When you're in the thick of heartbreak, it might not seem like the weeks or months after a split can bring anything positive. Quality time with friends and picking up new hobbies can be helpful, but sometimes, those things can only go so far in mending your broken heart. If you still find yourself spending most of your evenings pining for your ex or replaying your breakup in your head, it might be time for another strategy. Consider seeking out a breakup coach to help you heal in a different way.
Yes, believe it or not, there are real people out there whose job it is to help you process a breakup. “A breakup coach can help you identify and better understand your patterns in love, why you choose the partners you do, and how to learn from these behaviors and break your negative habits,” Samantha Burns, breakup coach and author of Breaking Up and Bouncing Back, tells Elite Daily. That way, “you can start dating smarter and create a more fulfilling, long-lasting relationship” in the future.
Breakup coach Natalia Juarez explains that moving on can often be unexpectedly difficult. “Given how common and devastating heartbreak is, it's surprising how challenging it can be to get the support we need,” Juarez tells Elite Daily. “The unique features of working with a specialized breakup coach have the tremendous benefit of not only accelerating your healing, but also turning your breakup into a meaningful experience of personal growth.”
So, what exactly does a breakup coach do? Here are several ways they can help you through this rough patch.
1. They Can Help You Understand Your Grief.
“A breakup coach can help you learn and utilize healthy coping skills that will get you through the most challenging stages of breakup grief,” Burns explains. “[This can be] everything from denial that the relationship is over, to bargaining with your ex and trying to force a broken relationship to work, to managing the intrusive, obsessive thoughts about your ex.” As the weeks and months go on, you might encounter new challenges (like running into your ex’s mom at the grocery store, or hearing your favorite love song on the radio), and a breakup coach can teach you how to prepare for the unexpected without letting it ruin your day.
2. They’ll Hold You Accountable For Change.
Your friends will be there for you when you need to vent, but they probably don’t always challenge you to examine the root cause of your negative feelings. “Your coach will help hold you accountable, check in with you, provide necessary support, and be your personal cheerleader," Burns says. “They will help you make the most out of this experience, since often your biggest opportunity for growth comes from your greatest pain, so you can choose to wallow, or you can choose to transform.”
3. They’ll Help You Navigate Social Media.
One thing Juarez always does with clients is help them figure out a plan for social media use. “The prevalence of social media has made breaking up even harder to do,” she says. “Almost all of my clients benefit from having a social media strategy plan as a part of their recovery process so that they can focus on their healing (and not on seeing painful notifications or images of their ex.)” That might mean taking a clean break from Instagram for a few weeks, or making concentrated efforts to avoid your ex’s IG story. Whatever it is, a coach will be there to help you make a personalized plan.
4. They’ll Add Structure To Your Healing Process.
It’s one thing to jot down a list of post-breakup goals in the Notes section of your phone. It’s another to have a coach literally build out an action-based document for you. “I put together a breakup recovery plan as a working document where we outline their objectives and the steps they are taking to move forward,” Juarez explains. This makes it easy to evaluate how you’re emotionally progressing over time.
5. They’ll Get Specific About Your Needs.
No two people process a breakup the same way, and that’s why your BFF’s advice may not always work for you. “A breakup coach is uniquely positioned to help you through the [...] multifaceted experience of a big breakup,” Juarez notes. “We go over the relationship, run an assessment to understand exactly why the breakup happened, and then create a three-month breakup recovery plan that is based on the three phases of a breakup.” No two plans will ever be identical.
Hiring a breakup coach isn’t for everyone, but Juarez recommends it if you’re going through “a particularly difficult breakup, whether it’s due to the emotional intensity of your loss, or because of the complexity of the logistics, such as that you live together, you share a social circle, [or] you work together.” These dynamics can be tricky to navigate, which is why professional support is often helpful.
You can call up a coach for a single one-on-one session, or continue to see them for weeks or months until you feel like you've benefitted enough from their guidance. The cost varies based on who you see and for how long. Juarez charges $150/hr for a single session, or $1200 for a six session package. She also offers a sliding fee scale for students or others who need it.
Burns notes that breakup coaches have a variety of different training backgrounds. "Some coaches, like me, have a background in psychology and are even licensed therapists," she explains. "Coaches can have clinical degrees, certifications, or no training at all, so do your research about their background and education level."
Unlike a therapist, a breakup coach is focused on one specific area of your life. "Although we will touch on your upbringing and family structure, the focus of breakup coaching is on the area of your romantic relationship and dealing with the current breakup in particular," Juarez explains. She notes that because of this, breakup coaches aren't limited to single hour-long sessions once per week — their process can be customized based on the client's needs.
With a willingness to examine your emotions honestly, and a real commitment to learning about yourself, your breakup could end up being a positive incentive for change. “I believe a breakup can be the greatest thing that ever happened to you, if you process it well,” Juarez says. And if you choose to work with a breakup coach, they’ll be there to help you connect with the inner strength you already possess.
Samantha Burns, breakup coach and author of Breaking Up and Bouncing Back
Natalia Juarez, breakup coach and dating strategist