Episode 3: Hashtag Lonely
Play • 32 min

Did you know that 18 to 35-year-olds experience loneliness at higher rates than older adults? We didn't either until we came across a Cigna 2020 Loneliness survey, which reported that 61% of millennials and gen-Z-ers in America said they often felt lonely. And, that experiencing loneliness in one's 20s is near the top of the list of challenges for this age group. 

This was a surprising discovery. But it's also relatively new information, so we knew that finding definitive answers to explain this trend would not be easy. Nonetheless, we wanted to know more, if only to enable young people to talk about their loneliness and provide them with the appropriate support.

Our three guests featured on this episode -- Emery Bergmann, a college student, Megan Bruneau, a therapist who specializes in working with millennials, and Dr. Melissa Hunt, a clinical psychologist and author of "No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression" -- offer great insights and practical advice for young people who might be experiencing loneliness.

Some of the topics discussed:

  • Navigating life's difficult transitions, like going away to college.
  • Dealing with self-worth issues during periods of social disconnection.
  • Loneliness is a human condition and nobody's fault.
  • Childhood traumas, like bullying, can lead to loneliness in young adults.
  • Working with a therapist and creating a safe space for discussion.
  • The physical and psychological effects of loneliness.
  • Friendships in a hyper-connected world.
  • Social media.


Cigna 2020 Loneliness Survey

Emery Bergmann Video

Emery Bergmann New York Times

Johann Hari

No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression

iPhone Battery Usage 

"A Biography of Loneliness"

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