The Best Damn Heartbreak Remedies
Last month, I posted a photo on Instagram of me in New York City. I had just come back from spending a weekend there with my friends, and less than twenty-four hours after I arrived home in DC, my heart was shattered into a million pieces. I've been through breakups before, but I think this was the first time my heart was well and truly broken. Plenty of different kinds of love have broken my heart, in a sense, but there's nothing quite like the death of a romance.
Anyways, I captioned the photo with a request for heartbreak tips, and boy did you all deliver. Everyone from my co-workers to my high school American History teacher (hi, Mrs. B!) weighed in. Since I was new to the game, every suggestion helped, and I liked them so much I'm listing them here.
A friend of mine described heartbreak like a hangover: you can do little things to make it better, but the ultimate healer is time. Here are some things you can do to help the clock along.
- Listen to whatever melancholy music speaks to you
- Treat yourself to ice cream and chocolate (vegan, of course)
- Spend time outdoors
- Find new hobbies
- Take bubble baths/spa days (plenty of people suggested baths, and I agree 100%)
- Related to #5: Drink red wine in the bath with melancholy music (see tip #1) so that you can wallow, a necessary part of the recovery process
- Remember that everything is temporary
- Eat well
- Attend a yoga retreat (but make sure it's good)
- Practice emotional TLC to explore and process your feelings, realign yourself with everything you loved before the breakup, and then prepare for the glow up (this tip is my favorite one)
- Listen to music that makes you feel like a badass, especially while running
- Journal/write (I do this daily)
- Watch fun movies and TV shows (may I recommend Buffy the Vampire Slayer?)
- Watch Beyoncé's Lemonade and smash a windshield (or just one of those things)
- Write letters that you'll never send
- Set yourself deadlines to feel the full weight of your heartbreak and experience your sadness fully, then respect the boundary and do something productive or pleasurable
- Go hiking/trail-walking
- Watch TED Talks
- Read about the science of heartbreak and how our brains work (breakups provoke neuropsychological reactions similar to withdrawal from drugs)
- Travel (science supports this! see article in #20) especially to a new place that takes you outside your own head
- Write a karma album (I don't know what this means but it sounds fun - maybe a way to manifest what you want in your life?)
- Plunge into the sea (or whatever body of water you have nearby)
- Make a list of all the things that you love and/or that make you feel good, and do some of them
- Imagine a force connecting everything you see and remind yourself that this connection, companionship, and love exist within you already
- Say this to yourself: "I am whole. I am grateful that I had such a beautiful thing, and I look forward to experiencing it again in the future. I learn from heartbreak. And learning is the most beautiful thing we can do."
I honestly can't thank all of you lovely beings enough for this advice. I've done most of the things on the list, and others are planned for the near future, like solo travel. Each suggestion holds something different and helps me in a unique way. To conclude, I'll offer you my own personal tip: read the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, which is a collection of letters and her responses from her advice column "Dear Sugar." If you've read it already, read it again. And take her advice:
Trust yourself. You will heal. The adventure begins.