Having a Best Friend (Who You Tell Everything To) Makes You Happier & Healthier

Updated 09/15/17
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Skip the green juice; a new study published in Child Development says that having a best friend is one of the best things you can do for your health. While countless studies have confirmed that friendship is good for you, the researchers found that having a close childhood best friend specifically can "play a significant role in a person's mental health well into adulthood," explains The Cut.

The researchers analyzed a data set that tracked the mental health of 169 racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse participants at ages 15, 16, and 25. For rounds one and two, the subjects identified one person whom they considered to be their best friend, and the researchers interviewed each pair. Once the participants had reached age 25, those who had a close friendship as teenagers, defined as "a high degree of attachment, intimate exchange, and support," also had lower social anxiety, fewer symptoms of depression, and a higher sense of self-worth.

They also note that quality was far more important than quantity and that those who focused more on forming deeper connections rather than casting a wide social net fared better in the long run. "Being the popular kid is 'cool' in high school, but by 25, it doesn't set you apart and make you a leader in the same way," said lead study author Rachel Narr, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Virginia. "The phrase 'feeling alone in a crowd' comes to mind when thinking about those kids and their heightened social anxiety later."

Head over to The Cut for more, and read up on the personality type that's most likely to make friends next.

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