19 Unexpected Benefits of Solo Living, According to Psychologists

Living alone often carries a social stigma and conjures up images of a lonely, isolated person who dreams of living with others. But that isn’t always the case! Research suggests that choosing to live alone may be more expensive but can have a range of psychological and emotional benefits. Here are 19 unexpected perks of not having to share your living space.

Boosts Self-Sufficiency 

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Living alone necessitates taking care of everything yourself, from cooking and cleaning to budgeting and repairs. This helps foster independence and teaches valuable life skills that improve self-reliance. A study in Research Gate reported a positive correlation between living alone and self-efficacy, the belief in one’s ability to overcome challenges and achieve goals.

Enhances Self-Discovery 

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Solo living provides a unique opportunity for introspection and self-discovery, which can aid self-awareness and personal growth. Free from the standards and distractions of others, you can explore your interests and passions and set your own daily routines without compromise. Research shows that individuals living alone reported a stronger sense of ‘self.’

Improved Productivity

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Anyone with roommates, children, or even cats will tell you that sharing your space comes with unavoidable distractions! Solo dwellers live without such time-consuming distractions and can stay focused, ultimately increasing their productivity compared to those living in groups. Studies show that people perform better on cognitive tasks when alone than in the company of others.

Strengthens Decision-Making Skills

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Living alone means making all the choices, big or small, regarding your living space. Also, it limits the opportunity to ‘lean’ on others for advice or input when tackling life decisions. This may seem like a drawback, but it teaches self-confidence and can hone critical thinking skills. Research agrees and shows that living alone often results in greater self-confidence.

Only Desired Social Connection

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While solo living offers solitude, it doesn’t automatically equal enforced isolation. VeryWell Mind states that people who live alone often have strong social bonds outside the home and that their interactions are more favorable because they occur when desired and not forced by cohabitation. This can make a solo-dweller’s relationships stronger and more fulfilling.

Provides a Sanctuary 

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Feeling peaceful and relaxed at home is important, but that can be difficult, particularly if you live with rowdy roommates, inconsiderate family members, or loud children! Those who live alone can control everything from noise level and tidiness to the temperature and décor, allowing them to create a space that allows them to easily unwind and de-stress after a long day.

Boosts Creativity

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Solitude can be a powerful catalyst for creativity because it removes distractions and allows us to focus on things like artwork or writing, which are often more unique and expressive when the mind can wander and be inspired! Research has shown that solitude allows for a state of “creative incubation” that fosters new ideas and improves creative development.

Better Time Management Skills

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Living alone necessitates effective time management because there’s no one to remind you of events or prompt you to be on time. You’re solely responsible for juggling work, chores, errands, and social commitments. This can lead to strong organizational skills and the ability to prioritize tasks effectively. Consequently, solo-dwellers are better at managing time and meeting deadlines.

Financial Independence 

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Solo living often means managing your own finances, being responsible for paying bills, and reducing inefficiency, such as food waste. This teaches valuable budgeting, economizing, and money-management skills. A study by the Pew Research Center found that young adults who live alone are more likely to be financially responsible and have a higher credit rating.

Personalization of Your Space

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When you live alone, your home is your own personal canvas, and you can customize it however you want. You have complete freedom to decorate, furnish, and organize it to reflect your unique style and personality—no colors are off-limits, and no theme will be vetoed! This control over your environment promotes self-expression and generates feelings of well-being and comfort. 

More Patience

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Surprisingly, living alone can make you more tolerant of your external relationships. This may be because your patience isn’t being constantly tested and ‘used up’ by negative interactions with those you live with or inconsiderate behavior. You learn to appreciate your own company, and when you do socialize, you’re more likely to navigate social interactions calmly and respectfully.

Provides a Safe Space 

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Sometimes, we all just need some ‘alone time,’ particularly when life becomes emotionally overwhelming—for example, when we’re upset, angry, or frustrated. Cohabiters may take their emotions out on those they live with or struggle to find solitude or space to process their thoughts—something that solo dwellers don’t have to worry about.

Teaches Self-Care

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It can be challenging to find time for yourself when you live with family members, particularly dependent ones! Living alone means you learn to prioritize your own needs and do things that will promote your well-being, like getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. This dramatically improves both physical and mental health. 

Reduces Relationship Stress 

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If you’re moving out of a stressful environment (a parent’s house, a shared apartment, or a college dorm), living alone can provide inner peace and reduce stress levels. Healthline recommends embracing solo living and enjoying the positive impact it will have on any relationships that were previously strained by forced cohabitation. You may now be able to repair some of the damage! 

Encourages Mindfulness

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According to Mind, “Practicing mindfulness can help to manage common mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and feelings of stress.” Living alone can make it easier to pay attention to your body’s cues for food, sleep, and socialization. It can also make concentrating on the present moment easier, with fewer distractions and unwanted conversations.

Improves Appreciation

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When you live with someone, taking them for granted is easy, and spending time together can lose its luster. While enjoying solitude, solo dwellers often cherish social connections more when they do occur. For example, couples who live apart look forward to spending time together and plan specific activities for maximum quality time more frequently than cohabiting couples.

Boosts Resourcefulness

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When living alone, you have no one to rely on or ask for help—that leaves only yourself to lean on! Living without others can make you very good at problem-solving and finding alternative or ingenious problems without anyone else’s assistance or input. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a blown fuse, or a broken appliance, it’s up to you to take action and find solutions!

No Judgment

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Want to wear your pajamas all day, play dress-up, or binge-watch your favorite TV show while eating junk food? No problem! While slobbish or unmotivated behavior shouldn’t become a habit, solo dwellers don’t need to worry about indulging now and then. With no one else to frown at or judge them, they’re free to live however they choose, leading to greater emotional well-being.

Appreciation for Solitude

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Being happy alone is a skill we should all have, even if we live with other people. Taking pleasure in your own company and enjoying solitude now and then is essential in our busy, fast-paced world of smartphone messaging and social media. Living alone can teach us to disconnect, relax, reflect, and feel comfortable in our own skin.

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