Healing Girl Summer

We’re totally here for Healing Girl Summer – the TikTok trend that’s all about falling back in love with yourself

With summer well and truly here, it looks like many women are opting for a less party-focused, more introspective Healing Girl approach. 

As well as being the one (small) part of the year where we can all don our dresses, shorts and laze about with tinnies in the park, summer is also the period of time where we’re supposed to feel our very best. Look anywhere on social media and mention of summer is quickly followed by hashtags of Hot Girl Summer, #livingmybestlife and picturesque snaps of sunlit beaches, couples holidays and endless Insta pics of cocktails

I myself love nothing more than booking in back-to-back plans with friends new and old, spending weekends bouncing from rooftop to bar, back to laze in a park and plotting what place on my travel bucket list I could possibly venture to next. But I know that’s not the case for many of us. 

Call it the season – or perhaps it’s something written in the stars – but it seems as though many are going through turmoil when it comes to dating and relationships at the moment.

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From heartbreak, break ups to unexpected bumps in the road, many of us can attest to relationships fizzling out or newfound romances not even getting off the ground – all while we’re supposed to be having this big fun-loving summer.  

When there’s so much pressure to experience summer in this kind of way, what space does that leave for those of us unable to navigate daily tasks, left distracted and feeling numb after heartache? Even more so, when Hot Girl Summer (and the newer Feral Girl Summer) are all about living your best single life – what happens when you just want to hang up your dating shoes for a while?

Well, like a shining light, that’s where Healing Girl Summer comes in. The social media hashtag isn’t a new one but as of late, if you scroll anywhere on TikTok, you’ll likely be met with endless new videos about how to nail healing during the next few months, what your daily routine could look like and everything in between. 

What is Healing Girl Summer? 

In short, it’s the kind of trend that puts you front and centre. It’s the period of time to work on yourself with minimal distractions – and for most of us, those ‘distractions’ can usually revolve around dating.

Healingtok’ is a complete side to TikTok but in this case, the trend takes actionable tips about how to heal from relationship breakups and applies them to a smaller amount of time, i.e summer.

There’s no one set rule of how to nail having a healed summer but according to many videos, it’s best to think about it in terms of your inner teen self. What would they have enjoyed doing during the hotter months? 

However small – it can be as simple as having sleepovers with friends, laughing till it hurts or sitting outdoors – it’s all part of the process of taking time to yourself and falling back in love with yourself, just minus the person or relationship that has dominated recent months. It’s also about seeing that your summer time doesn’t always have to be preoccupied with parties, drinking and dancing. 

Dr Tara Quinn-Cirillo, an expert psychologist specialising in mental health and human behaviour, says that summer is an ideal time for this. “There’s something about summer specifically. The light levels, the good mood, doing engaging activities outdoors, connecting with nature – they are all evidence based for enhancing wellbeing.”

But Healing Girl Summer doesn’t need to be done completely alone. In fact, checking back into friendships could be the best thing you could do. As Dr Quinn-Cirillo says: “Connect with people you value and enjoy the outdoors.”

Think of it as the more tame, introspective and self-fulfilling antidote to Hot Girl Summer, no less fun but with a lot more of a focus on the quality of your own individual life. 

How to embrace a Healing Girl Summer 

While, on the face of it, this trend may include many similar points to being “that girl”, it actually has more of an emphasis on doing things for the sake of yourself, rather than just their aesthetic.

So, drinking caffeine-free beverages not because they look pretty but because they may help with any rising anxiety. The pressures of being “that girl” are replaced by a more understanding, slower pace of life – one where each of us can sit and fill our time with hobbies you may have neglected, journaling at a time and pace you want and allowing yourself the time to feel the variety of emotions you may be wrapped up in but working towards letting go of the things that no longer serve you.

Most importantly, though, Healing Girl Summer is about easing any pain, negative emotion and upset with whatever makes you happiest. Many on TikTok take that to mean a variety of different things: listening to 70s music, reading uninterrupted for most of the day, meeting up with friends, taking yourself on solo dates, moving your body, trying new activities and making time to think about your own life, goals, interests. 

This could mean going to therapy, practising manifestation, meditating, looking at other career prospects, making vision boards or simply, letting go of imposter syndrome – if you have it – in your current job role and doing a stellar job. 

Dr Quinn-Cirillo says that “many of us can find ourselves apportioning blame after a negative event such as a breakup, so practicing self-compassion is good.

“Self care and self-love can be good for self-esteem and longer term, for your self-judgement and blame or criticism may reduce. Time for reflection can be beneficial also. For example, what worked and didn’t work in the relationship? Did how you were treated and how you behaved align with your values?”

But it’s important to not bog yourself down with endless “what ifs” and other secondary questions. Dr Quinn-Cirillo highlights that there’s “a difference between reflection for purposes of self-development and procrastination, where we may find ourselves ‘stuck’ and playing out elements of the relationship over and over with no endpoint.” 

Important reminders for Healing Girl Summer 

While some TikTok users have been happy to show the not-so-nice side of healing from heartbreak, other videos will have you believing that your days will be filled with walks, dancing and reading with not a single tear in sight.

Let’s face it, getting over heartache isn’t pretty nor is it nice so there are some important things to remember when embarking on your Healing Girl Summer journey.

Dr Quinn-Cirillo says that although this trend is labelled as a summer one, we should remember to “avoid putting a timescale on healing”. 

She says: “Instead, focus on what self-focus and care will look like and how will you achieve this. What was missing in your ‘me’ time before the breakup, what values and enjoyable activities have you not made time for?”

Taking what you may learn in the summer months forward is vital, as is engaging in valued activities “for you”, Dr Quinn-Cirillo states. “Targeted time out is extremely valuable for reset and overwhelm – which is different from just self-care, socialising or conversing with others. This is small set amounts of time for just you,” she explains. These smaller slices of time can involve a book, TV program, painting your nails but are crucial for navigating life post-heartache. 

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