Healing a Broken Heart Thumbnail

People who recently experienced heartbreak from a breakup experience similar brain activity compared to physical pain (Kerr, 2012).

Healing a Broken Heart

A break up can cause plenty of emotions such as:

  • Surprise
  • Confusion
  • Sadness

Physically, heartbreak can cause visceral experiences such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Throat tightness
  • Loss of appetite

There’s even a medical condition called Broken Heart Syndrome where stressful situations or extreme emotions can cause a temporary heart condition; a change in blood supply to the heart which patients have reported feeling like a heart attack (Mayo Clinic, 2016).

After a breakup, it’s natural to experience grief-related emotions and behaviors including sadness and the urge to withdraw from friends, family, and usual activities and interests. Although it’s important to have the space to mourn the loss and process emotions, it’s also imperative to avoid isolation so that it doesn’t lead to problems with depression and anxiety

Healing from the emotional pain after a breakup takes time. Over time, the emotional pain becomes more tolerable, a bit easier to cope with, and eventually people move forward.

In the meantime, engaging in basic self-care such as:

  • Exercising
  • Staying active
  • Eating well
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Staying connected to your family and/or friends
  • Engaging in activities you enjoy 

These provide comfort, minimizing the risk of heartbreak turning into a bigger mental health issue, leading to depression, anxiety, or physical illness. 

Below are simple self-care reminders to help you or someone you care about through healing a break up or other type of heartache.

  • Practice good sleep hygiene. Get enough sleep.
  • Eat well. Maintain good eating habits.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Stay hydrated.
  • Stay active.
  • Exercise. Get your steps in, meet your stand goal, go to the gym, take a walk.
  • Balance alone time and spending time with your support system.
  • Keep up with your usual activities and hobbies.
  • Rest.
  • Practice self-compassion. Be gentle with yourself.
  • Avoid self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.
  • Find the lesson. Self-reflect. Ask yourself questions such as: what worked in your relationship and what didn’t and what do you want in your next relationship?
  • Set a new goal to help you move forward. It could be anything! Taking a class, starting a new project, trying something new, taking a trip.

If you’re struggling with how to cope with your heartbreak, consider talking to someone you trust or a therapist.

Ready to Talk?
At CHE Behavioral Services, we understand the challenges of living with anxiety, stress, depression and worry. We are committed to helping those who are struggling. We offer online talk therapy and medication management designed to help people manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Our licensed mental health professionals work with clients to create personalized treatment plans that meet their unique needs and goals.

For more information about talk therapy at CHE, please call 888-515-3834. We are ready to talk and ready to listen.

Ted Talks about healing a broken heart:



Work Cited
Kerr, Michael. “Dealing with Depression after a Breakup.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 28 Mar. 2012, www.healthline.com/health/depression/after-break-up.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Broken Heart Syndrome - Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-heart-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20354617.

Makenzie Pacubas, MSW, LCSW
CHE Quality Assurance Associate
Makenzie is a clinical social worker who has worked in the mental health field for over a decade and now works in clinical quality assurance with CHE Behavioral Health Services. Makenzie lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband, Justin, and their three pets. She likes music, singing, art, exercise, reading, getting outdoors, and trying new restaurants.