Songs about loneliness have a way of making us feel a little less alone.
Everyone has felt isolated at some point in life, whether you were one of the unpopular kids at school or went through a breakup. It’s simply part of life.
Fortunately, countless singers and songwriters have written and performed many songs about when they were feeling lonely too.
The Best Songs About Loneliness & Being Alone
We’ve spent hours researching and scouring hundreds of playlists to assemble this comprehensive catalog of the greatest songs for all the lonely people across the globe.
Here’s our playlist of the 23 best songs about loneliness and being alone:
23. Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) – P!nk
“Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)” is a power pop song that’s a must-have for your lonely night playlist, especially if you feel conflicted.
You can also find another one of P! nk’s popular songs, “Just Give Me A Reason,” on our list of best karaoke duets of all time.
This song is much different from all the other songs we’ve mentioned. The narrator here is telling their significant other that they need some space, but they also don’t want them to leave.
In 2007, the song peaked at #34 on the UK Singles chart and #5 on the Australian ARIA chart and Top 40 Singles chart in New Zealand. It also topped out at #11 in Slovakia and #44 in Romania within the same year.
22. You Are Not Alone – Michael Jackson
This emotional R&B song was originally written by singer R. Kelly, who wrote about losing people he loved in his personal life.
The lyrics depict a male narrator who blames himself for his woman leaving him but who also feels that her love stays with him even though she isn’t physically there.
“You Are Not Alone” is the first song ever to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also topped charts worldwide, including in France, the UK, Romania, Switzerland, and Spain in 1995.
21. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry – Hank Williams
This tune is one of the saddest country songs to date. Hank Williams always has a way of standing the test of time with his poetic and profound lyrics.
“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” is a hauntingly beautiful piece of music that describes Williams’ loneliness resulting from his relationship with his first wife.
Many different musicians have also covered the song, including Buddy Williams, Glen Campbell, John Waite, LeAnn Rimes, Evanescence, and Elvis Presley.
In 1966, the song rose to #43 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. And in 2003, it ranked #29 on CMT’s 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.
20. Dancing On My Own – Robyn
“Dancing On My Own” is an electropop anthem for all the lonely people who’ve lost their lovers.
The raw lyrics share the story of a girl who spots her ex dancing with another woman at a club. It describes the loneliness and heartbreak we all experience after a breakup, especially when we cross paths with them afterward.
The hit song took #22 on the European Hot Singles chart and #8 in the UK in 2010. Many other artists have also covered the song, including Britain’s Got Talent contestant Calum Scott in 2016.
19. How To Fight Loneliness – Wilco
If you’re looking for something in the alternative rock genre, this song is for you. We also picked Wilco as part of our best sweet 16 songs playlist with their track, “My Darling.”
This song about being alone sarcastically offers a cure for loneliness by pretending to be okay when you’re not. However, some say it should be taken more literally.
“How To Fight Loneliness” is the eighth track on Wilco’s third studio album, Summerteeth. The album itself peaked at #78 on the Billboard 200 in 1999 and sold over 200,000 copies in the same year.
18. Lonely – Akon
This R&B hit is from Akon’s debut studio album, Trouble. It features a famous, high-pitched sample from Bobby Vinton’s 1964 song, “Mr. Lonely.”
It’s essentially about a man who takes his woman for granted. Once she’d had enough of his behavior, she left him, thus causing him to realize his appreciation for her.
“Lonely” charted at #1 in many countries, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, and the UK, in 2005. It also peaked at #4 in the U.S. and #2 in France the same year.
17. Alone Again – Gilbert O’Sullivan
“Alone Again” is one of the most depressing songs of all time that tells of desperate events in a man’s life.
The lyrics share the story of a suicidal man who lost his parents at a young age and is eventually left at the altar. His life is nothing short of tragic, so he laments over it in this sorrowful song.
“Alone Again” spent six straight weeks in the #1 spot on the Easy Listening chart in 1972. Billboard also ranked it the second-best song of 1972.
16. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” tells the story of a lonely girl who can’t stand being on her own for another minute and describes her longing to find long-term love.
The song hit #2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart in 1987. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1988 and topped charts in 18 countries.
15. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
“Here I Go Again” is one of the catchiest songs about feeling lonely that the music industry has ever heard. It just might make you dance a little, which could help relieve some of your pain.
Dead-end marriages are a common theme in songs about being alone. This one is no different, with lyrics about the loneliness and heartbreak felt by lead singer David Coverdale when his marriage was falling apart.
The song went #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987, and VH1 ranked it #17 on their 100 Greatest Songs of the 80s. Rolling Stone also ranked it #9 in the Best Hair Metal Songs of All Time in 2012.
14. The Outside – Taylor Swift
This one’s perfect for those who never quite fit in with the cool kids. And if you’re a big Taylor fan, you can also find another one of her popular songs on our list of best songs to wake up to.
Taylor Swift wrote “The Outside” at age 12, which describes her experience of being an outcast in middle school.
In an Entertainment Weekly interview in 2007, she commented on the song, “It’s about what I was going through at the time. I was a complete outcast at school and never fit in, never felt like I belonged.”
This was one of eleven other songs on her self-titled debut album, which topped the Billboard Top Country Album charts for twenty-four straight weeks in 2006. It also earned Swift an award for Best New Artist at the 2007 Country Music Association Awards.
13. Here Without You – 3 Doors Down
This one’s great for a lonely, rainy night when all you want is your significant other by your side.
“Here Without You” walks through the sheer hell of the narrator, who is missing his woman. The main inspiration came from lonely nights on the road touring and how the guys missed their significant others.
The song charted at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Mainstream Top 40 charts in 2003. It also took the #1 spot on the Adult Top 40 chart in the same year, remaining for 13 consecutive weeks.
12. All By Myself – Eric Carmen
You’ve probably seen this among the best TikTok songs or on Instagram reels, as it’s a commonly-used song for social media videos. It’s the perfect song to listen to when you need a good cry.
This power ballad features simple lyrics that focus on the desire for human connection. It talks about how living life alone isn’t how it’s supposed to be.
“All By Myself” took #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1975 and sold over 1 million copies in the United States in 1976.
11. Pictures Of You – The Cure
Here’s another good song to play when you feel lonely, especially if you like synth-rock.
“Pictures Of You” was inspired by pictures of loved ones in band member Robert Smith’s wallet. The song’s overall theme is losing love and holding onto what used to be.
It charted at #9 in Ireland and #18 in Germany in 1990. Rolling Stone also ranked it #283 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2011.
10. Only The Lonely (Know The Way I Feel) – Roy Orbison
This lonesome tune became Orbison’s first major hit in his music career. However, he originally wanted to give the song to Elvis Presley or the Everly Brothers.
The song’s setting takes place on a lonely night and features the narrator sharing how it feels to feel so alone after his lady left him.
“Only The Lonely (Know The Way I Feel)” hit #2 on Billboard Pop and #14 on the R&B chart in 1960. Sonny James also covered the song, which hit #1 on the Billboard Country Music chart in 1991.
9. Tired Of Being Alone – Al Green
If you feel incredibly lonely, you can find solace in this song by the legendary Al Green.
The meaning behind the soul song is quite simple. The narrator experiences sleepless nights missing his lover and wishing she would take him back.
“Tired Of Being Alone” went #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the Soul Singles chart in 1971. Billboard also ranked it the 12th-best song of 1971.
8. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
The Beatles write lyrics about a variety of topics and also have their song, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” on our best songs about money playlist.
“Eleanor Rigby” was inspired by an old woman Paul McCartney knew who lived by herself. Its lyrics highlight the lonely old ladies and other people around us in an attempt to invoke sympathy for them.
This sad rock song topped the charts around the globe in 1966, including in Australia, Belgium, Canada, and New Zealand. It also won a Grammy Award in 1967 for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance.
7. Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
“Lonely Boy” is the perfect song to listen to if you feel like some good, old-fashioned blues-rock.
In it, the narrator shares a sad tale of how he is still lonely even in the presence of the woman he loves.
He originally thinks that she isn’t good enough for him but falls in love with her anyways. But then, he regrets his decision to stay with her after she mistreats him.
The track earned a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song in 2013. It also charted at #2 in Australia and #33 in Canada during that same year.
6. Lonely Avenue – Ray Charles
This song was originally written by Doc Pomus and released by Ray Charles in 1956. It was one of the first songs The Beatles rehearsed when they started their band.
“Lonely Avenue” is one of many songs about being alone and discusses how the narrator is an emotional wreck after his woman leaves him to start a new life.
The rhythm and blues hit was the #89 song on the R&B chart in 1956. It also took the #10 spot on the Cash Box Rhythm & Blues Top 20 in the same year.
5. Drive – The Cars
Among the many lonely hits on this playlist, “Drive” is one of the most heart-wrenching because it’s about another person who is in dire need of some help.
The song captures the struggle of a person heading down a destructive path. Finally, the narrator tells them that they can’t go on like this, and if they do, they’ll eventually have no one left to support them.
“Drive” took the #3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1984. It also went #1 in Canada during the same year.
4. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day is one of the best loneliness songs of all time, particularly in the alternative rock genre.
The lyrics describe walking empty streets in a city. Many believe that this has a deeper meaning relating to the narrator’s broken dreams of making a good life for himself.
As of 2021, this song is the only one to ever take home a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and an MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year in 2005.
3. Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley
“Are You Lonesome Tonight” was originally written in 1926 and recorded by various artists, from Henry Burr to Merle Haggard. Its lyrics feature a lonely narrator asking his former lover if she happens to feel lonely like he does.
The somber tune hit #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100, Cash Box Top 100, and R&B charts in 1960. In 2008, Billboard ranked it #81 on their magazine’s Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs list.
2. Everybody Hurts – R.E.M
You can find more R.E.M. songs on our best happy songs and best 90s songs playlists, proving that they write more than just songs about being alone.
The song was meant for teenagers in a dark place emotionally, struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. It pleads with them not to give up and remember that they aren’t alone.
“Everybody Hurts” was a major hit in 1993, peaking at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 and making it into the top ten in multiple countries.
1. So Lonely – The Police
“So Lonely” was released in 1978 as part of their debut studio album, Outlandos d’Amour. The Police also appear on our list of best prom songs with “Every Breath You Take.”
This reggae rock song sounds joyful but is a sad song overall, featuring Sting on lead vocals. The lyrics talk about the misery of having a broken heart after being left by a loved one.
The song rose to fame through various covers by bands like The Militia Group and Limbeck in 2005. It peaked at #6 in the UK Singles Chart and #7 on the Irish Singles Chart in 1978.
We hope these songs about loneliness help you through hard times on your own.
Thankfully, you can always count on music to pick you up when you’re down, so close your eyes, push play on one of these songs, and remember you aren’t alone!