“Heartache may be more than just a metaphor. People feel the pain of rejection, exclusion, and loss with some of the same physiological machinery that they use to feel the pain of touching a hot stove, report researchers Geoff MacDonald of the University of Queensland and Mark R. Leary of Wake Forest University. As a result, says MacDonald, “Feeling socially supported is crucial not just to mental health, but also to physical health.

People with AIDS, for example, not only have to deal with...

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