How To Spend Time Alone

How To Spend Time Alone

Our societies are confused about solitude. The images of happiness conveyed by television and advertising often feature merry groups of friends, while being alone and being lonely are considered almost synonymous. But one in three of us in the OECD countries now lives alone, and this number is set to rise.

 We explore the distinction between solitude and loneliness. We ask just why being alone can sometimes feel so frightening, and what benefits there might be to overcoming these fears. We consider what we can learn from hermits and those who have actively retreated from the world. Above all, we ask if it’s really possible to be happy in partnerships, in friendships, at work or with family - if we can’t, first, also be happy by ourselves.

 This is a class about the lost and yet highly valuable art of solitude.


Our classes have been designed to give useful insights around the big themes in life. You’ll be challenged to think deeply about the issues that matter most, and provided with a space to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences with other curious, open-minded individuals.

These sessions are designed by experts and taught by members of our faculty. They include a mix of lecture, conversation and group activity.  Optional homework is provided for those interested in further study.


This class is part of our EQ Certificate Programme. For more information about how to enrol at The School of Life please click here


An Introduction to The School of Life

To get an idea of what to expect from classes, workshops and events in our classroom, watch this short film. 


The School of Life
70 Marchmont Street

Concessions: we offer a 15% standard ticket price reduction on events under £50 for Students with valid ID, over-65's, un-waged and people with disabilities. To claim your discount please click here. Please note that we will check your ID for proof of eligibility on arrival at event.

Become a Friend: by becoming a Friend, you’ll enjoy a free Class from the Core Curriculum and access a host of exclusive events, from Conversation Cocktails to Philosophy Breakfasts. To find out more, visit our Membership page.


Just writing to say thanks for last night’s talk, it was a 5 star experience. Excellent content and well facilitated.

 - Participant

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