Heartbreak is a very touchy, difficult sensation to experience. It is even more difficult to overcome. Whether you go through heartbreak in the form of a break up, losing a loved one, or a job opportunity gone awry, it is altogether necessary to find means through which to work through your sorrows.

For some, heartbreak looks like cutting ties with what or who hurt you for a period of healing, sometimes forever. Some people prefer to confront their pains and losses head-on, like ripping off a Band-Aid. Yet for others, heartbreak can mean eating that fourth sleeve of Thin Mints in your pajamas while you watch reruns of Gilmore Girls and let your hair get stringy and oily. Some like sobbing and talking about their feelings, others stoic silence. We need to remember that everyone deals with intense moments of sadness and loss differently, and we cannot expect our coping mechanisms to work for them, or vice versa.

There is really no wrong way to experience heartbreak, but there are some harmful ways. Here you can find a few healthy tips for going through such a challenging experience.

Healthy Tips: 

1. Write your feelings in a journal as a way to work through your pain privately.

It’s totally okay if your writing goes from the root of your heartbreak to doodles, random thoughts and anything in between. All writing is good writing! Etsy is a great place to shop for a unique, one-of-a-kind journal that can help make analyzing your situation a little more enjoyable.

2. Go on a walk to clear your mind and give yourself the chance to rationalize your feelings.

When we are going through heartbreak, we are not thinking straight. Search your geographical region for a nice public or state park for some strolling. You can go alone, or with a friend, whatever makes you feel most comfortable and apt to express yourself as needed.

3. Exercise. It can and will help your mood.

Try what is best for you and take it one day at a time. Feel better from the inside out.

4. Talk to someone you love.

Open up to others and allow them to experience emotions with you. No one should ever have to feel alone in this world, especially not when you’re going through painful experiences.

5. Take your feelings seriously, and consider talking to someone if you need it.

You can call or look online with your healthcare provider to see what options you have both on and off of your insurance plan in terms of finding someone to talk to. The stigma that “seeing someone” makes you a crazy person just is not true- everyone needs someone to talk to, and sometimes a third-party person unrelated to your heartbreak will be the best person to help you sort through your thoughts.

6. Pet some puppies, kitties, or other furry friends!

Research shows that owning a pet, or even mooching off of a friend that has one, is beneficial to your health and heart. Who can be sad when snuggling a fuzzy baby? Ask your local pet shelter if they have a foster care or day program where you can take a dog or cat out for a trial period or even just a day. You may find a new companion to help you get through your heartache!

7. Eating your feelings is even okay, in moderation.

Chocolate, a known “joy” stimulant, boosts brain serotonin. Grab your favorite brand for a quick, safe, mood changer!

8. Retail therapy.

Although sometimes pricey, is it also a viable way to work through some situational sadness. (But maybe don’t do it at the same time as your eating!)

9. Try some DIY!

Buzzfeed, Tasty and Nifty are all great resources that will give you something fun to take your mind off of what is bothering you. You may even find a new hobby!

10. Spend time with someone you love.

Being around people who care about you is always important, and even more so when you are going through tough times!

What not to do:

1. Don’t bottle it up.

What is not okay in terms of heartbreak is bottling everything up inside that it becomes physically or mentally detrimental to you, your loved ones, or threatens your life or the lives of other creatures. Even for those who don’t like divulging their personal information to others, there is still merit in having that one confidant or healthcare professional who can help guide you through the tough times.

2. Don’t forget about the resources you have when things get really challenging.

Resources exist for those who find themselves in a situation of self-harm or harm to others, including 24/7 Crisis Support, the Suicide Prevention HotlineWomen’s Health Hotline, and various others that can be found online and via phone with help from an operator in the event that you do not have access to technology at a time where you or a friend are feeling particularly forlorn.

3. Don’t try to handle it alone.

As a friend with someone going through unbearable heartbreak, you need to be there. Being there means being there even if what your girlfriend sees as her be all and end all is something you can handle. Everyone’s pain threshold is different and unfortunately, the more we experience pain, the better suited we are to confront it in the future and help others confront it as well.

4. Don’t expect it to go away overnight. It’s OK if it takes some time.

Heartbreak is something that in some instances, may last forever. Whether or not it is unbearable is something that can, and will change. You just need to give yourself, and others, time to work for it in ways that are safe and work best for you.

It sometimes takes a tragedy to make a miracle. These coping mechanisms are sometimes fleeting in how much they are able to cheer you up; there is really no promise that any or all of these things will give you the type of comfort and solace you are looking for, but in their own right each is definitely worth the shot.

If this is your first time experiencing heartbreak, you are both lucky and also in an unfortunate circumstance. It may be worth your while to try some of these ideas out and see which ones suit your personality best. Even better, maybe in your own heartbreak, you come up with new ways to help yourself and others cope with their own forms of loss.

You’ll get through it, I promise.

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