In the Media – Girlfriends with benefits

Published: January 10, 2014 | Last Updated: June 16, 2016 By | 6 Replies Continue Reading
Women's Health Australia

Women’s Health Australia

This article in Australia’s Women’s Health by Melrav Devash talks about girlfriends with benefits and the crisis in friendships.

Girlfriends, in particular, come with special bonds and benefits. Numerous studies have shown that hanging with the gals can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of depression and create a sense of wellbeing. One landmark study from the University of California, US, showed that hanging out with female friends in times of stress releases oxytocin in the body, a hormone that counters tension and produces a calming effect.

And in another study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers found that having a pitiful social life is as bad as (or worse than) being an alcoholic, smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being obese. It seems friendship is healthier than kale, people!

One big sign your own bonds are lacklustre is that you aren’t doing things you’d like to do (karaoke! Pub trivia! Juice cleanse!) because you have no one to join you, says Irene Levine, a professor of psychiatry and author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend.

To read the article, which also appeared on Yahoo, in in its entirety click here.


Category: IN THE MEDIA

Comments (6)

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  1. Sienna says:

    Wow, wonderful wise words Carol!

    Like the great Oscar Wilde said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

    It’s so true isn’t it?

    We have to continue to love and forgive ourselves throughout our lives no matter how disappointed we are with our bad behaviour or our shortcomings.

  2. Carol says:

    At almost 75, these words made sense to me, “You shouldn’t live alone until you have lived a lot. (author unknown.) Of course it’s a very good idea to find others to interact with in life. I don’t mean those we are interacting with because we have to work with them or meet them in the daily needs of life. Building friendships to me is like building anything, takes time, some work out, some don’t. It is in the “trying,” that we have experiences in life. I could not now at my age, feel so comfortable with living alone and being on my own. There is no way I could feel so comfortable with who I am without having made all the mistakes I made, been part of a friendships and/or intimate relationships failing and doing the painful work of understanding my part in them.

    If anything all the past living I’ve done has taught me is all of it was necessary for me personally. A string of failures can often be more valuable than a string of wins. Now, the best friend I have is the one I have created with myself. Today, I have to take my driver license renewal test. I began driving at 16 (I think) and this is the first time I have been so uptight about passing. As we age we take on society’s meaning of “aging” and it takes hard work to not buy into it’s negativity. Having a driver’s license represents independence, a vital connection to being alive and involved in life. It seems, no matter our age, we have to be our best friend; the one who is always there. No one else will be(or needs to be)our greatest cheerleader in our life. Yes, it is wonderful to have a best friend. I can’t control how others feel about me, but I can control how I feel about me, my best friend. Finally, my best girlfriend is not drawn to the ocean as I am. However, because I have learned to enjoy a friendship with me, I go as it’s beauty tugs at me to sprout wings.

    I feel the secret to life is hope. I wish you all hope.


    • Loved your comments, Carol…and good luck with the driver’s test. I’m rooting for you!

      • Carol says:

        Thanks Sienna and Irene. I did pass my test and I can’t believe how anxious I became. I did by chance end up sitting next to a 80 year old woman and she was calm as a cucumber. Guess I have some more work to do in the next 5 years to accomplish what has. See how all those that love us watch over us. Not that she wasn’t anxious a bit too, but was also great to here her life story as I shared mine. So is this a new friend, well even if I never see her again, I will never forget her ability to comfort and calm my nerves. So is someone a friend if you never see them again? Friendship is oh so many things and different for all of us. The young man who gave me the test made me laugh when he took my picture for my new license. He said to me: “Smile with your heart Carol!” I had to dig deep to find my belief in myself. A happy ending to the challenge of confronting my ability to stay on the road and keep my independence.

        Be well, Carol

        • Irene says:

          Congrats!! It’s amazing how easily we get rattled, even with age~

        • Sienna says:

          Sweet! Love your stories Carol, your perspective. Yes, that 80 year old is your friend! For sure. Bet she’ll remember you too for a long time…

          So glad you passed. To have no license would be so imprisoning.

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