We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again: Friendship is good for your health.

Want to live longer? Me too— let’s be friends! 

But seriously, did you know your friendships can help you live longer? Friends are the family you choose, after all, and they are the people who are there for you through good times and bad. In fact, research has backed up the idea that friendships keep us going.

Long-lasting friendships do so much for your well-being— your mental, physical, and emotional health can benefit greatly from creating and cultivating friendships throughout the course of your life. There’s hard proof, too. According to The Mayo Clinic, friendships can not just create a sense of belonging, but they can improve your sense of self-worth, boost your confidence, and make you happier. It makes total sense. Friends build you up—they help you see your worth and feel important!Via Pinterest

When you’re going through a hard time, it always helps to turn to your friends to help get you through it. Coping with trauma is a heavy burden to bear. If you lean on your friends, the dark times associated with these traumas can seem a little bit lighter. 

Friends also encourage you to be healthier. Think about it: Have you ever hit the gym or taken a yogaclass with one of your vinas? You can keep each other motivated to make healthy choices and stay on the wellness path. The Mayo Clinicwrites that “adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).”

If that isn’t enough to convince you, there’s more proof: A study conducted by the University of Michigan aimed to find links between close relationships and overall wellness throughout life. The study found “the quality of these relationships has been linked to healthier behavior, lower incidence of chronic illnesses, higher levels of happiness and lower mortality. Researchers typically believe that the enhancing effects of investing in close relationships are present throughout life.”

So if you have a small circle of friends right now, expand it! Get out there and make some new friends. Using the Hey! VINA app is a great place to start to find some new like-minded gal pals and form forever friendships. According to these studies, it doesn’t matter when you start forming those tight bonds—but the longer they are present in your life, the better off you’ll be.