The Lonely Hour Featured in the Independent

The Lonely Hour Featured in the Independent

Illustration by Payton Cosell Turner. 

Illustration by Payton Cosell Turner. 

The U.K.’s Independent takes a look at rising rates of loneliness, especially among millennials, today. “Loneliness becomes a greater burden thanks to the social stigma inextricably linked to it and accepting it means accepting an often scary understanding of the lives we constructed for ourselves,” writes Heather Saul. “Humans were built for companionship, not to be alone, at least according to the growing body of research on the effect social isolation has on health.” Saul goes on to list ways in which loneliness is being increasingly explored, and she begins that with a mention of The Lonely Hour!   

The calls and emails that came in response to the New York-based journalist Julia Bainbridge’s The Lonely Hour podcast show how universal the feeling is. Many of those ringing in were grateful to hear a voice expressing something they were too terrified to vocalise, including one woman, who told Bainbridge: “It’s funny, or maybe it’s sad, that what brings us together is that we all feel lonely.” 

Bainbridge says she launched the podcast after noticing loneliness appearing in various forms in lots of different places and realising how loneliness was also affecting her. In a forward to her second series, she explained: “I started this project because we seem to be experiencing a significant increase in social isolation and a decrease in connections to close friends and family. According to studies from the National Science Foundation, loneliness may be our next big public health issue. Those things are true, but what is also true is that I’m lonely. I’m a 33-year-old single woman in New York City who is looking for partnership at a time and a place when it seems particularly hard to find.”

First person accounts like Bainbridge’s are increasingly emerging but still relatively sparse, yet loneliness is experienced in some form by everyone to some degree. I purposefully spend most of my time surrounded by people. I am single but lucky to have an expansive social network that spreads across cities and I treat each friendship in the same way I would treat a relationship with a partner; as something that needs to be carefully maintained in order to endure. I even hesitated writing that sentence in case I could somehow jeopardise this wonderful network just by committing it to the internet.

Click here to read the rest of the article. It’s a well-researched look at the recent growth in the discussion of loneliness. We’re all for that! 

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Season Two, Episode Three: The Leaver