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 45 Yoga with Adriene The internet’s best friend is—finally—finding her own flow. Arts & Culture Garden Issue 45 Piet Oudolf The Dutch designer bringing life—and death—to traditional gardens. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Thomas MacDonell The conservationist transforming the Highlands. Arts & Culture Design Issue 45 The New Craftsmen From the Outer Hebrides to central London, Catherine Lock is celebrating the crafts heritage of Great Britain. Arts & Culture Music Issue 45 Gerard & Kelly On dance, domesticity and the giants of modernism. Arts & Culture Issue 45 Hang in There How to make the best of a bad job.