Physically, your body is weighed down and your energy is heavy.
Emotionally, your soul is numbed and life feels meaningless.
I know this feeling well. And my experience being lonely has taught me that when you don’t have people to share memories with—life truly is meaningless.
There’s something inside every human that craves connection.
And that’s why, if you’re feeling lonely, it’s imperative that you overcome it.
Click here to jump straight to the list, or, keep reading to understand…
Why You’re Feeling Lonely
The first thing to know is that you’re not the only one. Millions of others are also feeling lonely.
What’s causing this upsurge in loneliness?
Surely it makes no sense? what with how we live in an increasingly “connected” world?
That’s what’s ironic. The more connected we become, thanks to the internet, the more disconnected we are.
Nowadays our relationships merely skim the surface. We text our friends. We SnapChat our stories. And we do our dating through a virtual interface.
…meanwhile we don’t even know the next door neighbor.
And that’s the paradox. Even with “more exposure” to people—loneliness and depression have never been bigger issues.
Why? Because we’ve lost the art of real relationships. Y’know…
…having a sense of companionship, comradery, and community… telling stories around a campfire and passing down knowledge from one generation to the next.
That’s what we’ve lost.
And that’s why we’re lonely.
What To Do When You Feel Lonely?
The first thing to do, as best you can, is take the emotion out of your emotion.
That means view your loneliness rationally. Realize it’s a signal that your life is out of balance.
The last thing you want to do is judge yourself for feeling lonely—as if it’s your fault.
It’s not your fault.
You didn’t choose your genetics. You didn’t choose your parents. And you didn’t choose being born in the 21st century.
The person you are right now is a product of environmental and biological factors that you had little control over.
But with that being said—from this point on you do have control. The remainder of your movie script is still unwritten. And you have the power to change your course in life.
And I promise that’s not just rah-rah motivational talk.
Only several years ago I was lonely, a virgin, had few friends, and had no hope for a better future.
You’d be amazed at the change that can catapult you to a new place in life—all within a few years.
But for that to happen…
You must make a decision.
A decision to view your loneliness as a warning signal.
And use that warning signal to change your direction and…
Create A Life You Love
So how do you create that life? A life where feeling lonely is a thing of the past? A life where you have an abundance of relationships? A life where you feel content?
I’ll give you the truth. It’s not easy. It’s a process that takes time.
You can’t build relationships overnight. There’s no quick fix to having more enriching friendships and romantic partners.
However, there is a process… a formula, if you will, that can accelerate the speed at which these relationships enter your life.
Step #1: figure out what kind of person you’re attracted to; the kind of person you would want to be friends with.
Step #2: become that person.
Why does this work?
Because like attracts like.
As you pursue, for example, a path of excellence, it’s impossible to not find others who are also pursuing this path.
That’s the long-term benefit of making your life awesome—the fact you’ll have more quality relationships than you can handle.
But, of course, you want to stop feeling lonely now… not years from now.
That’s the side benefit of pursuing this path. Loneliness becomes a minor detail when you’re busy living your life.
20 Ways To Stop Feeling Lonely And Depressed
In this list you’ll notice two prevalent themes: learning and taking action.
Learning and feeling lonely sit at opposite ends of the spectrum. When you are fully engaged in an activity and your brain is firing on all cylinders—loneliness has little chance to enter the psyche.
Takeaway #1: Learning is a great way to prevent yourself from feeling lonely.
Taking action is equally as crucial as learning because, when you’re feeling lonely, you tend to overthink and sit around. And that only causes you to become increasingly demoralized.
Takeaway #2: Taking action is great if you’re already feeling lonely and you want to change how you feel.
1. Learn the guitar
“I can’t just learn the guitar. Isn’t it expensive? And plus don’t I have to be musically inclined?”
Before you write this off. Hear me out. Learning the guitar is much simpler than you think.
For starters you can get a great acoustic guitar setup for under $200.
- Acoustic guitar (two years later this guitar still sounds great).
- A capo (for raising the pitch).
- Thin picks (strumming is easier with thin picks).
- Guitar tuner app.
Learning is also easy thanks to a free resource called justinguitar.com. After completing Justin’s beginner course you’ll be able to play basic chord and strumming patterns. And that will give you access to a large amount of songs.
What’s so great about playing guitar?
Playing songs in front of girls, of course!
But more than that, the fact that the guitar offers something for every skill level. Even beginner’s can have a great time.
2. Listen to The Joe Rogan Experience
In our increasingly isolated world we’ve lost something primal.
We no longer have deep conversations with friends where we philosophize and try to better understand the world.
That gap, thankfully, has been filled by The Joe Rogan Experience.
What can you expect from listening?
Chuckles, hearty laughs, inspiration, and eye-opening stories that expand your worldview.
In my experience—you cannot get lonely while listening to this podcast. It’s like having your best friend in your pocket.
But don’t take my word for it. Go have a listen and find out for yourself.
3. Listen to audiobooks
When you’re engulfed in a black vortex of loneliness it’s easy to lose perspective on what matters most.
That’s why audiobooks that remind you of your true inner nature strike a chord when you’re feeling lonely.
They did for me at least.
Back in 2015, when I moved to a new city, these audiobooks helped me get through the tough times.
And nowadays, when I’m feeling down, these are the audiobooks I revisit.
To snag one of them for free you can check out Audible’s free 30-day trial.
4. Follow a morning routine
Loneliness is often the result of boredom and of having no structure.
Think of the military. Everything is strictly structured. Every hour of the day is accounted for.
My own experience proves that loneliness has little chance to enter the psyche when your life has structure.
That’s why you should consider having a morning routine.
Here’s what I do every day:
- Short walk outside.
- Contrast shower.
- Work on my most important project.
This routine is insanely effective for setting a positive tone. You build momentum that carries you through the rest of the day.
And what’s more you never have to worry or wonder about what to do when waking up.
Few things in life are better for clearing your head than taking a walk.
Walking is wired in our DNA. Look no further than our hunter/gatherer ancestors who spent plenty of time walking.
But now with our lives of stagnation—sitting in offices, watching TV, being on the internet at home—walking is something we do a lot less of.
Because we don’t move near as much…
…is it a coincidence that we have more mental health problems than ever before?
The solution is clear. If you take more walks throughout the day—you will, guaranteed, feel better.
While walking is great for changing your mood—jogging takes it to the next level.
A 30-minute jog can significantly boost your mood and squash loneliness flat.
Findings lend support to preliminary work suggesting that physical activity helps people weather emotional stress. Acute aerobic exercise facilitated the down-regulation of negative emotions among participants initially struggling with this process on their own. These interaction effects are consistent with studies showing that regular sessions of aerobic exercise may protect against the onset, recurrence, or worsening of mood symptoms.
[…] those participants who had recently completed 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise were less affected by these initial perceived difficulties with emotion regulation as they reported less sadness at the end of the study than those who did not exercise. Acute aerobic exercise helps overcome emotion regulation deficits
Why is jogging so effective?
When you’re depressed, sad, or lonely you tend to become lethargic and most of your energy moves to your head. Negative thoughts swirl endlessly as you ruminate your situation.
And the energy in your body? it becomes stagnant.
Taking a jog, though, is the perfect way to counteract that.
Instead of being in your head, overthinking your situation, you get into your body by moving it and circulating your blood.
And suddenly your problems disappear.
7. Stop comparing yourself
Being on social networks and exposing yourself to the virtual feed of your friend’s lives, when you’re feeling lonely, is a foolish thing to do.
Why? Because you’re getting skewed information. People only post their best moments. So when you frequent those sites you get the illusory view that everyone is living “the life”. (Yet you never see their down moments, which inevitably happen.)
Feeding your mind that information only leads to comparison and judgment. And to the feeling that you are not enough.
That’s why staying off social networks is imperative.
You must focus on living your life and doing what makes you happy.
Otherwise you’re going to feel inferior.
8. Start a journal
When you’re feeling lonely and isolated it’s easy to get ensnared in an echo chamber of negativity inside your head.
But when you take those thoughts and put them on paper—something magical happens.
Your thoughts become less personal. And they lose their power.
That’s because seeing the problem directly in front of you—versus from the viewpoint of your very personal head space—puts emotional distance between you and the problem.
And that’s what gives you leverage to do something about it.
9. Envision your ideal future
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.
Why? Because they are logjammed in the machine, deadened down in debt, and living a lie, doing what others want them to do.
But to feel your life truly has meaning and purpose—you must take back your life and envision your future.
You must tie your present actions into achieving your future goals.
And when you do that—you become focused every day on achieving your ideal future—loneliness and depression become a non-issue.
How to envision your ideal future?
Open a word doc or take a piece of paper and write down everything you want to achieve in the next year, five years, and ten years.
Just the sheer act of writing down your goals sets forth motion.
And I can almost guarantee with certainty that when you look back on your list one year from now—you’ll be shocked at what you’ve accomplished.
Books can be your best companion.
Whether that be a great fiction series…
Diving into a great book, especially when you’re feeling lonely, can change your mood rapidly.
Instead of being sucked further into your thoughts—you can divert your attention into a good book that feeds your mind.
And that’s vital because, just like your body needs nutrition, your mind needs nutrition to keep growing and expanding.
Books just so happen to serve that purpose wonderfully.
11. Visit a cafe
Staying inside your house too long is a surefire way to spark feelings of loneliness. Even more so if you live by yourself.
That’s why cafes are perfect. They get you outside your four walls. And they put you in the vicinity of people.
While only being around people certainly isn’t a replacement for a relationship…
…it can help stave off feelings of isolation.
And, by visiting a cafe, you can kill two birds with one stone. You can…
- Read a book
- Study for school
- Do work on your computer
Give it a try if you’re feeling isolated. It can work wonders for your mindset and mood.
12. Wait tables
For college-aged and younger, I can’t recommend waiting tables enough.
If you have a tendency to isolate yourself, like I do, waiting tables is a fantastic way to force yourself outside the house to interact with people.
You’ll have a difficult time feeling lonely when surrounded by people at work.
And, not only does it open up opportunity to find co-workers who you share commonalities with…
…you also get to skyrocket your social skills due to the volume of social interaction you get on a nightly basis.
That improved social ability will pay dividends down the road when it comes to creating new friendships and relationships.
And, of course, you get paid decent money that you can pay the bills with.
Need I say more?
13. Drive for Uber
Driving for Uber, like waiting tables, is another amazing tool in your toolbox for feeling less lonely.
You can converse with people from all walks of life in your uptime…
…and you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts in your downtime.
All while getting paid fairly decent money.
Very rarely do people venture outside their groove in life. Every day is another dose of the same. Office, school, home… repeated ad nauseam.
The brain thrives on novelty and new stimulus. If you’re never exposed to the new—your brain won’t function as effectively.
Exploring new places, seeing new sights, meeting new people—these are great ways to activate and light up your brain.
While traveling the world is a great option—for many it’s not feasible.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t go explore the area you’re in and find something new.
Anything to get you outside the house, doing something new, will make a difference in how you feel.
15. Approach girls
Approaching girls is something that’s great on so many levels.
Nothing exposes your vulnerability and weakness more than approaching the opposite sex and attempting to make a connection.
You must overcome your fear of rejection. And in that very process you better understand yourself and you become more comfortable in your own skin.
And, of course, the main reason you’d do this is to have amazing relationships with beautiful women.
Never feel alone again!
16. Understand life is polarity
Acquiring the mindset that life is polarity—the highs are balanced by the lows—helps tremendously when you’re in a bad spot and you’re feeling lonely.
You can’t know or appreciate what happiness is without also experiencing what sadness is.
That is the nature of life. And it’s part of being human.
No, this philosophy isn’t easy to embrace.
But it absolutely makes a difference on your outlook in life… knowing that your situation right now is temporary… and that this too shall pass.
17. Go to bed earlier
Have you noticed how you’re more susceptible to feeling lonely at night? Weird, isn’t it?
Why does this happen?
In my understanding it’s because of evolutionary reasons: at night you feel safer with people around you.
Without people around you it’s much easier to feel lonely.
And now, with technology, this problem is only further compounded. Our bedtimes are pushed back as we stay up late to watch television, browse the web, and play games. This only gives our minds more time to chew on the fact that we’re feeling lonely.
While obviously you want to solve this problem by having friends or a mate…
…if that’s not possible right now, try going to bed earlier. This helps because your mind has less time to ruminate over your situation of feeling alone.
18. Get enough sleep
Your brain oscillates between two modes: positive and negative.
Each of these modes is highly dependent on your energy level.
The more energy you have, the easier it is to stay in a positive mood.
The less energy you have, the easier it is to slip into a negative mood.
So, for example, when you’re tired, you become that much more vulnerable to feeling lonely.
And that’s why prioritizing sleep is so damn crucial. And making sure you get enough of it in the right environment.
For most people that means 8-9 hours of sleep every night, in a pitch dark room, with temperatures under 70 degrees F.
19. Join Meetup.com
When you’re feeling lonely—taking action to remedy it, by meeting people and putting yourself out there, is the best way forward.
Meetup.com is fantastic for doing that.
And that’s for the simple reason that you meet like-minded people who share the same passions you do.
That means you already have something in common from the start.
From there, it’s simply about nurturing those relationships and taking them deeper.
20. Reframe loneliness
Part of the downside of living in society is that we must deal with unresourceful societal constructs.
One of those societal constructs is the belief that being alone is bad. And that if you ever find yourself alone—you’re doing it wrong.
But being alone, for reasonable amounts of time, can be downright incredible. It’s all dependent on your mindset.
You can either revel in your alone time and enjoy it…
…or you can wish you were somewhere else and resist being alone.
The Next Step Is Yours
This list is certainly not all-inclusive.
This is only what has worked in my life.
What about you? What has helped you the most in feeling less lonely?
Let me know by leaving a comment below! I read and respond to every one.