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Together: Why Social Connection Holds the Key to Better Health, Higher Performance, and Greater Happiness
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Together: Why Social Connection Holds the Key to Better Health, Higher Performance, and Greater Happiness

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  117 reviews
In this groundbreaking book, Former Surgeon General of the United States, Vivek Murthy argues that loneliness is the underpinning to the current crisis in mental wellness and is responsible for the upsurge in suicide, the opioid epidemic, the overuse of psych meds, the over-diagnosing and pathologizing of emotional and psychological struggle. The good news is that social c ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 28th 2020 by Harper Wave
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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Jul 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Good book, very anecdotal, lots of stories...

Talks about how COVID right now is changing us and the social needs that we have as humans.

It's made me more empathetic and understanding to people that suffer from loneliness and the lack of human social connection. Connection is so important to our lives, health, and wellbeing.

I feel like I read a lot and it's interesting but I didn't take any notes lol

Loneliness kills...

Mrs. Europaea
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't know if I would call this groundbreaking. This is similar enough to Putnam's Bowling Alone that discussed similar issues (social captial) and was published twenty years ago. I think the main difference from a sociological to a more medicinal perspective is worth noting and makes this a worthwhile read.
Johnna Gracik
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the science behind social connectivity. Vivek does an amazing job connecting together concepts like ACE’s, shame, social infrastructure, natural disasters, medical problems, and cultural differences to form a cohesive story about loneliness. As someone relatively well versed in many of these topics I thoroughly enjoyed the way they were expanded and weaved throughout this book. Bringing medical knowledge, personal experience, and the work of o ...more
Paul Miller
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Heavy on theory, light on the practical. I was impressed by this former US Surgeon General on a Freakanomics podcast promoting this book about the epidemic of loneliness in the world. He’s surely doing a public service by shining the light and lightening the stigma from something that’s very real and we all experience at one time or another. If you don’t believe loneliness is a universal malady with significant personal and societal consequences, read this book and you shall be convinced. If ins ...more
Linnea Magsuci
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A lot of the points that the book discusses are facts we already know, but Murthy does a great job in delving into scientific research as to how our brains function from social interaction or lack thereof. The solutions he proposes may be idealistic but serve as a reminder of the frameworks and definition of "community" we should use as we continue to advance society as technology innovates at a rapid rate.

On a personal note, it was comforting to read about why we may be feeling strange or conf
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a timely book for quarantine! Definitely worth reading now, more than ever.
Mark Ryan
May 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
I’ve given this book a low rating mainly for the structure and format of the writing, not necessarily the content itself. The content is fine (little new information here if you’ve read anything on the topic previously), but the structure of chapters renders the book sinfully dull. I think this could have benefitted from a stronger editor and a clearer vision for what each chapter and section would achieve. The points feel opaque; they’re hidden behind incoherent approach. Personal stories are m ...more
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was like a balm on an old wound for me. It is vastly interesting, introspective, and heartfelt. The personal stories collected and explored by Dr. Murthy really resonated with me, and I suspect they would with most of us, who have all experienced loneliness in our very different lives and craved love and connection, especially in this digital age. Somehow, in the middle of a global pandemic, reading about loneliness made me feel like human connection is only as far as reaching.
Such a timely book!
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was amazing! We've all probably heard how humans are social creatures and thus need social connections but how many of us have thought of just how dangerous loneliness can be? Dr. Murthy shares years of extensive research into how loneliness can affect our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. He shares amazing and heartbreaking stories of people from across the world who experienced loneliness. Some discovered methods to form needed connections or find the support they crav ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are many things we use all the time without really paying attention to them. That’s normal and even helpful a lot of the time; life would slow down impossibly if we couldn’t move relatively seamlessly through certain tasks or activities.

And yet it can be refreshing to stop a while and see something familiar in new light, to reflect on what we take for granted or what we assume must always be done a certain way because we’ve simply never wondered if there’s a different way to do things.

Katrina Sark
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
p.23 – What is loneliness, anyway? […] Many people think of loneliness as isolation, but the difference between these two terms is substantial. Loneliness is the subjective feeling that you’re lacking the social connections you need. It can feel like being stranded, abandoned, or cut off from the people with whom you belong – even if you’re surrounded by other people. What’s missing when you’re lonely is the feeling of closeness, trust, and the affection of genuine friends, loved ones, and commu ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Vivel Murthy, the 19th Surgeon General of the United States faced national daunting health crises such as e-cigarettes and opioids during his tenure under Barack Obama. Yet, he also faced a more insidious American problem: loneliness.

In his book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Dr. Murthy explains seeing the emotional as well as the physical toll loneliness can take in individuals. His historical look at loneliness indicates that even pre-pandemic our
Eva Salačová
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, e-book, 2020
Main lessons learned:
- loneliness has adverse effects on our mental and physical health
- there has been a surge in loneliness in the last 20 years, not only caused by technology
- when we experience loneliness, we become irate and standoffish, ironically making it harder to form or re-instate human connections

Also, the journey to being connected to others starts with self-compassion. And we need to listen to understand, not to counteract.

Great book, enriching read, would recommend.
Keelan Cosgrove
May 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ve put some thought into loneliness already, especially within the current quarantine, and didn’t find much of interest in Together. Murphy’s assertions are correct, but the messages are already quite clear. The book is verbose and doesn’t offer much in concrete suggestions for how societies can embrace human connection. I did find some aspects interesting, namely the correlation between physical pain and loneliness as evident from the painkiller experiment, and the three aspects of loneliness ...more
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book with significantly relevant information! WOW!

No matter your age, education, or stage in life, this book will speak to your soul confirming what we have been hearing day in & day out since the beginning of this pandemic ~ we are all in this TOGETHER!

My wish for each of you reading this right now: courage to ask for help when you need it, hope for a bright future filled with love, respect, & kindness to all, but perhaps the most important is the knowledge you are NEVER alone!
3.5 ⭐️
I listened to this. (Which is my preferred way to engage with most nonfiction.) I listened to Dr. Murthy on a podcast, and it prompted me to purchase his audiobook. I think I found him slightly more engaging on the podcast. I don’t know what I really expected of his here, but I did find some of the narrative too dry to keep my attention. Dr. Murthy has a great voice for narration, but I did not find the material as engaging as I thought I would.
Evelyn Petschek
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Well-researched, thoughtful, incredibly timely. Former Surgeon General Murthy offers an insightful discussion of loneliness, isolation and solitude, as well as how these conditions differ. In this deeply personal work, the Surgeon General offers some important messages for us all during this pandemic. I’d give it 8 stars if I could.
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An important book about the toll that loneliness takes on our health and our society. I was especially interested in the chapters that told stories of successful community connection initiatives. Highly recommended.
Ryan Mizzen
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Some interesting facts about loneliness, accompanied by many anecdotes. In regards to the human connection element, this book only included a few paragraphs on touch, which maybe could have done with more page space.
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think that especially during these times during the unprecedented, we need out friends and community more than ever. Current research demonstrates that too much screen time vs F2F interactions leads to decreased empathy. Loneliness is often linked to depression and substance abuse. We need to look up from our smartphones and start taking notice and caring about each other again!
Neecey Kirby
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing. You have all the vulnerability and compassion validation in one book by the 19th surgeon general. We are lonely. Thats our nations current sickness. Great study and resource if the genre is just your style.
Sheila Callahan
Jul 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This book reminded me of David Brooks' recent book about the power of community in combatting loneliness, an important topic for all of us.
Kamilė Sukackaitė
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"What is humanity, really, but family of families?"

A must read.
Aaron Mikulsky
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read and so very relevant today! Here are some of my fun facts:
The antidote to loneliness is human connection; we are hardwired for connection. We are better together. “When we strengthen our connection with one another, we are healthier, more resilient, more productive, more vibrantly creative, and more fulfilled.” “While loneliness has the power to kill, connection has even more potential to heal.” One consequence of loneliness is a deep sense of helplessness and hopelessness. “From birt
Chris Boutté
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on loneliness with some great solutions
Sara Barker
This could have been 100 pages. It was one of the books included in a quarterly subscription from Next Big Idea Club. Aside for the timeliness as were all managing with COVID, and may have increased loneliness, there was not much new by way of info. Dull read.
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it
I was immediately intrigued by the premise of this book and its emphasis on social connections as related to health. I find the research in this area compelling and looked forward to learning more about it.

Murthy offers substantial support--both data-driven and anecdotally--for his assertions on the importance of community. Throughout the book he shares research on the health impact of isolation along with stories of people who struggled while alone or found ways to build their communities. Many
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nbic-books
Whether you are an extravert or introvert, connection is an important part of being human, and while we each differ in the kind of ways we connect, we need certain kinds of connections in our lives to be happy and healthy. “Together” is an engaging guide to what connection means, how it benefits us, and how to built it.

While we sometimes need solitude, the absence of the appropriate connections in our lives can lead to loneliness. and loneliness has a larger impact on the quality of our lives th
Behrooz Parhami
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the unabridged audio version of this title (read by the author, HarperAudio, 2020).

Dr. Murthy is a former US Surgeon General, who believes loneliness and reduced family and social-network support is making us less well, both physically and emotionally. The root of the problem is a mismatch between how we are wired by evolution to be tribal and trust only family and/or tribe members and how we live in the modern world, where individuality drives us to achieve more by going far away
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