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What's Going to Kill You? If Not Work, Is it the Loneliness?

By William Peacock, Esq. on November 06, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Sedentary lifestyle. Obesity. Alcoholism. Heart attacks.

Death is lurking, my friends, and for lawyers living stressful lives, with too much work, too many hours, too massive a debt load, and  too little free time for exercise, healthy eating, and a social life, many of us are racing towards our deaths like idiots on crotch rockets.

But surprisingly, it might not be the booze or the fried chicken that kills you. It could be the loneliness.

WSJ: Loneliness is Deadly

How likely are those pangs of loneliness to kill you? The Wall Street Journal sums up the research:

"Researchers at Brigham Young University studying the correlation between social relationships and mortality did a 2010 meta-analysis of 148 studies encompassing more than 300,000 participants. They found loneliness was as strong a predictor of early death as was alcoholism or smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and it was a stronger predictor than obesity or a sedentary lifestyle."

Thanks WSJ. As if unemployment and student loan debt weren't enough to be worried about. And we thought all of those lonely heroes, like Dirty Harry, would die by a bullet or cirrhosis, not due to sheer solitude. Of course, a more skeptical mind might posit that loneliness and substance abuse are likely highly correlated, but either way, we're still going to die.

Let's delay that for as long as possible though, shall we?


Did you move to your present location for a job (or a relationship gone wrong)? Are your friends and family scattered elsewhere?

It can be difficult to find new friends in a new city, especially if you're working eighty-hour weeks. But living an isolated work-home-sleep-work-home-sleep lifestyle isn't healthy. Work/life balance is key, my friends.

Invite a co-worker out for lunch or a beer. Find local activities groups ( is a great place to start) that you're interested in, such as dancing, playing an instrument, or writing. Heck, how about introducing yourself to your neighbors?


Friendships are great, but they can't compare to a soul mate/life partner/spouse. How can you stop being Mr. Lonely and jump-start your love life? How about online dating?

Back in September, we gave you six apps and websites that will help you find a significant other. It's been two months -- have you started yet? Seriously folks, this is apparently a matter of life and death.

Convinced Yet?

Even if you think the research might be overstating the problem, nobody wants to be lonely, right? If you've defeated the pangs of loneliness, and have tips for our readers, share them with us on Facebook at FindLaw for Legal Professionals.

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