Flourish with Friends

Good friends are good for your health and well-being.

Do you want to live longer? Spend time with friends! Researchers looked at 148 studies that focused on social relationships and longevity. They concluded that people with stronger social relationships had a 50 percent increased chance of survival. This finding held across age, gender, initial health status, cause of death, and length of follow-up period. Specific studies have shown that:

•  Women with breast cancer who took part in a support group lived twice as long and had less pain as women who did not.

•  People with successful friendships are less likely to have depression and immune problems.

•  People with the least variety of social relationships were 4.2 times more likely to catch a cold. This was true even though being around others exposes people to more viruses.

•  Having social support increases self-esteem and helps people cope with stress, grief, trauma, and relationship problems.

Benefit from friendships.

Love and Be Loved

•  Give and get emotional support.

•  Relax and have fun doing things you enjoy together.

•  Encourage each other to follow healthy lifestyle habits, such as being physically active and quitting tobacco use.

•  Look forward to celebrating good times.

•  Be comfortable to express wants, needs, and opinions without being judged.

•  Feel a sense of purpose.

•  Give and receive unconditional acceptance.

Being a good friend takes work.

•  Communication is a two-way street. Discuss what’s going on in your life. Listen to what’s going on with your friend.

•  Expect and give respect. Keep your friend’s private issues private. Ask that he or she does the same.

•  Focus on solving problems, not just complaining about them.

•  Make time for each other no matter how busy you are.

•  Offer help whether or not your friend asks you for it.

Action Step

Call, text, email, or write a note to a friend today. Let your friend know how much he or she means to you.

This website is not meant to substitute for expert medical advice or treatment. Follow your doctor’s or health care provider’s advice if it differs from what is given in this guide.


The American Institute for Preventive Medicine (AIPM) is not responsible for the availability or content of external sites, nor does AIPM endorse them. Also, it is the responsibility of the user to examine the copyright and licensing restrictions of external pages and to secure all necessary permission.


The content on this website is proprietary. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute, in any manner, the material on the website without the written permission of AIPM.