Interview with Francesca Specter, Founder of Alonement

We caught up with Francesca Specter, founder of Alonement, to talk all things from changing the way people think about alone time, to launching season 2 of her podcast…

Tell us about Alonement


Specter: Alonement is a platform and podcast centred around the time you spend alone and why it matters. I have a website and a weekly newsletter, together with a podcast where I interview high-profile thinkers, writers and media personalities – from Alain de Botton to Konnie Huq – about their alone time.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?


Specter:  It began with a personal journey. At the end of 2018, I found myself newly single and living alone for the first time in my life. As a sociable extrovert, I had always felt energised by being around other people and never thought to question the fear and reluctance I felt around alone time. Yet, I began to realise there was something insidious about perpetually trying to escape a state that, really, no one can escape from.

In a bid to correct this, I made a new year’s resolution to learn to be alone, and like it, in January 2019. It ended up being the most meaningful lesson I learnt in my whole life – and in the autumn of 2019 I decided to use my skills as a journalist, writer and podcaster to share this with the world.

Why is it important for people to enjoy the time they spend alone?

Specter:  I know from my personal journey that spending quality time alone has had immense benefits in terms of personal development (confidence, career, self-esteem, mental health) together with my relationships with others. It soon became apparent, during this journey, that many, many people are scared of being alone – and in avoiding it miss out on the benefits of solitude, while making major life decisions driven by a place of fear (e.g. staying in the wrong relationship for fear of being single – something wrongly but regularly conflated with ‘being alone’ – or never taking a solo trip somewhere on their bucket list)

I also realised there was no word in the English language to describe the opposite of loneliness; when alone time is positive and regenerative. So, I trademarked the word ‘alonement’ to fill that gap.


Francesca now runs a podcast talking about Alonement which has featured Alain de Botton to Konnie Huq


What can we hope to see from Alonement in the future?

Specter:  I am currently mid-way through releasing season 2 of the Alonement podcast. I am also working on a larger writing project – watch this space!


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