3 ways to make new friends at any age

Credit: NPR

By Christina Lorey

November 7, 2023

“Wanna be friends?” Ahhhh…things were so easy when lifelong friendships were launched with one simple question on the playground. While making friends as an adult can appear daunting, it’s easier than you think! Especially thanks to new technology.

First, if you’re looking for new friends, you’re not alone. Half of all Americans have three or less “close friends,” according to the 2021 American Perspectives Survey. And nearly 70% have one friend they only see in certain places or at certain times.

Friends have actually been proven to have significant health benefits, too. They can:

  • Help you live longer
  • Reduce your risk of heart problems
  • Relieve stress
  • Increase your mental fitness, resilience, and productivity

That said, let’s get out there and make some new ones! Here’s how:

  1. Sign up for something. Anything!

Whether it’s yoga, woodworking, cooking, or art, classes are a great way to meet people who share the same interests. And they don’t have to cost a lot. Platforms like Airbnb Experiences, Groupon, and MeetUp frequently post great events (& deals.) No sign up required.

  1. Join MeetUp, Bumble BFF, or another platform.

Facebook “friends” have their time and place, but technology can also be used to meet real friends (the kind you actually see in person.) Platforms like MeetUp and Bumble BFF were literally built to help grow your circle of friends. Similar to a dating app, you create a profile and let tech do the heavy lifting to connect you with others.

  1. Volunteer with a local nonprofit.

Kill two birds with one stone and give back while getting to know new people. Like classes, volunteer work is an easy way to meet others who share your values. And it’s also good for your mental health! Click here to find an opportunity near you.

MORE: 5 easy tips for making friends as an adult


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.


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