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A Bette Midler hit from 1973 was a song called Friends.  “You got to have friends to make that day last long”.  Now new research shows friends may become even more important than family.

Michigan State University scholar William Chopik conducted a pair of studies and found that friendships become increasingly important to one's happiness and health across the lifespan.

How important are buddies, pals & friends?  Science says friendships are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members.

Researchers say that over time we keep the friends we like and make us feel good and discard the rest. At the same time friends can provide a source of emotional support for people who don't have spouses or for those who don't lean on family.

Speaking of family, some bloodline interactions can become serious, negative and even toxic in nature while long lasting friendships are more often focused on positive enjoyable nonjudgmental experience.