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CLEVELAND — Clear your calendar and schedule a trip!  Scientific studies now show that taking a mini-break with your friends is good for your health.

According to an article by Southern Living, researchers discovered “it has been proven that friendship can extend life expectancy, lower chances of heart disease, and even help us better tolerate pain.”

Scientists say that not only is having friends good for your health, but maintaining your relationships with them is too.

“Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being,” psychologist William Chopik from Michigan State University told the magazine. “So, it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”

In 2016, researchers found evidence that showed that hanging with friends could increase the production of oxytocin, which is the hormone in our bodies that makes us feel happy, the magazine reports.

Researchers at Harvard said that people who don’t have strong friendships are usually more depressed and more likely to die at a younger age.

Southern Living reports that one study, which looked at 309,000 people’s lives, discovered a lack of strong social ties increased the risk of early death by 50%.

Scientists also state that friendships can be more influential on happiness and health than other relationships, so it’s “worth taking the time to make plans to be just with friends.”