Agonizing Break-up: Why Does It Hurt So Much? 11 Ways to Overcome Devastating Pain and Recover

Break-ups, you know? They’re like a universal thing now, especially for Gen Z peeps. In a study, by ITC Fiama and NielsonIQ in 2022, it was found that a significant 87% of Gen Z individuals point to relationships and breakups as the major cause of stress.

It’s like everyone’s been there, done that. Whether it’s that heart-touching Bollywood song or the flood of breakup memes that grace our social media, break-ups are a real part of life. I mean, who among us hasn’t had a friend go through it, or maybe it’s even happened to you? The thing is break-up is not just a small bump on the relationship road; it’s like emotional earthquake that leave us wondering how to pick up the pieces.

But don’t worry! We’re all set to dive-in deep into why break-ups hit us hard, why we feel sad or low after a break-up, and how our mind, heart, and even body go through changes. What’s more, we’ll share some useful tips on how to deal with those post-break-up ups and downs and calm those anxious feelings.

What is a break-up and what is its significance in relationships?

A breakup is the termination of a romantic relationship. It can be a difficult and painful experience, but it is also an important part of life. Breakup can happen for many reasons, such as incompatibility, infidelity, or simply a loss of love.

Breakups are so painful no matter whether you broke up or another person or it’s mutual. It’s a real show of guts to pull yourself together and move on. You try very hard to forget them, but the memories keep flashing in your mind and you keep missing them. It feels like it all started yesterday and now everything is over. A few days ago, you were inseparable and now you can’t even see them or talk with them. Life becomes unimaginable without them. You become pathetic and crazy. However, it’s not the end of your life; it’s just the end of their role in your life. Life is so much more than you think.

Moreover, a breakup is significant because it marks the end of a chapter that two people wrote together. It signals that something in the relationship wasn’t working, and that’s okay. They give us a chance to learn about ourselves, our needs, and what we want from a partner. They push us out of our comfort zones and encourage personal development.

Sure, they can be painful, but they’re also a chance to reset and rediscover who we are. Breakups remind us that life goes on, and with time, the wounds heal. So, while they might bring tears, breakups also bring the promise of new beginnings and the opportunity to create healthier relationships in the future.

The big impact a break-up can have on an individual, especially how it messes with the mind and heart. It can really shake a person up in ways they might not expect.

Emotionally, it’s like a big storm rolling in. Suddenly, a person is hit with a wave of grief, heartache, and yes, even that feeling of something missing. These feelings can toss a person around, making it hard to find steady ground.

So, hang tight as we explore the emotional ups and downs that come with a break-up. From the thoughts racing around the head to the emotions that come pouring out, it’s a bit of a wild ride.

Emotional effects of a breakup

Let’s break it down – after a break-up, emotions can go haywire, like a jigsaw puzzle getting mixed up. It’s like feeling a bunch of emotions all at once.

Sadness steps up first. It’s that heavy feeling, like a cloud covering the sun. Then there’s heartache, a sort of pain in your chest, like your heart is lost, reminding you that something has broken inside you.

When a break-up hits, it doesn’t just mess with your mind; it can affect your mood, energy, and how you feel overall. Your mood might swing from okay to not-so-okay in no time – one moment you’re fine, and the next, you will see yourself having an emotional break-down.

Energy takes a hit too. You might feel tired or less interested in things. Sleep and appetite might decide to play tricks on you, and that’s okay.

At this time, emotions might go on high alert. Every little things could make you feel upset or more sensitive than usual. It’s like someone turned up the volume on your feelings. Sometimes, you might just want to find a hiding spot, shut down the world around you, and have a good cry. You’ll hear a sad song and suddenly, every lyric will feel like it’s telling your story.

Whenever you go back to the places where you and your partner used to hang out – places like cafes, parks, and those familiar roads you roamed around together – it feels like you’re stepping into a time machine. Each spot is like a piece of your shared memory, almost like a video of your best times. These places, once full of laughter and chats, suddenly feel a bit different. They become like quiet storytellers of your past, a picture that still has the sounds of your togetherness. Even if your partner isn’t there, the memories are super clear, as if those places changed into a cherished storybook of your adventure, and you’re looking at every page.

Remember, it’s all part of the ride. Feeling this way after a break-up is totally normal. Emotions have their own way of showing up. But just like a storm, they calm down. As time goes on, those strong feelings ease up.

Yet, at times, these emotions can become overwhelming for someone. It might lead them into a state of depression, trigger anxiety attacks, and even cause suicidal thoughts. Due to these intense emotions, a person’s physical health can also take a hit. Let’s understand how.

Physical effects of a breakup

Breaking up isn’t just a head thing – your body feels it too. Here’s how it can hit you physically:

1. Sleep Struggles: Heartache messes with your sleep, making falling or staying asleep a challenge. You might find yourself tossing and turning more.

2. Appetite Woes: Emotional stress can mess with your appetite. Some might lose interest in food, leading to weight loss, while others might turn to comfort eating and see the scale go up.

3. Low Energy Level: Going through a breakup can leave you feeling drained – mentally, emotionally, and even physically.You also start seeing yourself procrastinate a lot, continuously delaying tasks because you’re not mentally relaxed enough to perform them efficiently. This can result in panic, and you might start to see yourself as a failure.

4. Stress Mess: The stress you’re dealing with, triggers the release of stress hormones, causing mood swings, sleep issues and even depression.

5. Immune Hit: All that stress can lower your immune system’s defenses, making you more likely to catch a bug.

6. Aches and Pains: Emotional pain can translate into real physical discomfort – think headaches, tummy aches, and muscle tension. It can even mess with digestion, causing stomachaches or even things like irritable bowel syndrome.

7. Blood Pressure: Stress and anxiety can mess with your blood pressure, making it spike or dip.

8. Breathing Shifts: Feeling anxious can lead to quick, shallow breathing, making you feel more on edge physically too.

Keep in mind, your mind and body are tight buddies, so what you feel emotionally can play out physically too. When your mind gets disturbed, so does your body. But do you know why your mind acts up after breaking up? Why does it make you feel sad, angry, and depressed? Let’s uncover the psychology behind it.

Psychological explanation with some biology

Breakups hurt a lot because it’s like losing someone to death. You can’t chat with them, call them, see them, touch them, or be around them anymore. The time of your routine life that you were used to spend with them, creates a void in your heart.

The pain comes from the sudden change. One moment you’re close, and the next, they’re gone. You even crave to see a glance of them.

With a breakup, you not only lose the memories and present attachments, but also future dreams. Future dreams are a big deal. When you think about them, it’s like watching a movie in your head. Those mental pictures feel real and emotional. So, when you’re dealing with a breakup, your brain is handling pain from the past, present, and future all at once.

And to make things trickier, there’s suddenly a void created in your life. Your daily routine changes. You might feel like you’ve lost your senses. Plans you had are all messed up. Your view of life gets twisted. Feeling lost is obvious in this situation.

Believe it or not, biology plays a cool role here. Falling in love and consuming cocaine works similarly in the brain. So, when love ends, we miss that super happy feeling we had. Our body misses the rush of adrenaline, oxytocin, and all those happy hormones. That’s why feeling sad is kinda like a biological thing we can’t avoid. Want to know more about that? Below is a better explanation in detail from the biological point of view.

So, the main reason behind the emotional, physical, and psychological impacts of a breakup on a person is their BRAIN. It releases a few neurotransmitters, also known as hormones and everything happens due to these hormones. They’re the culprits. Let me elaborate more of each hormone that makes a person feel what they feel after a breakup.

There are 4 neurotransmitters or say hormones, that are majorly involved in your emotional conditions after a breakup:

1. Dopamine

  • Dopamine is also known as the “feel-good” hormone. It’s like your happiness switch. It powers up positive experiences and motivation.
  •    After a Break-Up: When the relationship ends, your dopamine levels dip. So is your mood. You might feel sad, and that sadness could even deepen. Less dopamine means a gloomier mood. It’s natural to feel sad and maybe even sadder than usual.

2. Oxytocin

  • Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone”. It is your bonding buddy. It’s what makes you feel close and attached to someone.
  • After a Break-Up: Without your partner, oxytocin takes a hit. You’ll yearn for that connection, that closeness you once had. With oxytocin on the low, you’ll miss that feeling of closeness. The urge to be close again can be super strong.

3. Serotonin

  • Serotonin is also known as “happy hormone” that keeps your mood balanced. It’s the contentment keeper.
  • After a Break-Up: Breakups mess with your serotonin levels. You might feel blue, anxious, and your mood might drop. Even with the help of endorphins, the complex tangle of emotions isn’t easy to untangle.

4. Endorphin

  • Endorphin is also known as the body’s natural painkillers which are like your natural mood lifters. They kick in when you’re stressed.
  • After a Break-Up: Emotional pain releases endorphins, but they’re not superheroes. They can’t sweep away all the emotions. When this chemical gets decreased, stress and anxiety can spike. Your brain goes into overdrive, and uncertainty feels magnified. With oxytocin levels low, you might feel alone in the storm. The missing bond can make you feel isolated.

Think of hormones as messengers and neurons as tiny communication channels in your brain. When hormones are released into your body, they travel to your brain. Picture hormones as keys that fit into locks on the surface of neurons. When they fit, they trigger changes in the neurons, like turning on a switch.

These changes can make the neurons send signals to each other. Imagine these signals like messages being passed along from one friend to another. These messages travel through pathways in your brain. So, when hormones meet neurons, they work together to send signals that affect your feelings.

In the case of breakups, hormones and neurons team up to create emotions like sadness or happiness. It’s like they have a secret code that tells your brain how to react to different situations. So, when you feel down after a breakup, it’s because these hormones and neurons are working together to make you feel that way.

Remember, these hormones are not only released from the brain but also from other parts of the body. They travel through the bloodstream to reach different organs and tissues. So, when we talk about emotions and reactions, it’s not just the brain that’s involved. These hormones can come from different places and affect how we feel and react throughout our body. It’s like a whole team of messengers working together to make things happen!

Now, how to stop these hormones to make people feel the way they feel after breakup? The answer is below.

Some tips for healing after a breakup

While you can’t entirely stop the hormonal responses, you have the power to influence how you respond to them. By actively managing your emotions and engaging in positive behaviors, you can navigate the post-breakup period more effectively and reduce the impact of these hormones on your well-being.

  1. Focus on self-care
    When your heart feels heavy, treat yourself to some self-care. Watch action-packed movies or listen to energetic songs that boost your mood. Hit the gym for a workout that pumps up your energy and clears your mind. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can help regulate hormone levels.

  2. Build a Support System
    Reach out to your buddies and family who’ve got your back. Sharing how you feel with them can lighten your load and bring some sunshine to your day. If possible, talk to the opposite gender with some maturity and sincerity. It will help you to forget your ex.

  3. Chill Out and Relax
    Take a breather with relaxation techniques. Try deep breathing, meditation, or a bit of gentle yoga to unwind and find your calm.

  4. Grow and Glow
    Breakups can be a chance to grow. Rediscover what makes you, well, you! Pick up a new hobby or set small goals to celebrate your progress.

  5. Flip the Script
    Swap those gloomy thoughts with positive ones. Focus on what’s ahead and the bright spots in your life.

  6. Let It Out
    Don’t shy away from crying—it’s a natural release. Afterward, boost your spirits with motivating videos or comforting devotional hymns.

  7. Cheers to You
    Every step towards healing is a victory. Give yourself a high-five for even the tiniest wins and moments of joy.

  8. Nature’s Hug
    Spend time outdoors, soak up the sun, or enjoy a quiet moment by the water. Nature has a way of soothing your soul.

  9. Set Boundaries
    If you’re still in contact with your ex, establish clear boundaries to reduce the emotional turmoil triggered by interactions. If possible, stop contacting them and never beg to them ever. No matter what, never beg them to come back to your life. Have some dignity. They are nothing if you don’t give them a priority.

  10. Time Heals Everything
    Healing takes time, and it’s okay to feel a range of emotions. Allow yourself to process and gradually adapt to the changes.

  11. Seek Professional Help
    If you’re struggling to cope with the intensity of emotions, consider speaking with a therapist or counselor. They can provide strategies to manage emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

One last thing to say before concluding that healing is a journey, not a race. Take your time and let these expert tips, along with the extra practical ideas, be your buddies on the road to feeling better. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just do what you like at this phase and believe in Karma. Everything happens for a reason, and nothing is yours in this world. Everything is provided by the universe. It can take it back whenever it wants. Hence, don’t take anything for granted.


To wrap it up, break-ups can really mess with our minds, hearts, and even our bodies. Those feelings of sadness, stress, and all the rest are like our natural reactions to the whole break-up thing. Think of our brain like a chemistry lab where these chemicals—dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins—call the shots.

But you’re not in this alone. Getting support from your squad, whether they’re your pals, fam, or the experts, can make a big difference. And there are some cool tricks too, like taking care of yourself, changing how you see things, and bringing in some positive vibes. These moves can help you bounce back and move on.

Remember, healing isn’t a race. It’s totally okay to feel all sorts of feelings along the way. By facing the mental, emotional, and physical challenges that come with break-ups, you’re giving yourself the power to heal and become even stronger. So, chin up, because better days and a better partner are waiting for you down the road.

Stay curious and stay connected. Keep discovering new insights with us!

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