The Lonely Hour is an exploration of the feeling of loneliness. Last year, The National Science Foundation reported a significant increase in “social isolation” and “a very significant decrease in social connection to close friends and family.” Loneliness is something we all feel at times, but with the relatively recent developments of television, longer work days and commutes, two-career and single-parent families, instant communication via cell phone and email, and social media, it’s a feeling that’s on the rise in America. It may even be our next big public health issue. But how do we talk about such an intangible feeling? The Lonely Hour will hopefully, through discussions with featured guests who will paint pictures of their own loneliness, equip us all with better language to describe this feeling, simultaneously reducing its potency. It’s worth noting that while I don’t want to avoid discussing the depressing side of being alone, as that’s what loneliness is, I also want to examine the concepts of “alone time” and solitude.
Julia Bainbridge is a classically trained cook and writer, mostly about food. Formerly the food editor at Yahoo Food, where one of her stories was nominated for a 2015 James Beard Award, and a senior editor at Bon Appétit, she has also worked at Condé Nast Traveler and Food & Wine, and her writing has appeared in Travel + Leisure, Saveur, Playboy, and Organic Life, among other publications. Julia has a lot of feelings, and loneliness is sometimes one of them.
All artwork by Payton Cosell Turner.