Your healthiest new habit

Did you know that building and nurturing strong relationships is just as important to your health as eating well and exercising?

In fact, several meta-analyses have found that lacking strong social connections carries a risk similar to smoking up to 15 cigarettes per day.1

Our kits are designed to help you

  • slow down & take a screen vacation
  • feel more meaningfully connected
  • ultimately feel happier & healthier

Craving connection?

You're not alone.

  • The majority of Americans feel lonely — more than 3 in 5 adults2
  • 58% of Americans say they feel like no one knows them well3
  • Gen Z is the loneliest generation — nearly 8 in 10 are lonely4
  • Millennials are the next loneliest — nearly 7 in 10 are lonely5
  • 47% of Americans feel that their relationships are not meaningful6
  • The number of Americans with no close friends has tripled since 19857
  • Loneliness is the number one fear of young people today—ranking ahead of losing a home or a job8

What's the problem?

Loneliness has reached epidemic levels in America. Longer work hours and busier schedules mean we call and see each other less. So when we crave connection, we usually turn to our devices as a substitute for IRL connection.

But research shows that online social contact with friends and family is not an effective alternative to offline interactions in reducing feelings of loneliness.9 Plus, scrolling through social media causes a release of cortisol and adrenaline (the stress and energy hormones), ironically making many of us feel more anxious and disconnected.10

How Nice helps


Like a vitamin for your relationships.

The health of your relationships depends on the depth and regularity of your interactions. In other words, it’s not about the fact that you’re talking to people, it’s what you’re talking to them about and how consistently you’re reaching out.

The total privacy of handwritten mail makes it easy to open up and go deeper than likes, DMs & texts. And not having to coordinate busy schedules makes it easy to establish a more consistent outreach routine than an occasional call or meet-up.

Loneliness 101

Did you know?

Loneliness is like hunger or thirst — it’s a natural signal that our body gives us when we’re missing something that we need for survival. If we don’t address it, it can cause damage in the same way that hunger or thirst can when they aren’t addressed.11

“You have to take it seriously. Just as you make time in your busy schedule to be physically active, you need to make time to be socially active.”

— Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, Professor of Psychology & Neuroscience at Brigham Young University12

When seeking connection, it’s all about quality not quantity. Research shows that loneliness is less linked to how many relationships you have, and more linked to perceived shortcomings in the quality of your relationships.13

"The term lonely often implies that you’re somehow a social failure, but that’s not the case. Everyone feels lonely sometimes.”

— Dr. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD14

Loneliness arises when when we feel a lack of intimacy with others — when we don’t feel we have people in our lives who truly understand us on a deeper level.15

Why are we so lonely?

Some people experience loneliness because of lack of fulfillment within relationships, while others feel ignored and excluded from relationships altogether. Some people feel alone in a crowded room, while others feel content in solitude.

Everyone experiences loneliness differently, and for different reasons.

Loneliness can’t be boiled down to a single cause, so it’s helpful to understand some of the most common contributing factors:


Big life changes

Major changes like moving to a new place where you don’t know anyone can trigger loneliness — especially if you struggle with being far away from loved ones or find it difficult to form meaningful new friendships.


Lack of work-life balance

We live in a culture that prioritizes work, productivity and self-reliance. But “always-on” work culture leaves little time for meaningful socializing, regular calls, and in-person meetups with loved ones.


False sense of connectivity

Social media can be useful for connecting with people who share common interests. But very heavy social media users are more likely to feel lonely than light users.16 Constant exposure to curated, sometimes misleading imagery while you’re seeking connection can deepen feelings of unworthiness, isolation, and shame.17


A vicious cycle

When we feel lonely, we’re more likely to be self-critical, expect rejection, and withdraw from others. But when isolate ourselves and keep our loneliness a secret, we unintentionally reinforce it.18


A health risk

Loneliness matters

Loneliness isn’t just painful. If left unaddressed, it can make us sick and even shorten our lifespan by up to 15 years.19

How? U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy explains that feeling lonely causes a stress response in the body. This is helpful at first because it alerts us to take action. But if we don't act, these stress responses can build up and create a chronic stress state that begins destroying the body.20

Levels of inflammation rise, injuring tissues and blood vessels, and increasing your risk for the following:


Sleep deprivation21


Weakened immune system22


Heart disease & heart attacks23


Alzheimer’s disease24


Metastatic cancer25

Dr. Steve Cole, PhD, Director of the Social Genomics Core Laboratory at UCLA explains, "The biology of loneliness can accelerate the buildup of plaque in arteries, help cancer cells grow and spread, and promote inflammation in the brain leading to Alzheimer’s disease. Loneliness promotes several different types of wear and tear on the body.”26 In his words,

"Loneliness acts as a fertilizer for other diseases.”

This information can be frightening, but our goal in sharing it with you is to help you understand loneliness and its associated health risks so you can actively address them in your own life.


The good news

"Building a more connected life is ultimately grounded in the small things that we do. It doesn’t require a wholesale inversion of your life. There are small steps we take so that we find much deeper connection and fulfillment.”

— Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General27

Don't overthink it

Feeling more connected doesn’t mean you have to spend a month at a retreat or create a strict social regimen. Instead, focus on a handful of achievable actions like reaching out to a neighbor, sending a birthday card, or listening to a friend who needs an ear.

Small things, done consistently

Think of your need to socialize like your need to eat. You eat, time passes, and you need to eat again. You expect this pattern and prepare for it, buying groceries & planning meals.

Just like eating, socializing is necessary for survival and must be addressed on a recurring basis. Having one heart-to-heart with a friend will nourish you temporarily like a good meal, but soon you’ll need to do it again.

So, when it comes to social health, consistency is key. Focus on establishing realistic, repeatable goals — like a monthly phone call with a friend — that feel doable, not draining.

Balance, baby

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for social health, but balance is essential. Relying mostly on in-person meet-ups can leave you feeling overextended. But focusing too much of your social time online can inadvertently keep you isolated and socially anxious. The goal is to find a healthy balance that works for you.

We’re biased of course, but we find writing letters to be an excellent social supplement. It’s lower-effort than in-person outings and higher-impact than online interactions. It’s remote, and doesn’t require real-time schedule coordination, but can still be extremely meaningful — a truly unique method of outreach.

Worth it

The Harvard Study of Adult Development, the most comprehensive study of emotional well-being in history, indicates that quality relationships are the number one predictor of happiness and lifespan — more than genes, IQ, or income. According to the director of the study, Dr. Robert Waldinger, MD, “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”28

"Our connections are not just nice to have, but necessary to have — and they should be much higher in our priority list.”

— Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General29

Before & after stories

“I don’t always have time to reply to texts right away and I hate how that can convey that I’m ignoring or not prioritizing that person. When I send letters with friends, there’s no distraction. Just heartfelt conversation that picks up where the last letter left off.”

New York, NY

Read more customer testimonials

Ready to try?


It’s never been this easy

Whether you want to send a quick congratulatory note or an in-depth letter, our all-in-one stationery kits are the easiest way to send someone a message in the mail.

The appeal of the real


Q: Why do tangible things feel so enjoyable?

A: Physical material is more ‘real’ to the brain than virtual material. It has a meaning, and a place. It is better connected to memory because it engages with spatial memory networks.30

We’re really glad you’re here.

Thank you for taking time out of your undoubtedly busy life to learn about loneliness & connection. Doing so supports our mission to make the world a more meaningfully connected place, so please know how much we appreciate you.

And if you’re stuck in a rut and feeling isolated, know that the real humans behind these words care and are cheering you on as you move forward. Even though we don’t know each other, just you reading this message right now connects us in some tiny way — and that feels pretty darn neat.

Team Nice


1. Holt-Lunstad, Julianne. “Is Social Disconnection Comparable to Smoking?” TED, TEDxBYU, Mar. 2021,

2. “Loneliness and the Workplace 2020 U.S. Report.” Cigna Newsroom, Cigna, Jan. 2020, p. 2,

3. “Loneliness and the Workplace 2020 U.S. Report,” p. 4.

4. Beilock, Sian Leah. “Why Young Americans Are Lonely.” Scientific American, Scientific American, 27 July 2020,

5. Beilock. “Why Young Americans Are Lonely.”

6. “Loneliness and the Workplace 2020 U.S. Report,” p. 4.

7. Heid, Markham. “You Asked: How Many Friends Do I Need?” Time, Time, 18 Mar. 2015,

8. Howe, Neil. “Millennials and the Loneliness Epidemic.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 3 May 2019,

9. Yao, Mike Z., and Zhi-jin Zhong. “Loneliness, Social Contacts and Internet Addiction: A Cross-Lagged Panel Study.” Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 30, 2014, pp. 164–170.,

10. Mastroianni, Brian. “Feeling More Stress and Anxiety? Your Smartphone May Be to Blame.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 13 Nov. 2020,

Yamalis Díaz, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, describes the relationship between device use and biological stress responses.

11. Karma, Roge. “Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on America’s Loneliness Epidemic.” Vox, Vox Media, 11 May 2020,

12. Collins, Sonya. “The Loneliness Epidemic Has Very Real Consequences.” WebMD Magazine, WebMD, 29 Nov. 2018,

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University, explains social connection as having a significant effect on health. See more of Dr. Holt-Lunstad’s work on the subject in Additional Sources below.

13. Hyland, Philip, et al. “Quality Not Quantity: Loneliness Subtypes, Psychological Trauma, and Mental Health in the US Adult Population.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, vol. 54, no. 9, 2018, pp. 1089–1099.,

14. Collins. “The Loneliness Epidemic Has Very Real Consequences.”

15. Williams, Michelle, and Jeremy Nobel. “Goodbye, Loneliness. Hello, Happiness — a Prescription for Healthier Lives.”, The Boston Globe, 8 May 2018,

16. “Loneliness and the Workplace 2020 U.S. Report,” p. 18.

17. Weissbourd, Richard, et al. “Loneliness in America: How the Pandemic Has Deepened an Epidemic of Loneliness and What We Can Do About It.” Making Caring Common, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 9 Feb. 2021, p. 6,

18. Weissbourd, et al. “Loneliness in America: How the Pandemic Has Deepened an Epidemic of Loneliness and What We Can Do About It,” p. 2.

19. Holt-Lunstad. “Is Social Disconnection Comparable to Smoking?”

20. Karma. “Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on America’s Loneliness Epidemic.”

21. Karma. “Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on America’s Loneliness Epidemic.”

22. Cole, Steven W., et al. “Myeloid Differentiation Architecture of Leukocyte Transcriptome Dynamics in Perceived Social Isolation.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 112, no. 49, 2015, pp. 15142–15147,

23. Valtorta, Nicole K, et al. “Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Observational Studies.” Heart, vol. 102, no. 13, 2016, pp. 1009–1016,

24. Sutin, Angelina R, et al. “Loneliness and Risk of Dementia.” The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, vol. 75, no. 7, 2018, pp. 1414–1422,

25. Nutt, Amy Ellis. “Loneliness Grows from Individual Ache to Public Health Hazard.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 31 Jan. 2016,

26. “Social Isolation, Loneliness in Older People Pose Health Risks.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 23 Apr. 2019,

27. Karma. “Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on America’s Loneliness Epidemic.”

28. Mineo, Liz. “Good Genes Are Nice, but Joy Is Better.” Harvard Gazette, Harvard University, 11 Apr. 2017,

29. Karma. “Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on America’s Loneliness Epidemic.”

30. Dooley, Roger. “Paper Beats Digital in Many Ways, According to Neuroscience.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 16 Sept. 2015,

Additional Sources

Holt-Lunstad, Julianne, et al. “Loneliness and Social Isolation as Risk Factors for Mortality.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, vol. 10, no. 2, 2015, pp. 227–237,

Holt-Lunstad, Julianne, et al. “Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-Analytic Review.” PLoS Medicine, vol. 7, no. 7, 2010,

“Loneliness Has Same Risk as Smoking for Heart Disease.” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 16 June 2016,

McPherson, Miller, et al. “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks over Two Decades.” American Sociological Review, vol. 71, no. 3, 2006, pp. 353–375,

Wignall, Nick. “The Psychology of Loneliness: Why You’re Lonely and What to Do About It.” Nick Wignall, 1 Nov. 2020,


Social relationships are a long-term investment, not a get-well-quick magic bullet. We share information on our website to bring awareness to issues associated with loneliness and social isolation. Information published here is not intended to constitute medical advice. Content on this site should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


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