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The Sauna as a Solution for Loneliness

Traveler Adam Rang loves to visit Estonia. In that nation, the sauna is a revered institution. He has found that the sauna is a social nexus and, possibly, a treatment for loneliness:

I bought my own home in Tallinn with a sauna and made a new group of friends around the same time that showed me how to use it properly. We had regular sauna sessions together and I came to realise that the most important benefit of going to the sauna was simply getting to know people better and developing friendships. We can talk endlessly about the physical health benefits of the sauna, but one of the biggest problems in this world right now is actually loneliness, and that affects everything from our happiness to social cohesion. Sauna is one way we can cure it.

I've never been in a traditional sauna, but I can understand how it could connect people. Because it would be a poor place to bring cell phones, it could encourage people to simply sit and talk to other humans.

I'm an evangelist for tabletop role-playing games because, among other benefits, it's an ideal social activity for developing friendships among several people. And, unlike saunas, there's no nudity involved. I mean, I love my role-playing game friends, but I absolutely do not want to see them naked.

-via Marilyn Terrell | Photo: Taavi Randmaa

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