We had the good fortune of connecting with Naz Perez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Naz, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Heart Broken Anonymous is a free, anonymous, support group for people experiencing heartbreak. I started it 4 years ago after I met a stranger who went through a bad break-up and felt more comfortable telling me about her heart break than her own friends and family. Shortly after that I went through a bad break up of my own and realized it was debilitating. I was having nightmares, couldn’t sleep, experienced loss of appetite, and fell into an acute depression. I felt like even when I spoke to my friends or family, it wasn’t making me feel any better, because none of them were experiencing the same emotions I was. So, I created a non-judgment free space – Heart Broken Anonymous – where strangers from all around the world, experiencing heartbreak could come together to share stories of heartbreak, and know they’re not alone. We are currently facing an epidemic no one really talks about, and that’s loneliness. An epidemic that’s gotten worse because of isolation. Heart Broken Anonymous is for people experiencing all types of heartbreak, (I define heartbreak as overwhelming distress) and it helps the community and the world by bringing strangers together. At the end of the day, no one can really cure heartbreak, nor do I believe it ever really goes away. However, there have been studies made that have proven that being in the company of someone who is experiencing the same thing you are, makes you feel better. There have been other studies made that connecting with a stranger can boost your happiness. The sad cycle of loneliness is that there’s a lot of shame surrounding it. When we feel lonely, we often times think we’re the only ones that feels that way, and that shame can sometimes lead people to not reach out and seek human connection which is actually the one antidote to loneliness. There was a study done on the Chicago public transportation system. Most people felt that sitting alone on the train for their daily commute would bring them more peace and they’d be happier. But it turns out the people who sat next to a stranger on their commute and made a genuine connection reported actually feeling happier. We as humans need human connection in order to survive. We didn’t evolve and advance as a species because of our speed or strength. We advanced because of our ability to connect. To exchange ideas, to collaborate, to plan together. So because of all these reasons, I believe Heart Broken Anonymous is just a small fight against the epidemic of loneliness and is helping our community and the world. At the end of the day, we’re more willing to tell strangers how we really feel as opposed to our own friends and family. I believe by bringing strangers together, sharing stories of heartbreak, and reminding each other that we’re not alone, we can all help each other ease the pain of heartbreak & loneliness. Something almost all of us, are feeling.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In addition to being the Founder of Heart Broken Anonymous, I am a TV producer, host, & podcaster as well. I am a former producer of E!’s True Hollywood Story series, and their Live From The Red Carpet televised events. I am also a former producer of ABC’s The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, & Bachelor in Paradise. I left producing to pursue a career on-camera and i’m now a host for Rotten Tomatoes, Fandango, The Los Angeles Dodgers, and the I Don’t Get It Podcast. What am I most proud of, is that no matter how many people tried to put me in a box, I have chosen, and successfully remained multi-dimensional. I believe we are all complex, and when you work in media/communications/entertainment, it’s easy to get lost in being one-dimensional, in showing the world just one small part of you. It’s far too easy to become “the influencer” or “the baseball expert” or the entertainment correspondent. The biggest lesson i’ve learned, and i’m still striving to learn is to be myself and find MY voice. It’s way easier said than done, especially when the world wants you to be just like everyone else. I’m starting to find “being Naz” IS my superpower. Hopefully that inspires someone to do the same!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I love Los Angeles so much. I can’t get enough of Jon & Vinny’s spicy fusilli, or all the smash burgers popping up around town like Burgers Never Say Die on the east side. Best slice of pizza is on Larchmont at Village pizza. One of my favorite sushi spots is at Izakaya on 3rd street. Sandwiches would go to Oaks Gourmet in Los Feliz. My go-to breakfast is the fish plate at Gjleina in Venice. I think i’ve covered all the major food groups, So that’s where i’d take a friend to go eat. For drinks, I fancy the Tower bar or The Terrace at the Sunset Tower Hotel. It’s private (no photos allowed), has live jazz music, and is one of the very few places in LA that still posses that old hollywood magic. For a hangout, I would shop down Abbot Kinney, picnic at Griffith or Pan Pacific Park, and then watch the sunset at the end of the Santa Monica Pier. There’s a man who plays Louis Armstrong’s “What a wonderful world” as the sun goes down and you just can’t beat a sunset there during summer with an ice cream cone in hand. Of course a game at Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine is also a must-see.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Heart Broken Anonymous would not have been possible without all the strangers who are brave and vulnerable enough to come and share their stories or just listen every week. I’d also like to thank my psychotherapist, Dr, Mike Dow who got me through my break-up, Hyperslow Yoga studio for allowing us to meet there, my neighbor Dana Zeve who inspired this idea, and of course the man that broke my heart in 2017.
Instagram: @nazperez, @heartbroken_anonymous
Cedrick Jones for the Nintendo photo.