From the chalky candy hearts, corny greeting cards, and promise of cupid’s arrow, people either love Valentine’s Day or they hate it. But there’s a newer holiday—Galentine’s Day—that we’re pretty sure everyone can get behind.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this fun holiday, it was started in the fictional world by Amy Poehler’s character on her show Parks and Recreation as a celebration of female friendship. Since then, Galentine’s Day has found its way into the real world with girls and women across the country setting aside time every February 13th to let their wonderful, smart, caring, and generally awesome besties know how much their friendship means. It’s the best idea ever, right? And just in case you need more convincing, here are five scientifically proven reasons to raise up friendships—both your own and your daughter’s or those of any young girl in your life!
1. Friends Change the Way You See the World
A study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that physical obstacles appeared smaller and less daunting to people when they were standing next to a friend. Even cooler? The longer the friends had known each other, the stronger the effect. Proof that the second “f” in BFF is pretty powerful.
2. Friends Motivate You to Be Your Best
Everyone knows good friends should cheer you on as you work toward your goals, but there’s science to show it really works! Experts say that wanting to keep up with friends—whether through athletic achievement or something more academic like grades—can push us to work harder and stay on task longer than if we were doing the activity alone. Get it, girls!
3. Friends Give You Confidence to Try New Things
Reports show that girls who have solid friendships have an easier time transitioning to middle school than those who don’t. And just from everyday experience, we’re pretty sure it’s easier to jump into anynew situation at any age when you’ve got a trusted buddy at your side.
4. Friends Make You Healthier
A 2015 study out of the University of Virginia showed that close childhood and teen friendships led to better health and lower stress levels later in life. If hanging out with friends counts as preventative medicine, we’ll take a double dose!
5. Friends Make Bad Stuff Hurt Less
If you’ve ever thought there’s no better remedy to a lousy day than a friend (and maybe a scoop or two of yummy ice cream)—you’re onto something. When girls and women bond with friends, our brains release a “feel-good” hormone called oxytocin that helps us better tolerate both physical and emotional pain. So, take two awesome friends, and call in the morning. Doctor’s orders!
We could list about 10,000 other reasons why our girlfriends are the best in the whole wide world (who else sends you the funniest emoji-filled texts first thing in the morning?!), but then you’d be spending all your time reading this instead of planning the most epic Galentine’s Day ever. So spread the love, have fun, and let friendship rule the world.
Learn how you or your girl can make new friends here!