Me
You love someone who doesn’t love you back. And yet you’re okay with whatever is going on between you two as long as you get to be in their company. Stay with Me is an undeniably sad song about knowing your “relationship” is headed nowhere, but still hoping and pleading for the other person to just stay with you, even if it’s under false pretenses.
Lonely lines: Oh won’t you stay with me ‘cause you’re all I need
This ain’t love it’s clear to see, but darling, stay with me
Hunter Hayes – Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me
Don’t be fooled by yet another happy-sounding tune! Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me is about feeling so much lonelier when you see so many couples enjoying each other’s company. You want to ask if cupid’s playing a sick joke on you for letting you be all alone while giving partners to all those other people around you. Frustrating, isn’t it?
Lonely lines: Sitting here lonely at a table for two
Watching lovers being lovers in the corner booth
Seems like even cupid don’t know what to do
Everybody’s got somebody but me
Echosmith – Cool Kids
Let’s take a step back from all the love songs and talk about one that many of us could relate to. Cool Kids is about the desire to fit in. It may have been something you felt during high school, but it’s also applicable even to adults. We all want to fit into the “in” crowd, and we all want to have a bunch of cool friends. But sadly, not all of us get into those exclusive cliques. So what do we do? We sing along to this super catchy Echosmith song instead!
Lonely lines: I wish that I could be like the cool kids
‘Cause all the cool kids they seem to fit in
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids
Christina Perri – The Lonely
Loneliness has a way of affecting so many aspects of our life. We may often feel the sadness sinking in, and it slowly seeps into the way we deal with other people or the way we do our jobs. The Lonely captures this perfectly. Loneliness starts off with heartbreak, and then the sadness seems to change you. Before you know it, you’re just the ghost of the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Lonely lines: 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
Lady Antebellum – Need You Know
The whole drunk texting and drunk texting phenomenon is a relatively new one, and Need You Now is one of the first songs to address this. The song is about just desperately needing someone to come back into your life. You dream about them walking through your door during your drinking binges, but you know it’s just wishful thinking. And the worst part is that the loneliness strikes during those hours when you have no one else to turn to for solace.
Lonely lines: It’s a quarter after one, I’m all alone and I need you now
And I said I wouldn’t call, but I’m a little drunk and I need you now
And I don’t know how I can do without
I just need you now
Guess I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all
Arctic Monkeys – Love is a Laserquest
In the same vein as Best I Ever Had by Vertical Horizon, Love is a Laserquest deals with that one great love whose memory you can’t seem to shake off. In this song, the singer wonders about the girl he used to love. It’s revealed that she was a notorious heartbreaker, so he wonders if she still doing that or if she has found someone to settle down with. But in all his wondering, he can’t get a hold of her. So during lonely nights, he just tries to convince himself that she was just a passing fling.
Lonely lines: Now I can’t think of air without thinking of you
I doubt that comes as a surprise
And I can’t think of anything to dream about, I can’t find anywhere to hide
And when I’m hanging on by the rings around my eyes
And I convince myself I need another
And for a minute it gets easier to pretend that you were just some lover
Look at all these people who are so well-acquainted with loneliness that they’ve created music to capture the feeling. So the next time you’re feeling alone, listen to the tunes on this playlist and know that loneliness doesn’t have to be something you need to deal with alone.