Anyone who’s been through a bad breakup has experienced the symptoms: talking about it incessantly to friends, obsessively checking an ex’s social media posts, or trying to run into them accidentally-on-purpose.
But Mend, an app that aims to be a “personal trainer for heartbreak,” wants to help you avoid those mistakes and move forward with your life.
Mend was created by Ellen Huerta, who founded the app after going through a breakup herself, according to The New York Times. Huerta is more than the founder, though: she is also Elle, the soothing voice within the app that guides you through your breakup.
Mend isn’t just a breakup coach, though: It’s also an entire community for the brokenhearted. Here’s how it works.
Huerta is a former Googler and originally founded Mend as a newsletter about moving on from a breakup. Heurta told The Times that she hopes to 'erase the shame and taboo of heartbreak as something to just get over.'
Mend doesn't want to be just a breakup app; it wants to be a community for the heartbroken, and that doesn't just apply to women. Everything on the app is gender-neutral and also doesn't assume your relationship was heterosexual. Your previous partner is referred to simply as 'your ex' throughout the app.
To get set up, all you have to do is enter your first name. You can make a Mend account, but it's also possible to skip that step.
One important feature to note is the 'Is this an emergency?' button. Clicking that takes you to a page that explains that Mend is not a substitute for mental health services and urges you to seek professional help if it's more serious than run-of-the-mill sadness.
Next, you have to give Mend some information about your breakup, like the reason behind your relationship's demise...
The app also asks you to take a second to think about how you're really feeling. You can rate how much the breakup is affecting your day-to-day life and how you feel on a daily basis.
Next, you'll be taken to your first training page, which also includes your first message from Elle, who reassures you that the two of your are 'going to get through this breakup together.' After your first training session, you'll be asked to complete a journal entry, which is different each time.
While incredibly kind and soothing, Elle asks you to face some hard truths about your behaviour since your breakup right off the bat, inquiring whether you've been re-reading old text message conversations or checking up on your ex on social media. Even if the answer is yes, however, she says not to worry: 'This is totally normal,' Elle says. 'You are not crazy, and this feeling will pass.'
What's most interesting is the reasoning Mend gives for why you might be obsessed with your ex or feeling devastated that things are over. Elle explains that being in a relationship gives off 'happy hormones' -- endorphins and oxytocin -- that you send back and forth with your partner. Once you break up, you start going through withdrawal from those hormones and want to do everything you can to get back together. But Elle assures you that she'll 'help you let go and more forward.'
After your first training session is over, you'll be able to check your progress report. Clicking the plus sign in the bottom right corner will take you to the activities page...
...where you can log everything you did to focus on and take care of yourself, including exercising, being social, and even getting intimate with someone else. When you log an activity, you'll have the option to write a note about it and rate how it made you feel afterward.
Swiping toward the left on your main dashboard will take you to 'My Mend,' which charts how you've been feeling over time, shows you how long it's been since your breakup, and gives you encouraging advice each day.
Swiping toward the right takes you to the Mend community. Here, you'll be able to read posts about relationships, tips for moving on, and Q&As with people who have recently gone through breakups.
Mend is free to download and use, but it does have a paid version. By subscribing to the app, you'll be able to unlock what Mend calls its full training program, which includes extended recordings from Elle and personalised advice about how to deal with your breakup.
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