The Art and Science of Connection: Why Social Health Is the Missing Key to Living Longer, Healthier, and Happier
A groundbreaking redefinition of what it means to be healthy that introduces the need for social health—the part of wellbeing that comes from feeling connected—to truly flourish.
Exercise. Eat a balanced diet. Go to therapy. Most wellness advice is focused on achieving and maintaining good physical and mental health. But Harvard-trained social scientist and pioneering social health expert Kasley Killam reveals that this approach is missing a vital component: human connection.
Relationships not only make us happier, but also are critical to our overall health and longevity. Research shows that people with a strong sense of belonging are 2.6 times more likely to report good or excellent health. Perhaps even more astonishingly, people who lack social support are up to 53% more likely to die from any cause. Yet social health has been overlooked and underappreciated—until now.
Just as we exercise our physical muscles, we can strengthen our social muscles. Weaving together cutting-edge science, mindset shifts, and practical wisdom, Killam offers the first methodology for how to be socially healthy. An antidote to the loneliness epidemic and an inspiring manifesto for seeing wellbeing as not only physical and mental, but also social, The Art and Science of Connection is a handbook for thriving.
In this essential book, you will:
- Learn a simple yet powerful framework to understand, evaluate, and bolster your social health.
- Discover the exact strategy or habit you need, as well as research-backed tips, to cultivate and sustain meaningful connection now and throughout your life.
- Glean actionable insights to develop a sense of community in your neighborhood, at work, and online from a spirited group of neighbors in Paris, the CEO of a major healthcare company, and an artificially intelligent chatbot.
- Get an insider look at the innovative ways that doctors, teachers, entrepreneurs, architects, government leaders, and everyday people are catalyzing a movement toward a more socially healthy society.
The Art and Science of Connection will transform the way you think about each interaction with a friend, family member, coworker, or neighbor, and give you the tools you need to live a more connected and healthy life—whether you are an introvert or extrovert, if you feel stretched thin, and no matter your age or background. Along the way, Killam will reveal how a university student, a newlywed, a working professional, and a retired widow overcame challenges to thrive through connection—and how you can, too.
Praise for The Art and Science of Connection: Why Social Health Is the Missing Key to Living Longer, Healthier, and Happier
"Social connections are the key to sustainable flourishing in an uncertain and changing world. Killam not only accurately diagnoses our human need for connection, but also offers concrete solutions for creating better conditions for global social health so that we can flourish together." — —Robert Emmons, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology, author of Thanks!
"If you want to cultivate lasting connections in your life, workplace, or community, read this book! Killam will change the way you think about health, relationships, and what success really means." — –Dorie Clark, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Long Game and executive education faculty, Columbia Business School
"Kasley Killam has had a lifelong passion for helping people build social connection and in The Art and Science of Connection, she turns her research and wisdom into a manual to help you find your people!" — —Emma Seppälä, Yale faculty, best-selling author of The Happiness Track and Sovereign
"The Art and Science of Connection is a riveting blend of science and story that will teach you countless innovative ways to build a greater community for yourself and others. It will not only leave you inspired but it will also propel you to reevaluate your priorities and place connection at the top. Whenever we feel hopeless about rising rates of loneliness, we will turn to it for hope. It is sure to be a culture-changing book." — Marisa Franco, New York Times bestselling author of Platonic
"In this important book, Kasley Killam does something new and significant by adding the concept of social health to our current focus on physical and mental health. With the eye of a public health scientist and the heart of an advocate, Killam shows us how connections and community are an essential aspect of health. In an era of social media feast yet social capital famine, this must-read book provides both a diagnosis and a treatment." — –Thomas Insel, Former Director of the National Institute of Mental Health and author of Healing
"This book is a much-needed corrective for humanity's trajectory, guiding us from overemphasis on selfhood toward a socially healthy future. The Art and Science of Connection offers clear insights from research and practical strategies for strengthening bonds throughout the lifecourse. For leaders in positions to shape policy, this book is a catalyst for initiatives that will advance progress, innovation, and world peace." — Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Science Director at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center