Loneliness, Health & What Happens When We Find Connection

Book cover featuring the word ‘Together’, multicoloured and in joined-up text

Barack Obama’s former Surgeon General explores the global loneliness epidemic – and how we can overcome it.

The world seems more connected than ever, and yet loneliness is at epidemic levels. It is a root cause of many of society’s greatest challenges, from addiction and violence to depression and anxiety. But what lies behind this crisis, and is it possible to reverse it?

When Obama appointed him Surgeon General of the United States, Dr Vivek Murthy observed this global health emergency first-hand and saw that the effects are profound – whether due to evolution, our use of technology or the social systems designed to help us. Disconnection is affecting our health, how our children experience school, how we perform in the workplace and our sense of polarisation in politics. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Dr Murthy’s search for answers led him to doctors, scientists, parents and community members tackling loneliness around the world. The solutions are creative, deceptively simple and easily applicable – but the effects on people, and implications for society as a whole are transformative. In this inspiring and urgent book, he shows that real human connection is a medical necessity – and we can all benefit from it.

“Fascinating, moving and essential reading.”

Atul Gawande

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About the author

Photograph of Vivek H Murthy

Vivek H Murthy


Dr Vivek H Murthy is a physician, researcher, public health expert and entrepreneur. From 2014 to 2017 he served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States. His writings have been published in leading medical journals, newspapers and magazines, and his work has been covered extensively in national and international media.