What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted? This App Has A Few Ideas
Mend wants to combat the isolation and pain of heartache with mindfulness and support. Could it actually work?
Universal truth: Breakups suck. And even if you’ve written off Valentine’s Day as little more than a ploy to bolster chocolate sales, this time of year can feel particularly shitty if you're going through something like that.
Slippery ailment that it is, there’s no instant cure-all for heartbreak. But you may find a potential aid in the Mend app—a hybrid chatbot therapist slash digital journal slash online community that calls itself “a personal trainer for heartbreak.”
Ex-Googler Elle Huerta developed the app after she went through her own difficult breakup. "I built Mend because it’s what I needed when I was going through a breakup in my 20s," Huerta told Parade. "It came out of personal need. I found myself up late at night Googling advice, and the advice that I found didn’t resonate with me."
The app would eventually go on to be featured on Apple Music’s Planet of the Apps, which led to mentorship from Jessica Alba, and later, $1 million in seed funding (led by Lightspeed Ventures, which is also an investor in Girlboss). Today, the app is helping users all around the world work through the difficult process of moving on—an effort that has become exponentially more difficult in the era of social media, where updates and insights into your ex’s shiny new life can feel inescapable.
How can an app help with all of that, you ask? You start by simply entering your name, and while you’re prompted to set up an account, you’re able to proceed without jumping through additional hoops, which is surprisingly refreshing in this particular context. Next, you’re prompted to address why *you* believe the relationship fell apart. “I don’t know” is an option here, which likewise speaks to the nuance of the app. Another element to recommend it: It doesn’t assume gender or orientation when it comes to your past relationship.
From there, you’re asked for the date of your breakup, as well as the last time you were in contact with you ex. And then things start to go a little deeper: You’re asked to assess your current emotional state as well as the breakup’s impact on your daily life on a sliding scale, which in turn leads to a prompt for a journal entry.
The entire process, it’s worth noting, is guided by the soothing voice of Huerta herself, and as you progress, you’re prompted to consider “mending” activities like going outside, exercising, taking some time for self-care and even going on a date or getting intimate with someone else.
The larger objective here is to track your mental and emotional state day by day, adding an element of mindfulness to your breakup. There’s also a community element, where users can interact with one another and even offer up tips on what’s helped each of them cope.
The app is free to download in its basic iteration, but a subscription for a “Heartbreak Cleanse” is also available, which includes extended recordings from Huerta and personalized advice for your particular breakup.
Words: Deena Drewis