The Best Ted Talks About Heartbreak, Grief and Loss
A list of ted talks about grief
For those that have read my previous articles, know that this past few months hasn't been easy for me or my heart. During my time of grieving, I would often find myself googling what I should do and what other people have done to mend their broken hearts. Some of what I found was useful and some not so much. I'd loved watching and listening to Ted Talks, and fortunately, I found a number of them that were super helpful and made feel less alone in terms of the pain that I was going through. So if you're going through a heartbreak, I hope this list provides you some solace.
1. How to Fix a Broken Heart | Guy Winch
Guy Winch discusses how recovering and moving on from heartbreak starts with fighting our inner instincts to idealize and to stop searching and trying to search for answers as to why someone broke our heart. He suggests that to fix our broken heart we need to find the voids in our identity and fix them instead of idealising our ex and still giving them a starring role in your life when they should be an extra. I remember when I first watched this, there were tears rolling down my cheeks and I was yelling at the speaker on the screen, yelling at him for telling me what to do, from telling me what pictures to take off of the wall as well as telling me that my ex wasn't the one for me, when I was so convinced that he was. It took me a while to understand that me continuing to romanticise everything was making me spiral even more. Over time, I started to allow myself to be lead from my mind, instead of my broken, grieving heart. It wasn't an easy process and it still isn't but, as Winch says, it's battle in our mind, but we have to weapons to heal.
2. How to Get Over The End of a Relationship | Antonio Pascual-Leone
Clinical psychologist Dr Antinio Pascual-Leone Clinical psychologist Dr. Antonio Pascual-Leone discuss how to move on from a significant relationship and from our “emotional baggage” or “unfinished business”. He claims that there are three steps which map this process: You're Upset (One), You get Bent out Of Shape (Tw0) and Anger (Three). This Ted Talk helped me understand what I was going through, that all of my feelings were valid and were universal symptoms of a grieving heart.
3. How to Practice Emotional First-Aid | Guy Winch
Yes, it's another Guy Winch Ted Talk but this man is incredible and really knows what he's talking about. He discusses this idea that we maintain our physical health and oral hygiene but we don't know how look after our mental health. Winch says that we sustain psychological injuries much more than physical injuries it doesn't occur to us to look after those feelings of loneliness, hurt, rejections and grief. He suggests that when we are in emotional pain we should treat ourselves with the same compassion that we expect from a truly good friend instead of ruminating and replaying the scenes, events and feelings in our heads. Instead of spending time on negative thoughts, we should take action, change our response to failure and protect our self esteem.
4. We don't "move on" from grief. We move forward with it | Nora McInerny
This is probably one of the most powerful Ted Talks I have seen. Writer and podcaster, Nora McInerny shares her gut-wrenching hard-earned wisdom about life and death, encouraging us to shift how we approach grief. I like to think that I have a big heart and when I give it to someone, that person always has a piece of it, even if we're no longer friends or if we've broken up. Through McInerny's ted talk, I learnt that a grieving person, like her and myself, will learn to smile again and move forward but it doesn't mean that they've moved on. That hurt, as well as the warmth, love and joy they/I felt in that particular relationship will always be there, but it will become a part of me and not the whole of me. This Ted Talk really challenged my perceptions of what moving on looks and feel likes and was quite frankly, the reason why I didn't cry all day and night on my first Valentine's Day alone.
5. The mother of all break-ups | Zemha Gawachas
Zemha Gawachas talks about how the heart can only be healed by that which broke it and that to love is to risk hurt but without that hurt we're unable to learn about love. She talks about how heartbreak hurts you and changes you, but that once you're over that 'mother of all break-ups' it's like finding gold in your backyard. This ted talk gave me hope but my grieving journey and helped in understanding that the pain that I felt/am feeling is truly awful, but it will make me stronger in the long term.
6. The person you really need to marry | Tracy McMillan
Television writer Tracy McMillan Television writer Tracy McMillan, answers the question of 'who is the one person you need to marry in order to have a successful relationship?' and her answer to that is yourself. She talks about this idea of marrying yourself, that you enter into a relationship with yourself and commit to yourself fully. You build a relationship with yourself until you realise that you're already 'whole' the way you are and that having a romantic partner or not having a romantic partner doesn't impact on how 'whole' you're feeling. McMillan says that the place in which you face your biggest challenges is when you find yourself and that experiencing grief and loss are steps in making you feel whole. She is such a bubbly and charismatic woman and delivers such a fantastic ted talk.
7. Break-Ups Don’t Have to Leave You Broken | Gary Lewandowski
Dr. Gary Lewandowski, Jr., professor of psychology at Monmouth University, makes the case in his Ted Talk that if your relationship doesn’t help you become a better person, ending it does. When you lose a relationship, part of who you are as a person leaves as well, but it's not as bad we think it is. When relationships fail it hurts because you're alone, confused and heartbroken and it's awful. No one likes being there but life thankfully, happens in a continuum and there will be always be new relationships and new people to meet.
And there are many more ted talks, as well as videos by other psychologists that are accessible on YouTube for people like us. You've got this :)