8 Things To Do Alone… For A Change

UPDATE: This post originally ran on February 24th but we thought we’d share it again for some weekend inspiration :).

The idea of solitude has a somber ring to it; the thought of being alone can bring about memories touched with lonely sadness, while thoughts of being surrounded by others can bring memories of joy. But solitude, like all things, truly depends on the way you look at it.

I, for one, absolutely love being alone. Some of the best times I’ve had are ones where I’ve been in no one else’s company but my own. I always enjoy hanging out with myself at home, and I equally love going shopping alone. I find that I’m productive and relaxed… and I always make sure to remain just as silly as when I’m with others.

There are certain activities, though, that I would never dream of doing alone. Sure, some things are just more fun with others by my side, but maybe sometimes I want those people to be there partly because the idea of them not being there… scares me. I fear I won’t know what to do when I’m there by myself (wherever that “there” may be). I fear I’ll have a question and I’ll be forced to ask an unfamiliar face. I fear that others will see me and think, “What’s wrong with that girl? Why is she here by herself?”

But you know what? Please pardon my language, but those fears are complete and total bullshit. Truly. I won’t know what to do when I’m there by myself? I’m a pretty smart girl. I’m sure I can figure it out. I’ll have a question and I have to ask an unfamiliar face? Great! Where’s the problem there? Meeting new people is healthy thing to do. People are just people, just as you and I are. People will think there’s something wrong with me? They’ll question why I’m alone? Well, I mean, maybe one or two will wonder why I’m alone, but I have a feeling the conclusion they come to will have nothing to do with there being something wrong with me. And if it does… why should I care? I’ll never even know! Am I really worried about a thought that a person I don’t knowMIGHT have? Silliness. Pure silliness. Madness, even.

Yet I’m sure I’m not alone in these worries. If you’re with me, let’s do something about it. Together… yet separately. I challenge you to go somewhere alone. Somewhere you’ve never before dreamt of going alone. Go. Just go. Even if it’s for four and a half minutes. Do it. You might just find out you like it better that way.


Go for a drive. Grab your film camera and take yourself for a scenic drive, with no destination in sight. Roll down the windows, blast that song again and again, and truly experience the freedom you’ve been given. Stop often, or not at all. If something you see sparks your interest, pull over. Maybe it’s a retro-looking diner up ahead, or a field of flowers you spot in the distance. Go there, be there, and take it all in.


Hang out at a cafe. You know that cafe, the one with an atmosphere so cozy you could just live in it. Go there, sans computer. Bring a book or some watercolors , bring your headphones… or not. Sip slowly, taking in not just the beautiful flavor and aroma, but also the warm, calming energy around you. Allow yourself to sink into that perfectly worn-in cushion, and stay all afternoon.

Book on ladder

Relax at the library. Choose the oldest looking fiction book you can find, and open it midway. Sit on the floor, crossed-legged, between two bookcases. Maybe even take your shoes off. Start reading and don’t stop. Make up the first half of the book in your mind. Pretend you’re one of the characters. Feel her emotions. Experience her experiences. Cry if you need to. Allow yourself to get lost in the world that exists on those pages before your eyes

Garlic painting

Wander through a museum. It could be an old favorite, or one you’ve never before experienced. In either case, go with a fresh perspective. Seek to learn something new and to be inspired to think, make, or do in a brand new way. Don’t feel the need to visit every room or stay for a certain amount of time. Go to experience it as it comes, and when you come to a point where you feel fulfilled, head on home.

Jeffery Campbell heels on towel

Treat yourself to a fancy meal. Get dressed up for a date with no one but yourself. Feel confident, and go. Order something you can’t pronounce. Save room for dessert. Take every bite as if it were your first. Learn your waiter’s name. When you say “thank you,” mean it. Feel gratitude for all of those who partook in making this meal possible, from the person who planted that tomato seed that became part of your salad, all the way to the one who delivered the chair on which you sit. Marvel at the incredible skills possessed by each of those people, and then marvel at all of your own.

Blood Orange Purple

Go to a show. Music is a powerful thing. Choose a band that you know will make you feel something. Go alone and ready to dance. Close your eyes, let the beautiful vibrations move you, internally and externally. Make a new friend, just for the night. Leave feeling refreshed and full of positivity.

Painting, crochet

Take an art class. Be it painting, pottery, improv, or anything else, put yourself in a situation that teaches you to harness your creativity in new ways. Use your hands, your eyes, your brain, and your soul. Let creative energy flow through you, and express it in ways you never thought possible. Let it in, let it out, and never think twice about it.

Popcorn on black

See a movie. Get a huge bucket of popcorn (or sneak in your own). Get there early. Find the best seat. Watch every preview. Look around from time to time, at this room filled with strangers who are all sharing a similar experience at once. Feel comfort in this sense of community, as you all laugh and cry together. Realize that, while you may be by yourself, you’re certainly not alone.

What will you venture off to do on your own?

Follow FP Brigette on Twitter.


  1. Go to a show, go to a show, go to a show. I go to 99% of my shows alone. No one has ever looked at me weird. Besides, I am there to enjoy the music, not my friends. That sounded cranky, but it’s really not. Why should my husband pay for a band he doesn’t care for? He shouldn’t! And I have never felt like I missed out because I went alone. In fact, I am looking forward to June when I see Conor Oberst. I am gonna dance and laugh and feel and sing make friends with everyone and no one. :)

    Cafes, libraries, and museums are meditative for me. I love to think and people watch.

  2. Love this post. These are some of my favorite things to do by myself. Its so nice to be alone sometimes. I’ve never tried going to a movie by myself before. I’ll have to try that because no one ever wants to see the ones I want to see!

  3. “..but maybe sometimes I want those people to be there partly because the idea of them not being there… scares me. I fear I won’t know what to do when I’m there by myself (wherever that “there” may be). I fear I’ll have a question and I’ll be forced to ask an unfamiliar face. I fear that others will see me and think..”

    I felt like you were reading my mind, I could relate to this so much. I like being alone but there is always this fear.. Or should I say was? Yes, there was this stupid fear. Words can’t describe how much this post helped me. Thank you Brigette! <3

  4. Thank you, I’m going to see my favourite band by myself tomorrow, and whilst I’m usually not nervous to go see music by myself, I’m going to an entirely different city where I don’t know anyone or the venue.
    You’ve just reminded me that everyone is there for the same reason and I already have something in common with them all. Thank you, you guys are wonderful. xo

  5. This is such a cool post. I think hopping out of our comfort zone & doing things by ourselves is how happiness starts! When you’re alone, you learn not to take the judgment of others. & likewise, you typically won’t jump to judge others easier because you’re in a more vulnerable position… alone. In reality, we are never alone… we always are connected to technology in some way. So ladies, leave your phones at home & spend a day catering to your own needs! :)

  6. I love doing things on my own. Your able to go at your own pace without feeling rushed or worried that your irritating someone by looking for the right book. Plus, my husband hates browsing so when we are shopping he’s in and out. But I like to browse and make sure I’m getting exactly what I want. My favorite alone time, shopping in the craft store. I can go hours in a craft store and no one ever wants to go with me anyways. Lol

  7. On Saturday night, my plans with friends came through at the last minute. Instead of moping around at home, I went to a yoga class that I’d never been to before. I loved being by myself. I was going to go to dinner solo too, but I was too intimidated… next time I’ll go for it! Thanks for the inspiration, Brigette! What a beautiful post!

  8. I l-o-v-e this post. I swear my friends think I’m crazy because as much as I love spending time with them, I love spending time with myself just as much (if not more). Especially shows! Concerts are my vice and I find such peace going to see some of my favorite bands live, infact, the best shows I’ve ever been to have been date night with myself. Besides your in a sea of people all sharing the same passion- what could be better?

  9. I absolutely loved this post — and all of these great suggestions! I can totally relate to the writer; I feel so confident when I am out doing things alone, but sometimes I get inexplicably anxious right before taking that first step out the door. It doesn’t make sense, and the only way to cure that anxiety is to just do it! Get out of the house, and go see the world. It’s always fun to have a companion in an adventure, or important to have other’s perspectives, but it’s just as crucial to be in touch with your own self as well, and to build that confidence. These are all places I have used as my destination when going out by myself, but sometimes I just go out to walk as well, and take photos of what I see with my camera.

  10. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!!! Yes, people need to appreciate solitude which is not the same as being lonely. I have done and still do all these things all by my lonesome and love it. Now I have to take the little one with me but it is still just the two of us all dressed up at a restaurant. One time I took my 20 months old to a restaurant and the waiter kept asking if I was waiting for someone else and I said, No. It’s girls night out. His smile was priceless.

  11. Long drives alone are the best !! Gives you time to think and if you take a flask of tea and a book with you for when you stop it is the perfect alone afternoon !

    x Victoria

  12. Such a lovely post! I’m in complete understanding of where you are coming from.
    It is really bullshit. I wanna go out and do all of these things!

  13. Wonderful post. I was just talking to a friend today about going to a comedy show together but turns out she can’t come. After reading this I think I’ll buy my ticket and just go alone! Why not? Thank you!

  14. What an excellent article. Its great to read how others also agree with you as well. This would also be a good following to Oprah’s recent “Just Say Hello” validation. One thing I enjoy when I am with myself is at least acknowledging others around me or that I may pass, even if its just giving them a smile.
    Solitude is so necessary, even more so in relationships. As I’ve learned from my almost 50 years, you have to be able to MISS someone to also appreciate them.
    It also grounds you to be able to breathe, look around and really try to meditate or stop yourself from not focusing on even the littlest things in your life.
    And April, go to dates alone ~ I love when I do and also when I can come home to my boyfriend and tell him about the wonderful time I had just ‘running AMOK’…

  15. Love. This. Post. I’ve actually done many of these things on my own and it’s incredibly liberating. Very beautifully written.

  16. Great post. Many have a real fear of going to shows or restaurants alone. It is easier than most imagine and why miss out on a place you wish to visit and a show .

  17. This post was so inspirational! I suffer from social anxiety and this was such a comfort to read. Hopefully this will ease nerves and help concur some of my fears of being out and about … Thank you!

  18. I really like this post and in the museum I did experience that while I was there with friends, I didn’t ‘have the time’ to like take the art to me. And the fears you have, I do too ;)

  19. Love this post! I have pretty much done all including traveling alone. Great to hear many others doing the same too, its not that common to see ppl doing things alone esp in Asia. Some people think its weird, some ppl think I’m very independent. I think its liberating to not having to depend or waiting for other people’s time for doing something, especially on impromptu. Probably much easier for singles to do this.

  20. I looove your post. As I was reading it I was feeling the calmness inside and how great it can actually be to be alone. Sure I’m going to do things alpne more often and completely enjoy it.

    Thank you for your extremely inspiring post!

  21. I love this blog because I enjoy my own company and never worry about what people will think of me being alone. I travelled worldwide on my own for work. I had to stay in hotels alone, eat in restaurants alone and I loved it. It’s so much easier to appreciate things when you haven’t got someone else chattering by your side. I have loads of friends too and go places, including holidays, with them so I’m not a Billy no mates!

  22. I love being alone, I have been alone for years . I travel alone and dress up to take myself out to dinner, I go to shows, museums and new places all the time. The places you list are all regular places I go alone. Being alone is fantastic and a blessing. It allows you to do what you want with your life and decide when you choose to do it. I spent a entire year traveling up and down the California coast alone, I had a blast and made many new friends along the way. It was very fulfilling. I love solitude, making decisions for myself and having fun alone. If people ask me why I make sure they realize they are being judgmental and rude by asking a inappropriate question that proves their insecure. Usually its women who do not know themselves, are jealous of women with means to be free to be alone and wish they had the freedom and envy those of us alone. . Some stare in restaurants but I just smile and carry on . You develop a thick skin and more self confidence when your alone. Its so much fun !

  23. Wow. …amazing. I’m going thru a divorce and this post is WONDERFUL. I think I probably should cut it out and frame it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  24. I loved this post, thank you! I love being alone too and I think it also unconsciously brings our community closer together, especially when you take the time to learn your waiter’s name, or go to a show and experience it with other like-minded people. Going out for a drive and hanging out a cafe are my personal faves :)

  25. Your post caught my attention and yes, it is most certainly good to spend time alone but really, there is a HUGE difference between taking some much-needed ‘me’ time-out by and for yourself whilst also enjoying the luxury of having someone waiting for you when you return home, even if it’s just the cat! and living completely on one’s own, which is a totally different thing altogether.

  26. I love being alone. I pick the movie, I don’t have to smile and agree. I am transitioning into a totally ‘alone’ lifestyle. My choice ~ one that I question and one that I know is right for me.

  27. I’m very independent and self-sufficient. I love to be alone too and being my own person. When you are alone is very quick to learn and If you want to improve your interpersonal skills. But also I need people to fill them in on the good and bad, and ask them how they would deal with an specific situation.
    My best regards from http://mybookofexperience.blogspot.com.es/

  28. Hey there! Loved your post. I also love being and doing things alone. In fact, most of things I prefer doing it that way. But of course I love being with hubby and can enjoy other people’s comnpany. It’s just a way not a problem. And I love being that way! ;)
    Thanks for sharing! xo

  29. I’m headed to the beach for a few quite days by myself after a year long event I’ve been planning in March. I call it my “reset” time. Its crucial to my creative survival to have alone time and I’m glad someone else appreciates that alone time like I do.

  30. I do not do Yoga, but love to meditate and have long conversations with our Creator. My Hubby allows me to drive from Western NY to Maryland…which is about a 9 hour drive with stops to see our children. I play beautiful music, talk to God for hours, sing and love every second of it. It renews me and by the time I get back to my Hubby, I am like a different person. I drive the back roads and the scenery is just so beautiful and breathtaking. I eat at fun places that I chose and stop when I want. I talk to people and have one fantastic time. I relish in the freedom of an endless road or highway. Being raised an only child, I love my solitude.

  31. I love this! Going to a gig alone is something I feel like I’d “never” do but maybe I should reconsider. I have made friends at gigs in the past when I’ve been there with others, so there’s no reason I couldn’t do this alone. In a way I suppose it’s more sociable as it encourages speaking to more people! Cinema is one I’ll definitely try.

  32. I really enjoyed this post, I definitely think that people are afraid to be alone! Definitely cant wait till I get a car and can go on drives to anywhere! This post has really insipired me! Charlotte xx

  33. My family calls me a recluse! I love being alone and often don’t feel lonely. I am not venturing out enough on my own, so I am going to start taking baby steps towards that end after reading this post. I always have had the fear of “what will people think,” —- it is a silly fear; I must do the thing I fear the most!


  34. Love this post. I have no choice but to do a lot if these things alone because I don’t have many friends that live close to me anymore and I don’t want to miss out. Sometimes I do feel a little angsty about doing it alone but the older I get the less I care what people think about me.

  35. Thanks a ton sweets for sharing such a awesome post ! I can’t agree more … I’m surely going to note down all these things ! After my college I really feel bit alone since most of my friends are now studying in different states !

  36. Wow! So glad to see I’m not alone in liking to be alone. ;)
    I’ve gone to concerts alone, movies alone, out to dinner alone, shopping alone, a weekend camping alone, I’ve even gone on a cruise alone. I have no problem being by myself, though my friends absolutely do not get it.

  37. My most amazing experience was taking a solo trip through China at age 55. Totally out of character for me but now I feel I can do anything!

  38. I love this post. I’m an only child, single, never had many friends… So I’m always on my own. However, I got used to it and it has some advantages. When it comes to watch a movie, I really prefer to be alone. I like to have room for my own emotions.

  39. I am a child of the 50’s. My husband and I did almost everything together. When he died at age 51, I learned to look around everywhere I went. Yes, I felt funny going to my first movie alone, now I don’t even give it a thought. Most of my friends are married or don’t necessarily like the Opera which I love to go to at the movie theatre! So I go alone. I see my friends once a week at quilting club. Sometimes we call on each other to do things together; sometimes not..

  40. I don’t think I could do the library thing, not because it’d be by myself but I couldn’t stand starting a book half way through. it’d frustrate me too much not knowing what had been written before :P

  41. Love this. I think as I grow older I’ve started enjoying my alone time even more. I’ve done the library and the movie thing alone. I’ll tick off the others soon, and maybe the driving a little later haha when I learn.

  42. Great ideas I’m sure glad to see this. I would also go to a Flea Market, Farmers Market or a small store. I aways find something that’s a real bargin.

  43. Génial ;)
    Thank you !! Je me sens moins “seule” :p
    Ravie de voir que nous sommes nombreux à partager ce plaisir d’être et de faire des choses seul(e)s.
    Moi je le découvre depuis peu et j’y prends goût… Reste cette peur que ce post devrait finir par faire disparaître !!! MERCI :)

  44. Most inspiring post I’ve read in ages! You have no idea how relevant this it to my life right now! I deal with anxiety/depression and am currently taking a self-help course in it and one of the techniques were learning at the moment is thought challenging(which is basically wash at you did at the start of this post) and I get social anxiety and fear people’s judgements so this post it exactly what I needed to read right now. So glad I checked my blog lovin weekly email!

  45. Oh and I just had to add that one of the best experiences of my life was when I went to a concert alone, I ended up buying a VIP tickets with some other girl as someone was selling 3 tickets together and they needed a 3rd person and luckily I saw it in twitter so I ended up making friends with the 2 other girls at the concert and then I went to the artists hotel in the hope I would be able to see/meet them and in the process I has the most wonderful adventures and met lots of fellow fans who I’ve met up with afterwards too. I would hate to imagine how things would have panned out if I’d dragged along an unwilling friend or even a willing one because I likely wouldn’t have met all the other people that I did at the hotel.

  46. Sorry for the dreadful grammatical errors in my previous comment, I wasn’t able to edit it on my ipad

  47. Loved this post. I do so many things alone. I used to wait to meet people who had similar interests as me, so that I would have a buddy with me for all the things I want to see, do, explore…. But I got tired of waiting, all my friends have different interests and so I went alone to coffee shops and read a book, sat by myself in a library on the floor and read books, took an acting class by myself and then many dance classes after that – haven’t quite managed to have dinner alone though or go to a show, that step is still too big for me.

  48. I like doing things alone too like going shopping as I have my own personal style & I don’t feel the need to ask other peoples opinions. I have a small group of friends which all are either in relationships or have kids so my social life has changed a lot over the past year, and to top that all off my best friend (& only remaining single friend) moved to London last year too so I have no other choice to do things I wouldn’t have normally done alone.

  49. I love Stanley Kubrik’s film 2001 Space Odessey. For the cliff notes interpretation/summary with spoilers it goes like this: There’s this guy and he lives and works on this space station ( we live and work on earth). He feels like he’s caving in while being in space…. free floating thru all the madness…and his yearning to return to earth ( We get overwhelmed by life/nature/culture/god…and we yearn to feel grounded). There’s this computer on board the space station killing everyone ( We are constantly trying to avoid death…which in a sense is unavoidable…time is ticking…life is not user friendly). Eventually the guy on board gets old and is on his death bed and is witnessing flashbacks/memories of his life and we then see a giant baby floating staring back at the earth ( WE as human beings die and EVOLVE into NEW things….there is no need to fear death or being alone….WE have always been HOME…..Your body, your mind, your heart….this is HOME). SO….being alone is the fundamental lesson we need to learn. We need to embrace OUR self and enjoy the ride….we need to EVOLVE and enjoy the ride…..till we are something else….) So my little interpretation of what this movie meant to me. Being alone is THE ride….

  50. it’s such a beautiful thing when a girl can truly enjoy her own company! i love spending time with myself, be it spending a lazy day at home, or going out to a café or a restaurant or a concert or a festival, going for a walk or setting off on a long trip to a faraway place… it’s the best thing you can do for yourself, and so empowering!

  51. Done them all except take an art class. I like dating myself. We can usually agree on what movie to see, or where to have dinner.
    I’d love to find one on Photoshop. But any art class sounds good.

  52. This is awesome! I love spending time alone as well. It gives me time to think about who I am and what I want to become. I have to invest in doing some of these things because most of the time that I spend alone I am reading or on the computer. Going for a drive or to the movies could definitely do me some good! :-)

    Krystal | http://www.moorekrystal.wordpress.com

  53. @LamentingLizzy, I am so jealous you will be dancing solo to Connor Oberst! Lucky! I say Animal Collective by myself and let me tell you the strangers who were dancing next to me were eventually dancing with me and sharing the wonderful experience! It was one of the best times I have had at a concert! Thanks for this post fp, I love to explore alone and hate that others see it as a weird thing. Fly that freak flag! <3

  54. As a single person, never married, and older, I’m always alone…I have to say, I do not like being alone and I’ve done all of the things you’ve described here. I hate eating alone and if you have to bring something to read or a headset just to look natural, it isn’t worth the experience IMO. I hate the way wait staff look at you when you’re a woman alone in a restaurant. Feel awkward staying at a resort alone , surrounded by families and if I may say so, not ALL people want to to talk to a person out on her own. Traveling, I’ve found the conversation invariably fades out and then becomes awkward as the “accompanied” people you’ve been chatting with try to find a polite way to get rid of you! So, while I appreciate this blog post, I have to say that not everyone enjoys being alone! I wish I could experience what it’s like to do something NOT alone!

  55. I love this post. Happiness is the most important thing on earth! I’m a firm believer that you need to do what makes you truly, deeply, undeniably happy – regardless of anything that tries to get in its way. Great ideas!

  56. taking a journey alone is something we must do, since it can make you stronger and independent. But I agree with the “alone-by-default”, she said she has done all of the things you’ve described and hate being alone. me, too. To me, it’s a torture of being alone and always lonely. I always look forward having fun with my friends, I want to fall in love with someone and start a relationship with a guy, maybe I’m too old to enjoy the single life


  57. I love going on solo adventures, although I don’t take them as often as I would like. Thank you for sharing this great list of ideas. Next time I venture out alone, I’m definitely going to try one!

  58. Wow! this was truly an informative and enterprising article. I too am a person that is by myself, have been by myself for the majority of my life. I have 3 grown children and have never been married. I am an older person like to go out and do things luke browsing the llibrary, I am a movie buff, and I love to quilt. But hardly anybody likes to do the things that I like to do. I just retired May 31st after 41 years of working and I find myself at a major transition in my life from having somewhere to go everyday to trying to find somewhere to go every day to fill that void not having anything to do and a little bit of money to do the things that you could be doing like traveling a lot. The majority of my friends have moved away years ago so we have little or hardly any contact. At this point in my life I do feel alone and lonely. Only have me to blame for my situation because I’m very particular about people that I hang out with and don’t want to be cornered and not able to come and go as I please. But I do want to have a companion to share some of those experiences with. But, Such is life!

  59. Wow great article. Actually I hate going anywhere alone but when I was much younger, my friend and I were going overseas together. At the last minute she cancelled and I almost did too. Then I decided to go alone and I am still living in an overseas country 40 years later. After finding companionship all those years in that overseas country I am alone again and ready to go home.
    I will have no trouble going to a library alone but must try a movie. That sounds like the next step – after all you sit in the dark and you don’t need to argue about what to watch.
    Going to a restaurant will never happen because I prefer to cook for myself, but perhaps I can try taking a drive by myself with a nice snack. No need to look for a place to eat to buy food, I can stop anywhere and just enjoy. Making decisions alone is hard though.

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