wikiHow to Cure a Heartache

Three Parts:Giving Yourself SpaceStarting the Healing ProcessReaching Acceptance

Sometimes you'll be deeply in love with someone only for them to stomp on your heart. Being rejected, whether by being broken up with or because they didn't want to date you in the first place, can hurt as much as a physical injury. The process towards healing can take a little while, but it's a journey that you'll need to go on.

Part 1
Giving Yourself Space

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    Allow yourself to grieve. Having your heart stomped on is going to be painful. You can't get around the fact that it is going to hurt. This means that you have to give yourself time to feel the emotions associated with heartache. Your brain is literally telling you that you've been injured so don't try to suppress those feelings.[1]
    • Create a healing space for yourself. You need time and space to process your emotions and to grieve. When the first heartache comes through, try to find a quiet place to deal with the immediate tidal wave of emotions. This can mean going for a walk, going to your room, making yourself a cup of tea.
    • You will tend to cycle through emotions like anger, pain, grief, anxiety, fear, acceptance. [2] It can feel a bit like you're drowning at times, but you'll find as you go through each cycle of feelings that you deal with them more easily and more quickly.
    • Avoid wallowing in despair, however. There's a fine line between giving yourself time to deal with your emotions and being completely overwhelmed by them. If you find that you haven't left your house in weeks, haven't showered, and aren't interested in anything, you should seek professional help, because this is not healthy coping with heartache.
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    Take it one day at a time. If you try to deal with all the emotions and all the fall-out from the heartache all at once, you're going to completely overwhelm yourself. Instead, go from moment to moment and stay present.
    • A good way to focus on the moment is to practice staying present. When you find your thoughts leaping ahead or straying into the past, stop yourself. Look around you; what do you see? What can you smell? What does the sky look like outside? What can you feel with your hands? Is there wind against your face?
    • Get little things done. Sweep, clean, organize, sort. Menial chores like this help your mind focus on positive things rather than negative things. Television, books and movies are good therapy in small amounts, but they don't affect your sense of accomplishment like marking things off your To-Do List. As the small things get done, you can shift to bigger things like redecorating, rearranging, remodeling. When the bigger things get done you will actually boost your attitude and brighten your outlook.
    • Don't start in on a big plan to get over the person who broke your heart. Instead, just focus on dealing with your grief over how things worked out.
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    Detach. When a relationship ends or you get rejected you will probably feel like there's this great big hole inside of you, a black hole that wants to suck all happiness out of you. A lot of people make the mistake of immediately trying to fill that hole, because they can't stand it. Yes, it is going to hurt and you are going to feel empty. [3]
    • Give yourself space from the other person. Delete them from your phone so you aren't tempted to drunk text them, hide or block them on social media so you don't end up cyber-stalking them at two in the morning. Don't ask mutual friends how they are and what they are up to. The cleaner the break, the easier it will be for you to heal.
    • Don’t try to immediately fill the hole left by them. This is one of the big mistakes that people make when it comes to curing heartache. Jumping into a new relationship means avoiding the pain and black hole feeling of the previous one, but it doesn't actually help to work through those feelings. They'll come back bigger and meaner later on.
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    Talk about it. You need to make sure that you have a support system for dealing with your heartache. A strong support system of friends and family, and even a therapist can help get you on your feet faster than anything else. They aren't filling that hole that the person you loved did, but they are helping make it easier to deal with that emptiness.[4]
    • Have a trusted friend or family member you can talk to, especially at odd times of night. try to find someone, or more than one someone, who can help take on the emotional support that the other person used to fulfill. Ask your friend if you can reach out to them when you get the urge to talk to the person you're trying to stay away from.
    • Journaling can be incredibly helpful. Not only is it a good way to get your feelings out, especially if you don't want to over-burden your friends, but it's a good way to check your progress. You'll see when you think about the heartache less, or when you start to become interested in dating again (really interested, not just "filling in the hole left by the other person" interested).
    • Sometimes you also might need to talk to a licensed therapist. There's nothing wrong with needing some professional help!
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    Get rid of any mementos. Hanging on to mementos is only going to slow down your recovery process. Unless you absolutely must keep that ratty old pair of sweatpants your ex left behind, then send it all away.
    • You don't need to ritually burn everything, especially if it could be given to someone who needed it, but you do need to make sure it's out of your life. And depending on how the relationship ended a ritual burning can release a lot of pent-up feelings.
    • With each item, think of the memory you associate with it. Then imagine putting that memory in a balloon. When you get rid of that item imagine that balloon drifting away, never to trouble you again.
    • Donating the physical items that are in good shape can be a great tool for getting rid of them. This way you can imagine the good new memories that the items will make for their new owner.
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    Help someone else. Helping someone who is struggling with pain, especially a pain similar to yours, can help you forget yourself for a moment. It also means that you aren't wallowing in grief and self-pity.
    • Make time to listen and help with the troubles of your friends so that you aren't monopolizing everything with your own heartache. Let them know that they can always talk to you and get help from you if they need it.
    • Do some volunteering. Work at a homeless shelter or a food bank. Offer your time to the Big Brother, Big Sisters program, or something similar.
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    Allow yourself to fantasize. You are going to fantasize about that person coming back to you and telling you what a fool they were for letting you go. You are probably going to fantasize about being intimate with that person, about kissing them, and being close to them. That's totally normal.
    • The more you try to shove away those fantasies, the more stuck they're going to get in your mind. When you're not supposed to think about something, especially a self-imposed something, that's all you're going to think about.
    • Give yourself a specific time for fantasies so you don't spend all your time fantasizing. For example, give yourself 15 minutes each day to think about your ex wanting to get back together with you. When it isn't the designated time and those thoughts pop into your head, put them aside until it's the right time. You aren't ignoring them, you're simply going to deal with them later. Also focus fantasies of your ex on things that don't inflame your grief. Instead of dreaming about what the relationship could have been, imagine your ex doing good things for the community, or recommending you for a job. These constructive fantasies are much more possible, and far more helpful than imagining what could have been.

Part 2
Starting the Healing Process

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    Avoid things that trigger memories. Getting rid of mementos from the first section will help you avoid triggering memories. There are, however, other triggers that you should be mindful of. You're not going to always be able to avoid them, but doing your best not to seek out mental triggers will help you heal in the long run.
    • Triggers can be anything from the song that was playing when you two started your relationship to the coffee shop where you spent so much time studying Latin with one another, to even a smell.
    • You will encounter triggers, even when you aren't seeking them out. When you do, acknowledge the trigger and the memories it brings up, and then move on from it. Don't linger over the feelings and memories. For example, if you see a picture of the two of you when you're on Facebook, acknowledge the sadness and regret that you feel and turn your attention to something positive or neutral (like what you're wearing tomorrow, or the new kitty you're getting).
    • The point isn't to avoid all triggers all the time. You can't do that. What you're trying to do is minimize the things that will hurt you and remind you so you can get on with the healing process.
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    Use music to help the healing. It turns out that music can have a therapeutic effect and help your healing process. So put on some feel-good, up-beat songs. Science has shown that listening to them can trigger the release of endorphins, lifting your spirits and combating stress.[5]
    • Avoid sappy sad romantic songs. These will not trigger good chemicals in your brain. Instead, they will feed into your feelings of sadness and heartache.
    • When you find yourself falling into a pit of sadness and anger, that's a good time to put on good tunes to help lift your spirits. Putting on dance music can couple the endorphins from listening to the music with endorphins from dancing.
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    Distract yourself from the heartache. After you've gotten over the initial process of giving yourself space to grieve and deal with your emotions, you should spend some time distracting yourself. When your memories of the other person start to bubble up, distract yourself with another thought, an activity, and so on.
    • Call that friend who said you could call them when you needed. Read a book you've been wanting to for a while. Put on a funny movie (an added bonus, because laughter can help with the healing).
    • The more you make not thinking about your ex and the heartache, the easier the healing process will be. It takes work, though. It takes actually redirecting your thinking and being vigilant about how much time you spend thinking about your heartache.
    • Don't take too many "painkillers." These are the things that can help you numb out for awhile. Sometimes you really do just need to take a break, but you have to be careful that you don't abuse these numbing routines, especially in the beginning when you really do need to deal with those feelings. "Painkillers" can be things like alcohol or drugs, but it can also be things like watching obsessive amounts of t.v. or never getting off the internet, or eating food for the comfort it brings.
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    Change up your routine. Part of dealing with heartbreak is coping with a break in certain habits you've formed to do with the other person. By doing new things and changing how you do things you'll be paving the way for new habits. There won't be any room in this new life for the person who broke your heart.[6]
    • You don't even have to do make huge changes to help shake yourself out of your old routines. Simply do things like go to the farmer's market on Saturdays instead of lying in bed, try out some new music, learn a new hobby like quilting or karate.
    • It's best not to do something really drastic unless you've weighed all the pros and cons. Especially avoid doing something drastic in the beginning of the healing process. Once you're further along and you want to show that you're changing, then it's a better time to do something like get a tattoo or shop all your hair off.
    • If you can try to get a little time off so you can go on vacation. Even taking a weekend and heading somewhere new can give you a new perspective on everything that happened.
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    Don’t sabotage your healing. You're probably going to backslide when you are working on healing. That's okay, it's part of the process! But there are some things that you can watch out for to help keep that backsliding from sending you too far back.[7]
    • Be careful about the language that you use. When you use words like "terrible" or "awful" or "nightmare" you're going to be stuck viewing things through the negative. This will color your thoughts. If you can't find the positive, then stick to neutral thoughts as much as possible. For example: instead of saying "This whole breakup is so horrible" say "This breakup has been really hard on me, but I'm dealing my best to work through it."
    • Don't put yourself in an embarrassing situation. Don't drive past your ex's house each night to see if they're dating someone new, don't drunk call or drunk text them, etc. These things will make it harder to let go of what's past.
    • Remember that things change. People change, situations change. What you're feeling now is not what you're going to be feeling in a week, in a month, in a year. Eventually you will be able to look back on this time of your life without feeling physically ill.

Part 3
Reaching Acceptance

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    Avoid placing blame. Part of curing your heartache, of finding acceptance for how things happened, is to realize that blaming yourself or the other person simple isn't useful. What happened happened and there's nothing you can do or say now to change that, so let the blame go.
    • Try to feel some kindness towards them. Whatever they did or didn't do, try to find some compassion for their issues, for what they're going through. It doesn't even mean you have to forgive them, but it does mean that you don't keep holding on to your anger at them.
    • Likewise, don't place blame on yourself. You can accept and deal with the things you did in the relationship that made it not work and pledge to yourself to do better in the future. But don't spend lots of time agonizing over what went wrong.
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    Know when you’re ready to move on. Everyone heals at a different pace. There's no set time period for healing from heartache, but there are some signs that you're getting to a healthier place.
    • You stop wondering if it's them calling every time a number pops up on your phone that you don't recognize.
    • You've stopped having fantasies about them coming to their senses and coming to beg your forgiveness on bended knee.
    • You don't identify so much with songs and movies about heartbreak. You're finding that you enjoy reading and listening to things that don't deal with relationships at all.
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    Find out who you are. One thing that tends to get left at the wayside in a relationship and in the initial grieving stages when it ends is just being you. For a long time it's been about you as part of a partnership and then you as someone grieving that partnership.
    • Work on personal growth, internal and external. Get into shape, or change your look. These things can greatly help to boost your confidence, which will probably have taken a hit from the heartache. Figure out what areas of your inner self need work. For example: you might have a bad temper that causes you to act passive aggressively, then you would need to work on finding healthier ways to express that anger.
    • Develop what makes you unique. When you spend so much time with another person and dealing with the breakup fall-out, you tend to focus less on important aspects of yourself. Reconnect with people and activities you didn't have time for when you were dealing with this relationship and breakup.
    • Try out new things. This can help introduce you to different people, people who have never met the person who caused you such heartache. Learning new things will help to keep your mind off the heartbreak and on the present.
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    Avoid relapsing. Just as you don't want to sabotage your healing, you don't want to do things that make you relapse into the heartache. Sometimes you can't avoid this, but you can minimize the risk.
    • Don't let that person back into your life too soon, or at all. If you do it can cause a resurgence of unhappiness and heartache. Sometimes being friends with an ex just isn't possible.
    • If you do relapse don't panic. The work you've already put in to getting over the heartache hasn't gone to waste. It will payoff. Don't give up. Everyone has to deal with setbacks especially with this sort of thing.
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    Do things you enjoy. Doing things that make you happy or that you enjoy help to ramp up the dopamine levels in your brain. This is a chemical that helps with happiness and lowering stress (which heartache can ramp up to eleven).[8]
    • Do things that you don't associate with your ex. Try out new things, or do things that you stopped doing when the two of you were together.
    • Learn to be happy. People are attracted to happy people, because happy people make them feel happy. While you won't feel happy all the time, work on doing things you enjoy and living a life that you enjoy.
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    Give love. After a breakup and the long process of healing from heartache, you may find it difficult to open up to other people again. Don't allow what happened in the past to negatively affect what's in your present or in your future.
    • Recognize that you might be hurt again if you open up, but that you should do it anyway. Closing yourself off is a surefire way to encourage issues with your health, both mental and physical.
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    Don’t be discouraged! It's important to remember that healing from heartache is a process. It won't happen right away. You'll have setbacks, you'll encounter problems, and you'll feel a wide range of less than enjoyable feelings. After all you did give a piece of your heart away. The pain is proof you are human, made with compassion and imperfections like the rest of us.
    • Encourage yourself by celebrating the small victories. If you've gone an entire day without thinking about your ex, celebrate that with a celebratory drink or a cookie.


  • Keep loving yourself even if it seems an impossible goal. In the long run, you will be a stronger person
  • Helping other people often helps yourself. Give good advice and don't be negative.
  • A joke a day will keep you laughing and during times like these, even if it feels wrong, laughing will make you happy!


  • Never hurt or try to hurt yourself due to lost love.
  • Don't depend on just these tips. If things are worsening, you may want to consider getting professional help.

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