10 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart

Every time my heart breaks, I hear the same song in my head. You know the one: "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?" And while I'm old now, my heart does still get broken from time to time, and so now and then, I still hear that song in my head.

So what DOES become of the brokenhearted?

They heal. They move on. And they live to tell the tale. Here are some tips for healing a broken heart.

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1) Write your former partner a letter. Really let it all out -- the anger, the sadness, the frustration, the bitterness. If one isn't enough, write two, or three, or fourteen. Just write it out. Then? Burn it. Sending it won't make you feel better in the long run.

2) Find a therapist (many college campuses offer cut-rate pricing for therapists) who specializes in breakups and confide in him or her. It's wonderful to have an objective third party to help you sort through your feelings.

3) Have your therapist help you work through your emotions and talk about the breakup in such a way that you're able to figure out what a healthy and an unhealthy romantic relationship involves. Before jumping back into the dating waters, make sure you know how to swim.

4) Give yourself permission to not be okay. A divorce or other breakup can be a devastating loss -- and losses are meant to be grieved. Don't push yourself too hard to "get over it."

5) Remind yourself that grief has no set timetable. It's not like you can set a clock by your grief and grieving. So be gentle to yourself while you're going through it.

6) Journal it out. It can be helpful to go back and see how far you've come in your grieving process. And putting words together into sentences and paragraphs is one of the most cathartic ways to heal because it forces you to quantify your feelings.

7) Ignore well-meaning friends and family who suggest you "get back out there." You'll get back out there when you're good and ready.

8) Go to an office supply store and buy a large colored (not see-through) bin. Put everything that reminds you of your ex into that bin and put it in the back of your closet or in a storage locker. There is no reason to get sucker-punched every time you see his coffee cup in the cupboard.

9) Take your sadness and make some art -- something tangible. If you draw, draw it out. If you paint, paint it out. If you write, write it out.

10) See if you can locate a support group in your area for people going through similar situations. While no two breakups are the same, other people will understand your feelings, where you're coming from, and offer you a support system when you need it most.

What are some other suggestions for healing a broken heart?



Image via katerha/Flickr

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