Breaking up is hard to do, but this German hotel is trying to ease the process. Located in Oberstdorf, a sport and health resort town on the southernmost tip of Bavaria, Schüle’s hotel is home to one of the country’s most beautiful mountainside getaways. Now the joint is offering a special program: Ich bin ganz bei mir, or “Time for Me” retreats.
The program, named Die Liebeskümmerer (a combination on the German words for “heartache” and “to take care of”), was founded by Elena-Katharina Sohn as a means of therapy for those suffering from the various negative feelings that follow a breakup. In order to expand the program’s reach, Sohn approached Schüle’s hotel director, Karl-Arnold Schüle, to see if it might be something of interest. The program was marketed as a “holiday for the brokenhearted.” Schüle was fascinated, and signed on to bring the program to his hotel.
For those in need of a place to heal, Schüle’s is a fantastic option. The hotel is the idealistic Alpine resort, complete withopen views of snowy peaks and two nourishing spa options. As part of the guests’ visit, Schüle’s provides outdoor activities, spa treatments, and personal counseling. They even go as far as to leave inspirational notes for the guests on their pillows. If you’ve ever been on the wrong end of a breakup, you can imagine how nurturing this might feel.
But don’t be mislead; Die Liebeskümmerer is not meant to be a distraction for those looking to escape their pain. Breakups can be messy, creating a difficult mental and emotional rut for those involved. Many people find themselves losing focus or motivation, or experiencing a frustrating lack of self worth. Rather than provide a Sex in the City-esque getaway, this breakup retreat strives to tackle the visitors’ mental health issues. There are several counselors on staff, ready and willing to help.
In sessions that can last for up to four hours, Fohn [a practitioner and healer] helps guests recognise the unconscious thought and behaviour patterns that keep pushing them back into toxic situations and pain. “The key [to surviving a breakup] is: accept it,” she says. Struggling against reality isn’t helpful. “You’ve got to release the shock, the fear. You have to treat yourself with understanding and love.”
Another benefit of the retreats is the sense of community. After a relationship ends, many individuals experience a throbbing sense of loneliness, or isolate themselves from the outside world. At Die Liebeskümmerer, clients are encouraged to discuss their feelings with others who may be going through a similar experience. To know that your feelings are understood, and they you are not alone, can be of great comfort during the fragile aftermath of a breakup.
The program doesn’t promise to perform any magic tricks, i.e., making you completely forget your partner. Rather, Sohn believes that the point of the retreat is to provide perspective. Norwegian continues:
“We don’t just try to cure acute heartache, but work with you to change your perspective,” she [Sohn] says. Instead of rebound and revenge – two of the most common solutions – she focuses on self-healing, what she calls her Glücksherz (“happy heart”) technique. “In the short term, the quickest, most superficial way out of heartache is quickly to get a new partner. But this isn’t the answer,” she says. “I urge people to see that, hidden in their crisis of heartache, there’s an amazing opportunity to discover what sources of happiness there still are in their life.”
This type of therapy is known as “emotional wellness,” meaning the combination of psychological therapies with spa treatments. Emotional wellness is successful for many reasons, one of which is that it helps to detach the negative stereotype that some may identify with therapy treatments. While some individuals might be too fearful to seek professional health for their mental and emotional struggles, emotional wellness retreats serve as a gentle meeting ground.
Of course, not everyone is able to partake in such a venture post-breakup. The “big picture” lesson we can learn from Die Liebeskümmerer is to recognize the importance of self-compassion and perspective, especially during life’s most fragile moments.
What methods do you support when it comes to healing a broken heart?
Amanda Kohr is a 25-year-old writer and photographer with a penchant for yoga, food, and travel. She prefers to bathe in the moonlight rather than the sun, and enjoys living in a state of the three C’s: cozy, creative, and curious. When she’s not writing, you can find her driving her VW Bug, looking for the next roadside attraction or family diner. She also roams the internet at amandakohr.com and through Instagram.