If you're joining in on Lonely Hearts Clubs this Valentine's Day, the physical feelings of a broken heart may be familiar.
"The idea that people experience pain after rejection may be more than just a metaphor," said Ethan Kross, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Michigan who has studied the merger of physical and psychological manifestations after such loss.
In his 2011 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Kross found that the areas of the brain that are activated when someone experiences physical pain are the same areas that are affected by emotional loss or heartbreak.
For the study, researchers recruited 40 people who had recently been dumped. (What a job to volunteer for!) Participants underwent MRI scans to measure their brain activity while being shown photos of their exes and while being prompted to remember specific experiences with them.