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What is a broken soul?

A broken soul is a concept that describes the profound emotional and spiritual pain that can occur when someone experiences traumatic events or ongoing life challenges. The term refers to a deep feeling that something vital has been damaged or lost within a person’s inner self or psyche.

What causes a broken soul?

There are many potential causes of a broken soul, including:

  • Trauma from abuse, violence, war, disaster, accident, injury, etc.
  • Extreme or prolonged grief and loss
  • Severe depression, anxiety, PTSD, or other mental health disorders
  • Chronic physical illness or disability
  • Addiction and substance abuse
  • Toxic relationships or social environments
  • Ongoing stress, overwork, exhaustion
  • Spiritual crisis or loss of meaning/purpose
  • Low self-worth, self-hatred, or self-neglect

When someone experiences one or more of these challenges over time, it can overwhelm their natural coping abilities and inner resilience. This accumulation of pain and adversity can leave a person feeling like something precious inside them is fractured or destroyed.

What are the symptoms of a broken soul?

There are many possible signs and symptoms of a broken soul, which may include:

  • Feeling empty, numb, or dead inside
  • Loss of interest and joy in life
  • Ongoing sadness, grief, or depression
  • Feelings of despair, anguish, or hopelessness
  • Profound exhaustion, fatigue, and lack of energy
  • Withdrawing from others and isolation
  • Feeling lost, confused, or aimless
  • Loss of self-esteem and self-worth
  • Cynicism, bitterness, or anger
  • Loss of meaning, purpose, or faith
  • Self-destructive thoughts or behaviors
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

These emotional, psychological, and behavioral symptoms reflect the deep internal wounds that characterize a broken soul. The person feels like a vital part of themselves has been fractured. They may describe feeling “dead,” “shattered,” “ruined,” or “destroyed” inside.

Can a broken soul heal and be restored?

Fortunately, with the right help and support, healing and recovery are possible for a broken soul. However, it requires time, courage, and active steps to achieve renewal:

  • Professional treatment – Counseling, therapy, medication, support groups, and other clinical treatments can all be very beneficial.
  • Self-care – Nurturing one’s body, mind, and spirit through rest, healthy habits, relaxation, nature, meditation, etc.
  • Finding meaning – Exploring sources of purpose, faith, creativity, growth, community, and service to others.
  • Human connection – Building healthy relationships and social support to end isolation.
  • Developing inner strength – Practicing resilience, self-compassion, optimism, adaptability.
  • Letting go – Releasing resentment and pain through forgiveness, acceptance, and staying present.

By drawing on these different resources and strategies over time, most people can experience significant healing and reclaim meaning, purpose, and wholeness in their lives again after struggling with a broken soul.

Who is at risk for developing a broken soul?

While anyone can experience the wounds of a broken soul under difficult life circumstances, certain groups seem more vulnerable. Those at higher risk include:

  • People with mental health conditions like depression, PTSD, or borderline personality disorder
  • Those exposed to traumatic events like abuse, disaster, war, assault, accidents
  • Individuals suffering from grief, loss, unemployment, relationship turmoil, spiritual crisis
  • People unable to escape toxic environments and relationships
  • Those experiencing chronic stress, overwork, exhaustion, lack of self-care
  • Anyone struggling with low self-worth, insecurity, lack of support and nurturing
  • People with chronic illness, disability, or addiction issues
  • Minorities facing discrimination, racism, bias, and hostility

Being aware of these risk factors can help identify who may be more vulnerable to developing inner wounds and a broken soul. Offering support early is key.

What are examples of a broken soul?

Some examples of what a broken soul can look like include:

  • A woman who was sexually abused as a child experiences ongoing depression, PTSD, emptiness, despair, and suicidality.
  • A man who lost his wife and child in a car accident isolates himself, quits his job, abuses alcohol, and expresses death wishes.
  • A teenager who experienced chronic bullying and criticism at home and school begins self-harming and repeatedly attempts suicide.
  • A nurse who worked long hours caring for COVID patients feels traumatized, exhausted, and has lost her sense of hope, meaning, and connection to others.
  • A person who grew up with emotionally unavailable, addicted parents feels worthless and damaged and repetitively seeks toxic romantic partners.

In each case, ongoing trauma, loss, and adversities have overwhelmed the individual’s ability to cope, leading to a profound sense of brokenness. With compassion, support, and treatment, their journey back to wholeness can begin.

What are 3 key steps for healing a broken soul?

  1. Seek professional help from counselors, therapists, doctors, support groups, or other clinical resources. You don’t have to walk the journey alone.
  2. Practice regular self-care through healthy habits like proper rest, nutrition, exercise, nature, and relaxing practices like yoga or meditation. Nurture your body and mind.
  3. Find sources of meaning, purpose, creativity, and service to others. Discover what brings you joy and share your gifts with the world around you.

How long does it take to heal a broken soul?

There is no set timeframe for healing a broken soul, as the severity of the wounds and complexity of the journey is unique for each individual. However, many people find that with consistent effort, they begin experiencing gradual improvement over a period of:

  • 1-2 years for milder cases
  • 3-5+ years for moderate cases
  • 5-10+ years for more severe cases

Having patience, persistence, compassion for oneself, and the right support can help facilitate the healing process over time. Small steps forward each day, week, and month can add up on the road back to wholeness.

What are 5 inspiring quotes about healing a broken soul?

“Wounds heal, but the scars remain.” – Rose Kennedy

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” – Rumi

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou

“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.” – Gerard Way

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller

These uplifting quotes remind us that with courage, resilience, and self-compassion, we can heal our inner wounds and reclaim our wholeness.


A broken soul refers to profound emotional and spiritual wounds that can occur after traumatic life events or ongoing adversity. The deep pain and darkness of a broken soul is real and deserves compassion. However, no matter how devastated and hopeless a person may feel, healing and renewal are possible. By seeking professional help, nurturing oneself, finding sources of meaning and purpose, connecting to others, developing inner strength, and letting go, most people can embark on the journey back to wholeness. With time, determination, support, and caring for one’s unique process, a broken soul can mend.