Center for Workplace Happiness

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Can You Appreciate the Price of a Broken Heart?

When something hurts so much we say that it breaks our heart – does it really, or does it save it?

Have you ever lost someone you love? And yes, pets count. Can you remember the physicalness of the pain – the pain in your chest, the hollowness of your being? What is that? Why is that? And can we ever “suffer” a loss without suffering?

Probably not, and you probably wouldn’t want to, either.

Professor Yoram Yovell, a researcher on the relationship between emotional and physical pain and expert on the neurobiology of love and emotions, has studied why love and loss hurts so much. Turns out, emotional pain has a strong survival benefit – it alerts us to the fact that something has changed in our lives that we need to pay attention to.

When babies – human or not – are without their mother, they cry a very specific cry. Yes, the cry alerts their mother to return to them, and for the researchers, there was a surprising finding:...

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