Recently it seems like everyone I know is going through a gut-wrenching, soul-crushing, devastating breakup. Hell, it’s not even people I know; it’s all the aspirational, celebrity couples I was living through vicariously and once looked to for romantic hope!
Over the years, while going through my own breakups (breakups I thought would kill me, breakups I thought I could NEVER get over), I put together a Breakup List. The list includes anything and everything to keep you distracted, inspired, and hopeful on the road to mending your broken heart.
And now, I want to make it available to you and anyone else who might need it. If there’s something I forgot to include — that you’ve seen, done, found, experienced that helped make you feel better during the aftermath of a brutal breakup — tell us. Let this be a communal space for anyone who’s healed or needs healing.
The Breakup List
•Know that time will lessen the pain and make everything better.
•Make numerous lists.
-What you want to do career-wise.
-Things you want to learn.
-Goals you want to accomplish.
-Places you want to travel to.
-What you want in an ideal FUTURE boyfriend.
-New potential crushes.
Daydreaming is fun and makes you get excited about what's to come.
•Remember, you never know what’s around the corner. That’s the most exciting thing about life.
•Even though it didn’t work out with this person, trust that something better, and more right for you is coming.
•Cry as much as you need to.
•Write in your journal EVERY DAY!
•Go on long walks around the city to clear your head, and people watch!
•Flirt with NEW people! How exciting!
•Remember the bad stuff (as opposed to romanticizing the good stuff) and know that this break up is for the best!
•Keep SUPER busy! Don’t give yourself too much idle time to dwell on the break-up!
•Hang out with your friends! Remember them?
-Start a book club.
-Find a recipe and learn how to cook.
-Go roller skating.
-Go to the beach.
-Go to the movies.
-Go to a spa and steam.
Anything that involves you and your friends doing fun stuff, learning, and spending time together.
•Take Epsom salt baths. Get Epsom salt at Duane Reade, CVS, wherever! It’s great for relieving stress and makes you feel uber pampered.
•Get a massage.
•Meditate (try the ten-day, free, Headspace app)
•Go to the park, and people watch or sit on the swings! It’s free and fun!
•Watch a ton of Movies/TV shows:
Comedies, romcoms, and/or any hopeful movie about resilient women...
Dazed And Confused
Fast Times At Ridgemont High
An Unmarried Woman
When Harry Met Sally
Eat, Pray, Love
Under The Tuscan Sun
The Devil Wears Prada
Pretty In Pink
You’ve Got Mail
Sleepless In Seattle
Good Will Hunting
Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Truth Or Dare (Madonna documentary)
Unzipped (Isaac Mizrahi, fashion designer, documentary)
Claire’s Knee — a film by my fave french filmmaker, Eric Rohmer
Someone To Love — a weird little film that’s a meditation on love by Henry Jaglom
-My So-Called Life (Wonderful TV show about the trials and tribulations of teenagers; young, hormonal, and in love — available on Hulu.)
-Beverly Hills, 90210 (the original, available on Hulu)
-Sex and the City (always the show, never the movie)
-Girls (However, I think Sex and the City’s cast is more likable, and the show is funnier, more upbeat, kinder, and more colorful.)
It’s always great to be able to slip into the world of a book to keep your mind off whoever you’re heartbroken over. I prefer audiobooks:
-Postcards From The Edge — Carrie Fisher
-Watch Me: A Memoir — Anjelica Huston (the majority of this book is about the turmoil and heartbreak she experienced while dating Jack Nicholson)
-Surrender The Pink — Carrie Fisher
-Catching The Big Fish — David Lynch
-The Four Agreements
-Your Voice In My Head: A Memoir — Emma Forrest (about a break-up! Full disclosure, between you and me, it’s about her romance with Colin Farrell, but his name is not mentioned in the book.)
-Shop Girl — Steve Martin
There’s always MY podcast Love, Alexi. Episodes that deal with break-up stuff and romantic concerns in general… well, could be any of them. Just find a guest who interests you and listen. I know my episodes with Noel Wells, Aya Cash, Molly McAleer, Karley Sciortino (aka ‘Slutever’ and author of Vogue’s Breathless column — which you should def check out), Sina Grace, Lucia Ribisi, Witchsy Girls, and Penelope Gazin are filled with fun girl talk about love, breakups, and emotional spirals.
Definitely lose yourself going down the many helpful wormholes here on Ravishly! I promise you, reading any number of pieces here will distract you and make you feel less alone. It’s like having a slumber party in the privacy of your own home. You can even reach out and find a big sister in Ask Erin, who gives the best advice! : )
Remember, you’re never alone. And YOU are ultimately in charge of how you feel. So again, cry as much as you need to, and then reroute what you put your attention on. I promise, the future is ripe with possibility, and someone or something that is more right for you is just around the corner, waiting to be found.
I hope any of this helps.