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Daily Buzz: Volunteer to Fight Loneliness

By / May 22, 2019 (Nattakorn Maneerat/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Sharing goodwill with people of different ages and backgrounds by volunteering can reap big health benefits. Also: lessons from Gwyneth Paltrow’s event business.

There’s no doubt that volunteering can make you feel good—and help out a good cause at the same time.

The practice can also have deeper personal benefit: Scientific American notes the inherent value of volunteering as a way to combat loneliness, which can help ward off related physical and mental health risks such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and depression.

The magazine cites a recent survey in the United Kingdom that found two thirds of respondents said volunteering helped them feel less isolated.

Similarly, a 2018 study examined United States widows who, unsurprisingly, felt lonelier than married adults. But two or more hours of weekly volunteering helped their average level of loneliness subside to match that of married adults, researchers concluded.

The benefits are threefold. First, writer Kasley Killam notes, the act of volunteering can double as a social outlet for meeting new people, a possible conduit for deeper friendship. It may also provide a sense of purpose and belonging—deficits known to fuel loneliness. And the events stimulate conversation and physical tasks that help older participants fight cognitive decline.

Why Goop’s Live Events Stick

Deemed “half great and half cray” by USA Today, the high-end summit known as “In goop Health” is growing. The $1,000-per-day event, tied to Gwyneth Paltrow’s elite natural health company, has expanded to four cities in order to meet demand.

What’s the draw?

“The summit is essentially an experiential wellness sampler pack,” writes InStyle’s Leslie Price. “You pay a flat fee to attend, and can pick and choose what you engage with, whether you want to listen to panels populated by Gwyneth-approved gurus (many who have also appeared on the goop site or podcast) or participate in experiences led by Gwyneth-approved healers.”

The success, Price notes, lies in Paltrow’s unwavering commitment to her brand—and the star’s acknowledgement that her tastes aren’t for everyone. But for those seeking B12 shots, healing crystals, celebrity sightings, huge swag bags, and a certain type of enlightenment, the targeted (and over-the-top) execution is key to driving event registrations and repeat attendance.

Other Links of Note

Want to motivate your team? Entrepreneur shares 25 ways to do it. (A big hint: listen first).

Sheraton’s brand overhaul has event planners top of mind. MeetingsNet explains the physical and digital updates designed to accommodate them.

Stuck with a sticky Apple keyboard? The company has expanded its laptop keyboard repair program to support all machines with its controversial “butterfly” keyboard design.

Kevin Joy

Kevin Joy is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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