There are two emotional stages that immediately follow every breakup, which dramatically affect what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat. Initially, we don’t feel hunger and stop wanting to eat, but soon, that lack of hunger dramatically changes into a craving for every comfort food we can think of.
Reach for a handful of almonds, even when you’re not feeling hungry, and even if what you really want to eat is another pizza. Almonds are packed full of B vitamins, which will help you cope with stress and anxiety: They’ll calm you down and help put your mind at ease. They also contain high amounts of vitamin E and zinc, which will boost your immune system to help you stay well, even when you’re not eating totally healthily.
Reach for that bar of chocolate: It will help you, as long as it’s dark chocolate, and as long as you don’t eat too much of it. Dark chocolate contains a mood-improving hormone called serotonin, which has been proven to make people feel happier. It will also lower your stress levels, and leave you feeling much more relaxed.
You’re not going to get through a breakup without a little bit of comfort food indulgence. Select whatever is your biggest vice, whichever food is, for you, the equivalent of an enormous hug, and allow yourself a treat. Don’t line your freezer with too many pints of triple chocolate ice cream, but allow yourself a sensible serving of ice cream — eaten out of a bowl — whenever you feel you really, really need it.
Fatty fish will manage your adrenalin levels, helping you to stay calm and to stop you from panicking, and being filled with a seemingly uncontrollable nervous, angry energy. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon will also help your hair and skin stay healthy, so you can feel great about how you look, even with a broken heart.
Toss handfuls of spinach into some pasta, a hearty salad, or drink it in a healthy juice. However you want to consume it, just make sure you do have some on a fairly regular basis in the post-breakup recovery period. Its high magnesium content will promote a sense of calm within you, while simultaneously boosting your energy levels to help you get off the couch and return to the real world.