James Taylor wrote a whole song about it: “Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you gotta do is call, and I’ll be there, yes I will, you’ve got a friend…”

With that in mind, today’s lesson will take you all of five minutes, but it is guaranteed to brighten your entire day. Unless you have mean friends, but then you can hardly call them friends, right? Yes, today you will pick up your phone and call a friend. A nice friend, whom you actually like.

That’s it. It’s that simple. Pick up the phone and call a friend, whether old or new, distant or close, funny or serious, chatty or quiet: just someone who brings you joy when you speak to them. Yes, a family member is fine, too, even your mother-in-law, as long as you look forward to speaking with them.

But of course it’s also not so simple, this whole friend thing, insofar as you have to put yourself out there and pick up the phone. Maybe you’re shy. Maybe you find conversations on the phone awkward. Maybe you have no one you really want to call. But if you can work up the courage and find one other human out there worthy of five minutes or more of conversation––speak for as long as you want, no one’s counting the minutes except the phone company–– deepening your social connections this way, with a simple call, will help stimulate your brain in a way that can stave off cognitive decline.