How Long Does It Take To Heal A Broken Heart?

By David Small •  Updated: 02/01/21 •  11 min read

Everyone wishes to heal a broken heart and as soon as possible.

Yet it is not as easy as you may expect. That’s because of the emotional rollercoaster an individual with a broken heart has to go through in the first few weeks.

Heal A Broken Heart?

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

You have to go through unanswered questions concerning what might have gone wrong. Is it that you aren’t good enough for your partner?

What can you do to fill the void that’s been left behind? As you think about your situation, you will wonder if and when you will ever find healing.

Eventually, the healing properties of time kick in, and you begin to get well?

What Do Scientific Studies Say About Healing A Broken Heart?

Some unproven theories suggest that it will take the length of the relationship duration for you to heal. Therefore, if your relationship lasted for two years, you can expect to be well after one year

. However, all that is at best conjecture as no scientific study exists to prove it.

That’s perhaps why some scientists have sought to provide a timeline within which you can heal a broken heart.

According to a widely-quoted study, it takes 11 weeks or three months for one to get over a heartbreak.

The study, which was done in 2007, involved 155 freshly broken up undergraduate students at Monmouth University.

Research results released by Scholars Nicole M. Bizzoco et al. showed that 71 percent of respondents took 11 weeks to recover.

The researchers define those who had recovered as having positive emotions, coping strategies, self-rediscovery, and self-expansion.

However, it’s essential to realize that not all relationships are the same. As such, some people may take longer to heal compared to others.

That’s why one study expressly states that there cannot be an exact length of time to heal a broken heart.

This study focused on stress-induced cardiomyopathy or broken-heart syndrome – a real heart attack-like condition in women. According to the researchers, it took more than four months for the broken-heart syndrome to wane.

How Do You Heal a Broken Heart?

To heal a broken heart, you need to approach it in a structured way. You have to come to resultant emotions in a way that helps you to get over the broken heart.

The aim of all of that should be to shorten the time you need to get back to normal. Here are strategies to help you heal faster than usual:

  1. Effectively Go Through the Grieving Period

When you break up with a spouse, you also lose other relationships (the ex’s family and mutual friends). It’s also possible to lose your social status, home, and possibilities for the future.

According to clinical psychologist Dr. Tricia Wolanin, dealing with a broken heart is similar to grief. That’s because parting with your ex represents “the death of a relationship, hopes, and dreams.” So, it would help if you took the time to grieve over your loss.

The problem with most people is that they are likely to avoid grieving because it involves going through painful moments. They would rather forget about the breakup than suffer trying to deal with it.

However, that’s risky, given that it leads to anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, physical manifestations, and suppressed immunity. Some people even develop obsessive thoughts, despair, and body tension.

As emotionally and physically unpleasant as grieving is, going through it gives you greater control over your life. It also prepares you for the next relationship while avoiding gloomy predictions and pushing the new partner away.

For that reason, Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross recommends grieving in five stages (denial, anger, frustration, bargaining, depression, and acceptance). As you go through the steps, be conscious about your feelings, thoughts, physical sensation, and behavior.

Also Related: 15 Proven Steps that will Cure a Broken Heart.

  1. Learn To Live Independently

It can be hard to live independently, especially after getting used to your spouse. Yet, it would help if you did it to heal. So avoid desperately trying to win him or her back.

Also, don’t rush into a new relationship immediately. You will heal faster by detaching yourself from your spouse.

However, you should start by realizing you don’t need anyone to be happy. After some time of living alone, you start feeling better about yourself. What should you do?

Take time thinking about and empower yourself and keep busy with other plans, friends, and family. You could listen to your favorite music and wallow in showing yourself some love.

  1. Take Time to Heal

After a breakup, people feel lonely, depressed, worthless, and unlovable, thanks to their emotional reactions. Some make rash decisions such as changing their wardrobe, binge drinking, and a new haircut.

What they forget is that their preferred solutions are superficial reactions that don’t change anything. Some choose to bottle up their emotions resulting in long-term depression, fear, and low self-esteem.

So recognize that you have valid feelings no matter how much distorted your feelings. The best strategy is to take time to heal. It may not happen within the magical eleven weeks, but you will heal your broken heart if you stay the course.

In an article for Psychology Today, Jean Kim M.D. says taking time to sob it out can heal a broken heart.

  1. Laugh and Cry about It

One of the best ways to heal a broken heart is by laughing about it, according to research done by Dr. Lee Berk et al. at Loma Linda University, California. The study results suggest that laughter can lift spirits, reduce stress, improve physical health, and lower blood pressure.

Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, which naturally act as painkillers. Thus, during a breakup, laughter can enhance your stress response capabilities, enabling you to cope with emotions.

Apart from laughing, you should also allow yourself to cry your heart out. Crying helps you to express your pent-up emotions, thus accelerating the healing process.

According to William Frey, a biochemist, emotional tears remove toxins from the body and relieve emotional stress. That’s why you should expect to feel better after crying about your loss of a relationship.

  1. Hit the Gym Soonest

Among her 5 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart, Theresa E. DiDonato Ph.D. recommends exercise. In an article for Psychology Today, she says exercise can relieve depression symptoms due to a breakup.

That’s because physical exertion enables one to deal with sleep issues, mood problems, and absentmindedness.

So, you are advised to hit the gym as soon as the breakup happens. Exercise will help you deal with emotional issues and keep you busy enough to forget your heartache.

Another reason for recommending practice is its ability to reduce the feeling of guilt, improve brain health, and gain control.

Besides, you will deal with aggression and anger issues, sleep better, meet new people, and have something for which to work. The time it affords you is also enough for you to think about your life from that point onwards.

  1. Stay Away From Social Media

Even though challenging, staying away from social media can help you heal a broken heart.

We are talking about the habit of checking his or her posts on Facebook. Of course, it’s understandable that you want to know how your ex is doing.

So, you go to his social media account to check out what he or she is doing. That isn’t helpful, especially when you stumble upon a post bearing a photo of his beautiful new girlfriend.

It would fan the embers of emotional hurt and take you to square zero concerning your healing. So, you are more likely to heal a broken heart by avoiding your ex’s social media accounts.

  1. Have a Date with Yourself

After being in a long relationship, it isn’t easy for you to look at life without your partner. Most of the time, you will see yourself as part of the relationship, forgetting you can function independently.

However, you should never allow a relationship (whether present or past) to define you.

Writing for, Colleen Regan considers the temporariness of relationships and advises not allowing it to represent you.

So, it would help if you lived to the fullest regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not.

The same way you should hold your while in a relationship is how you should proceed when one ends.

Dating yourself means you set aside time for yourself. During that time, you can indulge in the things that make you whole. It could be a hobby or an interest you have always wanted to pursue. Take the time to prepare for your date.

Even if you are going out for dinner on your own, ensure you wear your best outfit. Life and love coach Francesca Hogi newly-single individuals should date themselves to have a more intimate knowledge of themselves.

  1. Take Time to Fantasize

After ending a relationship, you are likely to have some yearning for your ex, no matter how bad they are. Come to think of it – here is someone with whom you shared a large chunk of your life.

Thus, their absence in your life will affect you. Writing for, Dr. Christine Whelan says a little bit of fantasy about your ex is excellent. She says you shouldn’t banish thoughts of being intimate with your ex.

If you do, then it might be difficult for you to heal a broken heart.

However hard it is to fantasize about your ex, its therapeutic effects can heal you a long way. It has a cathartic effect that helps to reduce the pain of a broken heart.

Also Related: How Do You-know if You are Healing from A Broken Heart.

  1. Remove Yourself from Your Ex’s World

Just because you have broken up doesn’t mean your paths will not cross.

Most likely, you have mutual friends who will keep reporting every encounter with your ex. Or, there are places to which both of you go, increasing chances of bumping into each other.

So, it makes sense to create your safe world, complete with a new set of friends. That way, it won’t be easy to bump into your ex or hear about his fresh catch.

Writing for, Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. calls it avoiding ghosting your ex. You could try new activities such as writing a blog, scuba diving, joining an art class, and so on.

That way, it is possible for you to reprogram your mind and have a fresh beginning.

Also, as you participate in new activities, you will meet and make new friends. You could even find a new love (even though you are advised not to hook up too soon).

  1. Learn To Let Go

Breaking up can be so painful, especially if you still think about your ex. Like everyone else, you may end up thinking about the things that went wrong – what you could have done differently.

If you had a bad experience, it’s unlikely that you would want to have the same relationship.

Instead, you will spend time pondering how things would be if you had done things differently. The problem with that is how it makes your heartbreak even more painful.

That’s why you should learn to let go. If anything, you are more likely to heal a broken heart if you kill memories you have about them.

So, try writing down everything that caused you pain in the relationship. Then, read the memories loudly until you can no longer feel the pain.

As you let go of the past, forgive your ex and relish the resultant peace of mind.


The time it takes to heal a broken heart isn’t the same for everyone.

While some people recover quickly, others take longer to forget about their ex. However, with the right strategies, you should promptly overcome heartache.

So, what should you do? Take time, stay the course, put in the work, and you will soon see results.

Finally, you will see the results for which you are looking. You will not only get back to your life but also start dating again.

David Small

is the founder and editor of relationshiptips4u. He is a dating, marriage & relationship coach, speaker, and author. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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