7 beautiful gifts to help heal a broken heart

Comfort your loved ones during times of heartbreak with these thoughtful gifts.

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  • When heartbreak hits, it feels as though life has always been, and will always be, one dreary, blank wasteland. It's hard to see that you'll ever truly be happy again. And as hard as it is for the person going through the heartbreak, it's just as hard for the family members who must see their loved one live through that pain.

  • Though it's true that only time can heal a broken heart, there are some things you can do to comfort the person you love in the meantime. These eight beautiful gifts might make the load your loved one carries a little easier to bear.

  • A meal

  • Heartbreak takes different forms, but sometimes it can feel like a leaden weight, preventing the person who feels it from doing much besides wrapping herself in a soft blanket and huddling on a couch. Help her during this tough time by providing a meal - something wholesome and healthy and not too complicated.

  • Shared memories

  • During the tough times, it's hard to remember the days when life was happy and you were actually cheerful. Sometimes the best gift you can give a family member or friend going through a hard time is to sit down and talk about fond memories. Reminisce about the good old days, the laughter you've shared, the trials you've weathered. For a few minutes, at least, you can take that person out of the moment and allow them to feel happy once again.

  • Potted flowers

  • Life becomes a dreary wasteland after heartbreak. Bright flowers are a welcome respite from the hues of gray and sadness. But even better than a bouquet of flowers that will eventually wilt and be thrown away is a potted plant that will last longer than this moment of sadness. Eventually, it could even be planted as a memorial of a trial that's been overcome.

  • A phone call

  • Too far away to visit the family member or friend going through heartbreak? A phone call is the next best thing you can offer. It will help her feel loved and valued in a time when she might be questioning her own worth. Let her guide the conversation, even if all you talk about are mundane, boring things. The point is you can help her focus on something besides the pain, if only for a little while.

  • Chocolate

  • Did you know that besides being delicious, chocolate really can help mend a broken heart? Dark chocolate, rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, can actually help reduce blood pressure and improve the lining of the heart's blood vessels, according to two studies cited by CBS News.

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  • Of course, it's important not to overdo it, as chocolate is rich in calories, as well. But "if you want a chocolate treat once in a while, the bitterer the better, and don't feel bad about it," said Samantha Heller, senior clinical nutritionist at the Joan and Joel Smilow Center for Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention at New York University Medical Center.

  • An inspirational book

  • It doesn't have to be a self-help book if you feel the recipient won't read it or would feel offended by the offer. A simple story with a good message about resilience and strength in the face of adversity might inspire him with the perspective to see the good that could come from his heartbreak.

  • A good cry

  • A "good cry" might sound like an oxymoron, but it's actually a real thing. Therese Borchard, author of a book and blog on dealing with depression, explained, "There are many physiological reasons that contribute to the healing power of tears. Some of them have been documented by biochemist William Frey, who has spent 15 years as head of a research team studying tears."

  • She went on, "Among their findings is that emotional tears (as compared to tears of irritation, like when you cut an onion) contain toxic biochemical byproducts, so that weeping removes these toxic substances and relieves emotional stress." So offer your shoulder and tell your loved one not to hold back. He might actually be able to cry his pain away.

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Katie Nielsen received her bachelor's in English with an emphasis in technical writing. She has taught English and is a published writer.

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