Can a breakup affect your mental health?

 You bet it can. And even if you’re the one who’s breaking up with someone else, it can still be hard on you physically and emotionally. The breakup struggle is genuine and painful, and confusing… 

 A breakup can make you feel like a different person and bring up all kinds of insecurities and terrible thoughts about yourself. Guilt, shame, depression, anxiety… 

There are people out there who can brush off a breakup and move on quickly. Then other people are devastated because of the loss of their boyfriend, husband, or lover. And if you’ve been in a toxic relationship breakup it can make getting over a guy even harder. 

Often a breakup can lead to depression, but not always. 

So yes, separation can cause depression (I know it caused it for me)…  

And understanding the symptoms of depression is an excellent start to help you get through this tough time of getting over the attachment you had to someone you once loved, or maybe still do love.

There are varying degrees of breakup depression on a sliding scale. You could go from a little sad one day to something that feels more like a deep dark hole you’ll don’t think you can ever climb your way out of. It can be terrifying…

But you can feel better. If I did it… you can too! 

Having a supportive tribe can help you too! That’s why I created a private breakup support group for women here

Feeling grief and sadness is normal after a breakup. 

Breaking up isn’t what I would call a good time… and feeling heartbreak is something most people go through after a breakup or divorce, and you can get through it. 

Even if you didn’t like the person or love the person anymore, it’s still one of the most challenging parts of pain known to men and women worldwide. 

And breaking up doesn’t mean you will have severe depression or anxiety. But you will more than likely feel some sadness and pain. 

And if you do have depression after breakup or divorce— please understand you are not alone.

Knowing the difference between depression and “regular” breakup sadness is a good thing to understand. Both hurt a lot, but breakup sadness is easier to get over than certified depression. 

I went through depression for four solid years until I found the right combination of techniques that helped me finally get over the torture of losing someone I loved.  

I wish I would have known about the powerful combination of techniques a long time ago! My life would have been so much better— so much faster! 

What are normal break up symptoms?

  • Feeling sad
  • Not being able to sleep.
  • Ignoring your hobbies
  • Not connecting with friends and family
  • Crying
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Feelings of frustration

None of these feelings are a walk in the park, but they are typical symptoms for a person after a breakup. 

But depression, on the other hand, is a whole different story than regular old sad feelings.

I know because I was depressed for years, and I have done extensive research on the subject because of it. After I pulled myself out of bed, I had to do something about it. 

Depression after a breakup isn’t uncommon.

And it will take time to adjust to being single, especially if you were partnered up for a long time. And it takes some people a long adjustment period, sometimes after a short fling.

But because you’re sad does not mean you’re depressed. If you’re feeling low, it’s completely normal. And it’s essential to know the difference.

 I’m not a doctor or a psychologist… so please seek out medical help if you need help. I’m here to offer some guidance and links to helpful resources that can make it easier for you to deal with severe depression after a breakup or even a bit of depression after a breakup. 

According to WebMD, if you go to a doctor for a diagnosis or help, a doctor will look for symptoms. You might be wondering… 

What are the symptoms of depression after breakup?

  • Sadness almost all day, every day (Been there. Done that!).
  • Lack of joy that used to be there (Yep).
  • 5% (or more) weight change, gaining or losing (I lost 20 pounds after my divorce, and it was not intentional).
  • Sleeping too much, or having insomnia  (How about having both?).
  • You feel worn down or restless (breakups can make you feel anxious or like you can’t drag yourself out of bed). 
  • Exhaustion most days (for me, it was all days). 
  • Hopelessness, extreme guilt, or feeling unworthy (Uggggh… don’t we know it?) 
  • Concentration problems (I still have that— even after the depression went away. Thank goodness for brain-boosting supplements!).
  • Thoughts of suicide or death (Luckily, I didn’t go this far, and I hope if you NEVER have these kinds of feelings. And if you do, I’m begging you to reach out to someone for help). 

If you have suicidal thoughts, help is a phone call away. Please contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline


After a breakup, you may become depressed, but some people are at a higher risk.

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with depression or have had a different disorder concerning your mood, or another significant life change such as hormonal changes or losing a job, this can play a role. 

Many factors or can cause depression combination of them all mixed up together. 

What happens if I stay depressed?

If you think you’re depressed, I recommend seeing a professional doctor for a checkup, healing work, therapy, coaching, and lots of self-care. And I mean lots of self-care.

If you’ve got depression years after a breakup, you are not the only one. Some people have depression for nine months after the split. Some people have anxiety and depression after a breakup for even longer than that. 

Depression can cause

  • Issues with work (not wanting to do it or having trouble focusing on it)
  • Problems in school (like not going to class or not finishing assignments).
  • Issues with your home life  (Washing dishes or doing regular household maintenance can even be too great of a job to deal with). 
  • Suicidal thoughts— if you have these, there IS hope. And I’m going to share the hotline number again in case you missed it.  

If you have these thoughts about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-8255

Depression can cause physical ailments, such as:

  • Headaches (even aspirin doesn’t seem to help)
  • Joint pain (my achin’ bones!)
  • Mystery stomach pain (what did I eat?)
  • A weakened immune system that leads to illness (I have a cold— again!)
  • Weight gain from emotional eating (None of my pants fit anymore).
  • Weight loss (None of my pants fit because they’re falling off). 

What can I do about my depression after a breakup?

You can talk to your doctor about medical treatments for depression because that is not my expertise, and I am not a doctor. I am just the messenger. 

There are several natural ways of coping with depression after divorce that you might already know, but you don’t feel like doing them. 

When you’re depressed after a breakup, all you can do is take it one step at a time. And remind yourself you have to start somewhere. 

And this somewhere is where you’re right now. And that is the only place to start.

I know for sure that lying in bed for four months won’t make depression go away, but the following list can help make it easier to deal with.

5 Helpful Ways To Get Over Depression After A Break-Up

Some of these aren’t incredibly crazy ideas, but they helped me! 

Read a fiction book, clean out your kitchen drawer, or help a friend plant some flowers. Do some yoga (and make sure you have the right gear first), listen to upbeat music, and let yourself move to the beat. Learn a new language or read more about self-love on my blog!

Being active helps with depression… Stretch and release some of your tension. One of my favorite ways to decompress is with simple yoga flow videos on Youtube. I love Yoga with Adriene. She always makes me feel like a million bucks, and you don’t have to be a mega limber Yogi. She even has a yoga video specifically for the depression bug!

Getting enough rest helps with depression.

Eight hours is the average amount of time most people need, some need more, and other people need less. Sleep what your body is asking for, and tap a delicious nap in the afternoon if you can.

A little siesta is good for the brokenhearted soul. A nap can help you forget about your depression for a while, and you can give your mind a break.

For me, it’s the best reset I’ve ever known. 

2 or 3 pm is usually the time of day when people have a sleepy period, which is entirely natural. You have probably already been up for a while, and you feel like you could sleep on your desk. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about in the afternoon snooze department.

And it is entirely reasonable for your body to want to crash out for a few minutes. A power nap can do the body good if you have the luxury to take one.

Get a little shut-eye once in a while.

Web MD stated, “There seems to be a natural rhythm or set clock in our bodies so many people tend to feel a little sleepy around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.”


Exercise helps with depression.

I know you might not feel like walking or getting out of bed, but do it anyway. 

I had just gotten back from the gym to work on this article, and I felt like I was floating on a cloud after a few miles on the treadmill. And I walked part of those miles, FYI. I’m no marathoner! 

I didn’t want to go, but I went and did it anyway and got to see a rerun of one of my favorite shows. So I stayed on it for a full hour to see the end, and my body appreciated the adrenaline boost. It felt great.

A little sweat is good for you. You don’t have to go from couch potato to mud runner in an instant. Gradually get into the habit of doing a little exercise every day.  Do five jumping jacks. Or a short walk. Three situps. Whatever you can muster is an excellent place to begin. 

If you want to feel good fast, exercise will help. 

Natural and herbal supplements are known to help with depression.

I am no doctor, but taking some supplements to help with depression is suggested by doctors and healers worldwide. 

Essential oils have been known to help with depression. Some people swear by Lavender oil, and I found this study about it… (but I personally don’t like the way Lavender smells). But I sure do love putting orange oil in my diffuser! 

There have been clinical trials that proved to help with depression. When you put oils in a diffuser, these oils go straight to your brain, trigger your emotions, and serve as a trigger for your good-feelings.

Good smells are good for you (so I hear and smell)

The Review of Clinical and Functional Neuroscience says that the limbic system surveys the senses and registers pain, pleasure, safety, or danger.

Smells can trigger emotions. You get that, right? You might smell the baking bread, and it reminds you of your grandmother, or you can smell your exes cologne and get triggered negatively.

Smells trigger memories and emotions (good and bad), so you can begin by creating new positive memories with some good smells for your depression. And it can help you make positive feelings right now. 

So bring on the good smells and the good vibes! You can also wear essential oils and get excellent benefits, and people will always wonder why you smell so great and natural!

Bergamot is also known as a depressant because it is stimulating. Yeah, there are scientific studies about it

Bergamot can improve blood circulation and bring on feelings of joy. No wonder I love Earl Grey tea. It’s one of my favorites. And the heat can make you feel nice and cozy.

Stand-alone essential bergamot oil is excellent and is also a fantastic friend to combine with…

The science keeps on coming around, saying Essential Lavender oil helps with depression.

Dang, I wish I liked the smell of lavender more! 

There was a study showing that lavender was a mood stabilizer and a sedative.

You can also put it in your bath and use it with fractionated coconut oil for massage.

Lavender has was used in Medieval times as a source of medicine, and perfume, and crafting. And so was Chamomile. Those flowers taste so good as tea with honey and almond milk and are so darn cute! 

So you can get some lavender oil to help with depression and, as a bonus, maybe even better rest! 

There was another study showing lavender to help with PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder. I know that one all too well, and maybe that is why you’re here. PTSD sucks, and I hope you never have to go through that. 

And at the University of Maryland Medical Center, It showed lavender helped with anxiety, fatigue, and depression. So put a diffuser bedside to help you get plenty of sleep. Enough sleep is critical when you’re healing your heart.

Ylang Ylang is also seen as a depression helper!

Ylang Ylang Is known from research to decrease blood pressure, increase feelings of calm, and more profound relaxation. This study supports that essential oils are helpful to relieve stress in people, and this is good news!

Getting Over Depression with support from your friends and other people who “get it.” 

Having a good support network of friends and family will help you get through depression. Get out there and be social. It will do you good. Have luncheon, meet for coffee (decaf if you’re feeling antsy!), or go for an evening walk with an old or new friend.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

There are divorce support groups.

These are only a couple of areas where you can seek support. There are many other support groups online and in your area.

Be brave, even if you feel scared to ask for help. It’s good to get support, especially when you’re depressed after a breakup.

Learning how to heal your heart will help you get over depression.

I’ve had symptoms of depression since my divorce. How will I be diagnosed as having depression?

With a doctor’s diagnosis, you need to have five symptoms that I listed before for at least 14 days.

Depression can go for much longer if undiagnosed. If you’re not doing anything about your depression, it can lead to interfering with work, your friends, and it can be so tricky that you can’t even get out of bed.

I was in my bed for months, and I never want to go back to feeling like that again.

And when I began showing people how to heal your heart, I knew in my heart that if I could help one person not feel as bad as I had felt, then all of the work that I put in would be worth it.

What is it like to heal depression after a breakup?

It feels incredible, I tell you! And I want you to get there too! 

Getting over depression might be slow, but it is worth it. Baby steps will get you to a better feeling place. And having good support makes it so much easier.