Relationship expert reveals how to survive Valentine’s Day, if you’re going through heartbreak

  •  A new study from Compare The Market AU has revealed the average American takes 9.16 months to recover from heartbreak.
  • 33% of Americans reported increased stress due to heartbreak, with 25% reporting a dip in mental health.
  • Compare The Market AU has teamed up with relationship and break-up coach Emmi Fortin to reveal her top tips for recovering from heartbreak, including how to survive Valentine’s Day if you’re in the midst of a broken heart

Valentine’s Day may be a day for many to celebrate their romantic love, but for people experiencing heartbreak, it can be an incredibly distressing time. Heartbreak can trigger a condition coined ‘broken heart syndrome’,¹ of which searches have risen +250% over the past 7 days.²

Following a new nationwide survey revealing that the average American takes 9.16 months to overcome heartbreak, Compare The Market AU has teamed up with relationship and break-up coach Emmi Fortin, to reveal her top tips on recovering from a broken heart, including how to get through Valentine’s Day as someone who is amid heartbreak.

How can heartbreak affect people mentally and physically?

Relationship breakdowns can be overwhelming, with 33% of Americans reporting increased stress and 25% reporting a dip in mental health due to their breakup. Emmi explains that breakups “are multifaceted events that include mental, emotional, and physical components. The mental part of a breakup has to do with the fact that you are going through overwhelming emotions from anger and disappointment to despair and grief from the loss of a relationship and person.

“These thoughts and emotions affect our biology by triggering our body’s nervous system stress response. Many stress chemicals are being released during and after a breakup, along with others that can cause ups and downs depending on whether you are still in contact with your ex, triggers that come your way, and if you have healthy practices throughout your day-to-help work through these natural physiological responses.”

How can you heal from a breakup in a healthy way?

Finding coping mechanisms for the heartbreak can help speed up the recovery process. But, what are the best ways of dealing with a breakup in a healthy way long-term? Emmi Fortin offers her top five tips:

  1. Go no contact

Encouragingly 17% of those surveyed said getting rid of any reminders of their ex, helped them move on. This is something Emmi highly advises, encouraging people to “disconnect from your ex as much as possible, whether that’s no contact or setting boundaries around times and frequency of communication for co-parenting reasons.”

  1. Allow yourself time to grieve

Grieving was revealed as the number one way Americans moved on from the breakup for 31% of Americans. Working through your emotions is an essential way to process what you’re feeling, as Emmi suggests “write about your feelings; you need to release them. You can free write in a blank journal or use guided journals to help you get started. One great journal for this is The Breakup & Divorce Self-Renewal Journal.”

  1. Surround yourself with friends and family

Spending time with loved ones can help with the loneliness that comes with a breakup, with 23% of Americans reporting it as an important part of their recovery.

Emmi suggests that you “surround yourself with people who grow you and with whom you can cultivate meaningful connection. Even though your reaction may be to self-isolate, one of the fastest ways to recover from a broken heart and reduce loneliness is to foster fulfilling connection with others as frequently as possible.”

  1. Get writing

With emotions running high, writing down how you feel can help make sense of your emotions, and work through your thoughts. As Emmi advises, you can even write it in the style of a memoir.

“Write your personal story in the style of a memoir (you don’t need to share it with anyone if you don’t want to.) Not only does this help you see your situation through an objective lens, it also helps you process what you’ve been through or even envision where you want to be.”

  1. Ground yourself

Connecting with yourself can be a form of self-care, something Emmi strongly recommends doing.

“Connect with your physicality as frequently as possible. Do things that ground you in your five senses: deep breathing, movement, mindfulness activities, gratitude.”

How can people overcome a broken heart this Valentine’s Day?

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the advertisements and happy couples can be a constant reminder of love lost. So, how can those suffering from heartbreak deal with negative feelings during the holiday?

Emmi says, “I’ve always been a huge supporter of giving to the other people in your life that you love! Make handmade cards for your girlfriends, make a nice dinner for your sibling or parent, give your pet a day at the pet spa…whatever helps you feel the joy of giving to someone you love. You will frequently feel that love exchange in return, which is the point of Valentine’s Day.”

Commenting on the survey data, Hannah Norton from Compare the Market AU said, “Valentine’s Day is a day for celebrating romantic love and making that special person in your life feel appreciated. But, for people going through heartbreak, February 14th can be especially hard. Breakups are for many an incredibly stressful experience and can have several consequences on a person’s physical and mental health.

“It’s important to take care of yourself during such times and rely on safe coping mechanisms to get through the heartache.”

To find out more information on the study, please visit:


  1. US Google search data correct as of 01.02.24


We ran a survey of 1,000 American and Australian respondents, with 3Gem in January 2024. Please note, only American data is included in this release.

About Compare The Market

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