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Health

Breakups just got a little easier, thanks to the luxurious, therapy-based Heartbreak Hotel

Welcome to the Heartbreak Hotel. It's part wellness retreat, part intensive group therapy.

healing, breakup, heartbreak hotel
Photo by Fa Barboza on Unsplash

Breakups are a low point for anyone, yet studies have shown that they tend to hit just women just a little harder. Which is probably why they leave a lot of us looking this:


But what if we didn’t have to stuff our feelings down with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (no offense Bridget Jones) and instead were able to come out of heartbreak feeling lighter, freer and more empowered?

That was the inspiration behind The Heartbreak Hotel.

The Heartbreak Hotel, which opened in north Norfolk, U.K. near the end of 2021, is a three-day retreat created by two mental health professionals with one goal in mind: to help women heal after the end of a relationship in the most compassionate, holistic way possible.

The retreat (keen on detoxification in all forms) is both alcohol- and technology-free. So if you’re looking to cope through drowning your sorrows with a mai tai or frantically hate-scrolling through your ex’s social media … then this might not be the spot for you.

However, if you are looking to stop blaming yourself for “what went wrong,” process complex and painful feelings, and come out rested and restored, read on.


During their three night stay, guests enjoy gourmet food, lush surroundings and daily beach walks along the gorgeous Norfolk coast.

I mean, just look at it. Stunning.

But don’t be misguided—it’s not just a luxury vacation. The Heartbreak Hotel is very much about doing the inner work.

Psychologist Alice Haddon and life coach/bestselling author Ruth Field—bona fide heartbreak specialists—teamed up to provide dynamic workshops where women can learn about love attachment styles, core needs, rewiring neural pathways and how to use all that information to redefine relationship goals.

In addition, an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) specialist is there to assist in releasing emotional trauma. It’s a key element of the hotel’s offerings, as Haddon told Daily Mail. “At The Heartbreak Hotel we understand that where there is heartbreak there is trauma. This therapy helps our guests to gently but powerfully leave the shock behind and generate the space for forward looking energy,“ she said.

The Heartbreak Hotel’s first retreat in November 2021 was completely sold out, and the website boasts that an average of 85% felt freer, 66% felt clearer and 67% felt more empowered.

Their success does beg the question: Should traditional therapy get a rebrand?

Even those who do go into therapy post breakup normally only see a therapist once a week for an hour. To really see significant shifts could take … well, a lot longer than three days. The current price for a stay at the Heartbreak Hotel is £2,500 (or $3278), which may sound like a lot, but when broken down is about the average cost of six months worth of therapy.

Where there can never be an official timeline for overcoming heartbreak, perhaps there is an argument to be made for “turbo charged” recovery. The idea that it doesn’t have to take months upon months to move on is certainly an uplifting one.

Not to mention that a session usually takes place in a less-than-luxurious therapist’s office … if not through the other side of a computer screen. Even though there’s plenty of research to show how much of a positive impact nature can have on our well-being, it rarely has a place in traditional therapy. Unless your therapist is generous enough to have a ficus in the room.

Haddon and Field define therapy as “to take care of.” This includes providing the things that truly nourish the soul: beauty, comfort and serenity.

It’s not that someone can’t heal without these things, but it makes the healing process so much more enjoyable, doesn’t it? This could be a reason why many have trouble seeking professional help. They find the environment potentially sterile, which is not exactly the most attractive feature when we’re heartbroken.

As someone who has benefited greatly from wellness retreats (and have even run a few myself), I could be overly biased. But healing does take place on a mental, physical and emotional level. Dedicating an allotted time to focus on each of those aspects can be incredibly transformative, especially when we’re really going through it. It certainly has seemed to do wonders for the women of The Heartbreak Hotel.

Thank you to Haddon and Field for combining your expertise with creativity to make a painful transition an opportunity for incredible self-care.

Brandon Conway sounds remarkably like Michael Jackson when he sings.

When Michael Jackson died 13 years ago, the pop music world lost a legend. However markedly mysterious and controversial his personal life was, his contributions to music will go down in history as some of the most influential of all time.

Part of what made him such a beloved singer was the uniqueness of his voice. From the time he was a young child singing lead for The Jackson 5, his high-pitched vocals stood out. Hearing him sing live was impressive, his pitch-perfect performances always entertaining.

No one could ever really be compared to MJ, or so we thought. Out of the blue, a guy showed up on TikTok recently with a casual performance that sounds so much like the King of Pop it's blowing people away.

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1989 video brings back strong memories for Gen Xers who came of age in the '80s.

It was the year we saw violence in Tiananmen Square and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. The year we got Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally" and Michael Keaton in Tim Burton's "Batman." The year "Seinfeld" and "The Simpsons" debuted on TV, with no clue as to how successful they would become. The year that gave us New Kids on the Block and Paula Abdul while Madonna and Janet Jackson were enjoying their heyday.

The jeans were pegged, the shoulders were padded and the hair was feathered and huge. It was 1989—the peak of Gen X youth coming of age.

A viral video of a group of high school students sitting at their desks in 1989—undoubtedly filmed by some geeky kid in the AV club who probably went on to found an internet startup—has gone viral across social media, tapping straight into Gen X's memory banks. For those of us who were in high school at the time, it's like hopping into a time machine.

The show "Stranger Things" has given young folks of today a pretty good glimpse of that era, but if you want to see exactly what the late '80s looked like for real, here it is:

Oh so many mullets. And the Skid Row soundtrack is just the icing on this nostalgia cake. (Hair band power ballads were ubiquitous, kids.)

I swear I went to high school with every person in this video. Like, I couldn't have scripted a more perfect representation of my classmates (which is funny considering that this video came from Paramus High School in New Jersey and I went to high school on the opposite side of the country).

Comments have poured in on Reddit from both Gen Xers who lived through this era and those who have questions.

First, the confirmations:

"Can confirm. I was a freshman that year, and not only did everyone look exactly like this (Metallica shirt included), I also looked like this. 😱😅"

"I graduated in ‘89, and while I didn’t go to this school, I know every person in this room."

"It's like I can virtually smell the AquaNet and WhiteRain hairspray from here...."

"I remember every time you went to the bathroom you were hit with a wall of hairspray and when the wind blew you looked like you had wings."

Then the observations about how differently we responded to cameras back then.

"Also look how uncomfortable our generation was in front of the camera! I mean I still am! To see kids now immediately pose as soon as a phone is pointed at them is insanity to me 🤣"

"Born in 84 and growing up in the late 80’s and 90’s, it’s hard to explain to younger people that video cameras weren’t everywhere and you didn’t count on seeing yourself in what was being filmed. You just smiled and went on with your life."

Which, of course, led to some inevitable "ah the good old days" laments:

"Life was better before the Internet. There, I said it."

"Not a single cell phone to be seen. Oh the freedom."

"It's so nice to be reminded what life was like before cell phones absorbed and isolated social gatherings."

But perhaps the most common response was how old those teens looked.

"Why do they all look like they're in their 30's?"

"Everyone in this video is simultaneously 17 and 49 years old."

"Now we know why they always use 30 y/o actors in high school movies."

As some people pointed out, there is an explanation for why they look old to us. It has more to do with how we interpret the fashion than how old they actually look.

Ah, what a fun little trip down memory lane for those of us who lived it. (Let's just all agree to never bring back those hairstyles, though, k?)