We know you’re going through a rough time, so before proceeding to the guide, here’s a virtual hug, pal. We hope that this article will help you heal your broken heart.
Going through a breakup is physically and emotionally painful. You literally feel like there’s a dagger piercing through your heart again and again. You spend your days crying. It seems like the whole world is crashing down on you. There seems to be no end to the suffering. You don’t know what to do or how to heal your broken heart.
It’s so hard to move on when you don’t even know where to begin. You keep thinking about what went wrong. Why weren’t you enough? How could they just leave you like that? Questions like these just make it difficult to recover. You’re suffocating yourself in your own thoughts and regrets.
This is why we’ve made this step-by-step article on how to move on from a breakup. Having a sad broken heart can make you be easily swayed to unhealthy coping mechanisms– that’s why having a guide such as this one will help you get on the right track to healing.
20 Steps to Heal Your Broken Heart
This guide is divided into five sections, as we’ve based it on the five stages of grief, a concept introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross that is considered a general pattern for breakups, divorce, loss of loved one, and other tragedies. Assess yourself and see what phase you’re in, then check the corresponding steps up until the acceptance phase.
Healing Your Heart During Denial Stage
When you end a relationship, you’re not just ending a connection with someone that you’ve loved. You’re also about to face a shift in your reality. No more good morning messages. No more movie-marathons. And those sweet, intricate moments of intimacy? You gotta say goodbye to those things too. Not only that, but you’re also going to realize the future you’ve built on with this person is never going to happen.
Adjusting to the new single life and processing all of that painful imagery can be overwhelming. So what does your mind do? It tries to keep you off from pain. Your mind goes into denial mode, which is considered the first stage of grief.
This stage usually happens in the first few weeks of the breakup. Instead of dealing with the pain from the breakup, your mind tries to deny the situation. You may end up thinking that the breakup is just temporary– you and your ex are gonna cross paths again after a few weeks.
On the other hand, it’s also possible to not be in denial of the breakup but become in denial with your feelings. You keep convincing yourself that you shouldn’t be grieving for someone who isn’t worth it. Instead of venting out to your friends and family, you would rather suppress your feelings.
Now, it’s considered normal to go through this stage. However, it’s essential to do some minor steps to help you recover from this phase and heal your broken heart. Here are the steps:
1Take some time to grieve.
One of the things people usually do after a breakup is distracting themselves from it. They may end up in multiple parties, drown themselves with work, have numerous travels, or even start a major project. They will do anything to get themselves busy, not putting up a space to rest as they don’t want to be confronted with the breakup.
Becoming overly busy right after the breakup wouldn’t help you heal your broken heart. It may even bring more harm than good as excessive working/traveling/partying can lead to burnout. So don’t push yourself too much on this period.
Take some time to stay at home and let all those feelings out. Don’t keep it in and try to suppress the feeling. Don’t hide the hurt in smiles and pretend that everything’s fine when it’s not. Feel your emotions and acknowledge them. They’re normal. You’re only human.
Don’t be embarrassed for feeling the way you do. You’re not okay and that’s okay. Throw a tantrum, break things, cry your eyes out. Whatever it is that will make you feel better. Do it. You have to let yourself grieve to move on.
2Vent it out through your loved ones.
Along with letting go of your feelings privately, we also suggest having a strong support system during this period. Talk to your best friend or family member about the breakup.
Not only that you’ll be able to release your frustrations, but venting is also an effective way of understanding our own emotions. It can sort out your thoughts since you’ll get to hear your vents out loud. An outsider perspective can also help you figure out your next steps to heal your broken heart. They can also remind you of the bad things that have happened in the relationship, should you still have positive feelings for your ex-partner.
Keep in mind though, make sure that you’re talking to a trusted friend or family member. Some people tend to listen to your vents but only because they want to gossip in their clique. Also, avoid oversharing some critical or sensitive information about the former relationship. Still give respect to your previous partner, no matter how messy the breakup is. The only exception here is if the breakup has involved any sort of abuse as you need to share the full details when asking for help from loved ones or authorities.
3Cut the connection with your ex.
One of the things that people do out of denial is trying to talk to their ex regularly. They would try reaching out to see if they could have a second chance. They would also try to be “friends” with them, in hopes that their ex will have a change of heart.
In their minds, they believe that the whole breakup thing is just a good ‘ol argument– a simple “heart-to-heart convo” will do the trick. Even if the other party has already explained the reasons why they’re ending the relationship, their denial mind will still think that there’s a possibility of a second chance.
But here’s the thing, talking to your ex regularly will only hinder you from fully moving on. So keep your distance. Unfriend them, block them, remove their numbers on your phone. Do what it takes to stop yourself from messaging them.
How to Heal Your Heart During Anger Stage
This phase happens the moment your sense of denial starts to wear off. As you realize that your ex-partner will never come back, the painful reality sets in. It’s over. The relationship’s gone.
The pain will then soon re-emerge, and because you’re still not ready to face the breakup and heal your heart, you may end up expressing that pain into anger. You may end up blaming yourself, your ex-partner, your friends, your ex’s friends, and other people for the breakup.
As you’ve hit this phase, it’s important to keep in mind that your feelings are too intense at this point and that’s the reason why you’re expressing anger about the breakup. You also need to take note of the suggested steps to do when going through this grieving stage.
4Avoid lashing out at your friends and family.
One of the things we’ve noticed on some how-to-heal-your-broken-heart guides is that no one seems to acknowledge the effects of a breakup to your friends and family. You might not realize it, but they’re also affected by the loss. They might not be close to your ex, but they are close to you. And seeing you in a distraught state breaks their heart too.
Now, we’re not implying that you should be all bubbly and happy around them. We’re just saying this to remind you that lashing out on them would be unfair. They’re also having a hard time during this period, so getting mad at them for something minor ain’t something you should be doing.
5Steer away from social media temporarily.
As you go through so much anger due to the breakup, we suggest uninstalling your social media apps temporarily. If not, you might end up spamming your friends with posts about the breakup and why you hate your ex so much. With this, your friends and followers may end up gossiping about it, and may even bring it up on your next meetup.
This will then hinder the healing process since instead of leaving the dirty laundry under the rug, you’re sharing it for the world to see– opening up the emotional wounds in the process. And let’s be real here, you’re gonna cringe if these posts pop up years later. So make fewer mistakes and hold yourself from social media.
6Write a letter to your ex– but don’t send it.
Most people tend to be mad at their ex during this stage. They may feel frustrated as they can’t express their anger to their ex. So they just have this heavy emotional baggage everywhere they go.
To prevent yourself from carrying this emotional baggage, you may let out your emotions by writing a letter to your ex. Disclose all those frustrations. Write down all the things that you hate about them and the shitty things they did in the relationship.
According to this health.harvard article, venting your deep emotions through writing can boost your immune system. It also improves your overall mood since you’re letting go of the negative emotions through the letter.
7Avoid engaging in post-breakup sex.
Some people consider post-breakup sex as revenge for their ex-partners. However, post-breakup sex isn’t helpful at all. Yes, it’s fun to get all fun and flirty, but you may end up comparing your ex and this random person. And instead of forgetting your ex-partner, it may only magnify how much you miss them.
8Go for feel-good activities.
Sometimes, all you need are activities that will nurture your soul. As you’re going through with this stage, we suggest reducing your stress and anger levels by going for feel-good activities. Now, everyone has their own feel-good activities. Some people may be having fun crocheting, binge-watching their favorite series, or having a coffee date with their friends. Do what makes you happy, even if it’s just for a while.
Healing Your Heart During Bargaining Stage
Heartbroken people under this stage may experience a sense of longing for their ex-partners. The “what ifs” and “if only” statements will now be clouded over their minds. They may feel regretful about the breakup and even try to patch things up with their ex.
Even if their ex-partner is actually emotionally abusive to them, they may end up sweeping those awful memories under the rug, and instead focus on the “happy times” that they’ve had in the relationship.
As you go through this grieving stage, here are some of the things that you should do.
9Keep reminding yourself of the bad things in the relationship.
It’s normal to miss your ex. It’s normal to wish to go back to those happy moments. However, romanticizing every bitty memory that you have with this person can only hinder you from moving on.
As a step to heal your broken heart, we suggest reminding yourself of the bad things in the relationship. Have a list on your phone or journal of all the shitty things they’ve done in the relationship. Whenever there’s a pang of nostalgia, just open up the journal/phone and read the list.
10Don’t beg your ex for another chance.
For the love of your life, don’t ever try asking your ex for a second chance. You’ve been through so much, pal. You’re just stopping yourself from fully moving on from the relationship. You deserve better.
11Divert your focus on productive things.
What makes you happy? What are you interested in learning? Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer in a dog shelter. Maybe you want to learn how to speak French. Whatever it is, lose yourself in it. Talk, write, sing, dance, draw, and create–if you have something you wanna learn or something you wanna focus on, do it now.
Not only will it make you happier, but it will also be a good way to heal. Express yourself through art, words, or music. It can get your thoughts and feelings out and create wonderful pieces in the process.
12Take care of your body.
It’s easy to lose track of your own health when your heart is broken. Maybe you’re overworking yourself to forget. Or you’re eating too many sweets to cheer yourself up. As much as these are your ways of coping, these are not good for you.
To heal a broken heart, having a healthy mind, body and soul will be a great foundation for recovery. Exercising is a great way to release endorphins in your body. Endorphins work as natural antidepressants and instantly improve your mood. Having a good workout routine will not only help you take your mind off the breakup, but it will also lessen your stress and keep you happier in a healthy way.
Healing Your Heart During Depression Stage
This is the stage where reality fully sets in. People are now realizing that the relationship is gone and that the pain is here to stay. Now, unlike the anger and bargaining stage, this stage is pretty much quiet. There’s no crying. No bargaining. No random outbursts. You’re just internally keeping the pain at this moment, not having any motivation to do anything and living your life in somewhat autopilot mode.
Now, keep in mind that there are various signs of depression, so the ones we’ve mentioned above aren’t just the only symptoms of it. That’s why if you feel an extreme level of sadness, or you’re starting to think of hurting yourself, stop reading this and please, seek a medical professional.
Yes, you can seek therapy to heal your broken heart. It’s not OA. Ending a relationship is a valid reason to seek therapy. With that, here are the steps on how to get through this stage.
13Seek professional help.
As we’ve mentioned above, a breakup is a valid reason to seek therapy. In fact, anything that bothers you mentally and emotionally can be a valid reason to get therapy. Here are some of the mental health clinics and institutions that you can check out.
14Keep your support system close.
Spend time with your loved ones. Reach out to them for support during this time of great need. Make plans and hang out. Being around people who love you can help you feel better and less alone.
Don’t isolate yourself from people who just want to be there for you. Get in touch with them and talk about what you’re going through. They’ll be more than happy to help you move on from your heartbreak. Do some fun things with them and feel the outpour of their love and support. You are loved. You are cared for. Most importantly, you are not alone. Never forget that.
15Steer away from unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms such as excessive eating, hookups, drinking, and drug use can create more problems than solving them. Don’t go this route. You’re not going to heal a broken heart by doing this. Instead, go for more productive activities with your loved ones.
16Remove the guilt and the regrets as you move forward.
To heal a broken heart, you have to let go of all those extra emotional baggage. If it’s your fault that the relationship ended, it is normal to feel guilty about it. But don’t wallow in it. Say your apologies and go. Guilt will get you nowhere. What’s done is done. I know it’s easier said than done because you’d rather blame and harm yourself for the breakup. But remember: the best apology is behavior changed.
Let your mistakes be lessons learned and move forward. If it’s not your fault and yet you still feel like you could’ve done things the other way so that the two of you will still be together, you also need to stop that. Thoughts of “if only” will cause you nothing but more pain. Everybody has their own regrets in relationships. But don’t let regrets drag you down. Instead, use them to catapult yourself into being a better person next time.
Healing Your Heart During Acceptance Stage
The acceptance stage isn’t necessarily a “happy” stage. The acceptance stage is more of accepting the breakup. You’re ready to fully heal your broken heart and start anew. Here are some of the suggested steps as you go through this stage:
17Forgive yourself and forgive the person in your own time.
To heal a broken heart, you need to forgive. Whatever it is that happened in the relationship, you have to let it go on your own terms. You don’t have to forgive right away. But sometimes, in the span of your recovery, you need to. Forgive your ex for the pain that they have inflicted. It’s over and it’s done.
Be the bigger person. But more importantly, forgive yourself for your mistakes and the things you did to yourself because you were hurting. Keep your heart free from hate and anger. Don’t let those negative feelings drag you down because you keep holding on to them.
18Rebuild your self-esteem and self-worth.
It’s normal to feel worthless after a breakup. You feel like nobody is gonna love you anymore. You feel unattractive and undesirable. Worse, you believe you don’t deserve anything good. You might even encounter self-harming tendencies and suicidal ideas. When you’re in the pit of despair, I hope you have the strength to pick yourself up. There is no other way but up. Start by listing your strengths.
What are you good at? What do you like about yourself? Maybe you’re good at singing. Or maybe you like your silky black hair. To heal a broken heart, even the smallest of things can help boost your confidence. However, if you’re finding it hard to find anything worthy about you then ask your friends to help you out. If you can’t see the good in you, your friends will be more than happy to let you realize what an amazing person you really are.
19Take some time to enjoy the single life.
Do things on your own. Take yourself out on dates. Go to places you’ve never been to before. Spend time on your own to get used to yourself again. You’re on your own again and that’s not the end of the world. The only way to overcome being alone is by being alone! Spoil yourself and love yourself the way you want and deserve to be loved. That way you’ll have a higher bar for the next relationship. Enjoy your own company. It’s better than you think.
20Focus on yourself!
You are your priority. Focus on your ambitions and goals. If you don’t have any, it’s time to start thinking. You’ll not only build your confidence, but you’ll also refocus your energies on what’s more important: yourself. Maybe you’ve always had the goal of having your own place by 25 years old. Or maybe you’ve always wanted to be a surgeon. Just because you lost a relationship doesn’t mean you should lose your dreams too.
Divert your efforts on realizing that dream of yours. Motivating yourself to accomplish your goals is a good way to move on and face life again. You can recover from heartbreak but losing your dreams is as good as losing yourself.
It’s hard to heal a broken heart. It can even be brutal. But you can do it. With or without someone, you are a person worthy to be loved and worthy to be cared for. Even the worst breakups will never change that. Don’t forget that the most important person in this world is you.
Time doesn’t heal all wounds. It’s what we do with the time that heals us. There are many ways to heal a broken heart, you just have to start the journey now. You can do it.