Mental Health
Healing from a Broken Heart

Healing from a Broken Heart

7 min read


Lauren Carlson

Heartbreak can be one of the most excruciating and emotionally draining experiences we face in life. Whether it's the end of a long-term relationship, the loss of a loved one, or the shattering of a deep connection, the pain can feel insurmountable. It's as if a piece of our very being has been torn away, leaving us feeling lost, vulnerable, and broken. However, amidst the darkness, there is hope. 

Healing from a broken heart is not only possible but also an essential part of our journey towards personal growth and self-discovery. In this blog post, we will explore the profound process of healing, providing insights, practical tips, and empowering perspectives to help you navigate through the pain and emerge stronger on the other side.

What Causes Heartbreak?

Heartbreak can stem from a multitude of factors. At its core, heartbreak occurs when there is a disruption in the emotional bond and connection that two individuals shared. This loss can evoke intense feelings of grief, sadness, and despair.

One significant cause of heartbreak is the shattered expectations and dreams that come when a relationship ends. When we invest ourselves emotionally in a partnership, we often envision a future together, filled with shared experiences, love, and support. The sudden dissolution of these hopes and plans can leave us feeling devastated and disoriented.

Betrayal and infidelity are also common causes of heartbreak. Discovering that a partner has been unfaithful can be emotionally devastating, leading to feelings of deep hurt, betrayal, and a loss of trust. Similarly, a lack of effective communication, unresolved conflicts, or a growing disconnect between partners can erode the foundation of the relationship, ultimately leading to heartbreak.

External factors can also contribute to the pain of heartbreak. Life changes such as distance, career transitions, or incompatible life goals can create insurmountable challenges in maintaining the relationship. These external pressures can amplify feelings of loss and contribute to the emotional turmoil experienced during a breakup.

Additionally, heartbreak can be intensified by underlying fears and insecurities, such as the fear of abandonment or the fear of being alone. The ending of a relationship can trigger deep-seated emotional wounds and bring to the surface unresolved issues from past experiences, compounding the pain.

It's important to recognize that each person's experience of heartbreak is unique, as it is shaped by their individual circumstances, attachment styles, and the depth of emotional investment in the relationship. While the causes of heartbreak may vary, the emotional toll it takes is universal. Understanding the underlying causes can help individuals navigate their healing journey with greater self-awareness and compassion.

Tips for healing a broken heart

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Allowing yourself to grieve is an essential part of healing a broken heart. It can be tempting to push away the pain or pretend like everything is fine, but suppressing your emotions only prolongs the healing process. Give yourself permission to fully experience the range of emotions that come with heartbreak – the sadness, anger, confusion, and longing. Create a safe space for yourself to cry, scream, or express your feelings in whatever way feels natural to you. By acknowledging and accepting your grief, you are honoring the significance of the loss and giving yourself the opportunity to heal. Remember, healgting is not about rushing through the pain; it's about giving yourself the time and space to heal at your own pace.

Practice Self-Care

Prioritizing self-care during the healing process is essential for nurturing your overall well-being as you recover from a broken heart. It involves taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally. Focus on maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient rest for your physical health. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions without judgment, engaging in activities that support your emotional well-being. Nurture your mind through stimulating activities, such as reading or learning new skills. Set boundaries, practice self-compassion, and prioritize activities that uplift and support your well-being. By making self-care a priority, you demonstrate that you deserve love, care, and healing, empowering yourself on the path to recovery.

Seek Support from Loved Ones

Seeking support from loved ones is crucial in healing from a broken heart. Confide in trusted friends and family, sharing your feelings and experiences. Their empathetic listening and understanding can provide comfort and validation. If opening up to loved ones is challenging, consider seeking professional support through therapy or counseling. Remember, reaching out for support is a sign of strength, and surrounding yourself with caring individuals reminds you that you're not alone in your pain. With their support, you can find solace, encouragement, and the strength to heal and grow.

Focus on Personal Growth

By focusing on personal growth, you not only heal from the pain of a broken heart, but you also create a foundation for a fulfilling and empowered future. Embracing self-discovery allows you to cultivate a stronger sense of self, find greater clarity in your desires and goals, and build resilience that will support you in all areas of life. 

Use this period to explore your passions, interests, and aspirations outside of the context of a relationship. Engage in activities that bring you joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose. This could involve picking up a new hobby, enrolling in a class or workshop, or dedicating time to pursue creative outlets. Explore your passions and rediscover your individuality outside of the relationship.

Practice Mindfulness and Self-Compassion

Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion are powerful tools in the healing process of a broken heart. Mindfulness involves intentionally bringing your awareness to the present moment without judgment. It allows you to observe your thoughts, emotions, and sensations without getting entangled in them. By cultivating mindfulness, you can create space to process your emotions and gain clarity amidst the turbulence of heartbreak. Engage in mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply being fully present in the activities you do. This practice can help calm your mind, reduce anxiety, and foster a sense of inner peace.

Alongside mindfulness, cultivating self-compassion is essential. Treat yourself with kindness, understanding, and empathy as you navigate through the healing journey. Recognize that heartbreak is a challenging and painful experience, and it is normal to feel a range of emotions. Instead of criticizing or judging yourself for your pain, offer yourself compassion and reassurance. Practice self-care and self-soothing activities that bring you comfort and provide nurturing support. By extending compassion to yourself, you create a safe and loving space for healing to occur. Remember that healing takes time, and practicing self-compassion allows you to honor your own needs and emotions throughout the process.

Accept the Loss

Understand that healing doesn't mean forgetting the past but accepting it. It involves acknowledging the reality of the end of the relationship and embracing the idea that holding onto what was will only prolong the pain. Allow yourself to experience and accept the range of emotions that arise, practicing self-compassion throughout the process. 

Engage in activities that promote self-discovery and personal growth, finding meaning in the experience and reframing your perspective. Practice forgiveness, both towards yourself and your former partner, freeing yourself from resentment. By letting go and accepting the loss, you open yourself up to new possibilities and a brighter future filled with personal fulfillment and growth.

When Should You Seek Professional Help for Issues Relating to Heartbreak

Experiencing heartbreak can be a challenging and emotional process. While it's normal to feel sadness, grief, and a range of other emotions after a breakup or loss, there are certain signs that indicate it may be time to seek professional help. Here are a few indicators:

Prolonged and intense emotional distress

If you find that your sadness, anger, or other negative emotions associated with heartbreak persist for an extended period, significantly impacting your daily life, relationships, work, or overall well-being, it may be time to seek professional support.

Inability to function or complete daily tasks 

If you're finding it difficult to carry out your usual routine or fulfill responsibilities at work, school, or home due to overwhelming emotions or loss of motivation, seeking professional assistance can be beneficial.

Social withdrawal and isolation

If you're consistently withdrawing from social interactions, isolating yourself, or experiencing difficulties in maintaining relationships with friends and family due to heartbreak, it's worth considering professional help.

Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

If you have persistent thoughts of self-harm, suicide, or feel like life is no longer worth living, it's crucial to reach out to a mental health professional or a helpline immediately. This is a serious concern that requires urgent attention.

Substance abuse or self-destructive behaviors 

If you find yourself turning to alcohol, drugs, or engaging in self-destructive behaviors as a way to cope with heartbreak, seeking professional help is crucial to address the underlying issues and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Lack of improvement over time

If you've been struggling with heartbreak for an extended period without experiencing any improvement or finding healthy ways to heal, a mental health professional can provide guidance and support tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, seeking professional help doesn't mean there's something wrong with you—it's a sign of strength and a proactive step toward healing and finding healthier ways to navigate the challenges of heartbreak. Mental health professionals, such as therapists, psychologists, or counselors, are trained to provide support and guidance during difficult times. They can help you process your emotions, develop coping strategies, and work towards healing and growth.

Should You Get Back With Someone That Broke Your Heart 

When contemplating the possibility of getting back with someone who has broken your heart, it's important to approach the decision with a psychological perspective. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Emotional healing: Reflect on your emotional well-being and the progress you've made in healing since the breakup. Evaluate whether you have addressed the pain, grief, and other emotions associated with the heartbreak. Consider whether reconnecting with your ex has the potential to hinder or enhance your ongoing healing process.
  • Patterns of behavior: Assess the patterns of behavior and dynamics that led to the breakup. Reflect on whether these patterns have changed or if there is a genuine willingness from both parties to work on them. It is essential to understand whether the issues that caused the heartbreak have been addressed and if there is a realistic potential for growth and improvement.
  • Trust and forgiveness: Examine the level of trust that remains between you and your ex-partner. Rebuilding trust after a heartbreak can be challenging and time-consuming. Consider whether you are capable of forgiving and whether your ex has taken steps to earn back your trust. Without trust and forgiveness, it can be difficult to establish a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
  • Communication and conflict resolution: Evaluate the effectiveness of communication and conflict resolution within your previous relationship. Healthy communication and the ability to address conflicts constructively are vital components of a successful partnership. Assess whether both you and your ex are willing to improve in these areas and whether progress can be made.
  • Self-worth and self-care: Consider your own self-worth and the impact getting back with your ex might have on your self-esteem. Ask yourself if the relationship was genuinely healthy and supportive, or if you are considering it due to fear of being alone or a lack of other options. Prioritize self-care and ensure that the decision aligns with your long-term well-being.

Ultimately, the decision to get back with someone after they have broken your heart requires careful consideration. It can be helpful to seek guidance from a licensed therapist or counselor who can provide objective insights and support you in making a decision that is in your best interest. Remember that healing and personal growth should be at the forefront of your journey, regardless of the path you choose.

When is it time to get back out there?

Deciding when to "get back out there" after experiencing heartbreak is a deeply personal decision that varies for each individual. It's important to prioritize your own healing and allow yourself sufficient time and space to process your emotions before considering new romantic connections. 

Take the time to reflect on your emotional stability and overall well-being. Are you feeling more grounded and secure in yourself? Have you engaged in self-reflection and personal growth, learning from the past relationship? It's crucial to reach a level of closure and acceptance regarding the previous relationship, allowing you to move forward without unresolved baggage or bitterness. 

Assess your support network and ensure you have people who can provide guidance and emotional support as you navigate new relationships. Ultimately, trust your own motivation and readiness, making sure that you genuinely feel interested and prepared to meet new people. Remember, there is no fixed timeline, so honor your own journey and take small steps at your own pace as you gradually re-enter the dating scene.

Using MyWellBeing to Recover From Heartbreak

Looking for a therapist who understands your unique needs and can support your well-being journey? Use MyWellBeing to find your online therapist or coach. With our user-friendly platform, finding the right therapist has never been easier. Simply create an account, provide some basic information about yourself and your therapy preferences, and let our powerful search engine do the work. We'll match you with a curated list of therapists who align with your specific criteria, including location, specialties, and therapeutic approaches. Browse through detailed therapist profiles, read about their qualifications and experience, and take your time to make an informed decision.

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About the author

Lauren is a member of the content team at MyWellbeing. She originally began her career in Client Services within the field of Advertising Technology. Recently, she transitioned career paths to pursue her passion for helping others. In December 2022, Lauren graduated with a Master’s degree in School Counseling and is primarily focused on working with middle school and high school students.

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