Four Apps That Will Help You Through A Break-Up
Illustration by Mr Giacomo Bagnara
It stands to reason that if technology can bring people together (see Tinder, Hinge et al), then it should be able to soften the pain when they part ways. In a digital world, the LTR oriented have the odds stacked against them. Hook-up culture is now the norm, relationship statuses are confusingly monogamish and e-voidance tactics (see ghosting, icing, simmering and now Caspering) are as common as they are cowardly. If the plethora of online profiles has made dating easier, it has paradoxically made commitment a lot harder.
Enter the break-up app, a piece of software designed to guide the newly single through the painstaking process of rediscovering their autonomy. Most of them target female users, but the advice – good and bad – is universal. Whether your default coping mechanism is binge eating, drunk texting or social media stalking, there’s a code to set things straight.
Some apps function as portable coaches, encouraging the user to practise good self-care with regular notifications. Others operate as a concierge, attending to the practical considerations that come with conscious and/or messy uncoupling (finding a new home, moving your possessions, sourcing a violently bloodthirsty divorce lawyer, etc). A handful attempt to heal that gaping void in the middle of your chest with sound wisdom and one-to-one counselling sessions.
How you greet heartbreak is often more formative than the relationship that preceded it.
Some break-ups demand a clean start and Onward, a concierge service based in New York, is designed to facilitate that process. Fill out a short survey and make full use of services from relocation and handling of utilities all the way through to matchmaking with therapists, lawyers, financial advisors, life coaches and interior designers.
A digital fusion of cognitive therapy and psychoanalysis, this 30-day, three-step programme breaks down break-ups into themes such as Withdrawal, Red Flags, Obsessing and Anger Management. For each malady, the app offers words of wisdom and analytical writing exercises designed to modify behaviour in the midst of depression.
Launched in 2017 by relationship columnist Ms Zoë Foster Blake, Break-Up Boss has one standout feature. Every time you attempt to send an ill-advised message to your ex (sober or otherwise), you get a virtual slap on the wrist and a motivational quote in return. And if you really must vent, then you can go ham in a fake text that never gets delivered and saves you any embarrassment the morning after.
At the core of Mend is a library of self-help classes (articles) that run the gamut from “I Slept With My Ex. Now What?” to “The Science Of Heartbreak” along with audio from mental health experts. It offers one-to-one counselling sessions and even hosts retreats in Barcelona that include group activities, yoga, meditation and exercises to “help you reconnect with and rebuild yourself”.