Media and Information Center
To get started, we suggest watching this brief video to find out what the UnLonely Project is all about from a variety of perspectives: health, the arts, storytellers, and more.
Watch: Why the UnLonely Project is Getting Attention
Links and Materials
Here is a growing collection of materials and links to articles that discuss Loneliness and its impact on individuals and communities:
Contacts and Resources
- Vivan James
Media Resource & Subject Matter Expert
- Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH
Founder and President,
Foundation for Art & Healing
- Ask about Dr. Nobel’s availability to speak at your subject-related event
Consumer Articles and Media Mentions
- Harvard Crimson op-ed “Harvard Time Runs on Loneliness”
- Forbes article “Loneliness Linked To Negative Social Media Experiences, Study Finds”
- CNN report “Loneliness peaks at three key ages, study finds — but wisdom may help”
- The Atlantic article “To Prevent Loneliness, Start in the Classroom”
- Wall Street Journal article “The Goal: Longer Life With Less Loneliness. When older patients feel more connected, they often stay healthier; now health-care providers are taking steps to help them feel less alone.”
- Psychology Today cover story “A Cure for Disconnection.” Loneliness is a problem of epidemic proportions, affecting millions from all walks of life. But while its roots are complex, remedies may be within reach.
- Harvard Business Review cover story “WORK AND THE LONELINESS EPIDEMIC, Reducing isolation at work is good for business.”
- Forbes article on research presented at the 125th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association underlines the connection between loneliness and a premature death.
- New York Times article on the isolation and loneliness facing caregivers and the damaging health repercussions they can experience as a result.
- Workforce article on workplace isolation and loneliness as a growing workplace wellness concern.
- NPR podcast “Midlife Friendship Key To A Longer, Healthier Life”
- The Washington Post article “Loneliness grows from individual ache to public health hazard”
- CBS Detroit article– “The Public Health Plight That Doesn’t Bleed: Loneliness”
- Everyday Health article where Sanjay Gupta reviews the evidence that loneliness should be treated as a chronic illness and considers steps individuals can take to relieve it.
- Everyday Health reviews the research that loneliness has serious and negative health effects on the body, not simply a matter of mind or mood.
- Slate article by Jessica Olien on the growing evidence that loneliness poses health risks comparable to other mortality risks like smoking and obesity, incorporating scholarly and popular sources, as well as her personal story.
- The Independent (UK) examines the loneliness epidemic in the UK, especially among older adults, and the governmental and charitable efforts to combat it.
- Time Magazine reports on a 2015 study that loneliness increases mortality risk by around 30% percent, interviewing the author of the study, and calling loneliness the “next big public health issue.”
- Live Science reports on a meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, where the negative biological effects of loneliness were presented, reviewing the research and interviewing its author.
- Forbes article on the uptick of suicide among older adults, and considers the economic downturn and lax gun control possible causes.
- Huffington Post article discusses loneliness as a growing public health concern, reviewing several recent studies its physical and psychological health effects.
- Guardian (UK) column about the deadly health effects of loneliness, and how technology may be responsible for this “age of loneliness.”
- Guardian (UK) article detailing seven ways to end loneliness, from personal steps to governmental policy changes.
- The New Yorker discusses the growing evidence that the internet and social media increase feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety.
- The New Yorker feature by Nathan Heller about the growing problem of social isolation and loneliness, incorporating research and personal accounts.
- University of California San Francisco story on the innovative incorporation of art as medicine at the USCF Medical Center, giving historical perspective on the research on creative expression as healing, and discussing the specific problem of loneliness.
Scientific Research & Studies
- May 2018 report in the Journal of the American Heart Association, “Perceived Social Isolation and Outcomes in Patients With Heart Failure”
- 2017 a study published in Physician Leadership Journal discussing creative expression as a way to increase patient activation in the management of Type 2 diabetes.
- A 2009 study on the physical and mental health effects of social isolation, including social disconnectedness and perceived isolation.
- A 2013 CDC review on the substantial increase of suicide among adults since 1999, with deaths from suicide surpassing deaths from motor vehicle crashes.
- A 2012 study on loneliness and health in older adults, which followed two thousand American adults over six years, and found an increased mortality risk with loneliness.
- A report on 2013 research that indicated increased immune dysfunction among lonely individuals, especially those with preexisting health conditions.
- A nationwide 2010 survey by the AARP that found that over one-third of American adults are lonely and that loneliness is a predictor of poor health.
- A 2010 meta-analysis of 148 studies determined a link between loneliness and an increased risk of mortality.
- An early study, published in 1998, showed a correlation between increased internet usage and loneliness, social disengagement, and poor psychological health.
- A 2010 meta-analysis of 40 studies on the internet and psychological well-being, indicating that internet usage had a detrimental effect on well-being, increasing loneliness and depression.
- Two 2014 studies demonstrated that loneliness is a longitudinal risk factor for pain, depression, and fatigue and that loneliness increases the risk of poor health and mortality.
- A 2013 study found linking loneliness to immune dysregulation.
- A 2011 evidence review by the Mental Health Foundation (UK) delineated the benefits of participation in creative activity on health and well-being for elderly adults.
- A 2015 meta-analysis demonstrated that loneliness is associated with early mortality risk, with living alone, social isolation, and feelings of loneliness increasing risk of death by up to 32%.
- Research in 2015 showed that art therapy was effective in reducing loneliness and emotional disorder, as well as in improving academic test scores for adolescents with learning difficulties.
- A 2008 study indicated that creative arts therapies reduced physical pain, as well as depression, anxiety, and loneliness in pediatric oncology and hematology patients.
- A 2015 study shows that loneliness triggered biological changes at the cellular level, causing increased inflammation and decreased antiviral response, risk factors for illness and premature death.
Media Mentions and Events
Here’s a collection of our recent awareness activities that spotlight the public health crisis of Loneliness and how creative expression can be a catalyst to forming authentic connections.
As posted on the Harvard Health Blog... Writing as an antidote to loneliness Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH Contributor It may not seem possible to be able to write your way to better health. But as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a poet myself,...read more
It's not every day the Today Show comes knocking, so you can imagine the thrill when reporter Kate Snow and producer Jared Crawford contacted us for their series on loneliness. They did a terrific job of laying out the why this has become one of today's major public...read more
The UnLonely Project and founder Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH were featured in US News & World Reports. Here's an excerpt from the article. You can read the full story here. Feeling sad, lonely and useless is more than just an emotional quagmire for...read more
Bill O'Brien and Jeremy Nobel have a conversation about how the arts can have a big impact on mitigating one of today's major health crises: Loneliness. Bill O'Brien, Senior Advisor for Innovation/Director of Creative Forces, National Endowment for the Arts Bill...read more
PERSONAL HEALTH To Counter Loneliness, Find Ways to Connect Much of modern life, though seeming to promote connectivity, has had the opposite effect of fostering social isolation and loneliness, experts say. By Jane E. Brody June 25, 2018 A...read more
Op-ed: Why Combatting Loneliness is Critical Recent research has uncovered the potentially devastating health effects of loneliness and social isolation, including a global rise in suicide, alcoholism-related liver disease, and addiction. In a May 8, 2018...read more
Being UnLonely through Creative Expression A conversation with Joseph Behen, Executive Director, Counseling, Health, and Disability Services at the School of Art Institute of Chicago and Jeremy Nobel, MD, MPH, President of the Foundation for Art &...read more
Featured in Psychology Today: A Cure for Disconnection Loneliness is so insidious: It hides in plain sight and, unlike smoking or obesity, isn't typically seen as a threat, even though it takes a greater toll on our well-being. The need for intervention is urgent,...read more