Why Girls' Nights Out Are So Important To Your Emotional Health

Female friendship is a powerful thing. You could be having the worst day ever, but one phone call from your bestie makes you feel all better. And after a night on the town, you feel like you and your girls can practically run the world. Whether your girls' night consists of dressing up in matching wigs a la "Girl's Trip" and tearing it up on the dance floor, or a cozy pajama party with your favorite movies and a ton of snacks, there's nothing quite like a girls' night to remind you of the wonderful friendships you have in your life.

But as adults, it can be hard to find the time to hang out with the girls. Maybe you get a boyfriend and your nights become full of romantic stay-at-home dates, or you're simply married to your job and struggle to find any downtime after a crazy workday. It becomes more difficult to figure out scheduling, and plans end up falling through. But we know that prioritizing girls' nights out is important not just for maintaining friendships, but for your own mental health.

Spending time with your friends can actually help you live longer

Hanging out with your friends reminds you to let loose and let the burdens of daily life fly far away, if only for a little while (via Elite Daily). Your friends are there to let you vent and provide you with another perspective on your daily problems, and then pull you out onto the dance floor to dance your problems away. Whether you're celebrating a huge promotion, grieving a breakup, or you're just struggling to figure out your next steps, your friends are there to remind you that you are, in the words of Lizzo, "100% that b****."

Friends provide moral support and a place to escape, but maintaining positive friendships also provide health benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults who prioritize close friendships are less likely to develop things like "depression, high blood pressure, and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI)." In addition to promoting self-confidence and positive self-worth, hanging out with friends can relieve stress and anxiety. Those who rely on close friends during hard times are less prone to feelings of isolation and loneliness and have been found to recover more quickly (per Everyday Health).

How to maintain meaningful friendships as an adult

So, you're ready for a girls' night out, but when you grab your phone to call them up, you realize you might not have a ton of close girlfriends to go out with. Don't worry, it's a common problem. A survey conducted by the Survey Center of American Life found that the average adult only has three to five close friends, with almost half reporting fewer than three and 10% reporting no close friends.

It can be hard to make friends as an adult, and even harder to keep them. As kids, making friends is as easy as sharing crayons or liking the same color. But as we get older, more responsibilities pile up, and maintaining friendships gets harder to focus on. Over time, old friends grow more distant, and making new friends becomes daunting.

Making new connections is all about putting yourself out there — you might have to leave your comfort zone to find a new friend. Better Up explains that one of the best ways to meet new people is to try new things. Try joining a yoga class, a book club, or a community event. Once you've made a connection, make efforts to reach out and stay connected. Plan a monthly dinner or a weekly zoom session to catch up. WebMD reminds us to value quality over quantity when it comes to friendships. One or two meaningful relationships is much better than having 100 frenemies.