Playlist: How To Be Alone

There are so many songs about being lonely, thinking about someone, missing everyone and everything. But what about those times, or that stretch of time, that you’re glad to be on your own? To have the whole room or the whole road or your whole brain to yourself? Here are some songs that feel the same way, to keep you company. Not that you need it.

(Editor’s note: This playlist came into fruition because Intern Grace and Vanessa are teaching a workshop at A-Camp called “How To Be Alone,” and they made a zine to go along with it. All good zines need a playlist, so they asked Cara and Katie Millar to create one. You can check out the How To Be Alone Zine in its entirety here.)

How To Be Alone

(by Cara and Katie Millar)


Independent Women Pt. 1 – Destiny’s Child
And I Do Just What I Want – James Brown & The Famous Flames
My Own World – Eleanor Friedberger
Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol
The Book Of Right-On – Joanna Newsom
I’m So Free – Lou Reed
I Don’t Love Anyone – Belle & Sebastian
Hand In My Pocket – Alanis Morissette
Be Alone – Paramore
In The Garage – Weezer
In My Room – Beach Boys
Always On My Own – Cat Power
Honey & I – Haim
Dancing On My Own – Robyn

How To Be Alone from Autostraddle on 8tracks Radio.

Want to suggest a playlist theme? Hit Stef up and someone on the team might make it for you.

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Cara is a former contributing editor for Autostraddle and a current staff writer at Atlas Obscura. She lives in Somerville with her girlfriend, their roommate, and a cat who can flush the toilet, and is generally thinking about gender, sustainable biodiversity, and/or rock & roll music. You can follow her on twitter @cjgiaimo if you want.

Cara has written 113 articles for us.


  1. James Brown, Weezer, Alanis and HAIM on the same playlist is why Autostraddle is in my bookmarks bar.

    • i LOVE allison weiss and i am really into that song and also her whole new album BUT i don’t think that song fits on this playlist because this is all about being alone and loving it, whereas i feel like “how to be alone” is sort of a sad/lonely ballad…”all my friends say i’m doing so well/i’m being so brave as far as anyone can tell/it’s fine/i miss you all the time” — ya know?? but i do heart AW so hard. <3

  2. I love this. Robyn should be on every playlist.

    Also I am SO GRATEFUL for Autostraddle playlists in general, I listen to them pretty much the whole time I’m at work and there is a playlist for everything and I love them all.

  3. Joanna Newsom and Belle and Sebastian are my fall rotation regulars, but The Book Of Right-On is one of the best “I’m alone in my own brain” songs I’ve heard in the last few years.

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