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The Short Version: Heartbreak is painful, and it can have detrimental effects on your mental health. But with the support of healing app Mend, new singles can recover in a healthy way, aided by daily support and guidance. Mend CEO Kat Torres shared her advice on how singles can recover from a breakup.
Sometimes a relationship needs to end. All things have their seasons, and it is often best for both partners to move on from a relationship that no longer feels right. But even when you know that leaving is the right choice, it’s never an easy one.
It goes without saying that breakups are emotionally taxing. In addition to the loss of a relationship, new singles have to deal with a sometimes startling new reality: being on their own. After months or years with a partner, they need to quickly adjust to life without someone else there to comfort them when they’re sad, bounce ideas off of when they need direction, and support them when they take a risk. In this time of deep emotional need, they can’t rely on the person they would usually turn to. For many new singles, that realization can be devastating.
In addition to the emotional pain of an ended relationship, singles face the anxiety-inducing practical logistics of a breakup. Couples who live together, are married, or have children face a winding road of necessary problem-solving with their exes. Even when you want nothing more than to avoid seeing your ex until you’ve healed from the breakup, you don’t have that option.
With all the sadness and stress that inevitably comes with breakups, new singles need a way to stay on top of their mental health, which is often at a low point after a relationship ends. When Elle Huerta founded the healing app Mend, she was going through a breakup herself and needed support.
“She was searching for support but came across so much clickbait-y content,” Kat Torres, CEO of Mend, told me. “She didn’t find the support she was looking for, so she created it herself!”
Mend uses journaling prompts, exercises, check-ins, and other thoughtful features to help new singles stay on top of their mental health without having to curate the experience for themselves. “Mend’s mission is to offer support for the journey inward, which is a journey we often find ourselves on after going through difficult life experiences, like a breakup,” Kat said.
When your relationship is ending, finding the motivation to meet your basic responsibilities feels like a battle. When I’ve gone through breakups in the past, all I felt like doing was lie in bed and watch reruns of “Bones” on my laptop. Keeping up appearances felt tough enough; practicing healthy coping mechanisms on my own felt out of reach. But doing so would have helped me feel better a lot sooner.
You can hardly expect yourself to bounce back into healthy eating and exercise, mindfulness, and self-reflection without a little help. But with Mend, you don’t have to. You get a built-in buddy giving you suggestions for ways to take care of yourself and asking you the questions you need to think about to be in touch with your feelings.
“Self-care can feel overwhelming when you’re heartbroken,” Kat said. “There are so many tools and practices we can implement to help ourselves, but it can be hard to know where to even start when the grief is clouding the way forward. The Mend app takes the pressure off Menders by delivering valuable learning each day and giving you space to reflect.”
At the same time, your healing process following a breakup isn’t linear. You may feel fine the first day after, then suddenly get hit with a wave of emotions the following month. Your healing journey is unique to you.
After working with thousands of Menders, the Mend team understands the ups and downs. “The Mend app supports users through the ebbs and flows of mending from heartbreak, from those first few days after a breakup to getting ready to start dating again and all that happens in between,” Kat told us.
Mend offers a daily check-in, journal prompt, and audio training features to condition Menders to be mindful of how they’re feeling in the moment. The process guides them to a place of healing, growth, and understanding.
I’ve always struggled to keep an exercising routine. I have the best intentions, but it’s hard to get myself up off the couch when it’s so much easier to stay where I am. When I exercise consistently, though, I feel much better than I do when I don’t exercise.
Eventually, I realized that the easiest way to keep working out was to set a long-term goal to work toward. For me, that started with running a half-marathon. Training for the race got me running more consistently than ever, and I felt really proud of myself when I finished it.
Kat suggests that singles follow a similar pattern when recovering from heartbreak. She recommends choosing a long-term goal or “Mend Monument” to work toward. This helps new singles to put in the work to aid their recovery, and it gives them something to be proud of once they’ve accomplished it.
“After a breakup, you might feel directionless,” Kat said. “Someone who you shared time, goals, and routines with is no longer there. A Mend Monument is something beautiful that you can do for yourself and no one else! It gives you something to look forward to and get excited about.”
Whether you take up a new sport, learn a language, or make a big move, selecting a Mend Monument can help you focus on your own development and do things for yourself again.
According to Kat, recovering from a breakup can best be looked at through the lens of meditation, movement, and expansion. When singles make sure to hit all three pillars of their healing, they set themselves up to move on in a healthy way.
The benefits of taking the time to meditate and practice mindfulness are well-known, but the practices are even more important when you’re going through a breakup. “Meditation is key to bringing you back to the present moment, and staying rooted in the present supports a healthy mindset,” Kat told us. Meditation can help you reel in negative thoughts before you spiral out, so you can focus on staying positive and calm as best you can.
In addition to mental exercises, physical exercise does wonders for your mental health when you’re going through a breakup or any other stressful life event. Movement can help you refocus your stress and energy into something productive – instead of ruminating about your ex. “Movement helps you connect with your body and offers that feel-good boost,” Kat said. “Personally, exercise has always helped me push myself and realize how capable I am of doing hard things!”
Being in a relationship usually comes with some level of routine. You may rely less on friends than you did when you were single, or you may have less energy to try new things because you’re comfortable with your life as it is. Once you get out of a relationship, it may feel harder to broaden your world again. But Kat believes that’s exactly when you need to expand the world around you so you know you are more than your old relationship.
“When it comes to expansion, I mean finding ways to expand your world,” Kat shared. “When you’ve just gone through a breakup, it can feel like you’ll never meet someone like your ex or you’ll never experience love like that again, and those thoughts can keep your hope low, and your mindset stuck. Through expanding our world, we see how much possibility exists–we meet new people, we become a better self, and we build our resilience in the process.”