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Demi Lovato released an unexpected new single titled “Sober” on June 21, where she admits to relapse after six years of sobriety. The song comes just weeks after Lovato seemingly cut ties with longtime friend Nick Jonas, manager Phil McIntyre and Cast Centers, where she received treatment in 2012. In May, she hinted at revealing her side of the story, tweeting, “I’ll share my truth soon.”

Lovato has been open about her mental health, addictions and sobriety since entering rehab in 2010, but her vulnerability and honesty in “Sober” came as a surprise to many.

In the song, she admits that loneliness was a huge factor in her relapse. In 2016, she ended a six-year relationship with boyfriend Wilmer Valderamma, and didn’t know how to be on her own. She more recently cut ties with numerous childhood friends, her record label and her life coach/mentor. All of these things built up on each other until she turned to alcohol to cope with it.

According to the American College Health Association, 18 to 24-year-olds have the highest incidences of loneliness.

Despite the friends that I have here at school and back home in California, I can’t help but feel lonely at times. I feel lonely when my roommates have their boyfriends over every day, or when I see countless couples holding hands across campus. I scroll through so many posts on Instagram of people spending their summer vacations with friends while I’m still working on school projects for another month.

While we don’t really think about it, having social relationships is equally important to our health as eating good food and exercising regularly.

“Loneliness saps vitality, impairs productivity and diminishes enjoyment of life,” said Dr. Jeremy Nobel, faculty member in primary care at Harvard Medical School. He continued to explain that the effects of loneliness on health match that of obesity, alcohol abuse and smoking 15 cigarettes a day, increasing the risk for early death by 30 percent.

The cure for loneliness is a simple, healthy concept: social interaction. Social interaction sometimes feels impossible at school due to constant homework, studying for tests and other obligations, but we need to find time to socialize with others, for our own good. Join a club on campus, share a table with someone at The Crossroads, or go to one of the many activities that happen on the weekends in Rexburg.

We also need to remember that we are not alone in feeling lonely.

On June 24, Lovato performed “Sober” for the first time at the Rock In Rio Lisboa festival. As she sang to the fans, “I lost, who watched me fall again,” the audience of over 150,000 fans let out their cheers of support, showing her that she is not alone. After the performance, she quietly left the stage in tears as fans chanted, “We love you Demi,” according to multiple accounts on Twitter.

Loneliness is something we all experience, especially in a culture where it seems like everyone is getting married in their early 20s. Instead of just thinking about how lonely you feel, do something about it. Call a friend and go out to lunch, find a weekend activity to do with your roommates or get to know someone new. It’ll be good for both of you.

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