Best Books That Will Help You Overcome Loneliness
Loneliness is an emotion that everyone feels from time to time.
You can feel lonely when you are alone or in a crowd. You can feel rather lonely as a single or you can feel lonely in your marriage too.
Furthermore, loneliness can be caused by numerous factors. For some of us, loneliness is caused by the death of a loved one or relationship problems, while for others, loneliness is caused by social isolation and being different. Sometimes, loneliness is a result of spiritual awakening. So everyone experiences loneliness somewhat differently.
Below is a list of books about loneliness and being alone. Pick one that resonates with you the most.
Bonus: My Book on Loneliness
Note: The way I look at my books will never be the same as the way I look at other books, so to be fair I rather keep them off the list.
Reconnect to Love by Yong Kang Chan
If you crave for deep connection and feel lonely even when you are with people, this book is for you.
This book is not about getting rid of loneliness or building better relationships with others. Loneliness is not due to a lack of external connection. It’s a result of internal disconnection. When we feel lonely, we have lost our alignment with the love and abundance within. Instead, we are focusing on what’s missing and lacking in our relationships.
Reading this book will help you reconnect to the love that is always available to you from within and clear the psychological obstacles that prevent you from feeling connected to others in the first place.
Top 10 Best Books about Loneliness
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1. The Anatomy of Loneliness by Teal Swan
If you want deep insights on why you feel lonely, read this book.
This book provides an in-depth exploration and understanding of loneliness. There are three pillars that make up loneliness — separation, shame, and fear. Each chapter, the author goes into great detail on how each pillar causes us to lose connection with others.
Even though the author is a spiritual leader, she also addresses several psychological topics in this book such as narcissism, developmental trauma, emotional neglect, our fragmented self, and etc. This book is for you if you are open to both the spiritual and psychology perspectives.
Included in the book, there are also practical exercises that help you to create and maintain deep connection with others.
2. Loneliness by John Cacioppo and William Patrick
If you are into social science, this book is for you.
This book is about how loneliness negatively impacts our lives. The authors perform an extensive research on how loneliness affects our human brain and behaviors.
Even though the authors only provide some advice on how to cope with loneliness, this book gives you a good start to understanding loneliness and our need for social connection.
The authors point out that loneliness itself is not a disease. Feeling lonely from time to time is like feeling hungry or thirsty from time to time. It’s part of being human and it’s not that harmful unless you are chronically lonely.
3. Stop Being Lonely by Kira Asatryan
Loneliness doesn’t always come when we are physically alone. Sometimes, we can feel lonely even when we are with other people. So the antidote to loneliness? The feeling of closeness.
In this book, the author shares the causes of loneliness in modern society and three simple steps to developing close friendships and deep relationships. These three steps are mastering the art of knowing, caring, and closeness.
If you feel that no one understands and cares about you, this book is suitable for you. It will improve your social skills and give you some ideas on how to connect with others better.
4. Running on Empty No More by Jonice Webb
If you are feeling lonely in a marriage or a relationship, it’s a sign that your needs are not being met and this book is for you.
This book is about childhood emotional neglect (CEN). CEN is what happens when your parents fail to respond to your emotional needs during childhood. Children who grow up with CEN learn to push down their emotions and this affects their relationships when they become adults.
In this book, the author explains how CEN affects our relationships with our partners, parents, and children, and how it leaves us empty and lonely.
Well organized and easy-to-understand, this book is suitable for people who have difficulties being intimate and close to others.
5. Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
This book deals with the topic of loneliness from the perspective of belonging and authenticity.
Fitting in with our friends, family, and community has caused us to feel more separated and disconnected than ever. We would rather stay quiet and avoid criticism from others for being different than be courageous and show up as our true selves.
The author says that true belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.
If you are someone who wants to stand alone and be authentic but yet still feel belonged or someone who is tired of the increased polarization in humanity, this book is for you.
6. Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich and Steven Levenson
Dear Evan Hansen is a novel about loneliness and social isolation. It is inspired by the Broadway musical of the same name, written by Steven Levenson with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
In the novel, Evan Hansen is an awkward and lonely teenager with social anxiety. His therapist has suggested that he write motivational letters to himself. Connor Murphy, a school outcast, took one of Evan’s letter before he commits suicide and things spiral out of control.
If you ever feel invisible or struggle to connect with others, you will resonate with the story in this book.
7. Healing Your Aloneness by Erika Chopich and Margaret Paul
This book is based on inner child work. According to the authors, we have two distinct aspects of our personality — the Adult and the Child. When these two parts are disconnected, we feel lonely and empty.
To heal our inner isolation and become whole, the Adult has to learn about the Child’s wants, needs, and feelings and take responsibility for them. If the Adult abandons the Child or is unloving towards the Child, the Child will react and protect itself in ways that are unhelpful.
Read this book if you want to reconnect with yourself on a deeper level.
8. Leaving Loneliness by David Narang
Have you been among people and yet still feel lonely, inadequate or separate?
This is a workbook about chronic loneliness. It tackles the core issues of our loneliness by focusing on attachment theory.
Our attachment style can cause us to long for love or leave us feeling isolated. Understanding our attachment style will help us repair our relationship problems and build better relationships with others.
This book provides a practical framework for people who have repetitive problems forming or maintaining satisfying relationships. It is also suitable for therapists to use with their patients.
9. Solitude by Anthony Storr
This book is for deep thinkers and people who like to spend time alone.
If the pressure of getting married and being single is making you feel lonely, this book will show you that living solitary can be as fulfilling as living with a mate. It explains why solitude is a healthy thing and validates your desire to be alone.
The author does this by examining many creative people who are single and show you what they have achieved living alone.
This book has a formal, academic feel to it. The author examines and analyzes Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud’s work. So it’s more suitable for people who enjoy books that are more analytical and intellectual.
10. The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot
This author has felt a deep sense of loss and loneliness. She lost her first husband to murder in the South American jungle and her second to cancer.
In this Christian book, the author provides hope to the lonely souls through her reflections on Biblical principles and helps you connect deeper with God.
If you are struggling with the death of a loved one, divorce or estrangement of any kind, the inspirational stories in this book will calm your soul and show you how to make peace with loneliness.
Hey there, I’m Yong Kang, best known as Nerdy Creator. I’m an author of seven books. I write about spirituality, self-compassion, and mindfulness. I love reading books, especially non-fiction. The list above is a combination of what I have read and my research. Each year, I create a Top 10 list of my favorite books.