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Can Science Explain a Broken Heart?

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Woman ripping paper heart in half. (Jamie Grill)

More than a year after a very bad breakup, LA Times journalist Todd Martens struggled to understand why he was still so stuck on his ex. He doodled her name whenever he held pen and paper; he couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop stewing. So he turned to science to understand why his mind and body continued to hurt so much and shared what he learned in his recent article “Science can explain a broken heart. Could science help heal mine?” We’ll talk to Martens and turn to experts in neuroscience and psychology for strategies to heal broken hearts. And we’ll hear from you: what’s helped you get through a bad breakup?


Todd Martens, columnist, Los Angeles Times - Martens covers theme parks, games and interactive entertainment for the LA Times. He is a self-professed Disneyland addict who wrote the piece, "This Is Your Brain on Disneyland"

Mary-Frances O’Connor, neuroscientist; psychologist; author, 2022 book “The Grieving Brain: The Surprising Science of How We Learn From Love and Loss"

David Sbarra, professor of psychology, University of Arizona


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