Over the weekend, amidst the whirlwind of breaking news about cats stuck in trees and conspiracy theories about aliens ordering takeout, I stumbled upon a piece discussing the loneliest cities in the good ol' U.S. of A. Apparently, certain corners of North Dakota are feeling a bit blue lately, and it's not just because they ran out of hotdish.

24/7 Wall Street, in their infinite wisdom, decided to compile a list of the nation's loneliest cities, complete with state-by-state rankings. And guess which city in North Dakota topped the list? Drumroll, please. Grand Forks! Yep, the city where the forks are grand and the loneliness is even grander.

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So, what makes a city lonely, you ask?

According to this survey, it's all about the solo acts: single-person households, adults flying solo, and a sprinkle of elderly folks just enjoying their own company.

Grand Forks, bless its heart, is teeming with singletons. Approximately a third of its adult population is riding solo, and it seems like more people are cozying up with their Netflix subscriptions than with significant others.

But fear not, dear Grand Forks residents! There's hope yet. According to the study, striking up a conversation with your neighbor might just be the cure for loneliness. Who knows, maybe they're also binge-watching "The Great British Bake Off" alone and could use some company!

And if you thought Grand Forks was the loneliest of the lonely, think again! Duluth in Minnesota and Missoula in Montana are giving it a run for its money. Meanwhile, in South Dakota, Rapid City is apparently the belle of the isolated ball—probably because it's so far south, it's practically neighbors with Antarctica.

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Lonely/Sad Man

Want to combat loneliness?

Combating loneliness is all about finding silver linings, and research suggests there are plenty to be found. According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, volunteering can be a potent antidote to loneliness because it provides chances for social connection and a sense of purpose. Additionally, a study by the same organization highlights the benefits of pet ownership, showing that furry companionship can significantly reduce feelings of isolation and provide unconditional love and support.

So, there's not as much to be blue about, right? Whether it's lending a helping hand in your community or cuddling up with your furry friend, there are plenty of positive avenues to combat loneliness and cultivate meaningful connections.

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