How to Recover from a Breakup: A (Totally) Sincere Guide

How to Recover from a Breakup

Breakups. We’ve all been there, right? It’s like getting an unplanned haircut. At first, it looks disastrous, but then, after a while, you start to think, “Hey, this could work!” And just like the stages of mourning that questionable hair choice, breakups have their own stages. So, let’s get on with it and heal those heart-wounds in the most fabulously sarcastic way possible.

The “Fabulous” Stages of Grief:

Before we dive headfirst into the guide on how to recover from a breakup, let’s have a quick heart-to-heart. Breakups, no matter how much humor we coat them in, are tough. You’re not just losing a partner; you’re losing a part of your daily routine, a chunk of shared memories, and that special person you sent all the funny cat videos to.

Understanding the stages of grief can help you navigate this emotional minefield a bit better. And guess what? There are five of these delightful stages:

  1. Denial: Nope, no way, not happening. This is the “they’ll definitely text tomorrow” phase.
  2. Anger: Why did they do this? How could they prefer watching Star Wars over Star Trek?!
  3. Bargaining: Maybe if you’d watched just one more of their favorite shows or tried that weird kale diet with them…
  4. Depression: Queuing the sad ballads and midnight ice cream binge.
  5. Acceptance: Okay, so maybe life without them isn’t the end of the world.

These stages aren’t linear; they’re more like a game of emotional pinball. You might jump from anger to acceptance and back to denial before breakfast. And that’s okay. Remember, every individual’s journey through heartbreak is unique. Some might linger in a stage longer than others. Some might skip a stage or two altogether. And some might just want to wallow with Ben & Jerry’s flavors for an indefinite period.

Alright, now that we’ve covered the more “serious” part, let’s get into the juicy steps to recovery.

Steps to Recover from a Breakup

1. The “Chocolate & Ice Cream” Therapy

Because, clearly, the best way to mend a broken heart is to put on a few pounds. Ice cream is like the band-aid of the soul. Forget about that ‘summer body’ for a bit. Your taste buds need a reason to celebrate. Mint chocolate chip, caramel swirl, triple-fudge… Go wild! But in all seriousness, it’s okay to indulge once in a while. Just remember, it’s a momentary comfort, not a long-term solution.

2. Unleash the Playlist of Despair

Craft the perfect ‘Breakup Playlist’ filled with Adele, Taylor Swift, and some good old Alanis Morissette. Belt out those tunes like you’re the star of a tragic musical. But here’s the twist: for every sad song, add an empowering one. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself belting out anthems of independence and realizing that maybe that relationship was just a one-hit-wonder.

3. Reclaim Your Space (with Glitter if Necessary)

Remember that annoying neon sign they loved, or the teddy bear that was WAY too big for the bed? Time for them to go. Rearrange your space. Throw out (or donate) anything that doesn’t serve you. Then sprinkle a little bit of glitter everywhere because… why not? Your living space should be the reflection of the new, sparkling you.

4. Friends: The Actual Soul Food

Rely on your friends. They were there before the ‘Significant-Other-Tornado’ hit, and they’ll be there after. Talk, vent, or just have a movie marathon. There’s nothing like a good ol’ session of mocking rom-coms to remind you that those scenarios are… well, let’s be honest, highly unrealistic. Surround yourself with those who uplift you. In reality, their support and understanding are invaluable during tough times.

5. The Social Media Purge

Yes, we all have that temptation to stalk. But do yourself a favor and avoid the ‘online rabbit hole’. You might start on their profile, but three hours later, you’ll find yourself analyzing the life choices of their second cousin’s girlfriend’s cat. Do a detox. Unfriend, unfollow, or at least mute them. Your mental well-being will thank you.

6. Embrace the Single Life

Aha! The perks of singlehood. Hog the entire bed, eat garlic-loaded food without worrying about your breath, and watch whatever YOU want on TV. Sure, there’s no one to steal the covers from, but there’s also no one to argue with over which Netflix show to binge next. Enjoy this time to re-discover yourself and all the little things that make you, well, YOU.

7. The “New Look” Phenomenon

If superheroes get a costume change after every major life event, why shouldn’t you? Consider a wardrobe makeover or even just a small change like a new hair color. Want to go pink or get that tattoo you’ve been thinking about for ages? Now’s the time! Disclaimer: While blue might be your emotional state, it’s not always the best hair color choice for everyone. But who am I to judge? Go wild!

8. Exercise (But Not the Boring Kind)

You’ve heard it a thousand times – exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel better. But who said it has to be the typical jog around the block? Join a circus training class, try underwater basket weaving, or just dance around your room in socks. Slide like Tom Cruise in Risky Business, if you must. The point is to move and shake off that emotional cobweb.

9. Flirt, But Don’t Rebound

It’s always a joy to rediscover that other people can, in fact, find you attractive. Flirt for fun, for the thrill, or just to remind yourself that you’ve still got it. However, jumping straight into another relationship might be like ordering the same dish that just gave you food poisoning. Take your time. Your heart isn’t a basketball; no need for an immediate rebound.

10. Develop Random Skills

Ever wanted to learn to play the ukulele? Or maybe become an expert at origami? Dive into some random hobby or skill. When the next person asks you, “What’s new?” you can nonchalantly reply, “Oh, just became a master in ancient Egyptian pottery.” Beat that, ex!

11. Travel, Even If It’s to the Next Town Over

New places, new faces. Traveling can provide a fresh perspective. If you can’t jet off to Bali or backpack through Europe, just take a weekend trip to a nearby town. Sometimes, changing your surroundings even for a little while can help reset your mind.

12. Embrace All the Feelings (Even the Ugly-Cry Ones)

Lastly, and most importantly, it’s okay to feel. Sadness, anger, regret, and the occasional “why-did-I-ever-date-them” feeling, are all natural. Processing your emotions is healthy. So, if you need to, grab that tub of ice cream (yes, we’re back to that) and cry while watching “The Notebook” for the umpteenth time.


Recovering from a breakup can feel like trying to assemble a puzzle in the dark. It’s confusing, sometimes feels pointless, and pieces just don’t seem to fit. But with time, patience, and a bit of humor, the picture will start to become clear again. Remember, every end is a new beginning, even if it starts with a giggle. So, put on those reinvention shoes and stride into your next chapter. The world isn’t ready for the post-breakup you!

Pro Tips for the Recently Un-Coupled:

  • Journaling: As much as your friends love you, they might not want to hear the 17 reasons you thought of at 3 AM about why the breakup happened. Instead, pour your heart out to paper. It’s therapeutic and ensures evidence of your midnight musings exists.
  • The Block Button is Your Friend: Honestly, it’s like the digital equivalent of a restraining order. Use it generously. It’s not about being petty; it’s about giving yourself the peace you deserve.
  • Self-care isn’t just bubble baths: Though, if you want to pretend you’re a mermaid for an hour, no judgment here. Remember to take care of your mental health too. Therapy, meditation, or simply talking it out can work wonders.
  • The “New Thing” Rule: For every old memory or place that stings, try something new. Old café you both loved? Find a new one. That park bench where you’d sit? Discover a new spot. Reclaim your space in the world.
  • Avoid the Ex-Comparison Game: Your next partner isn’t a replacement model or an upgraded version. Every person is unique. Avoid comparing them to your ex. It’s like comparing apples to spaceships.
  • Love Yourself, First: This isn’t just a fancy quote on a coffee mug. Believe that you deserve love, especially from yourself. Whether it’s through self-affirmations, pampering, or setting boundaries, make sure you’re your own number one fan.
  • Remember, Healing Isn’t Linear: Some days you’ll feel on top of the world. Others, you might want to hide under the covers. Both are okay. Your journey is your own, and there’s no stopwatch timing your healing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Surviving Breakups:

1. How long does the typical breakup recovery take?

Just like trying to determine how many licks it takes to get to the center of a lollipop, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Some bounce back in weeks, others take months or even years. Just remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint (unless you’re running from rebound relationships, then by all means, sprint!).

2. Is it okay to stay friends with my ex?

Depends. Can you handle seeing them eat spaghetti with someone else? Jokes aside, if both parties have moved on and there’s mutual respect, friendship is possible. But boundaries are crucial. Also, perhaps give it some cooldown time before jumping into BFF territory.

3. Why do breakups hurt so much?

Because humans, unfortunately, aren’t robots. Yet. Emotional connections can be as strong as physical ones, and when they’re severed, the brain actually experiences pain. Also, blame those pesky love chemicals and hormones.

4. Should I consider professional therapy or counseling?

Absolutely! If your heart was a bone, wouldn’t you see a doctor if it broke? Therapy offers tools and perspectives that friends, no matter how well-intentioned, might not be able to provide.

5. Can I make them get back with me?

Remember that one time you tried to force a puzzle piece into a spot it didn’t belong? Relationships are the same. Mutual feelings and respect are the foundation. Coercion isn’t love; it’s desperation.

6. Is it normal to feel relief after a breakup?

100%. Sometimes the end of a relationship is like taking off tight shoes after a long day. If you feel relief, it might’ve been a sign that the relationship wasn’t the right fit.

7. How do I handle mutual friends?

Awkwardly, most of the time. But in reality, communicate. Be mature, avoid making them pick sides, and maybe refrain from ranting about your ex during group hangouts.

8. When is it okay to start dating again?

When you can think about a new relationship without comparing it to your old one. When the idea of being with someone else excites you rather than just filling a void. And when you can pronounce “quinoa” correctly. (Okay, the last one isn’t essential, but it could help in modern dating).