Research Says: Love Hurts, Literally

A recent article from the Association for Psychological Science claimed that social pain is very similar to physical pain. Stated differently: when love hurts, it can hurt literally. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that the same brain regions (the anterior cingulate cortex signaling distress; the somatosensory cortex and dorsal posterior insula, which are sensory regions) light up when people experience either physical or emotional pain. Follow-up studies revealed that Tylenol not only treats physical pain but can also alleviate hurt feelings. Likewise, support groups can relieve physical pain.

Does this mean that the next time we go through heartache, we can just pop in a Tylenol?! Please, voice your reactions and comments below.


One comment

  1. We have heard anecdotes of couples who can’t physically survive without one another. In early 2012, Marjorie and James Landis of Pennsylvania, who’d been married for 65 years, died just 88 minutes apart. This gives me a new perspective for “I can’t live without you” – lyrics I always mock. Maybe passionate love indeed has a root in science after all.


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