6 Practical Ways to Heal a Broken Heart

Kate Feathers

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“It’s not the end of the world,” they tell you.

“There’s plenty of fish in the sea,” they tell you.

“It’s just a boy/girl,” they tell you.

Heartbreak is often ridiculed or not taken seriously, especially when you’re a teenager. I’ve never much understood this – experiencing intimacy with your partner, on top of that for the first time in your life, means you’re crossing borders of who you are, what you’re feeling and how you connect with another human being.

It’s a time of change, of trial and error, of enormous emotional turmoil. And when your heart breaks, it hurts. No matter how old you are. The reality of your world is shattered, and you’re left to pick up the pieces when you don’t even feel strong enough to get out of bed.

Well, I’m here to tell you that your heartbreak is valid. You’re allowed to feel it, to cry yourself to sleep, to slowly get through it. And I’m here to offer some piece of advice.

Let yourself feel it

And by that, I mean all of it. The anger. The grief. The spite, the mourning, the ache. Cry as much as you need to, until you feel like you can’t cry anymore – and then cry some more.

Accept any feeling that comes your way. Don’t bottle it up – there’s nobody to feel embarrassed around in the silence of your dark room.

Hug your knees to your body, bury yourself in your own skin and lie with your feelings, you and your heart, you and your pain.

Tell yourself everything will be alright. One day, you’ll get there.

Because you really will.

Journal about it

I can’t stress how much journaling has helped me on my self-healing journey this year. Once you resolve yourself to putting your thoughts down every single day, it becomes a habit that will help you sort through your feelings and stabilize your emotions.

There is a wrong way to journal, though, so beware of that – simply writing down what you did today doesn’t quite cut it. In order to heal from your heartbreak, try to write about specific questions related to your current state of mind.

What do you miss the most, and why do you think that is? What was your favorite part about the relationship, and what can you do to provide this to yourself without needing anybody else? What memories make you tear up and why do you think that is?

Listen to breakup music

I know, I know. It’s a bit of a cliché.

I even knew a guy who had his whole breakup list ready and playing when I came over to break up with him. Listening to breakup songs does help, though, and that’s because music is so very powerful.

At every stage of my most hurtful breakup, I listened to different songs – some were for nostalgia, some for anger, others inspired me to feel like I was ready to be strong and independent. I remember lots of them, and when I hear them, I think of how much I struggled to get over my breakup – but how I got there in the end.

Let music help you.

Don’t demonize your ex

I’ve been guilty of this. I recently broke up with my best friend of 10 years, and all I could – and sometimes still can – think about was all the instances she’d been nasty to me or hadn’t treated me right.

It’s so very easy to demonize someone who hurt you, especially because it makes it a little less difficult to get over them and stop aching for their presence in your life. “They were a horrible person anyway,” you tell yourself as you choke yourself with all that anger.

The thing is, anger rarely permits you to move on. The opposite of love isn’t hate – it’s indifference. As long as you have a deep hatred for the person who hurt you, you won’t move on. The anger will keep eating at you long after they’re gone.

Try to think of the nice moments, too. Your relationship was complex. Nobody is ever perfect, and nobody is ever an evil demon without any sense of mercy. The world isn’t black-and-white.

Realize that you made mistakes, too

It doesn’t feel nice to admit that you made mistakes you might be ashamed of. It’s an important step on your healing journey, though.

Just like you shouldn’t demonize your ex, it’s also not healthy for you to be too mad at yourself.

Forgiveness is undoubtedly difficult to reach, however, it definitely pays off. You can’t properly forgive other people if you don’t forgive yourself first, though. We are often so very hard on ourselves. Where we get angry at our own self, we’re kind and understanding to our friends for committing the same kinds of mistakes.

Imagine yourself as if you were a friend or a child that you want to help – and meet yourself with empathy and understanding.

It’s okay to make mistakes. And it’s more than okay to learn from them and do better next time.

Every loss is an opportunity

My last piece of advice is that every single loss in your life is at the same time an opportunity for growth.

The empty space that’s aching right now will soon turn into rich soil that’s ready to bloom and accept a new life. Endings are beginnings.

I know that going through a heartbreak feels like the world is ending – and that’s okay – but it’s good to remind to yourself that as convincing as your emotions are, it’s actually not the end of the world and it will be okay.

You just need time. Just give it time.

Final thoughts

Feelings are super complicated. I often feel a certain way without having a single clue why that is, and I keep grasping for straws trying to find a solution to my problem without even knowing fully what the problem actually is.

Getting through heartbreak is full of these confusing moments where you’re hurting all of a sudden, not knowing what to do.

Hopefully, some of the pieces of advice above will help you. Just remember – however absurd it sounds right now, you will actually feel better one day.

My friend once told me: “You won’t ever feel worse than you did yesterday – it will only keep getting better.”

Photo by Austin Guevara on Pexels

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I'm a student of Languages & Comparative Literature who writes about relationships, feminism and personal growth. Discover more of my work: https://linktr.ee/clumsylinguist

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