December 7, 2023

Healthy Choice

Healthy Choice The Only Solution

Yes, Friends Are Good for Mental and Physical Health

Maintaining positive relationships should rank up there with healthy eating and exercise as a necessary investment in your health. Spending time with friends is not only fun but also yields a multitude of long-term physical and emotional health benefits.

“As a medical doctor, I wish I could prescribe friendships for everyone,” says Kelli Harding, MD, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City.

But before we get into the many ways a strong social network promotes health and well-being, it’s important to point out that not all relationships are equal. Just like you can make unhealthy choices around diet and exercise, you can certainly make unhealthy choices when it comes to the friendships and relationships you spend time on.

A healthy friendship is a two-way street. “When we’re only thinking about having our needs met and we’re not thinking about our friend’s needs, then the relationship is probably unhealthy,” says Marisa Franco, PhD, a Washington, DC–based psychologist and assistant clinical professor at the University of Maryland.