Constructing Connection: Why Relationships Keep Us Young and Make Us Happier with Marta Zaraska, Jenn Bane & Trin Garritano

Original Air Date Wednesday, December 2, 2020


We are all seeking out ways to stay connected to family and friends during the COVID-19 pandemic. We do so because physically, emotionally, and spiritually humans thrive in communities.

Studies indicate close contact with others can have a positive effect on our health, wellbeing, and longevity. Without friendships or other relationships, we become lonely, which can cause detrimental changes in our behavior. To discover how we can live longer while enjoying the precious time of our lives, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with three female authors who value connection, friendship, and community. Marta Zaraska sheds light on how positive engagements with others can lengthen our time on earth and shares insights from her book, Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism, and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100. And, Jenn Bane and Trin Garritano discuss friendship dynamics, tips for creating friendships that endure, and excerpts from their book, Friendshipping: The Art of Finding Friends, Being Friends, and Keeping Friends.

Marta Zaraska — Kindness Keeps You Young: 
  • Marta describes what inspired her to write Growing Young. [1:47]
  • What happens to our bodies when we are in positive engagement with others and how the pandemic has changed it. [3:57]
  • Why loneliness is bad for human health. [7:35]
  • Things that bolster optimism, help us engage in our communities and family and friends. [14:41]
  • Why a commitment to a romantic relationship has a positive effect on our health and wellness. [21:27]

Marta Zaraska is a science journalist published in the Washington Post, Scientific American, New Scientist, The Atlantic, Discover, and more. She is the author of MeatHooked: The History and Science of Our Two and a Half Million Year Obsession with Meat.

Book: Growing Young: How Friendship, Optimism, and Kindness Can Help You Live to 100


Growing Young the Book Website

@MZaraska on Twitter

@MZaraska on Instagram

Jenn Bane &Trin Garritano — Constructing Connections:

  • The Friendshipping Podcast is an advice-based podcast that is a fun way for Trin and Jenn to maintain their friendship. [28:06]
  • How the book, Friendshipping came to fruition and relishing friendships during a pandemic. [29:48]
  • Jenn and Trin describe why it can be hard for adults to make friends and different friendship dynamics. [33:44]
  • What to do when it is time to end a toxic friendship. [48:03]
  • Why we should embrace and approach work as a creative endeavor. [45:48]
  • The book, Friendshipping offers advice for every type of relationship in life. [51:58]

Jenn Bane is a writer, editor, producer, and co-host of the podcast Friendshipping, a feel-good advice show about making friends. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and lives in Chicago with her husband and dog.

Trin Garritano is a writer, game developer, and the other half of the Friendshipping podcast. She has contributed to games like Asmadi Games’ tabletop roleplaying game 1001 Odysseys, and Victorian dating simulator Max Gentlemen: Sexy Business. She lives with her partner, cats, and too many plants in Chicago.

Book: Friendshipping: The Art of Finding Friends, Being Friends, and Keeping Friends 

Friendshipping Podcast Website

@DoFriendship on Twitter

@JennDangerous on Twitter

@TrinandTonic on Twitter

This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio is sponsored by:

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Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now? 

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a

“I am amongst the hug deprived. I feel the absence of the high-touch environment we lived in prior to the corona pandemic.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet “Loneliness is bad for our health.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“If we want to be healthier we need to engage in simple pleasures that have a lasting effect.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There has to be reciprocity because in every relationship, professional, personal, or romantic, there is a flow of back-and-forth.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Mental health and social health is important to our mental and physical functioning.” @mzaraska on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Studies show when people receive more frequent hugs they are buffered against upper respiratory infection. Click To Tweet“Loneliness causes changes in behavior, such as we perceive threats more often.” @mzaraska on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“In our chase for the best exercise regime and best nutrition, we have lost the big picture that are social apes who belong in communities.” @mzaraska on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Personality is something that can be substantially changed. We can do it by 'faking it until you make it'. Click To Tweet“The things that help us become healthier are also the things that help us grow as people.” @mzaraska on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Research shows that having a happy relationship is far more important to health than diet, exercise, or even smoking. It’s the commitment that is key.” @mzaraska on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Happiness can add 4-10 years on to your life.” @mzaraska on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We cobbled together a Frankenstein of a book, we are excited about.” @JennDangerous on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“The number one thing about keeping in touch with your friends as an adult, especially in these times, is to weigh our interaction more heavily now than we would have pre-pandemic.” @JennDangerous on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet “This is the winter time and we have to bring our friends into the greenhouse for a little while. There are intricacies we can do to make our friendships more close.” @DoFriendship on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Adult life is just not designed for making friends easily.” @JennDangerous on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet “A cactus friend doesn't need a lot of attention and watering.” @DoFriendship on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Sheltering in place is not easy for a single person especially those who thrive in groups or crowds.” @TrinandTonic on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Telling your friends how to love you is so useful and so important.” @DoFriendship on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Leaving a toxic friendship is one of the hardest things you will ever do.” @DoFriendship on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet