Love + Sex, Tech, Love, Advice, Now + Beyond

This app is becoming a personal trainer for the broken-hearted

A breakup in the digital age can be tough. Here's how this breakup app hopes to help.

The way we meet, interact, and fall in love occurs so often on the Internet that it almost feels as if we exist in a simulation similar to Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. A show filled with viewers and actors watching, cheering, and guiding us through our relationship milestones and woes.

So, it comes as no surprise that our breakups would also be on display. Our profiles dissected for signs of rifts or misconduct, while your ex erases all evidence of your existence from their profiles and seemingly move on with ease.  The deterioration of a relationship can be so public, and yet so alienating that the process of moving on seems impossible.

That’s where Mend comes along.

The Mend app claims to be your “personal trainer for heartbreak” by providing users with the tools and wisdom of dealing with a breakup. This means anything from advice on “detoxing” from your ex that revolves around not social media stalking them to insights on how to redefine yourself as an individual after the uncoupling.

Created by former Google employee Ellen Huerta after struggling one night to find breakup advice online that was constructive and resonated with her, according to The New York Times.  So Huerta tapped into her Silicon Valley expertise to develop an app that would create a network of support for individuals during one of their most vulnerable periods.

Huerta acts more than just the founder, she is also Elle, the calming voice within the app that guides you through your breakup.

The app aims to be gender neutral by not assuming your partners gender identity and refers to the previous partner as “your ex” when needed. They also give user’s the option to be anonymous.

Upon downloading the app, users are introduced to the motives of others users who downloaded Mend. Like ‘Sarah’ who, after experiencing her first breakup, turned to Mend to help reflect on the breakup but to also find solace by connecting with other people’s stories. Or ‘Jessica’  who uses Mend for advice when her main support network is unavailable.

There’s also a feature on the app labeled “Is this an emergency?” that expands on the fact that apps like Mend aren’t substitutes for professional help, medical treatment, and mental health services. It encourages those who feel like the emotions and trauma they are experiencing are detrimental to their health to seek professional help and to drive in the point that not everything you read on a website or is endorsed by a celebrity is the golden rule.

It’s refreshing to see an app like Mend pick up the burden left by matchmaking sites and apps like Tinder and eHarmony that glamorize the beauty of love and making a connection. It reminds us that love is messy and we really aren’t talking about the aftermath like we should be. In not doing so, we don’t allow people the proper channels to digest and process their breakups in a healthy and productive manner.

When we fail to manage the aftermath of a breakup, not only does that old relationship baggage creep into your new relationship and risk tainting the dynamic but the effects can mimic the same symptoms seen in the death of loved ones. Research has shown that the deterioration of a romantic relationship can lead to insomnia, intrusive thoughts, and even a compromised immune function. So to dismiss heartache as just another unavoidable circumstance of love is irresponsible, especially if your unwilling to be a beacon of light for those that are struggling to cope.

To label Mend as a breakup app would be misguided, as it’s more than your breakup personal trainer. It acts as your friend and therapist too. So expect deep reflections of your actions, reminders, and checklists that keep you on track and active, but also reassurance that you’re not alone through all of this and that you’re worthy of love.