Families play an important role in eating disorder (ED) recovery, and it has been suggested that they can ameliorate the loneliness associated with EDs. However, the psychological mechanisms through which this occurs have yet to be systematically explored. Utilising the Social Identity Approach to Health, we explore whether identification with one’s family group positively predicts health in people with self-reported EDs due to its potential to reduce feelings of loneliness. We investigate this in two online questionnaire studies (N = 82; N = 234), one conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic and the second conducted in its early stages. In both studies, mediation analyses demonstrated that family identification was associated with fewer and less severe self-reported ED symptoms, and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced self-reported ED-related impact and anxiety. In both studies, these benefits were suggestive of a protective role of family identification against loneliness. Our findings provide a framework for understanding in general why families can be considered an important social recovery resource and should be included in the treatment of adult EDs. Please refer to the Supplementary Material section to find this article’s Community and Social Impact Statement.