Understanding Loneliness

What makes us happiest in life? Some people may point to fabulous fame and fortune. Yet hands down, surveys show that friends and family are the real prize. Even though our need to connect is innate, some of us always go home alone. You could have people around you throughout the day or even be in a lifelong marriage, and still experience a deep, pervasive loneliness. Unsurprisingly, isolation can have a serious detrimental effect on one's mental and physical health.

Recent posts on Loneliness

The Loneliness Epidemic and What We Can Do About It

By Emma M. Seppälä Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Feeling It
Our need to feel special is may be feeding a loneliness crisis. Here's what we can do!

Social Loneliness May Make the Depressed Even More So

Clinically it has to be labelled mental illness, this depression. Is it an illness, however, this need to converse authentically?

What to Do About Deep Loneliness Post-Divorce

Are you feeling like your social life has disappeared since your divorce? Here are three simple steps you can take to feel less lonely and make new friends.

Decreasing Self-Centeredness May Also Help Reduce Loneliness

A study published today by John Cacioppo and colleagues reports that self-centeredness and perceived social isolation feed off one another as part of a reciprocal feedback loop.

Watching Yourself Eat Changes How Much You Consume

Watching ourselves eat can sometimes help us eat less. Other times it can make us eat more. Why?
JD Mason | Unsplash

Is It Time to Get Your Hearing Checked?

By Shari Eberts on June 05, 2017 in Life With Hearing Loss
Do you or someone you love have a hearing loss? Here are five reasons to find out. Your health and happiness depend on it.

Why Shaming Doesn't Work

Many people consider shaming an acceptable way of changing behavior. Is shaming effective? Research reveals that shame is a complex emotion.
© Can Stock Photo / ikophotos

13 Reasons Why to Live

By Ana Nogales, Ph.D. on May 30, 2017 in Family Secrets
Sometimes depression doesn't let us see the beauty of life.

Chris Cornell’s Life and Death: Suicide Is Not Painless

We don’t know the depth of people’s suffering, the silent struggles they daily endure.

Will You Be Less Depressed If You Get Married? Two Studies

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on May 19, 2017 in Living Single
When single people marry, do they get less depressed? Are married people less depressed than people who are cohabiting or dating or single with no romantic partner?

Face-to-Face Connectedness, Oxytocin, and Your Vagus Nerve

A new study reports that oxytocin "love hormone" levels surge during a romantic crisis. These findings reaffirm a link between the vagus nerve and our need to "tend-and-befriend."

Fast Friends or Friends Fast

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 14, 2017 in Ambigamy
Clinging to old friends for fear of being stranded alone? There's another way. Get faster at turning new acquaintances into easy cozy friends.
Suniya Luthar

Mothering Mothers

Just as children need to receive unconditional acceptance, so do their mothers, who are charged with providing it continually and across a period of decades.

All the Lonely People, Where Do They All Come From?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on May 12, 2017 in Open Gently
Loneliness is a health risk, especially for older people. Make sure the person you love is plugged in.

Government Criminalizes Sexual Fantasy

Erotic age role-play between adults is incredibly common. Unfortunately, prosecutors and juries think it's sick and dangerous.

“You Are Hot!” The Strange Link Between Body Heat and Love

Science is finding that the link between physical and psychological heat is not just metaphorical. A warm body often leads to warm feelings.

Facebook Can Create Psychological Safety Nets During Crises

Facebook has many pros and cons, as most of us know. Two recent studies have found that Facebook can create a surprisingly effective "safety net" in times of crisis and distress.

Two Necessary Ingredients for Deepening Relationships

How can you strike a balance between variety in your friendship groups and spending enough time with people to forge deeper bonds?

The Solution to Millennial Loneliness

By Caroline Beaton on April 25, 2017 in The Gen-Y Guide
How can millennials stop being so lonely?

Glass Man

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 18, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story about lookism, loneliness, and reclusiveness.

How to Have a Successful First Date (After Meeting Online)

By Grant H. Brenner M.D. on April 18, 2017 in ExperiMentations
Online dating is increasingly popular, and notoriously unsatisfying for many. Research is beginning to sort out what works—simple steps can help a first date go better.

These 5 Life Skills Boost Well-Being as We Age, Study Finds

A new study identifies 5 life skills correlated with increased psychological, physical, and fiscal well-being. Notably, each of these life skills was found to be equally important.

The New Best Remedy for Health Is a Dog

In California dogs are doing rounds at hospitals. Can a dog heal patients? Here is a personal story about a therapy dog showing that a dog can be the best medicine. Read more...

The Gift

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 06, 2017 in How To Do Life
A short-short story on sacrifice.

Loneliness: A Deadly Form of Poverty for Seniors

Loneliness: A growing challenge for senior health care.

Cold and Flu Season: Being Lonely Makes You Feel Worse

New study that finds that how close we feel to others influences how much we suffer when we get colds.

The Unexpected Loneliness of New Mothers

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in The Squeaky Wheel
Loneliness might be the last thing new mothers expect to feel, but it is far more common than we realize.

The Loneliness of the Secret Spot

By Greg Dillon M.D. on March 27, 2017 in Surf-Head
Is the guilty pleasure of your secret spot not quite cutting it? Maybe it's time to evolve...

“I’d Rather Not Be a Recluse”

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in How To Do Life
The latest in a series of profiles on reclusive people.

Genetics Play a Role in Social Anxiety Disorder, Study Finds

A new study has pinpointed a genetic link between social anxiety disorder (SAD) and a serotonin transporter gene called "SLC6A4."