Sometimes at the end of a long week, your dream fantasy involves a giant bowl of popcorn and your Netflix queue instead of a fun social outing with coworkers. Before you pull out the pajamas, take a moment to reconsider. Science says you should go for the booze. Turns out, saying yes to a round (or two) with the girls from the office is actually good for your health.


According to a new study, researchers from the University of Michigan studied 11,000 adults and found that in-person meetings between family and friends can seriously lower your risk for depression. In fact, only 6.5 percent of adults who squeezed in IRL face time (versus FaceTime) with loved ones at least three times a week showed depressive symptoms. Those who kept the social engagements down to every few months or so showed depressive symptoms at a rate of 11.5 percent—almost double the frequency.

But what about all that interaction you get with your colleagues just during the work day? Or all the emails you send to your friends or phone calls to Mom? Survey says: It’s just not the same. “All forms of socialisation aren’t equal. Phone calls and digital communication, with friends or family members, do not have the same power as face-to-face social interactions in helping to stave off depression,” said the study’s lead author and Oregon Health and Science University professor of psychiatry Dr. Alan Teo.

That “yes” RSVP to happy hour may sound frivolous when you want to get a jump on your weekend cleaning (or streaming). But considering all the health benefits packed into that glass of wine and this new knowledge about keeping depression at bay? It’s a no-brainer. Talk about drinking responsibly.

Are you more likely to hit up happy hour or call it an early night? Tell us in the comments below!

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