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Women's Mental And Physical Health Improves From Hanging Out With Friends, Researchers Say

(CBS Philly/CBS Local)-- Looking for an excuse to get out of the house? There's new evidence that going out with friends can do wonders for your health, especially for women.

According to research from the University of Oxford, only two in five women see their girlfriends every week -- half as much as their study now suggests.

"You get time to talk -- girl talk, boy problems, personal issues," said Andrea Cheung, who likes to see her friends weekly.

Lauren Gatti also makes it a point to take time for gal pals saying, "We do yoga, we go out to eat, that sort of thing."

The results of the study performed in England found that the benefits of frequent female social interaction were both mental and physical. Researchers cited decreased anxiety levels in participants, along with strengthened immune systems and faster illness recovery time.

"One of my biggest stress reliefs is talking through it with other people and my girlfriends, even if they don't have the same profession as me or something similar," said Gatti. "It's just nice to talk to somebody else."

Laughter also plays a major role in the healing benefits, but in order to gain the maximum endorphins from this shared laughter, researchers suggest a crew of five or less.

"I think it's emotionally empowering and it also brings about a certain amount of security in one's decisions," said Morgan Thomas, a pastor with a social life that she feels is thriving.

Thomas added that the time she spends with friends is not all about gossip or other stereotypical female talking points. She says grief, loss and current events are all up for discussion.

"Sometimes we talk about children and grandchildren and politics! So I think it is very helpful," she said.

Guys, don't worry about being left alone twice a week.

The University of Oxford published a study in 2017 that found men benefit similarly from at least two guys nights a week.

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