Book Giveaways

The Art and Science of Connection: Why Social Health Is the Missing Key to Living Longer, Healthier, and Happier

June 17, 2024

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A groundbreaking redefinition of health and wellbeing that emphasizes the need for social health—a sense of belonging or social connection—to achieve true wellness, braiding together new science, mindset shifts, and practical wisdom for cultivating strong relationships in our own lives.


ArtScienceConnection.jpgWellness is commonly understood to be about achieving and maintaining good physical and mental health—exercising, eating a balanced diet, and taking care of our emotional needs through various methods, from meditation to therapy. But pioneering social scientist and social health expert Kasley Killam argues that this definition of wellbeing is missing a major component: social connection. Relationships not only make us happier, but they are also critical to our overall health and longevity. Research shows that people with smaller social networks are more susceptible to diabetes, and, incredibly, poor social relationships can increase your risk of developing heart disease by 29%. Conversely, people with a strong sense of belonging are 2.6 times more likely to report good or excellent health. Perhaps even more astonishingly, people with weak family ties or social contact are 11% to 53% more likely to die from any cause.

The data is clear: relationships don’t just make us feel good, they help us live healthier and longer. Yet joining a book club or FaceTiming a loved one while folding laundry aren’t commonly associated with our wellbeing, in spite of research showing that these rituals can make a big impact on our health. Moreover, data and headlines alike reveal that our society is suffering from an epidemic of loneliness.

In this essential book, Killam rethinks our definition of “health” to include this missing link, opening our eyes to how social health is a vital dimension of wellbeing that derives from our connections and sense of community.

True wellness is a trinity—physical, mental, and social health. We cannot thrive without all three. But just like an exercise routine or mental health care, we need practices to nurture our social health. Killam provides research-backed tools, habits, and practical solutions that can be put into action, from calling friends on your commute and organizing neighborhood block parties to larger calls to action for walkable urban spaces and best practices for the workplace.


About the Author

Kasley Killam, MPH, is internationally recognized as a leading expert in social health. As a graduate of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, sought-after advisor and keynote speaker, and founder of Social Health Labs, Killam has been improving global well-being through connection for over a decade. Her collaborations with organizations like Google, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the World Economic Forum contribute to building more socially healthy products, workplaces, and communities. Killam’s insights can be found in outlets such as the New York Times, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and the Washington Post.


The books for this giveaway are being provided by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. We have 20 copies available, and the giveaway will end on June 24th.


This giveaway has ended.

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