Solitude can be experienced as unpleasant and even painful – particularly when it is unwelcome. In this regard, spending too much time alone can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression, and is generally seen as damaging to our wellbeing. However, when solitude is chosen and even sought after, it can also be experienced as calming, restorative, and blissful. It is this perspective that has led Dr. Robert Coplan (from the Department of Psychology) and his lab to explore the novel concept of aloneliness, conceptualized as the negative feelings that arise from the perception that one is not spending enough time alone. Results from his research suggest that aloneliness may play an important role in elucidating the complex associations between solitude and wellbeing. You can read more about this research here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0191886919303101.
Dr. Coplan’s research on solitude was also recently profiled in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/28/smarter-living/the-benefits-of-being-alone.html