Back in April 2021, psychologist Adam Grant put his finger on an enigma of the coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis had been dragging on for more than a year but there was light at the end of the tunnel—the terrible winter peak had passed, vaccines were being rolled out quickly, and the prospect of seeing family, hugging loved ones, and going on vacation was on the horizon. So why, Grant found himself asking, did we all feel so blah? In an article for The New York Times that quickly went viral, Grant explains that this sense of stagnation and emptiness he felt is called languishing. He describes it as “the neglected middle child of mental health”: we’re not depressed—we can still get out of bed in the morning, keep up with our responsibilities around the house, go to work—but neither are we flourishing, as psychologists term mental and physical well-being. For most people, languishing will just mean an This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.