5 Practical Ways To Heal A Broken Heart (When You're Hurting Bad)

Learn the lesson, and let it go.

Last updated on Jun 27, 2024

Woman attempts to heal her broken heart. laflor | Canva

Just about all of us have experienced heartbreak. We can feel the pain in our hearts when someone breaks up with us. It is natural to go into a healthy state of grieving. Sometimes, however, people can get stuck in their heartbreak. Some people go into an emotional cocoon and don’t venture out to protect themselves from any future pain like the pain they are going through now. If a person has had past hurts and abandonment, this last one can evoke the earlier trauma. How can we get over this pain and move on? How can we feel good again and open up to a future wonderful relationship? 


Here are 5 practical steps to heal a broken heart when you're hurting badly:

1. Feel your feelings

Don’t avoid them by going quickly into another relationship or drugs or alcohol. Avoidance will only belabor your anguish. Slow down and spend time feeling what you are experiencing. Cry if you need to; there is always a beginning, middle, and end to emotional pain and heartbreak. Rushing into a new relationship is not fair to you or the new partner who is probably being used to help you get away from the pain. So take some time, be single for a little while, and feel your feelings.

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2. Make sure you utilize your support system to talk about your pain

Use this time as an opportunity to let others be there for you. Don’t worry about being a burden to others. Those who are a burden to others are generally not genuinely "feeling" the love and support. They are just complaining and venting to an audience. This is different than truly letting them into your heart. The first way leads to nowhere and friends and family might burn out. The second way leads to caring and deeper relationships, which can ultimately help you process the hurt and move on.

RELATED: The 6 Best Ways To Heal A Broken Heart After An Extremely Painful Breakup, According To A Dating Expert

3. Go to therapy

If you notice a pattern of picking the wrong kind of partner, get into therapy so that you can prepare yourself to choose a better potential partner in the future. A good therapist will help you see why you pick that kind of unfulfilling or toxic partner and help you work on your own wounded "parts" so that those parts aren’t the ones deciding what is best for you in a mate. You want your grown-up adult ‘part’ to be the one who makes these decisions!

4. Learn what was missing in past relationships

Decide to learn as much about the "recessive" parts of you that were not expressed in previous relationships so that you can integrate those parts of you into future relationships. For example, if you discover that you have been too passive or adaptive in past relationships and have attracted controlling people, you can practice being assertive and become a "force to be reckoned with." You may find yourself being attracted to less controlling, more reciprocating people in the future. It is amazing how this works. As you work on that "weaker" side, you don’t need to find a partner that makes up for your weakness but simultaneously lacks in other important areas.


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5. Get yourself back out there

When ready, get out there again with your new sense of self and be willing to ask for more from any prospective partner. Practice being that force to be reckoned with and have good boundaries. Open yourself up to love and joy again. You deserve it!

RELATED: You Can't Move On From A Break-Up Until You Ask Yourself These 7 Questions


Todd Creager is a marriage and intimacy therapist, author, and speaker. He has been seen on Dating Advice, Celebuzz!, Playboy Radio, and more.