Can heartbreak actually damage your heart? The cardiologist Justin Ezekowitz of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute in Edmonton, Canada has found that grief can trigger a rare condition called transient apical ballooning syndrome - in layman's terms, a broken heart. The heart doesn't break, but it does weaken and beat abnormally. It even visibly changes shape and looks like a deflated balloon, or a teardrop. "Extreme emotional trauma can hammer the heart with a surge of adrenaline," Dr. Ezekowitz says. Thankfully, most of the time, the damage isn't permanent. Most of the broken - hearted mend within a few weeks.