Why going to the theater alone is the best self care

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When was the last time you went to see a show by yourself? Did your heart skip a beat at the idea of venturing into a theater solo? Or do you have a recurring Broadway me-date on your calendar once a month.

Wherever you fall on the solo theatergoing spectrum, we want to encourage you to try taking yourself for a theater date. After all, Sept. 15-21 is National Singles Week—and we’re not talking about your relationships status here. You don’t have to be single to love a single ticket, so we’re calling the week Single Tickets Week.

You go to dinner alone. (OpenTable found that reservations for one grew nationally by 62%, the fasted growing table party size.) You go to the movies alone. (40% go catch a flick solo a few times a year.) So why not go to theater?

We’re here to tell you that treating yourself to a show can be the best kind of self-care. Here’s why.

You can see whatever you want to see.
Would your parents rather see that big splashy new musical than the edgy downtown play? Does your friend prefer dance or comedy to theater? Well, if you go by yourself, you can literally choose exactly what you want to see. So go see “Dear Evan Hansen” for the fifth time, or check out that world premiere in Brooklyn. Nobody can tell you what to do. And who knows? Maybe you’ll be the person who has an awesome new show to recommend to friends now.

You can’t talk during the show anyway.
Are you worried about looking lame sitting by yourself in the theater? The lame ones are actually the people who talk to their friends during a moving scene or show-stopping number. No one is going to be tapping you on the shoulder or asking questions during the show so you can just focus and take it all in. When you hang out with friends, don’t you want to talk and catch up? The theater is not the place to do that.

You get to make your own schedule and budget.
Want to get to the theater 30 minutes early so you have plenty of time to use the restroom, find your seat, and Instagram your program? Tired of managing a never-ending email thread or text chain trying to coordinate schedules. Or maybe you want to opt for a higher (or lower) price point than your friends. When you go alone, you get the pick the time, date, show, and price. It’s all up to you.

You might find a better seat.
We’re not making any promises here, but sometimes there might be one seat left in a better section, while in order to grab a pair or more, you’ll have to sit further back. So buy yourself that Orchestra seat. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself.

You can form your own opinions or have a private emotional moment.
While discussing the show during intermission or after the final curtain is part of the fun, sometimes you need some time to ruminate on what you saw. (And hey, maybe you’ll know someone who sees the show later and you can discuss once you’ve had time to think about it.) Or if the show is incredibly personal to you, you can have a private moment of emotional catharsis. No one is going to ask you why you’re crying!

Alone time is good for the soul.
There are so many reasons why spending time alone can benefit your mental health, creativity, and productivity. When you’re alone with your thoughts, your mind has time to wander. (The shower principle posits that you’ll have your best ideas alone in the shower.) Going to theater alone is a very meditative experience. You’ll also have time to reflect and think, and studies have shown that enjoying alone time is linked to more happiness in life.

You might meet some new friends.
Even though you’re going to the theater alone, you’re surrounded by other people from all walks of life and probably from all around the world. Have a question before the show? Ask your seatmate. Can’t believe the Act 1 finale? Turn to the person next to you. We’ve also compiled the list of the most social shows in New York City if you want to meet some new people at shows. (If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to be bothered, that experience is totally valid too!)

You could win a $200 TodayTix gift card.
Going solo to a show Sept. 15-21? Share your experience on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #SingleTicketsWeek, tag @todaytix, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a $200 TodayTix gift card. (See full rules here.)