For many of us, reeling from a painful split means weeks spent on the sofa bingeing reality TV and chocolate while chatting about our ex to anyone who’ll listen.
But whether you’ve been cheated on, lied to, or dumped out of the blue, The Heartbreak Hotel’s inaugural ‘Moving Beyond Betrayal’ retreat could be the way to speed up the healing process.
Founded last year by counselling psychologist and lecturer Alice Haddon, from London, the luxury three-day retreat is aimed at women looking to mend their broken hearts.
The £2,500 retreat takes place at Barsham Barns, a luxury private home on the Norfolk coast and sees women learn how to get over their exes while teaching how to avoid toxic relationships in the future.
The residential retreat runs from Friday to Monday with a maximum of eight women, and guests can expect ‘long views, warm fires and a sensational seasonal menu designed to inspire and nourish your broken heart’.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Alice, who is in her 40s, said the experience aims to ‘turbo charge’ recovery so that guests can learn to move on from betrayal within relationships in the longterm.
The luxury three-day Heartbreak Hotel retreat is aimed at women looking to mend their broken hearts. Pictured, one of the bedrooms at Barsham Barns, where the retreat is held
The £2,500 retreat takes place at Barsham Barns, a luxury private home on the Norfolk coast running from Friday to Monday with a maximum of eight women. Pictured, the home’s bright and airy dining room
Barsham Barns Holiday Cottage (pictured) is a stunning barn conversion located in North Barsham situated close to the beautiful Norfolk coast
The retreat was founded last year by counselling psychologist and lecturer Alice Haddon (left), from London and her all-female team includes Ruth Field (right), an international bestselling writer and criminal barrister known as The Grit Doctor
‘Three days is a great opportunity to make huge and lasting shifts in perspective that will facilitate your ongoing healing process’, she said.
‘Heartbreak and suffering are a fundamental part of being human. At the Heartbreak Hotel, we’ve created a context in which to live and love while embracing this essential truth.
‘We can’t take away the fact of it, nor the pain of it, but we can turbo charge recovery so that our guests leave feeling hopeful, strong and free.’
Alice leads an all-female team with her right-hand woman Ruth Field, an international bestselling writer and criminal barrister known as The Grit Doctor who helps women overcome trauma through resilience.
Guests are welcomed to ‘long views, warm fires and a sensational seasonal menu designed to inspire and nourish your broken heart’. Pictured, one of the private home’s living room boasting stunning views of the Norfolk coastline
A typical day at the hotel sees guests enjoy a healthy seasonal breakfast followed by meditation and group therapy. Guests can bond in the hotel’s luxurious living room (pictured)
Key lessons at the retreat include learning your love language and attachment style, how to transform your infidelity anger into agency, how to release your ‘relationship narrative’ and your ‘core love needs’.
Guests will heal trauma from betrayal by harnessing ‘the plasticity of your neural pathways’ while also learning how to spot and avoid ‘narcissists’ in the future.
A typical day at the hotel sees guests enjoy a healthy seasonal breakfast followed by meditation, group therapy, a ramble on the beach and ‘delicious heart healing snacks’.
Guests will then take part in Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing – a form of evidence-based therapy to help overcome trauma – before enjoying mocktails and dinner.
‘At The Heartbreak Hotel we understand that where there is heartbreak there is trauma’, said Alice. ‘This therapy helps our guests to gently but powerfully leave the shock behind and generate the space for forward looking energy.
‘Guests can expect long deep sleeps unencumbered by technology or distractions, emancipated from their caretaking roles altogether so they can immerse themselves fully in the experience.’
Guests can expect long deep sleeps unencumbered by technology or distractions in one of the Norfolk homes luxurious ensuite bedrooms (pictured)
As part of the therapy provided on the luxury three-day retreat guests will be led through a walk on the beach
London-based psychologist Alice founded the hotel last year after hearing a radio programme where a woman opened up about her devastation after being betrayed by a partner.
‘I was struck by the lack of tailored support for heartbroken women’, said Alice.
She had already taken time away from her busy psychology practice to grieve the heartbreaking death of her mother and had began considering the effectiveness of how therapy is delivered.
After hearing the programme, Alice saw clearly what was needed in the context of her own heartbreak – ‘time, space, a blanket and hot water bottle, nourishing food, loving care’.
The seasoned psychologist, who has twenty five years experience under her belt, approached one of her oldest friends, Ruth, with the idea of forming an all-female care team.
The Heartbreak Hotel’s first ever retreat in November was a sell-out success and Alice says the upcoming sessions are already in high demand.
A typical day at the hotel sees guests enjoy a healthy seasonal breakfast followed by ‘delicious heart healing snacks’ and a nutritious dinner
Alcohol isn’t allowed on the retreat, but the hotel provides a range of delicious mocktails to enjoy with dinner
Alice says that the intense therapy retreat has ‘a much deeper impact’ on guests because the constant care provided by the team means there are no ‘distractions, demands or even choices to make’.
‘Guests are helped to overcome their heartbreak through the unique programme of therapy we have designed’, she said. ‘It takes what’s most effective in psychotherapeutic techniques and delivers them inside a reimagined therapeutic context that uses the lens of shared experience to magnify and accelerate the healing process.
‘The traditional therapeutic space and relationship have been completely reimagined, with intensive compassionate care at the forefront.’
Guests can also resolve past trauma at the retreat with Alice revealing one guest at the retreat was happily married but had suffered a traumatic betrayal a long time ago which was casting a long shadow over her relationship.
Sharing the key lessons the hotel tries to impart on visitors, Alice added: ‘Our heartbreak connects us to the very essence of our humanity; it is the birthplace of a daring creativity and radical new way of being when we have the courage to shine a light on our heartbreaking loss.
‘That if you are willing to sit with your pain and be vulnerable, you’ll ultimately find within yourself a more empowering context from which to live, and love. The Heartbreak Hotel lights the way for guests to rediscover their most authentic selves.’