This study examined the role of social belonging and self-esteem in acute physical health and mood in 159 young adolescents (aged 11 to 14 years). Standardized self-report measures of belongingness (school, home and community), self-esteem, acute physical symptoms, and affect, were completed for the previous month. Higher levels of inclusive belonging were associated with fewer physical symptoms and better affect. Domain specific belonging was independently linked to acute physical symptoms and level of affect, with pathways between belonging and outcome mediated by self-esteem. Findings emphasize the need for greater recognition of the role of belonging in physical health outcomes.