Why you should care

Because being alone can suck. Music has the power to make it suck less.

All the Lonely People: This OZY series looks at the alarming epidemic of loneliness.All the Lonely People: This original OZY series takes a hard look at the alarming epidemic of loneliness.

When you’re suffering from the blues and feeling lonesome, music beckons. The fulfillment found in crying your miserable eyes out to a song that says exactly how you feel? Oh, so cathartic, so miserably satisfying.

Even if it’s bad for you. People “should not listen to music similar to their emotional state,” says Lisa Phillips, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Cognitive Therapy Orange County, “unless it is happy [or the] song has a hopeful message to it.” Doctors have a brilliant way of ruining a pity party, don’t they? Especially when their advice makes sense.

Well, not everyone follows doctor’s orders, and neither does this playlist. It’s packed full of songs that will perhaps make you feel worse than you do already (but in a good way), as well as some pick-me-up favorites to improve your mood. The best part: They’re all mixed up together so you won’t know what’s coming next. A delightful roller coaster ride of emotions.

“I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet),” the White Stripes

“I go down and I wonder, if there was any reason left.”

When loneliness hits, the White Stripes can bring a heavyhearted smile to your face. This dark and sometimes hilarious tune acknowledges that when the feeling hits to do something spontaneous or rash or severe when your mood is suffering, you need to consider the consequences. Push through and keep on living, as you choose.

“Louisa,” Lord Huron

“I feel alive when I’m with you, baby. … I will never be lonely again.”

It can be hard to admit that a certain person helped bring you back from despair and defeat. Lord Huron captures the magical way another soul can make your life oh, so much brighter and lift the suffocating feeling that you’ll never find your matching puzzle piece. It can also backfire (it did for me), so please ignore the tattoo verse — that’s very permanent; love isn’t.

“Lost Cause,” Beck

“I’m tired of fighting, fighting for a lost cause.”

The best medicine when you’re down in the dumps? Someone telling you there is no hope to be found. It’s you, not me. And I’m outta here. Give thanks to Beck for enabling your self-loathing and feeding the thoughts that you deserve to be alone. Yet this song also provides encouragement to give up and move on.

“Making Pies,” Patty Griffin

“You can cry or die or just make pies all day.”


Don’t let the title fool you — this song isn’t about dessert. This forlorn tune that Griffin sings with such delicacy tells the tale of an old woman recounting memories. The sadness is in what it doesn’t say; you’re tasked with putting the pieces together, and they’re soul-crushing. Dwelling on the past — what you had, what you didn’t — can make you feel incredibly lonely. But OK, there’s pie. Who doesn’t like pie?

“Your New Twin Sized Bed,” Death Cab for Cutie

“A sick desire for self-abuse.”


Accept that you’re just wasting space.

“Here I Go Again,” Whitesnake

Like a drifter I was born to walk alone.”

Relish the fact that you don’t have to share your fries.

“Hallelujah,” Rufus Wainwright

“Love is not a victory march. It’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.”

It’s masterful trickery, as there’s no rejoicing to be found here.

“Lonely Together,” Avicii featuring Rita Ora

“I might hate myself tomorrow, but I’m on my way tonight.”

You have only yourself to blame for your poor choices; enjoy them to the fullest.

“Hurt,” Johnny Cash

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Source American Recordings

You could have it all, my empire of dirt. I will let you down. I will make you hurt.”

The Man in Black brings the pain like no one else can.

“Another Lonely Day,” Ben Harper

“Here comes emptiness crashing in.”

Put this on repeat, because you’re a masochist who enjoys raw, pure agony.

Have your own ideas?

If you have any requests, let us know in the comments.

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