playlist

The paradox of loneliness

Feel alone? You're not, well, alone. Enjoy a thoughtful collection of TED talks to remind you that solo feeling is a shared and universal experience.

  1. 10:36
    Jonny Sun You are not alone in your loneliness

    Being open and vulnerable with your loneliness, sadness and fear can help you find comfort and feel less alone, says writer and artist Jonny Sun. In an honest talk filled with his signature illustrations, Sun shares how telling stories about feeling like an outsider helped him tap into an unexpected community and find a tiny sliver of light in the darkness.

  2. 12:58
    Lidia Yuknavitch The beauty of being a misfit

    To those who feel like they don't belong: there is beauty in being a misfit. Author Lidia Yuknavitch shares her own wayward journey in an intimate recollection of patchwork stories about loss, shame and the slow process of self-acceptance. "Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful," she says. "You don't know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That's your beauty."

  3. 12:42
    Cornelia Geppert A video game that helps us understand loneliness

    Step into artist Cornelia Geppert's visually stunning video game "Sea of Solitude," which explores how battling the "monsters" of loneliness and self-doubt can help us better grapple with the complexity and struggles of mental health.

  4. 12:59
    Kay M. Tye What investigating neural pathways can reveal about mental health

    Neuroscientist Kay M. Tye investigates how your brain gives rise to complex emotional states like depression, anxiety or loneliness. From the cutting edge of science, she shares her latest findings — including the development of a tool that uses light to activate specific neurons and create dramatic behavioral changes in mice. Learn how these discoveries could change the way you think about your mind — and possibly uncover effective treatments for mental disorders.

  5. 12:25
    Guy Winch How to fix a broken heart

    At some point in our lives, almost every one of us will have our heart broken. Imagine how different things would be if we paid more attention to this unique emotional pain. Psychologist Guy Winch reveals how recovering from heartbreak starts with a determination to fight our instincts to idealize and search for answers that aren't there — and offers a toolkit on how to, eventually, move on. Our hearts might sometimes be broken, but we don't have to break with them.

  6. 20:31
    Johann Hari This could be why you're depressed or anxious

    In a moving talk, journalist Johann Hari shares fresh insights on the causes of depression and anxiety from experts around the world — as well as some exciting emerging solutions. "If you're depressed or anxious, you're not weak and you're not crazy — you're a human being with unmet needs," Hari says.

  7. 11:52
    Kio Stark Why you should talk to strangers

    "When you talk to strangers, you're making beautiful interruptions into the expected narrative of your daily life — and theirs," says Kio Stark. In this delightful talk, Stark explores the overlooked benefits of pushing past our default discomfort when it comes to strangers and embracing those fleeting but profoundly beautiful moments of genuine connection.

  8. 14:23
    Sophie Andrews The best way to help is often just to listen

    A 24-hour helpline in the UK known as Samaritans helped Sophie Andrews become a survivor of abuse rather than a victim. Now she's paying the favor back as the founder of The Silver Line, a helpline that supports lonely and isolated older people. In a powerful, personal talk, she shares why the simple act of listening (instead of giving advice) is often the best way to help someone in need.

  9. 5:21
    Isadora Kosofsky Intimate photos of a senior love triangle

    Photographer and TED Fellow Isadora Kosofsky is a chronicler of love, loss and loneliness. In this searching talk, she shares photos from her four years documenting the lives of a senior citizen love triangle — and reveals what they can teach us about the universal search for identity and belonging.

  10. 11:48
    Luke Sital-Singh "Afterneath" / "Killing Me"

    Luke Sital-Singh sings songs of love, longing and grief in this stirring performance of "Afterneath" and "Killing Me." "These are the songs I just never tire of hearing and I never tire of writing, because they make me feel less alone," Sital-Singh says.