The Heartbreak Hotel is a three-day ‘transformational therapy’ retreat offering women the opportunity to process infidelity, anger and betrayal in a safe space. Jenny Southan reports
“We’ve all had our hearts broken. And it hurts like hell. We ask ourselves why. What did I do wrong? What does their WhatsApp message really mean? Where are they right now? Who are they with?
“Some pain is inevitable of course, but when we replay conversations in our minds and try to answer the unanswerable; when we blame ourselves or fixate on their new partner, we prolong and intensify our suffering. Our heartbreak becomes persistent and our pain almost unbearable,” reads the Heartbreak hotel website.Run by women, for women, the Heartbreak Hotel is a retreat concept founded by counselling psychologist and lecturer Alice Haddon.
“Heartbreak Hotel” luxury residential retreats take place at a private home (Barsham Barns, pictured) on the Norfolk coast, with courses designed for groups of six to eight women. Phones and laptops must be left at the door, and no alcohol is available.Haddon works with Ruth Field, an international bestselling writer, speaker and coach “committed to transforming lives through rebuilding resilience”. Described as “radical and uncompromising”, she uses humour as a tool to “facilitate profound shifts in the female perspective and lived experience”.
The Heartbreak Hotel says its courses teach women how to transform their anger into agency, make sense of pain, and identify your “love language” and attachment style. Participants will discover how to spot narcissists and infidels “so you can avoid them forever”, and learn how to meet your “core love needs”.Upcoming retreats include: “Moving Beyond Betrayal” (November 5-8, 2021); “Healing Your Heartbreak” (February 2022); and “Compare and Despair: Transforming Envy into Agency” (May 2022). Discounted “early bird” rates are priced at £1,750.
“We believe that heartbreak connects us to the essence of what it is to be human, and that our vulnerability is also the birthplace of compassionate change and daring creativity,” says Haddon.
“Our mission at The Heartbreak Hotel is for all our guests to leave feeling empowered and to act according to their own love narratives, values and needs.”
In November 2020, Chablé Hotels in Mexico launched a “Healing Heartache” programme, suggesting that these kinds of wellbeing retreats could soon become a trend.