How to Mend a Broken Heart

Breakups suck — but you can make them suck a little less if you're proactive about getting over them. That's the subject of our AskReddit du jour: How to mend a broken heart. And you know what? In this case, the denizens of the content sharing site really do know what they're talking about.

The original poster of this thread, aptly titled, “What's the best medicine for a broken heart?”, seems to be pretty young; apparently it's the result of a rejected prom invitation, and another commenter pretty far down remarked that s/he had spent some time with OP in the r/teenagers sub. But no matter what age you are, most of us could still use a little help when trying to heal the wounds of the soul. There is much advice to be had here, from the common yet accurate to the uncommon and unexpectedly effective — so go ahead. Yank out the Ben and Jerry's, get a box of tissues, call up your best friend, and consult this thread to figure out where to go from there.

Here are 12 to start; doing any one of them (or a combination of then) will help put you on the road to recovery. Even broken hearts can heal if you give them the care they need.

1. Harness the Power of the Big Three

Time, because it heals all wounds; friends, because they've got your back when you feel like hell; and hobbies, because keeping yourself occupied will likely stop you from wallowing. Wallowing is good up to a point, but eventually, you need to get yourself going again. Although I also like this version:

Hobbit/Lord of the Rings marathon at my house! Bring your own second breakfast!

2. Live Well

It doesn't necessarily have to be for revenge, but living well is a good idea regardless. Life is too short to spend it all on regrets.

3. Read This Motivational Speech

It's pretty epic. Check out the full thing here. It's a doozy — but it might be just what you need.

4. ...Play Horror Games?

This one comes a little out of left field, but AsmileOnTop (appropriate username, by the way) makes some good points. Check out more titles to try at the full comment's permalink. I'd like to add Ib to the list — it's free, and while it's pretty basic in terms of graphics (hi there, RPG Maker!), it's a wonderfully told and incredibly spooky story. You'll definitely get sucked into it, so if you're looking for a distraction, it's right up your alley.

5. Use Your Heartache for the Forces of Good

This is similar to living well, but I think it gives you something a little more active to aim for: Taking what's making you feel so awful, and use it as an opportunity to make yourself better. No matter how good we are, we can always improve, so spend your energy on that — not on someone who's not worth it.

6. Play with Some Puppies

I wouldn't actually recommend out-and-out adopting a puppy to get over your heartbreak; getting a pet is a serious business (especially if you've never taken care of one on your own before), so you need to make sure you're absolutely ready for it before you do it. Pets are not toys to be returned if you can't figure out how they work. But by all means, do go play with some — either at a shelter, or a pet-owning friend's place, or courtesy of Snuggle Delivery Service. Who can resist a puppy pile?

7. Write It Down

The important thing is not to send whatever you've written to anyone. Seriously. Don't do it. I know it sounds cliché — the whole “Write a letter but don't send it!” thing — but it actually does help. It helps you articulate exactly why you feel so hellish, and once you've identified that? It makes it a little easier to let it go.

8. Allow Yourself to Get a Little Melodramatic

Especially if you're young: Now's the time to write terrible poetry and moan about how heartbroken you are. As I mentioned earlier, a little wallowing is fine — in fact, wallowing is recommended as long as its in small doses and only for a finite amount of time. Then heave yourself up out of your pit of despair and reach toward the light again.

9. Talk to Someone About It

Whether it's a friend, a trusted adult, or a professional, talk about it. Talk about what you were hoping for; talk about how it feels; talk about where you'll go from here. Talk, talk, talk. Like writing it down, it will help you process what's going on inside.

10. Be Your Own Date

This. So much this. Practice what Jennifer Peepas of Captain Awkward calls “self-care.” Treating yourself nicely is one of the best things you can do in the face of a broken heart.

11. Start Something Big

If you're still in high school, you might need to finish that up first. But “starting something big” doesn't have to mean becoming a world traveler; maybe you finally learn how to play that instrument you've been meaning to pick up and start a lifelong love affair with it. Maybe you start teaching yourself how to code. Maybe you finally submit that short story you wrote to a literary magazine. Maybe you decide to start a new friendship with someone you think you'll get along with and end up with a best friend for life. Maybe you do any one of countless things that could become something big — now's the time to do it. Remind yourself of the infinite number of possibilities that exist in the world.

12. Become Conan the Barbarian

On second thought, don't actually do that. But do go ahead and watch the movie — the one with Arnold, not the one with Khal Drogo. It'll make you laugh, at least.

Images: wolfsoul/Flickr; Giphy (4)