It is as clear as crystal that people like to be surrounded by good friends during their life. But sometimes, it is not as easy as falling off a log. Digitalization lets us lose focus on things that matter, which makes a Facebook or Instagram friend not really meaningful anymore. Plus, we often hang out with toxic friends without noticing that they are not good for our mental health. Therefore, it totally makes sense to find a friend with the same mindset as you – for example, by getting a pen pal. Read along to find out 10 benefits of a pen pal.

Aren’t pen pals only a thing from the past?

Actually, they are not. Pen paling sets you into a state of nostalgia to remember the days in which people needed to write letters to stay in touch. There are still many people who want a penfriend from the other side of the world. All that makes pen paling becoming more popular again.

Why that is? With the development of social media, many people don’t feel connected anymore and the idea of writing is dwindling as only quick messages are sent. Having a pen pal friendship can counteract this trend.

A person is holding a postcard from her pen pal in New York in her hand

Why do people want pen pals?

There are many reasons why you should get a pen pal. Apart from the one mentioned above, we’ve summarized 10 benefits of a pen pal to answer your question.

1. Make real connections

Writing creates connections. You’ll be able to write someone who lives in a far off land, intriguing both of you to connect on a more meaningful basis. Instead of making small talk or sending each other short messages, you can reflect on your life, your week, your problems, and the things that make you happy. And you can talk about these thoughts with your pen pal.

2. Feed your brain

Writing and sending letters on a regular basis is great food for your brain. It can train your reading and writing skills by improving grammar, expression, and vocabulary. You automatically pay more attention to punctuation than you do with normal text messages. Plus, writing and processing the content can even boost your brain’s cognitive skills and function.

3. Make a foreign language your strength

Learning a foreign language is a bit like losing weight: you know how it works, but it needs focus and dedication. While writing and reading are already brain boosters, learning a foreign language and practicing it with your new-found international pen pal is a great way to develop linguistically. You get to see how native speakers use their language, learn new words and apply what you have already learned theoretically in class – just with a higher level of fun.

4. Give your creativity a push

Nowadays, our creative mind is not needed that often anymore. Through industrial and modern processes, thinking outside the box or putting simple thoughts into rainbows is becoming obsolete. But writing to a pen pal can restore creativity. This can be done through the creative writing process itself, but decorating pretty envelopes, letters or postcards can also be a lot of fun. At PenPal, you can get creative by using your own photos and designs for your postcards. So already start thinking about which motive to send next to your pen pal.

5. Become a world traveler without traveling

Is there a country you’ve always wanted to see or learn more about? Then now you have the chance to do so – no matter how far away it is. With a pen pal in foreign lands, you’ll learn about other cultures and traditions, and even get self-photographed postcards to hang on your wall (at least if you do it with PenPal). Sounds adventurous? It is! So explore other countries and make full use of the benefits of having an international pen pal.

Man surfing on the internet to look for a pen pal on the PenPal website

6. Share your most exotic interest with your pen pal

Are you into scutelliphily, yo-yoing, or trainspotting? Great! Cause at PenPal we have over 390 interests that match almost any hobbies you can think of (and if not, we’re happy to add yours too). While it may be difficult to find someone near you, at PenPal there are always like-minded people to interact with. Just add your interest as a tag in your interests section, and off you go to find your perfect soulmate!

7. Become as joyful as a child

Realizing there’s not only bills in your postbox, but also carefully handwritten mail, is a feeling of pure joy. And if you are not familiar with that sensation or don’t know what I am talking about, it’s been far too long. All the more reason to re-experience penpalling. I had it the other day after coming home from vacation that I found a bunch of postcards from my pen pals in the postbox. I got incredibly excited about it, like a child. And who wouldn’t want to witness those carefree moments again sometimes …

8. Understand the real meaning behind snaiiillll mail 🐌🐌​🐌​🐌​

​Writing letters and postcards helps slow down a bit. Communication takes longer, and that’s a good thing. Children and teens growing up in this age are already used to the fast pace of messaging and texting and don’t even know how it was in the first place. Sometimes, it’s good to revive the traditional ways of communication and get back to the basics. Also, taking time to write a letter can be a form of deceleration. While some people like to meditate or color mandalas, others enjoy putting thoughts down on paper. This way of slow living is definitely one of the most striking advantages of having a pen pal.

9. A postcard a day keeps the doctor away

Studies have shown that happiness and feelings of loneliness are closely related to being surrounded by friends. And the feelings of loneliness have steadily increased during the pandemic. Moreover, social media often leaves people alone and depressed, even though many of the things shown there don’t even correspond to real life. And while a pen pal is not always located next to you, it can help you to talk to someone who experiences the same struggles or fears in life, without judgement. Plus, sometimes it is easier to speak to someone far away and more anonymous than someone in your close surrounding.

10. Set new perspectives

Writing letters is not only a way to learn about other cultures and countries, but also to gain a new perspective. Especially when you write with someone who lives in a completely different part of the world, where the political situation or living conditions are different from yours. For example, there are pen pal programs with prisoners or social pen pal programs for the elderly to combat isolation. This pen pal friendship can benefit you in another way: It can remind you of what you have and make you realize what matters.

Are you convinced of the benefits of a pen pal?

In our opinion, the benefits of having a pen pal are undeniable. We hope this article gives you enough reason to realize as well that penpalling is a real hoot. If you have anything that you think is missing at PenPal, just let us know here. And now, get the ball rolling, create your profile, and find the friend of your life.


German girl addicted to lemon ice cream who wants to do everything at once. I can't think of a language I wouldn't love to learn, but I often don't take the time to slow down. As a pen pal, I can take a breath and interact with so many inspiring people from different countries.

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