There’s something strange about our 30s: Careers often thrive, the kids always grow, but our friendships? They sometimes dwindle. Ask Denverites Amy Moore, Anna Newell Jones, and Erin Linehan, however, and they’ll say relationships don’t have to disappear. In order to stay connected, the trio has had coffee together every Wednesday at 6 a.m.—the only time all three are free—since 2016. After three years, they realized an audience could benefit from their advice, and with the help of House of Pod, a podcast studio and co-working space in Denver, they released the first episode of Less Alone: A Podcast About Connection in June. It quickly won top honors at the Outlier Podcast Festival in July and has garnered 9,500 downloads as of press time. In advance of an October meet and greet, 5280 joined the women to talk about authenticity, vulnerability, and how transplants can avoid loneliness.

5280: How did the early morning coffee meetings start?

<>Anna<>: I thought a book club sounded like a good way to get together with people more often. Amy was one of the only people to come. We knew one another through mutual friends.

<>Amy<>: I genuinely wanted to hang out with Anna more, though!

<>Anna<>: As it turns out, 6 a.m. is not a popular book club time, because after a while it was just the two of us. We’d end up just chatting rather than discussing the book, so we decided to scratch the reading.

<>Amy<>: I met Erin through a friend of a friend, and somehow we started talking about the coffee meetings. I told her she should come. She wasn’t the first person we invited, but she is the first person who actually showed up that early.

<>Erin: I was stoked when Amy asked me to join. I loved that we talked about all sorts of things: ideas, personal struggles, business, vacations, dreams, etc. I felt connected and supported.

Why do you think connecting is so difficult during your 30s?

<>Erin: As we age, some people get married, some have kids, some are focused on their careers. If you’re not connecting on a core level—and if you’re no longer in the same life stage—friendships can fade.

<>Amy: Communities help you feel connected, but then if you go through a divorce or a separation, you can wind up out of that group.

<>Anna: Digital can’t help but be part of this conversation, too. It’s like there’s this feeling of, I’m connected all the time. How am I lonely?

<>Amy: The honesty and authenticity of the interactions isn’t there.

How do you improve that quality?

<>Anna: I think it takes practice. You have to work on becoming more comfortable with yourself and showing as close to your true self as possible.

<>Erin: Be vulnerable. That sometimes helps the other person relax into it.

<>Anna: I think the reciprocal thing is so huge. Making sure you’regiving as much as you’re taking.

Denver is known for being transplant central. What advice do you have for people new to town who are looking for friends?

<>Anna: It sounds so simple, but eye contact and smiling can make a huge difference in how others perceive you. Take people up on invites. Ask people questions, be curious, use their names.

<>Erin: The biggest thing I’ve noticed in our city is that people connect through activity. People are just as likely to go on a trail run or a hike as they are to meet you for a happy hour or dinner. Find an activity you love or want to try, then join a group of like-minded people and get out and engage.

<>Anna: The more you can do that, the more you’ll be a magnet for others like you.

Save The Date

Meet the hosts of Less Alone at a live episode recording on October 29 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at House of Pod.