Written by Bonnie Gifford

Bonnie Gifford

Hypnotherapy Directory Content Team

Last updated July 2022 | Next review due May 2024

We all experience heartbreak. But what if we didn’t have to wait weeks, months, or even years to feel ready to move on? Hypnotherapy for heartbreak offers a positive, alternative way of working through your feelings and moving on from your ex. We explain more about how hypnotherapy can help you get over a breakup.

What is heartbreak?

Chances are, if you have ever been in a relationship, you have also experienced heartbreak. According to research, the average person will experience heartbreak between two to five times before finding ‘the one’.

When someone talks about experiencing a broken heart, they are referring to the intense feelings of emotional pain, stress, loss, and longing they experience after a relationship has ended. Some may think of what they had and lost: a partner, a best friend, or someone they loved. For others, it’s what that relationship represented that they mourn: a life partner, stability, or long-term commitment.

We’ve all heard the old adage, 'time heals all’ but that doesn’t feel very helpful when you’re in the midst of heartbreak. So why is moving on after a breakup – whether things ended amicably, or on bad terms – so hard? And are there things you could do to help you get over your ex faster? 

Why is it hard to move on after a breakup?

There’s no right or wrong timeline to move on after a relationship ends. How long it takes for us to heal is highly personal, with many different factors affecting how we feel, when we feel ready to move on, and what we want to try next. 

Some things that can affect how long it takes for you to heal after a breakup include:


How committed your relationship was, how much time you had invested, and where you had envisioned your partnership going can all play a significant role. Generally speaking, the more you put into a relationship, the more distressed you will feel when things come to an end. Even if you were still in the early stages, if you saw a strong possibility of a future together, breakups can feel particularly hard.


Experiencing cheating within a relationship can lead to a longer recovery period, as you come to terms not only with your breakup but also deal with broken trust. People have affairs and/or one-night stands for a wide variety of reasons. Some believe that having an affair will help them save their relationship as they are finding a way to have a need met that they feel wasn’t or couldn’t be met within their relationship. Others use cheating as a way of ending a relationship without having to address other issues.

Natural conclusion 

Some relationships can feel like they change over time. This could mean that they feel like they come to a natural conclusion, or like the time you spend together became less enjoyable, lower quality, or otherwise not beneficial to you both. 

Communication issues

Problems with communicating can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, and confusion. When one or more partners have trouble communicating their needs, wants, or problems, it can have a big impact on your relationship as well as your well-being.

How well you were able to communicate with each other, not only during your relationship, but also during your breakup, can affect how you feel in the days, weeks, and months following your breakup. Good communication may help you to gain a better understanding of what has led to your breakup, feel a sense of closure, and could even help you feel ready to move on more quickly. 

How long does it take to recover from heartbreak?

Studies have suggested it can take anywhere from 11 weeks to 18 months for us to feel ready to move on after a relationship ends, while online polls have put those numbers at anywhere from 3.5 months to 1.5 years

Signs you aren't over your ex

There are a number of different signs that you may be struggling to move on after a breakup, are experiencing breakup depression, or otherwise dealing with heartbreak in an unhealthy way. These can include:

  • loss of interest in hobbies
  • you frequently spend time lurking on your ex’s social media profiles
  • avoiding spending time with friends or family
  • you cut anything that reminds you of your ex or past relationship out of your life
  • everything/everyone is a reminder of your ex
  • you feel stuck in the past, unable to move on, or have difficulty filling the time you used to spend together
  • you can’t stop thinking about the good memories from your relationship
  • you’re letting your ex string you along (even when you know it would be best to let go and move on)
  • you feel like you can’t do any better
  • an ongoing sense of guilt, loss, or belief you shouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to move on
  • you don’t know who you are by yourself anymore (loss of identity)

It’s perfectly natural to experience some or all of these following a big change in your life, such as when a relationship ends. But if you find symptoms may be affecting your day-to-day life and preventing you from doing other things, it may be worth speaking with your GP to rule out other potential issues. 

How to move on from heartbreak

While moving on may take time, there are ways you can help kickstart the healing process. These can include:

Giving yourself time to grieve

Avoiding rebounds while you’re emotionally vulnerable isn’t the only reason to give yourself time before moving on. Romantic relationships can be a big part of our lives. Whether you were together for months or years, it’s healthy to give yourself time to work through your loss and pain-associated feelings. Pushing them down or trying to ignore them won’t help them go away– it just delays the inevitable, and risks prolonging how long you feel bad. 

Embrace your emotions

There’s no right or wrong way to feel after a breakup. Sadness, anger, betrayal, despair, loneliness, feeling lost or confused: embrace your feelings, give yourself time to sit with them, and explore what is making you feel this way. By acknowledging these emotions (however painful they may be), you can work through them and move towards letting go. If you find yourself struggling, practising mindfulness and meditation can help you to better recognise and analyse how you are feeling. It can also help you feel more present in the moment (and less swept up in past memories or feelings). 

Put yourself first

Self-care, self-love, self-improvement. When you’re feeling heartbroken, it can be hard to think about anything but your ex and your past relationship. You might not feel like sleeping, or taking care of yourself in basic ways (showering, cooking, exercising). While it’s OK to put some of these things on the back burner for a little while, it’s important to still make your well-being a priority. Keeping up with your regular routine can actually add reassuring structure in unsettled times, helping you to work through your grief.

Ensuring you are eating well, sleeping well, and exercising can also all help boost your mood, give you more energy, and fuel you properly to help you make it through the days and weeks to come. 

Balance is key

It’s easy to look back with rose-tinted glasses, but only remembering the good bits isn’t healthy or fair to you. Try not to make excuses or dismiss memories of both positive and negative shared experiences. It’s OK to look back, and both still love and hate your ex. If you find yourself struggling to articulate or fully understand your feelings, journaling or stream-of-consciousness writing can help. 

Take a break

If you have shared friends, a child together, or still follow each other on social media, consider having a period of physical and emotional distance. Completely avoiding each other may not always be possible, but taking a break can give you the space to establish clear boundaries, better sort out and understand your feelings, and work out the best way to communicate with each other (if at all) moving forward.

Does hypnotherapy help with heartbreak?

Hypnotherapy can offer a positive, alternative way of working through your feelings and moving on. As one hypnotherapist explains, people seek out hypnotherapy for relationship issues (and breakups) for a number of different reasons.

“People who come to see me for relationship hypnotherapy tend to fall into two categories: those that have ended a relationship but haven’t reached closure yet, and those that have reached closure but don’t know how to start over.” 

Using hypnosis in a therapeutic setting, a qualified, experienced hypnotherapist can help you with any number of relationship issues. They can put you into a state of deep relaxation, help to uncover the root cause of your ongoing feelings of upset or distress, and implant more optimistic views and ideas of the future without your ex. 

Hypnotherapy can help you to reframe your thoughts, focus, and goals. That could mean helping you picture what your future looks like without your ex, or it could mean helping you to feel more comfortable, confident, and content in yourself and your abilities. 

If you find your thoughts dwelling on your ex, it can be difficult to think about the future. When we feel stuck in our past, we can become preoccupied with what (or who) we don’t want. Working with a hypnotherapist can help you to refocus that time and energy on shaping the future you want, and making positive changes that are right for you. Using visualisation and the power of suggestion, hypnotherapy can help you to find a new path towards the future you want. 

If you’re worried that your self-confidence may have taken a hit, hypnotherapy can help you to overcome negative self-beliefs. Hypnotherapy can also help you to move past the cycle of grief and loss that can occur after a breakup. This way, you can reframe unhelpful thoughts and behaviours, and see your breakup as a chance to move forward. 

How many hypnotherapy sessions will I need?

The number of sessions needed varies from person to person. Some people may see improvements after a single session, while others may need a series of weekly or bi-weekly appointments for new ideas and beliefs to really take root. Your hypnotherapist may suggest using self-hypnosis between sessions, to help strengthen new, positive beliefs. It’s important to remember that hypnotherapy can only work if you approach it with an open mind, and feel ready to make changes in your life. 

Does hypnotherapy really work?

Studies suggest that hypnotherapy can help improve how we see ourselves, boost self-esteem, and improve confidence

Can hypnosis help you stop loving someone?

Hypnotherapy can help you to change how you think and feel about your breakup, and any associated trauma or negative thoughts. It can help you feel ready to move forward after a breakup, divorce, or even the death of a loved one. 

Hypnotherapy can’t fully erase or remove bad memories, or make you ‘forget’ someone – but it can help you to reframe your thoughts around a person or memories. 

How do you know when you’re over someone?

Knowing when feelings of heartbreak have faded into something more manageable can be tricky to recognise at first. There may not be any single big sign or giveaway, but common feelings you may experience that indicate you may be moving past heartbreak can include:

  • being able to look back on time spent together without it hurting
  • feeling like you know yourself as your own person (without needing to be part of a couple or with your ex)
  • being able to visit places which you enjoyed together previously (restaurants, holidays) or do activities without thinking about them or feeling bad
  • it doesn’t hurt to think about them
  • you don’t feel hurt if they are dating someone else
  • no longer feel angry or resentful when thinking about them or if they come up in conversation
  • you no longer feel the need to check out their social media accounts
  • you feel ready to try dating again

Are you ready to reframe your thoughts, refocus on yourself, and move forward? Find a qualified, experienced hypnotherapist in-person or online by using our advanced search. 

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