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How do I mend a broken heart?

by Andy Puddicombe

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Hi Andy,

How should I focus my meditation to help me mend my broken heart after a breakup?

Thank you.

Andy’s answer:

Sorry to hear you’ve been through a breakup recently. I guess there are several parts to this answer, so let’s take one at a time.

The first thing to say is that the human condition is inherently painful. At first that may not sound very encouraging, but stay with me. The simple fact is that throughout life we are confronted by uncomfortable and unavoidable situations which leave us feeling hurt, sad or angry in some way. This is unavoidable. But though we can’t necessarily change the situation, we can unquestionably change our perspective of these events as they unfold.

When we experience pain in this way, it can very often feel very personal and the more personal it feels, the more isolated we might feel, the more intense the emotion. But of course we are never the only person going through such a thing at any one time. When we really begin to understand this, not just as an idea, but really to feel it quite deeply, we start to feel a shared sense of the human condition. It’s almost as if knowing that others are sharing our pain, we feel somehow more connected with the world and less caught up in the storyline in our mind. At the same time we feel more empathy toward others.

But the real change happens when we start to see clearly the space between how we want the world to be and how it actually is. Obviously I don’t know the details of your breakup and who instigated it, but very often the heartache we feel is strengthened because we are resisting the reality of our situation. Of course, it is natural to want things to be a certain way, but it’s also important to recognize that the tighter we hold on to that view, the more we suffer.

Perhaps the most important thing of all though is to be kind to the mind. Often when we experience discomfort we become very judgmental and out of habit search for someone to blame. We might blame ourselves, or we might blame others. Either way, it causes a lot of tension in the mind and, again, only increases the heartache and internal dialogue. So as much as possible, treat any thoughts or feelings you have with kindness, treat them gently, let go of the internal dialogue and allow the feelings to heal in their own time.

Needless to say, meditation is the practical step in creating the space to allow all these things to happen, so do make sure you take some time out each day. And although it may not sound all that reassuring right now, remember that meditation is about experiencing each moment afresh. It doesn’t negate the beauty or wonder of something which happened previously, but it allows us to set it free, to let it go, so that we can experience every new moment anew.

Warm wishes,


Andy Puddicombe

Andy Puddicombe is a meditation and mindfulness expert. An accomplished presenter and writer, Andy is the voice of all things Headspace. In his early twenties, midway through a university degree in Sports Science, Andy made the unexpected decision to travel to the Himalayas to study meditation instead. It was the beginning of a ten-year journey which took him around the world, culminating with ordination as a Tibetan Buddhist monk in Northern India. His transition back to lay life in 2004 was no less extraordinary. Training briefly at Moscow State Circus, he returned to London where he completed a degree in Circus Arts with the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama, whilst drawing up the early plans for what was later to become Headspace.