Breakups hurt, there’s no denying that. While rom-coms sweep the process into a montage of ice-cream tubs, pyjamas and bad hair days, many of us tend to pick up worse habits like ignoring friends, family and self-care along the way. Heaps of much-needed advice we get at this point go along the lines of ‘it’s their loss’ and ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’. But sugarcoating things or getting straight back on hookup sites won’t help us move forward in a positive and healthy direction. What we truly need at the time is someone to tell us what we need to hear rather than what we want to hear.
Enter the breakup BOOST podcast and coaching service, where relationship expert Trina Leckie becomes your best friend after a breakup. Offering services over email, coaching calls and dedicated breakup hotlines for prompt advice, breakup BOOST’s goal is to “not only help people through their breakup, but to also give them the tools and perspective they need to learn and grow from their relationship(s) and breakup(s).”
“I aim to help build people up from within,” Leckie told Screen Shot. “This is to make them realise that they are accountable for their dating choices so that they make better ones going forward, and to encourage them to take charge of their lives versus adopting a victim mindset. Empowering and encouraging is what breakup BOOST is all about.”
The coach further believes that coddling and sugarcoating “will only keep people stuck and repeating unhealthy patterns.” “If people want someone to be 100 per cent honest and objective with them through straightforward but compassionate relationship advice (without all the fluff), I’m their coach! I also aim to get my clients feeling better ASAP versus dragging things out for several months. Life’s too precious for that!” added Leckie.
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When asked about her motivation behind starting the podcast and coaching service, Leckie admitted to having always found herself “encountering people who were either struggling with a relationship, going through a breakup, sitting on the fence about whether they should breakup or getting back into the dating scene and having a tough time with it.”
“It seems like no matter which way you turn these days, someone is struggling with some sort of relationship issue,” Leckie explained. “I was constantly offering advice and coaching friends and random people I encountered through their heartbreak and dating adventures (and being really good at it). That’s when I decided to kick it up a notch and start the breakup BOOST podcast to be able to extend my reach and help people around the world.”
Leckie also believes that heartbreak is a universal thing. “No matter what gender, age, or race you are—you’re going to experience a broken heart in your life. There’s just no way of dodging it.” “I know what it’s like to go through heartbreak based on my own experiences,” she continued, “but I also know that you can always get through it and be better off because of it.” The coach further confessed that she has always wanted to be there “for anyone who was struggling, seeking guidance, or just needing someone to talk to.” “I never want people to feel alone during such a vulnerable time,” she added.
“Basically, from what I have built so far from an idea that I came up with in my kitchen one day and the amazing feedback that I receive on a daily basis (whether through the podcast or coaching), I know that this is my calling. And I love it!”
Some of the major issues Leckie’s clients present her with through breakup BOOST are in regards to “how to save a relationship, when to call it quits on one, how to get over an ex, how to get an ex back, understanding why a relationship fell apart, putting an end to healthy patterns, conflict resolution, low self-esteem, confidence and self-worth.”
Reflecting on the impact the pandemic has had on her clients and coaching services, Leckie highlighted the fact that the present time “has brought problems that people were shuffling under the rug to the forefront and highlighted them.”
“Before COVID-19, people had so many distractions and it was easy to let things slide or ignore things and just go to work, go out on the weekends, or have more space from one another,” the coach said. “I have definitely had an increase in people reaching out due to reflecting on their relationships, their lives, and thinking about what truly matters because of the pandemic.”
Leckie hence perceives this pandemic-accelerated shift under a positive light. “Life is too short to just go through the motions or be in a relationship just to be in a relationship. Plus, running from your problems is never a solution. They will always catch up to you.”
So, taking her word for it, we here at Screen Shot have decided to whip up ‘The Ultimate Guide to Breakups’. Here are top 5 tips from the relationship coach herself to help you find your breakthrough on the other side of your breakup:
This is a time to focus on you and positive distractions. For example, get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, even if it’s just a walk to get some fresh air and a change of scenery. Or go a little harder and sweat out the stress. Welcome those endorphins and the confidence they bring.
These will only make you feel worse and amplify everything. When you’re sober, you’re more in control of your emotions and won’t be drunk texting or drunk dialing your ex, which can lead to embarrassment, possible rejection, awful anxiety, and other poor decisions.
Stop telling yourself that everything was perfect, and stop hanging onto words they said, such as “I will never hurt you / I will love you forever / I want to marry you.” If everything was perfect, you would be in a happy and healthy relationship with this person right now. Remember that words never meant much if there were no actions to back them up.
Here’s an exercise for you: make a detailed list of all of the negatives and unfavorable things that happened during your relationship, right down to the nitty-gritty. Next to each thing, write down how it made you feel in that moment. You’ll likely have a list of words like ‘unwanted, anxious, insecure, unlovable, depressed, unappreciated’. Keep this list close to you and when you feel weak, look at it to bring yourself back to reality. Stay away from reminiscing over those ‘beginning’ weeks or months that were so fun and carefree.
No contact is the key to moving on. If you are still in contact with your ex, whether that be via texting, calling, seeing them in person, looking at their pictures, or stalking them on social media, that will make it 100 times harder for you to move forward. You need time on your own to get your emotions in check and gain clarity. The prior are simply triggers. Don’t tell yourself you can be ‘friends’ with your ex. You’ll only be fooling yourself.
Believe that you are being redirected to something better, because you are! You might not see it now, but one day, you’ll be grateful this breakup happened.
Is there truly a way to make relationships ‘breakup-proof’? We decided to ask the breakup and relationship coach herself.
“There are definitely things you can do as a couple to make your relationship as strong as possible through communication, effort, and commitment—but there is not a way to make relationships breakup-proof,” she admitted. “So many factors and variables come into play, people change, and love can dissipate. Plus, everyone is different with their own, unique relationship. And let’s not forget that what you desire in your teens or twenties will be different from what you desire in your thirties, forties, and beyond as you mature and grow.”
Leckie further stated the fact that “even people with the best of intentions can outgrow each other or find that they are headed in different directions.” “There’s nothing wrong with that,” she added. “I believe the key is to stay in something solid and healthy that is injecting joy into your life. When that is no longer the case, it’s best to decide to move on instead of just going through the motions, staying together because you have already invested a lot of time, or because you fear being ‘alone’.”
“When you can walk away from a relationship and have the confidence that you will be okay, no matter what—you win,” she further explained.
To complete the guide and come full circle, it is essential to cover this aspect we have all been curious about. What is the healthiest way to break up with someone, especially during a time when we are increasingly dependent on technology for communication?
“I think it’s definitely important to have a conversation for any type of breakup, pandemic or not, whether that be in person, on a video call, or on the phone,” Leckie advised. “Stay away from sending a text message or ghosting. It’s a matter of respect and consideration for the other person’s feelings.” “Say everything you need to say and allow them to ask any questions they may have so they aren’t left feeling confused or as though they didn’t get closure,” she added. “Treat people how you want to be treated.”
Nothing can throw you into a whirlwind of emotions the way a bad breakup can. When asked about Leckie’s personal struggles and learnings with breakup BOOST the coach confessed, “When people’s self-worth is so beat down from an abusive situation or they are in a position where they feel like they are stuck in that abusive situation due to financial hardship, it can take a toll on my emotions after I get off the phone with them because I care so much.”
The coach further admits to wishing for something she could instantly do to pull them out of the state. At the same time, however, she also sees it as a relief that “they found my podcast and/or reached out so that they know that someone cares and is there to support them, as well as assist them in finding resources in their area that may be able to help them.”
Reminiscing some of her learnings with breakup BOOST, Leckie quotes the saying ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink’. “Some people only want to vent. They don’t actually want to make choices to move forward,” she said. “I can give all the advice in the world, but until someone is ready to take charge of their life and help themselves, no one can help them.”
“For the most part though, people who order my coaching (as compared to messaging for free advice) truly want to take action. When people aren’t invested in the advice, that’s usually when they’re just looking to vent. This is why I now direct everyone to my coaching services if they send me an email or a DM on Instagram seeking free advice. It’s also out of respect for my paying clients.”
If Leckie could inspire a movement for something, she stated that it would be “towards staying true to yourself, living life on your own terms and making smart choices based on what genuinely feels good for you.” She also admitted to pioneering a movement against “settling or making decisions based on fear, age, family, or societal pressure.” “It pains me how people feel so much pressure to be in a relationship as though they are less than or not ‘good enough’ if they are single,” she added.
In the next five years, Leckie has her eyes set on making breakup BOOST “the ‘go-to’ for heartbreak—healing and empowering millions of hearts around the globe so that people can live happier and more confident lives.”
And if you are in need of a best friend to coach you through a recent breakup, telling you all the things you need to hear, you can reach out to Leckie via email, coaching calls or her dedicated ‘Breakup Hotline’—in case you want prompt advice without having to wait for a specific date and time. The breakup BOOST podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and other podcast apps is also a great initiation into finding your breakthrough that we believe lies on the other side of your breakup.
Have you reached that point of despair, where you just can’t kick a former (or never) lover out of your head, or heart—without sounding too cringe? We’ve been there, and it’s not fun. What exactly makes it so hard to move on? And what can you do to make it easier?
First of all, do yourself a favour and acknowledge that it’s a pretty rubbish feeling, universally. Because when love is good, it’s really good, and it feels like it’s never going to end. Because why would you invest yourself into something you know will end anyway, right? You want to go for it with all guns blazing, and you want to really love, hard. So when that love suddenly leaves, you have a hole to fill. But the thing is, you don’t—you were whole before and you’re still whole now. The illusion of a hole just needs a little attention, and all you have to do is say ‘hey there, I see you, I feel you and it’s gonna be okay’. Once you’ve acknowledged its presence it wont fight for your attention anymore.
There’s a lot of research out there on how to force yourself to fall out of love, we are not our thoughts unless we let them control us. One researcher, biological anthropologist and TED talk speaker Helen Fisher told NPR that she used a technique called ‘neurofeedback’, which measures brain waves using electroencephalography (EEG) and turns them into visual or audio tones. This essentially means that when you can see or hear what’s going on in your brain, you can effectively train the thoughts that go through it. You can spot those pesky visions that pop up of your ex, and shoo them away.
Fisher observed that by “Understanding how we fall in love on a physiological level doesn’t necessarily mean we can control it, but it does mean we may be able to influence it.”
In her research, she found that when people looked at a picture of the person they love, the hypothalamus was pumping out dopamine. Fisher explains that “at the base of the brain, where your instincts and drives are: hunger, thirst, lust” is the hypothalamus—what Fisher calls the brain’s “dopamine factory.”
“Dopamine is linked with feelings of elation, mood swings, cravings, and obsessive thinking,” she says. “These are all basic traits of romantic love. When you start to fall for someone, everything about them is special. The house they live in, the street they live on, it’s all special to you. They’re dopamine triggers.” So when you break up, little reminders of the person you loved trigger the same dopamine reaction of when you were in love, which makes it harder to move on.
Fisher’s conclusion is that by recognising the patterns your brain is habitual to means that you can force it to focus on other things. Basically, you can fill that illusion of a hole by distracting yourself. Not just by filling your social calendar or picking up a new hobby, but when you find yourself thinking about your ex, recognise it and stop yourself immediately by doing something that requires your concentration. That can be anything, even something mindless—the feeling won’t last forever. Fisher also says that “the attachment eventually reduces. Time does heal the brain.”
If you can’t imminently get enough control over your thoughts (like most of us) use the tech age to your advantage, do what Fisher tells us to do in our brains but instead do it with your external influencers. Social media babe, block the heartache. You don’t need to see what they’re doing.
Another thing to do when getting over an ex, is to remove the blinkers—don’t kid yourself. We too easily remember the good stuff, and ignore the bad, which is why we usually end up pining over a perfect match that in reality, was just not. Allow yourself to see the full picture. That charming, goodlooking, funny, sex pot must have some other sides to them too.
Remind yourself that what’s good for you, sticks with you. If it’s not sticking around, then they just aren’t the right person for you—as much as you wanted them to be, it’s okay that they’re not. Don’t fight it, that just gets in the way of welcoming other good loves. Lose some and win some.
Which brings me to the final phase of moving on, let someone else love you. Let it all begin again, breakups are inevitable, but each time they happen—think of it as the last time, then one day it will be.