The next time you buy groceries, talk to the cashier. Talking with a stranger — and in so doing socially connecting with that person — can improve your own sense of well-being, according to researchers from the University of Chicago. It’s long been conventional wisdom that we avoid talking to strangers because we think it will be a negative experience. Instead, the opposite appears to be true. Small talk with a stranger can spark happiness and make you feel more positive about your own life. So, the next time you buy a coffee, talk to the barista. The study findings were published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.