Dial Away Stress

By Josey Murray
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
December 30, 2023

It’s easy to let daily responsibilities and stress get in the way of keeping in touch with your friends and loved ones, but research suggests that even just one quality conversation can go a long way in terms of well‑being benefits.

Researchers identified different types of communication, such as catching up, joking around, or simply listening, and had about 900 participants from five university campuses engage in one of them during the day. On days when participants talked to a friend, they reported feeling happier, more connected, and more able to deal with the stress of their lives.

It turns out that it didn’t matter which type of communication they engaged in; what mattered was that they took the time to connect with a friend. If you can, try using a phone or text conversation to initiate a face-to-face meeting, which researchers found were even more closely associated with well‑being than digital communication.