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Love Potion or Poison? The Dance of Love and Health

Exploring Love: Poison or Potion at Be Well Hawthorn

This week’s I thought I would share what I’ve learned about fascinating world of love and its impact on our health. Is it a magic potion granting eternal life, or a toxic brew leading to heartbreak and hospital bills?

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, this is a good time to separate the scientific fact from the mushy Hallmark card fiction.

“Love is a biological necessity—it’s as needed for our well-being as exercise, water, and food,” said neuroscientist Stephanie Cacioppo, PhD, author of Wired for Love: A Neuroscientist’s Journey Through Romance, Loss, and the Essence of Human Connection (Macmillan, 2022). With that in mind, this is what i’ve learned recently about love and health.



Lifespan Lifeline

Turns out, love might just be the fountain of youth you’ve been searching for. Studies show people who are married (and those in strong social bonds) tend to live longer, with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and even some cancers.

Stress Slayer

We like touch, both giving and receiving. Love triggers the release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that lowers stress hormones and blood pressure, leaving you feeling calm and collected. Talk about natural Xanax!

Pain Reliever

Ever stub your toe while holding hands? Turns out, love can actually act as a pain reliever. Research suggests feeling loved activates brain regions associated with pain reduction. Try a warm hug or deep embrace, rather than Panadol. After all, this is what we do with young children!

Immunity Booster

Studies show strong social connections can boost our immune system, making us less susceptible to illnesses. The opposite also applied: loniliness can make us a lot more prone to sickness.



Let’s be real, breakups suck. And not just emotionally. Studies show heartbreak can actually trigger physical symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, and even changes in brain activity. A broken heart can literally hurt.

Stress Monster

While love can reduce stress, unhealthy relationships can have the opposite effect. Constant arguments, jealousy, and emotional abuse can trigger chronic stress, leading to a host of health problems, from headaches to insomnia.

Loneliness Blues

Loneliness has been linked to increased inflammation, weakened immune systems, and even higher mortality rates. So if you’re feeling alone, reach out to friends, family, or actively set out to develop new friendships at places such as Be Well. Connecting with others is key.

The Verdict

So, is love good for your health? The answer, like most things in life, is complicated.

Healthy, loving relationships are a treasure trove of physical and mental health benefits. But toxic, stressful relationships take a toll on our well-being. The key is to cultivate supportive, nurturing bonds that make us feel good, inside and out.

Love is a complex dance that impacts our entire being. Choose your partners wisely, nurture your connections, and remember, self-love is just as important as romantic love.

Go forth and spread the love (and the science)!

See you soon at Be Well.

Be Well is the first-of-its- kind urban health, wellness and lifestyle club in Melbourne, Australia.  Informed by the science of longevity, Be Well nurtures the relationship you have with yourself and others, to optimise your lifestyle, and live your longest, best life.