Brunch might seem like a bougie concept only socialites partake in — at least according to pop culture — but hear me out here. Brunch, especially with your best friends, can nourish your body and spirit. It doesn’t have to be silly or hipster — I wouldn’t turn down some mid-morning mimosas, in all honesty — but you should try to have brunch with people you care about more often.

Why? Read on, and I’ll explain.

1. Friends Relieve Stress

Our lives are hectic and full of tension. As you’re reading this, you’re probably worried about deadlines, paying bills or heading to work tomorrow. All that stress takes a toll — too much stress can cause you to get irritable and experience headaches, depression or insomnia. It can even make you gain weight.

A recent study found face-to-face social interactions can help reduce stress and help you manage depression and anxiety. You don’t get that kind of benefits from digital communication, even though you can use them to keep them in touch. This research assessed more than 11,000 adults 50 and older, but it can apply to everyone, regardless of their age.

2. Relationships Help You Live Longer

friends help you live longer
Here’s one that should really get your attention. Science has found people who spend time with their friends and family live longer than those who don’t have in-person social interactions. A lack of healthy relationships increases your risk of premature death by 50% — roughly the equivalent of smoking three-quarters of a pack of cigarettes a day.

In addition to all the other benefits, spending time with your besties can help you live longer. How can you get better than that?

3. Friends Help You Make Better Choices

better choices
OK, not all our friends help us make better choices. We’ve all got that one friend who is always down for shots and debauchery, no matter what time it is. But on the whole, spending time with your friends helps you make better choices for your physical and mental health.

When you’re with your friends, you’re less likely to buy fast-food hamburgers if your besties are enjoying a salad or a smoothie. It’s that human competitive instinct — even with friends, we always try to be a little bit better than the person next to us.

Throw together a brunch with healthy options like fruit, cheeses or even a DIY bruschetta bar. Don’t forget the mimosas, though — you can’t have brunch without at least a little bit of booze.

4. Friendships Improve Your Mental Health

If you’re having trouble with depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns, you might consider talking to a therapist. Professional therapy is a good way to handle these issues, but at the same time, you should also consider turning to your friends.

Studies have repeatedly shown people with smaller social circles who don’t get a lot of face-to-face interaction are more prone to accidents, suicide and death. Having a friend or two you can hang out with regularly even helps reduce your blood pressure and improve heart health.

5. Friends Boost Your Self-Esteem

Like a lot of people, I have issues with my self-esteem. It’s that little voice in the back of my head that always whispers I’m not good enough, I’m too fat or any other negative things it can think of to tear me down. Friends help you put a muzzle on that nasty little voice by cheering your wins, comforting you through your losses and supporting you through everything.

If you have friends who tear down your self-esteem, don’t invite them to brunch. Ditch them and surround yourself with people who help you succeed, not ones who celebrate when you fail.

Plan a Bestie Brunch!

What are you waiting for? Why haven’t you started planning a regular bestie brunch for you and your best friends? Take the time to hang out with your friends in person, instead of through text messages or social media. It’s not just good for your social life; it can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem, improve your mental health and even help you live longer.

You don’t have to plan a fancy bougie brunch for everyone in the neighborhood. Just get a group of your closest friends together with a couple of bottles of champagne, some orange juice, and some breakfast-adjacent foods, and you’ve got everything you need for a bestie brunch that’s guaranteed to be good for your soul.

Try to have them regularly — you might be surprised how much happier and more well-adjusted you become.