How to Get Over a Breakup: 14 Tips Everyone Needs to Hear

Whatever ‘side’ of it you’re on, break-ups suck. It’s a uniquely agonising pain and most of us are familiar with the feelings of isolation, confusion, rejection, doubt, and longing that come with it.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic pill to get over someone. But there are things you can do (and not do) to speed up the healing process, give you perspective, and start seeing the joy again.

Broken heart shape biscuit on red background

How to get over a break up: 14 tips to make moving on a whole lot easier

1. Don’t be hard on yourself

Don’t underestimate the pain of going through a breakup. Regardless of the relationship length, when it ends, what you’re grieving is a huge loss, and it will take some time before you’re okay again.

How to get over a breakup? Don't beat yourself up if you’re crying on the subway, moaning to your friends, or finding it hard to get out of bed. Let yourself feel it, take some time off, and seek support.

The difficulty of a break-up is something everyone can empathise with. No one expects you to just get back on your feet. Erratic behaviour is welcomed.

2. Set aside time to feel your feelings

How to get over heartbreak? It can be tempting to endlessly distract yourself and hide away from the pain, but this won’t help in the long term. Crying and feeling all those horrible feelings is an important part of processing what you’re going through and moving on.

You might find it useful to set aside a time, like 15 mins in the shower in the morning, to picture their face, listen to a sad song, have a big weep and then get on with your day.

Woman arranging hair in mirror at home

3. Cleanse your space

Even if it’s only temporary (because you might want these things in the future), put everything that belongs to or reminds you of your ex in a box and put it far out of sight.

This will speed up the healing process and you can slowly get used to your apartment or bedroom without them in it, and not have daily, unnecessary reminders.

How to get over heartbreak? Try cleaning, rearranging or rejuvenating your bedroom. Not only is it good to have a project, but it will also help you create new memories and not associate your space with your ex.

4. Go cold turkey

While it can be painfully tempting to message, stay in contact or even sleep with your ex, this only prolongs the pain. The most effective way to truly move on is to cut contact for at least a few months.

Staying in contact in whatever way will cause you to keep obsessing, waiting for their next text, and wondering what they’re up to, essentially not letting you move on from the relationship or your feelings of closeness with them.

How to get over a breakup? Don’t be afraid to unfriend, unfollow, or block. Social media stalking to wonder what they’re up to will only make you feel terrible. Trust us.

Group of male friends doing thumbs up

5. Rant to your friends

Utilise your support network. That’s what friends are for!

Talking about how you’re feeling and what went wrong over a glass of wine is a useful way to figure out how you feel, know that you’re not the first person to feel this pain, and help you realise that even though you’re not in a relationship, you’re far from alone.

6. Find music, movies, and podcasts that heal

How to get over heartbreak when the world feels like it’s falling apart? Even when you feel like the lowest of the low, there’s always something that can pull you out of it with humour or emotion or connection, even if it's just for a moment.

Whether it’s a Spotify breakup playlist, an empowering breakup movie or a breakup-centred podcast or book, you’d be surprised by how much these things can change your mood and perspective.

Close up of couple's feet separated in bed

7. Make a list of all the things that were bad in the relationship

Heartbreak can make you look back at memories with rose-tinted glasses that can make your loss feel even bigger and moving on even harder.

Even if you’re still desperate to get back to that seemingly happier time, there will have been negatives, too.

Make a list of things you genuinely didn’t like about your ex, ways you were incompatible, and times when they or the relationship made you feel stressed, sad, or anxious, and re-read or add to this when you’re feeling low.

It will give you a much-needed dose of reality because if you were truly meant to be together, you would be.

8. Write a letter - but don’t send it

Writing is a really great way to process and get feelings off your chest. Write a letter that says everything inside you - how much you miss them, how much you hate them, whatever! It will help you face your feelings and achieve closure on your own.

To emphasise: don’t send it.

Woman exercising by lake in sun

9. Take proper care of yourself

Yes, drinking all night and sleeping all day can be tempting (and to an extent, cleansing), but falling into these bad patterns will make each day harder.

Start a new hobby, get outside, try to eat well and not drink too much. If you can, try to stick to a routine that gets you back into real life - work, friends, exercise.

This will give you mental clarity to look positively into the future and enhance positive feelings about yourself. You’ll slowly start to learn and feel that you can continue life without that one person.

10. Get a friend to delete or move triggering pictures to a secure folder

After a break-up even your mobile phone can become a huge trigger and place full of memories. How to get over a breakup in a practical way? Ask a friend to sit with you while you move all photos and videos of your ex to a secure folder - or the trash.

If it’s too hard for you to do, hold your friend’s hand while they do it for you.

Close up woman smiling getting haircut

11. Alter your look

How to get over someone? Take this time to do something you’ve always wanted to do, like try a new haircut, get a piercing, or buy an outfit or lingerie set that makes you feel good.

These are fun distractions, but they also help return feelings of independence and empowerment.

12. Avoid jumping into something new straight away

It can be tempting to fill the emotional and intimate gap left by your partner by immediately jumping into something new. But this isn't a good idea because it tends to suppress instead of process your sad emotions, leaving you feeling worse later on.&

Plus, something you jump into while heartbroken isn’t likely to last because you're not emotionally detached from your previous relationship.

13. Get out of town

A change of scenery does wonders for a broken heart, especially if your ex lives in your area (or apartment) or has the same social circles.

Going away for the weekend with a couple of close friends is an amazing distraction from the pain, and also offers some much-needed perspective: there’s so much more out there in the world!

14. Repeat the mantra: Time heals!

Even when you feel like you’ve broken into a million pieces and can’t see any joy, the truth is that joy is coming, and these sad feelings don't last forever.

One day soon, you’ll realise you haven’t cried for a whole day, then for a whole week, and without even realising it you’ll be smiling again. When everything feels hopeless, remember this: time really does heal.

And if you need a reminder about just how great single life can be? Here are 11 surprising benefits of being single, but believe us, there are many, many more. And they’re right around the corner.