Alone Doesn’t Have to Mean Lonely: How to Be Happy by Yourself

“Sometimes, you need to be alone. Not to be lonely, but to enjoy your free time being yourself.” ~Unknown

First, let’s be clear, being alone is different than feeling lonely. The feeling of loneliness can arise even if you are not alone, or you can be alone and not feel lonely. It all comes down to the meaning your mind creates at that moment in time.

In my twenties being alone was something so triggering that I would find any distractions I could come up with to avoid it: partying, unhealthy relationships, constantly being on the go and busy… Being alone meant not being good enough—not good enough to have friends, not good enough to be in a relationship, not good enough to be loved…

I have learned over the years to truly enjoy my own company and now find being alone rejuvenating—most of the time. However, during the time of isolation and disconnection we have all lived in the past couple years, my old patterns and limiting beliefs around being alone have brought back that old, familiar discomfort with solitude on a couple of occasions.

Even if you’ve gotten to a point where you enjoy being alone most of the time, solitude can trigger some discomfort. Let’s explore ways to stop the mind from creating unnecessary pain, and learn how to enjoy being alone in those triggering moments.

1. Honor those feelings.

First and foremost, listen to what is happening within. As soon as you feel that a situation triggers difficult emotions (sadness, discomfort, anxiety…), take a breath and observe what the trigger was.

Maybe you came home from work to an empty apartment. Maybe you saw a happy family on the street, and you are going through a divorce. Maybe you spent some time on social media and saw families reunited for holidays, whereas you are away from family.

2. Do not distract yourself.

Take a breath and choose not to turn to whatever habits you might have developed to distract yourself from those uncomfortable feelings. Maybe you tend to open the fridge and eat, maybe you tend to turn on your mobile phone and scroll on social media, maybe you numb with alcohol, TV, or anything else.

Just pause.

Take a breath. Or two. Or three.

3. Trust.

Trust that you can handle the emotions that are there to be felt.

Observe the emotions’ flow, the movement of energy, with no resistance. Observe with curiosity and kindness the sensations within the body. Where are they located? Do they have a certain texture or color? What type of sensations arise? Tightness? Contraction? Sweating? Your heart beating faster?

4. Observe the thoughts and beliefs that make the feeling worse.

Observe where you mind goes.

Maybe you equate being alone with being miserable.

Maybe you think being alone means “nobody loves me.”

Maybe you equate being alone with being a failure or a burden.

Maybe you think being alone means “I will always be alone.”

As I mentioned before, I associated being alone with not being good enough.

All our beliefs come from what we’ve experienced or learned in the past. Maybe your grandmother was alone and perceived as a burden because everyone had to take care of her. Maybe in your family there was a big emphasis on being social, outgoing, and fun, going out and having friends around, and being alone meant being some type of loser.

Maybe your expectations are coming from the culture of the society you live in, expecting you to be married, having kids; and if this is not the model you are living, you might feel disappointed or you might think others might be.

Maybe it’s the optics that bother you most. “What would people think if I spend New Year’s Eve alone? What would people think if I am not married by thirty-five?”

5. Reframe what being alone means to you.

Once you observe those thoughts and beliefs and the negative impact they have on your state of being, give yourself permission to choose different beliefs.

Are those beliefs absolute truth? Or are they a construct of your mind and society? Are those constructs serving you well? Do you know someone who is single and happy? Do you know someone who chose to be alone for New Year’s Eve and enjoyed it? Are any of your single friends happy and free? Don’t you long sometimes to be alone, quiet, at peace

Are you ready to let go of those beliefs? If so, take a breath and make the decision that those beliefs are gone for good. Visualize them dissipating into the air as you breathe out.

Maybe reframe being alone as being free. Doing anything you would like to do, when you want to do it. Maybe being alone means being strong and independent.

Maybe being alone means being quiet, being at peace. Maybe being alone is simply giving yourself time to rest and rejuvenate.

The truth is that being alone only has the meaning you create for it, so choose a better belief. A belief that serves you right here, right now.

6. Do more of the things that energize you.

Now that you’re not attaching a meaning to being alone, learn to enjoy your own company by doing things you love to do, on your own.

  • Go for a walk in nature. Nature has a way of bringing you back to your true self, your natural self, to a state of balance and peace. Nature is non-judgmental. Nature is beautiful. And you are nature. So spend time outside. In winter, in summer, on a rainy or sunny day. Breathe, look, observe, feel.
  • Read an inspiring book from one of your favorite authors or spiritual teachers.
  • Listen to the music you love and give yourself permission to dance.
  • find a guided meditation that you truly enjoy and cultivate a peaceful, elevated state of being.
  • Move your body. Yoga is one of my favorites because it is a full mind-body-spirit practice, but anything from rock climbing to dancing could work—or any type of exercise you enjoy. Get the energy flowing.
  • Sign up for something you always wanted to do or learn, online or offline, like painting classes or singing lessons.

Being alone doesn’t have to mean being lonely if you stop judging yourself and let yourself enjoy your solitude.

About Dorothee Marossero

Dorothee is a conscious, compassionate empowerment coach who is redefining what women were conditioned to believe success, beauty, and life ought to be. Dorothee supports women who are struggling with a harsh inner critic, a sense of misalignment, and lack of clarity in their life, to reconnect to their inner-powers and rediscover self-love, presence, and joy. Download her FREE booklet: "Nurturing Harmony: A Guide To Thriving As A Highly Sensitive Being." here IG: @dorotheemarossero

In These Rooms, a Poem by Taylor Lane

I wrote this poem after one of my 12-step meetings, because it was important that I manifest the miraculous connection that we all shared in these rooms:

Coffee stains blend into the Berber carpet, adding more brown blotches with each passing year. Yellow paint chips break away from the walls that once held them, leaving behind blank shapes that morph into imaginary things.

The lucky ones who enter these rooms don’t notice the cosmetic imperfections, because what happens here is more powerful than any of us can describe.

Ego defenses melt away, remaining outside of these walls.

Anger has a right to express itself; the emotion isn’t shamed or tucked away to fester.

Salty tears can be shed without being silenced.

In these rooms, people don’t run.

In these rooms, people don’t judge.

In these rooms, people are accepted.

We enter as strangers, but come away as friends.

We share overwhelming emotions, giving our spirits a place to breathe.

We come together when we relapse, giving our spirits a place to heal.

In these rooms, we learn wisdom and mindfulness.

In these rooms, we learn how to recognize erroneous beliefs.

In these rooms, recovery bonds us.

In these rooms, something delightful happens.

In these rooms, we create sheer magic by being together.

About Taylor Lane

Taylor Lane has a love-hate relationship with her own brain. After struggling with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, she sought treatment in 2017 and has since been a major fan of 12-step groups, mindfulness, and her friends in recovery. She currently writes blogs on her site and is working on a 1-woman show.

Soul Art by Stephanie Reigle

This painting is titled “Self Healing.” I painted it with the intention and healing reiki energy to look within yourself for self-love, strength, and courage to heal.

Everything we ever need in our lives is already within us. Using this painting in your daily meditation practice will help remind you to look within and trust that you are whole and everything you need is already within you. You just have to allow yourself to tap into the healing energy!

About Stephanie Reigle

Stephanie Reigle is the owner and painter of Soul Art by Stephanie Reigle. She's a psychic spiritual artist who paints people’s soul guides, healing meditation paintings, soul blueprints, and more! Her Etsy shop is soulartbystephanie.etsy.com. There you can see more paintings she offers and place special requests.

The Anchoring: Audio Visual Meditation by Anna Shelley

The Anchoring is an interpretation of what seems to be a growing global pattern: We are collectively increasing our awareness of our impact on our land and gravitating toward ancient practices from the many indigenous cultures of the Earth. By returning to these practices that help sustain our environment, we’re once again becoming honorable custodians of the Earth. You can hear this concept reflected in the high ambient cosmic melody, which gradually merges with a lower more earthy melody.

As with all my music, I improvised this in one take. All I did was set the intention of anchoring the new thought concepts with the ancient practices of the original custodians of our lands, and let the flute turn this into sound frequencies.

I set this music to the sri yantra image, which represents all of the elements of the concept of the music. The sri yantra represents merging of the cosmos and the Earth, the feminine and masculine, as within so without, and the concept of harmony that can be obtained when we accept all parts of ourselves and choose to see that we can create harmony through the dissonance of life.

The sri yantra is layered with a watercolor painting I did in which you can interpret the different layers and movement in alignment with the music and symbolism.

About Anna Shelley

Anna Shelley is a musician, artist, and muse based in Melbourne, Australia. She spends her time expressing her soul in weird and wonderfully creative ways. Go straight to her latest music, meditations, and musings, over here: AnnaShelley.com/oh-hai and visit her on Instagram here.

Peacock Feather by Sneha


I am very close to religion and nature. I feel that both of them are really interconnected. Both give me a sense of hope in days of distress. Whenever I feel upset or anxious, I pray or go out for a walk in the park to observe the trees, birds and lake. These things really help me feel lighter, thus my upset/anxious mood gets a lot better.

I recently spotted a Peacock in the park and managed to save one of its feathers. It was the most beautiful feather I had seen, and it immediately lifted my creative spirits. I wanted to run home that very moment and capture it into my art book in my own imaginative ways.

I also knew that in Hinduism, the peacock feather is associated with Saraswati, a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion, and knowledge. These are the qualities that I would want to acquire to become a better version of myself, and I know my peacock feather artwork will remind me to work toward these things.

About Sneha

Sneha is a dreamer who is now exploring herself as an artist and trying and learning different things. She has recently created an artwork page on Instagram and on Facebook. She would not say she is great at it, but she's growing and improving day by day.

Karmic Eye by Claire Jones

“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Understanding the workings of cause and effect allows one to make sense of life. If you understand and believe all your actions have consequences, then the common sense thing to do is to pay attention to those actions.

This vibrant piece is my interpretation of how the invisible threads of cause and effect reverberate through the ether.

A practicing Buddhist of twenty-five years, I adhere to the law of cause and effect or karma. I live my life grounded in awareness, clarity and presence because of this law. As practitioners of Buddhism we understand that our words, thoughts and actions will always have consequences. This perspective allows us to accept and to take responsibility for our lives and environment.

About Claire Jones

Claire Jones is the creator of ClarityIsJustSoHip! Her Instagram page spreads love and light daily through unique IPhone photo-paintings and writings about finding clarity and beauty in the midst of crisis and chaos. The pieces represent her rebirth and journey back to whole health. She hopes her designs will add a bit more clarity, joy, love, light, beauty and color to your lives.

Siddhartha (Running Water) by Syne


Ever since I can remember, I have loved creating. There’s something about the process of making something out of nothing that drives the universe and satisfies the soul like not many other things can.

This is my passion.

I was fortunate to have been brought up with unconditional love and kindness, surrounded by the most dedicated and loving family one could ask for. They taught me to be curious and kind, and they helped me paint a beautiful picture of the world in my eyes.

This is my inspiration.

But as I grew up, I became exposed to the harsher realities of the world, to see the other side of people—the ignorance, the hatred, the apathy that plagues many, the division between us, the things we do to harm the planet and its innocent, defenseless beings.

This is my motivation.

My painting was tainted.

The more I grew up, the more powerless and defeated I felt, the more complacent and cynical I could feel myself becoming. But out of my affliction, I began to realize that I could contribute to the painting. 
I had a great vehicle of change at my disposal and I could use it.

So I decided to use my music and art for good, to try and impact whomever I could, and help spread the kindness, compassion, and curiosity that my family had ingrained in me.

This is my mission.

Please enjoy my first music video, Siddhartha (Running Water). It is about learning to accept change—a struggle that most of us deal with at one point or another—told through the story of Siddhartha Gautama, the man who would eventually become known as the Buddha.

I dedicate it to anyone who has ever gone through this struggle. If you can, watch it on a large screen with some good headphones or speakers to get the best experience out of it as possible.

I hope you enjoy.

About Syne

Tired of the apathy, hatred, and ignorance in the world, a young creative mind called Syne decided to contribute his grain of sand by inspiring wonder, curiosity, and positivity through his music, poetry, and artwork.

Transformation by Rita Loyd

The inspiration to paint this image came after reflecting upon how I have transformed from living in a dark place of depression, negativity, and self-hate to a place of light and unconditional self-love.

About Rita Loyd

Rita Loyd is a watercolor artist and writer. Her work is about nurturing unconditional self-love. Her art has appeared on over 100 magazine covers including Science of Mind. For more healing art and tools that will help you nurture unconditional self-love, visit NurturingArt.com. She also has an interview series here called The Power of Healing Art: Interviews with my Favorite Artist.

The Mountain of Should by Brady Gill

Many people are living inauthentic lives because of all the “shoulds” they are listening to. Some “shoulds” are from their friends and family, some are from the world around them, and many are the voice inside their own head.

The Mountain of Should reminds us that “shoulds” are a universal experience. It inspires us to imagine what it might take to let go of those “shoulds” and what is possible when we do.

About Brady Gill

One of the co-creators of Custom Camps and Camp Anywhere, Brady creates programming that combines the playfulness of childhood with the growing complexity of how to be a happy, fulfilled adult. Through his camps, Modern Fables, and work in professional development, Brady is doing everything he can to make the world a more playful, connected place. Visit him at bradygillplay.com.

Chalk Marks in the Rain by Maddie Southorn

I wrote this song, Chalk Marks in the Rain, after a devastating breakdown of a long-term relationship. My whole life changed in an instant, and I needed to capture those emotions and share them as honestly as I could. The song is entirely made up of my voice; I wanted to be the instrument and create layers and textures that mirrored the words.

About Maddie Southorn

Maddie Southorn is a UK-based singer, songwriter, and musician who has released several CDs over the past fifteen years. Music has saved her many times and is what she wanted to do since she was a child. She has a day job, but her music is who she is. She believes it’s the reason she's here and she wants to share it. maddiesouthorn.bandcamp.com.

Lilac Sky by Jules Giancola

(2017) acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 40″

In my painting Lilac Sky, I use bold, vibrant colors to reflect the energy and feelings emitted by the body. In this work, color becomes a way to express an element of nature and visually creates a merge between human emotion and the natural environment.

About Jules Giancola

Jules Giancola is a Toronto-based visual artist who specializes in ink drawing and illustration. Jules uses India ink pens and works intuitively to create repetitive configurations in the design of her work. Her mainly monochromatic works allow the emphasis to be placed on visual structure and the precision involved in their creation. You can find her portfolio here and follow her on Instagram @julesgiancola.

Heart of Healing by Rita Loyd

The inspiration to paint this image came after reflecting upon what I thought a powerful woman could look like. She is someone who is fully aware of her own light, freedom, and power. She is someone who feels connected with the universe, and the universe flows through the cells of her body and through the strands of her hair.

About Rita Loyd

Rita Loyd is a watercolor artist and writer. Her work is about nurturing unconditional self-love. Her art has appeared on over 100 magazine covers including Science of Mind. For more healing art and tools that will help you nurture unconditional self-love, visit NurturingArt.com. She also has an interview series here called The Power of Healing Art: Interviews with my Favorite Artist.

Happy Dog by Katya Buthker

Created using charcoal. Was commissioned as a Christmas gift from a husband to his wife. Original size was quite large at 19in x 24in.

About Katya Buthker

A natural born creative from the very beginning. However, it wasn't until hitting adulthood and feeling like something was missing, that sitting down and drawing/painting really became the outlet. A sense of fulfillment at last. It was the love that had been missing. www.katyabuthker.com

Lady Lullaby by Karen Payton

Made from hand embroidery and applique
“May lady lullaby sing plainly for you soft, strong, sweet and true” (from Crazy Fingers, Grateful Dead)


A little about my process:

About Karen Payton

Welcome to a world where peace, love, and hippies are celebrated with colorful textiles. Fabric scraps and old clothing get a second life when they are dyed, painted, and stitched together. Karen Payton’s background in the apparel industry along with her love for the Grateful Dead, yoga and practicing good vibes all have had an influence on her designs. www.karenpayton.com @karenpaytonart.

March by Anna Shelley

March is my favorite track to date, and it is a procession of all the elements of the self, as it marches forth into being. All of our emotions, our memories, our personality traits, our talents, our intuition—our multifaceted self that comes together to form the magic that we are here on Earth.

Conceptual in thought process, I do better conveying via sound frequencies than words. As with all my pieces, this is improvised in one take. I set the intention of what my soul wishes to convey, and the music plays itself.

About Anna Shelley

Anna Shelley is a musician, artist, and muse based in Melbourne, Australia. She spends her time expressing her soul in weird and wonderfully creative ways. Go straight to her latest music, meditations, and musings, over here: AnnaShelley.com/oh-hai and visit her on Instagram here.

Lilac Breasted Roller by Sheri Norlund

Medium: Colored Pencil and Acrylic Paint
Size: 9 in. x 12 in.

About Sheri Norlund

Sheri Norlund is an artist working from Salt Lake City, Utah. Her art is her therapy and escape from regular life. She would draw even if no one saw her work. She creates for herself to heal her soul. You can find her portfolio at sherinorlund.com.

Music for Painters by Michael Spivack

As a composer and producer I’ve always felt my path would lead to some kind of deeper connection with the mindfulness movement and that my work was meant to provide healing and nourishment to others while offering me the joyous vehicle of benevolent creation.

The seed for my recently debuted functional ambient music project, Music for Painters, was planted in early 2006 when I ran into a simple problem: I needed to find a way to use music as a protective bubble so that I could focus on pen and ink drawings in busy parks, coffee shops, and subway cars in New York City.

I noticed that listening to music on my headphones helped drown out the noise but could have other undesirable effects depending on what I was listening to. Pop music pulled my attention and emotional awareness in too many directions, while hip hop, trance, jazz, and EDM all modulated my moods in ways that I found counterproductive to the art.

After weeks of research, I stumbled upon Brian Eno’s genre-defining ambient works from the late 1970’s. The first time I sat down with my sketchpad and put on “Ambient 1: Music for Airports” I knew I was on the right track.

The non-invasive, neutral yet beautiful soundscapes seemed to activate a force field of pleasant equanimity around my brain. It provided the right amount of stimulation and aesthetic smoothness to serve the function I needed it to. Soon after, I set my course on developing a methodology that would lead to numerous sonic sculptures that would become my project’s seminal works.

Twelve years and a career in pop music production later, I’ve finally debuted Music for Painters publically with the premier of “Sitting on a Pale Blue Dot,” a thirty-minute musical sculpture inspired by the iconic 1990 photograph from the Voyager 1 mission which inspired the title of the late astrophysicist and humanitarian Carl Sagan’s 1994 book exploring mankind’s place in the universe.

The exercise of perspective, in this case the perspective of our home planet as one unified ball of light, is a very powerful tool in cultivating mindfulness and allowing a break in the habitual negative thought cycles that can drain our daily energy reservoirs and threaten our ability to feel grateful; one of the pillars of true happiness.

I’ve learned on my own spiritual journey that it takes conscious attention each day to cultivate a sense of connection to the gratefulness that already exists inside of me. Music for Painters is my offering to people looking for a healthy aide towards a better sense of connection with themselves.

By providing stable textural spaces designed to allow the conscious mind to slow down, create space, and to express itself freely, it can be used as a meditative or self-reflective aide; a safe place to focus on mindfulness practices or discover personal truths that may be obscured by the noise of daily life. Try listening in different environments and see how your observations change.

About Michael Spivack

Michael Spivack holds a Master's degree in Music Composition from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College and has since written and produced music for television, film, and artist collaborations. Under his producer moniker Prospect Lux, Michael has released two 5 song solo EPs “EP-1 (2016)” and “Cocoons (2017)” and received praise from several influential music blogs.