Heartbreak and How to Deal With the Physical Symptoms

sad woman

It might sound absolutely bonkers to suggest that heartbreak is anything more than an emotional state, but it’s actually come to be accepted that heartbreak can also have physical symptoms which are a knock-on effect of the stress. Losing a loved one, a nasty break-up or any other loss can cause a broken heart and many people find it hard to deal with, turning to professionals for support.

Here, we take a look at five of the most common physical symptoms of heartbreak and how you can deal with them.

Muscle Pain

woman doing yoga

When you’re dealing with fresh heartbreak, the stress can make you feel as though you’re coming down with the flu, and aching muscles are a common side effect. This actually occurs from a combination of tension in your muscles and a slight bump to your immune system leaving you feeling physically, as well as mentally, low. A hot bath and plenty of nutritious food will help, as will taking yoga or pilates class.


aroma oil and towel

Some people respond to heartbreak by sleeping it off, but for many of us sleeplessness is a horrible side-effect and it’s a vicious circle. The emotional turmoil makes it hard to sleep and being awake makes us think too much – which stops us from sleeping! Use an essential oil blend which contains patchouli, lavender and sandalwood to help to soothe your senses and allow you to drift off to sleep and make sure you keep your bedroom free from distractions, such as telly or video games.



Indigestion and heartburn are classic symptoms of heartbreak and stress and can make an already uncomfortable period of your life even harder to deal with. Try to avoid spicy, fatty foods and alcohol, even if you have the overwhelming urge to drown your sorrows – it won’t help in the long-run! If you feel like it’s becoming unbearable, make sure you see your GP for some medication to help.


spa at home

Headaches can have many causes, from muscle tension in your neck, too much sleep, too little sleep, eating or drinking the wrong thing, dehydration…the list is endless! Unfortunately this doesn’t always make it easy to avoid a heartbreak-related headache, however if you keep your fluids topped up (especially if you’ve been doing a lot of crying) and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle (despite your urge to binge-eat Ben and Jerry’s in front on Netflix) then you should be able to identify the main cause.

Chest Pain

woman near the sea

Okay, so saying that heartbreak causes chest pain might sound like a massive cliche, but it’s actually a syndrome with it’s own name – broken heart syndrome! Broken heart syndrome has been described as having almost identical pain to a heart attack, as well as the shortness of breath and lightheadedness, but it’s rarely fatal and usually leaves no lasting damage in the way that a heart attack would.

If you’re struggling with any of the symptoms above, or finding yourself unable to deal with the emotional turmoil, please do contact your primary caregiver.

Read more info on what to do after a break-up on our blog.