Maybe you’re new to a city and struggling to make friends. Or the people you love seem to be in a different phase of their lives than you. Or you’ve got all the friends you could possibly want, but you still don’t feel connected. At one time or another, everyone has felt lonely.

“It’s something every human being has gone through or will go through,” says Lisa Bahar, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Newport Beach, California. But chronic loneliness can have serious health impacts. In fact, a study analysis in Perspectives on Psychological Science suggests this feeling is involved in everything from depression and alcoholism, strokes, decreased immune system, and early death.

Here’s how to deal with loneliness when you inevitably get hit with the blues.

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