Undoubtedly one of the most trying moments in life, heartbreaks can disorient even the most stoic of us. We have heard stories of people losing their minds after losing their fortunes or loved ones. Others have attempted to commit suicide unable to deal with the heartbreak. The pain is real, merciless and unfathomable. The condition is medically known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, and is said to be caused by a surge of stress hormones, such as adrenaline, that temporarily damage the heart.
Doctors say the condition can reverse itself after a few weeks but in rare cases it can be fatal. Heartbreaks can happen to anyone despite their age; did you know research shows broken heart syndrome is more common among adults aged 50 and above?
Heartbreak can make you feel empty inside, unable to get up in the morning, eat, think or do anything productive. The only thing we want to do is go back to the past when things were fine although this is not possible. Life moves on, trying to make it static only makes you appear deranged. (I know someone who sent seventy one messages to their ex, I had to hide the phone after that.) But while it is difficult, heartbreak just like many things in life gives us a beautiful gift of learning about ourselves more deeply and deciding the life we want and the type of people we want in it. This only happens if we invest the time into healing ourselves.
Now thanks to technology, you can access help and expert guidance through this most difficult of times. Mend is an app that promises to make healing holistic and safer. This lifesaving app is the brainchild of former Google employee Ellen Heurta, inspired by her own heartbreak. “I created Mend because it is what I needed when I was going through a breakup in my mid-twenties,” Heurta reveals. “All of the resources I found online felt cheesy and outdated and none of them addressed the science of what is actually happening in your brain and body during a breakup.” Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this research-backed mindfulness app is like a one-stop shop for mental well-being. It has hundreds of guided mediations, interactive journaling tools, breathing exercises, and brain games. It has a free and personalized program, based on the type of breakup you are experiencing. Every training is carefully written by experts whose specialties lay within the individual topic.
Getting started on the app is simple, all you have to do is fill in the details of your relationship’s demise, the date of your breakup and the time you last contacted your ex, and you will be taken to a questionnaire where you can “check in” with your emotions, sharing how sad you feel each day on a sliding scale. A soothing avatar of Heurta, called Elle, then begins offering the good stuff: advice on how to emotionally move forward. Have you been scrolling 53 weeks deep on your ex’s Instagram account? “This is totally normal,” Elle reassures. “You are not crazy, and this feeling will pass.” She then launches into the science behind your need to bridge contact, explaining that your body is in withdrawal from endorphins and oxytocin; pleasure hormones that are sent back and forth with your partner. Once you break up, you will do anything for another hit. But, as Elle assures, these feelings will pass.
As well as suggestions for break-up reading material, such as “five ways to foster a better sense of self”, the app prompts you to log healing activities like exercising, being social or even getting intimate with a new person. With each activity, you can rate how it made you feel, in the same school as gratitude therapy. Swipe to the dashboard and it will give you a motivational time stamp of the days since you last contacted your ex, as well as a chart showing how your mood has progressed over the days. “Mend is like a best friend guiding you through a breakup, if your best friend always had great advice,” Huerta says.