New research shows that this is the best way to get over a bad breakup

No matter the circumstance, breakups are hard. But according to science, there is a breakup trick that will help you get over everything way faster. And a lot of it apparently comes down to the placebo effect — as in, just doing things that you think will make you happier, like starting a new hobby, or meditating.

A research team from the University of Colorado Boulder took a group of 40 participants who had experienced a ‘recent romantic rejection’ within the last six months, and studied how a “feel good” placebo affected them after the traumatic experience.

via giphy

The participants entered a brain imaging lab and recalled details of their breakup while staring at a picture of their ex while also hooked up to monitors. Then, half the group was given a placebo nasal spray and told it was a”powerful analgesic to relieve emotional pain,” while the others were told it was just saline solution.

Lo and behold, the results showed that those in the placebo group (who were given a reason to think they would feel better) were in better shape emotionally when they emerged from the experiment.

via giphy

According to the results published in the Journal of Neuroscience:

"Here, we use brain imaging to show that placebo treatment reduces the painful feelings associated with a recent romantic rejection by recruiting a prefrontal-brainstem network and by shifting the relationship between brain activity and affect."

via giphyAs in, we can trick our brains into getting over a breakup by doing something for ourselves.

AKA something that gives us a positive and healthy feeling about the future.

So instead of reaching for that remote control to rewatch The Notebook for the fortieth time (although really, what’s the harm in that?), try to actively do or participate in something that you think will make you feel better. Because apparently, it will!

Thanks for the tip, science.