Higgins, 29, and Bushnell, 27, announced their split on Monday, and in the first episode of his upcoming podcast with fellow Bachelor star Ashley Iaconetti, he admits that he's having a hard time moving on.
"It's hard to say goodbye to somebody that you spent so much time with, and it's hard to say goodbye to somebody that you really did believe was the one for you," Higgins says, via E! News, adding that the heartache is "still fresh."
Of course, he acknowledges that the breakup had been a "long time coming." Higgins reveals Bushnell moved out of their Denver, Colorado, home in late April, taking most of their furniture with her.
"I think, mutually, Lauren and I saw that life was getting more difficult," he shares. "I would say the joy that we felt toward our relationship at the beginning was -- for some reason -- slipping away, and we were both working very hard to bring that joy back. And it just never seemed to get there. So, it was a long time coming, but it wasn't necessarily like we dragged it out."
Still, Higgins has nothing but glowing things to say about his ex-fiancee.
"I am a better man today because of Lauren and because of our relationship than I was two years ago," he says.
The season 20 Bachelor star is also taking his experiences from his highly publicized relationship with Bushnell and applying it to his future dating life.
"Just to be as politically correct as possible and to also be as truthful as possible, Lauren will always be one of my best friends," Higgins says about what he's learned. "It's [a relationship] where I learned a lot about myself; I think she learned a lot about herself. Obviously, she knows me better than anybody else that has gone through this experience, and really probably anybody else in the world. It's tough."
"I am a little confused, a little lost, but I'm doing alright," he adds about his current state. "Life is going to be good and I know that from past experiences, any type of brokenness... Oftentimes those situations can be turned into a beautiful thing. I think that's what's going to happen here and that's what I'm confident in today."
Higgins and Iaconetti's new podcast, Ben and Ashley: "Almost Famous," debuts May 23 on the iHeartRadio app.
Iaconetti spoke to ET's Brice Sander about the podcast at the OK! Magazine Summer Kickoff party at the W Hollywood hotel on Wednesday.
"Ben Higgins and I have our own iHeartRadio podcast starting on Tuesday ... you will get a little insight [into the breakup] there," she said. "When something sad happens in the Bachelor family, it's kind of quiet. It's kind of silent. We don't really talk about it, because we kinda just love everyone, and we want to respect their privacy. And, we all know they're going through a hard time."