52a: Survival of the Kindest: MINI SERIES – Ep 1 of 3: How and Why Social Health Impacts Disease

As part of a three part series we are rebroadcasting three episodes that make up the how and why social health impacts disease. The first one is this episode with Professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad. Her research speaks for itself.

All of these podcasts highlight the importance of social interaction, the importance of compassion, the importance of research and new ideas in this arena, and the importance of being kind to ourselves and to others.

This weeks episode is with Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad. Her CV is impressive and her cannon of work has been making huge moves to change the way we live our lives in silos and with increasing deficiencies in our social relationships.

Transcript available here

Dr Holt-Lunstad is a psychologist at Brigham Young University and a fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and Association for Psychological Science. In this fascinating conversation she discusses her major pieces of research (on how relationships impact health and mortality rates, on how loneliness also affects this, and her current study on the impact of relationships between clinicians and patients) on working with Vivek Murthy, addressing the senate, working with the app Nextdoor and on her hopes, wishes and designs for the future. Dr Holt-Lunstad’s papers show irrefutably the positive impact on mortality that social relationships have, and ‘with every increase in social connection there was a decrease in risk’.

In the past year the world has seen more rifts and traumas come to the fore that many of us could have imagined to be possible; from the pandemic, to the wildfires, to the aggression towards black bodies (particularly men) across the world, and so much more. Dr Holt-Lunstad’s work gives us the opportunity to heal some rifts and shows that something as simple as ‘interacting with our neighbours might be a way to heal some of the political divisions’, something that is more needed now than ever, and will only grow more important in days to come.

The app Nextdoor can be found here

Dr Julianne Holt-Lunstad’s twitter

Julian Abel can be found on Twitter

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