Heartbreak is a universal human experience, but having a broken heart can serve as an opportunity to strengthen oneself. Nothing will ever hurt quite like the loss of a love in your life, but the good part of hitting rock bottom is that you can only build yourself up from there.

When I went through my first heartbreak a few weeks ago, I thought that I was going to spiral out of control into a growing pit of sadness. Instead, with the help of friends and family, I have seen how one can pick themselves up and become an even better person than before.

While I am no fan of expressing my sadness to others, letting those emotions out is the first step towards accepting a new found singlehood. Nothing soothes the heart quite like a good cry, so grab those closest to you and let it all out. Disposing of your built up emotions will allow the release of many of the depressive feelings that come along with a broken heart.

Winning the heartbreak means that changes need to be made to better oneself. After letting out the water works, your head instantly becomes clearer. With a clear mind, you can start to expose all the things you did wrong in the relationship, and all biggest flaws in yourself. Physically visualizing one’s flaws helps to bring light to the true self, and that can be achieved by materializing those flaws through writing in a journal or a sheet of paper. For me, I noticed that I was a tad selfish in my relationship. I tore that page out of my notebook with all my flaws, pinned it on my wall, and said, “These are the things you need to change to become a better person.” When your problems come to fruition, you can start to work internally to fix those deep-rooted flaws within yourself. I’m not a psychologist, but something about seeing your problems in list-form makes it seem you have to cross each problem off, almost like a grocery list for your problems.

In the midst of a heartbreak working out can be one of your biggest allies, and while I will admit chocolate cakes and ice cream seems like the best break-up go to solution, those foods actually only make you worse off. Channeling that sadness into a workout and health regimen allows your mind to focus on something other than your heavy heart and releases dopamine into your body. That dopamine will help you feel better because after all it is the happy hormone. Not only will your mind become happier, but your body will become healthier.

Lastly, the most important thing you can do for yourself is realize that only you have the key to your heart, and while someone can break it, they will never take it away. The moment we realize that only we can love ourselves truly is the moment we can begin to love others as well. After all, we shouldn’t give our heart to others, we should just share the love that it holds. Never do any of this to get back at someone you once loved — do it for yourself. Once you make yourself the best person you can be, then everything will fall into place.

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