Getting over a breakup can be one of the most difficult challenges we face in life alongside grieving the loss of a loved one. The reason is because it actually is very similar to the grieving process. In fact, in most cases, it is the same. Emotions like sadness, loneliness, anger, depression, hopeless are regular players in the process of getting over a breakup.

Trying to get over a breakup can feel like you got sucker punched in the gut and affect all aspects of life. More often than not, most people feel like nobody can possibly understand what they’re going through and it feels never-ending.

The reality is no one can really understand because, just like grieving the loss of someone, it’s uniquely personal. But the good news there are things you can do to help. 


getting over a breakup

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Ignore the urge to isolate when getting over a breakup. Spending time with friends and making new ones is critical.


1. Say Yes To Every Social Invite


Even if you’re a hardcore introvert like me, being around supportive friends and creating new memories is good for the soul when getting over a breakup.


2. Exercise

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Get off your ass and break a sweat. It’s food for the soul and your confidence.


Sometimes the best thing we can do when feeling the anguish of getting over a breakup is to push our physical limits and break a sweat. If at all possible, do it in the sunshine and fresh air to make it more effective.


3. Get the hell off Social Media


Personally, I think this is just a good idea in general. But when you’re getting over a breakup, seeing pictures of your ex at the bar isn’t going to do you any favors. 


4. Refocus on your Career

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Take charge of what you CAN control – your career or your business.


Whether it’s building that consulting gig you’ve been planning or working toward that next promotion, evaluate and execute the next steps.


5. Reconnect With Old Friends


Maybe your ex wasn’t a big fan of some of your friends. Or maybe you simply lost touch with some because you were too busy spending time in an unhealthy relationship. Either way, there is no better time to reconnect with old friends or build new friendships than right now.


6. Talk to someone


Whether it’s a trusted friend who can listen without judgment and provide objective, thoughtful feedback or a professional such as a therapist or life coach, having someone to talk to is critical.


7. explore new places

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Exploring new places, faces, foods, and more is helpful when getting over a breakup.


Get into a different headspace and give yourself the opportunity to create new memories by exploring new places. These could be restaurants, parks, hiking trails, countries or continents. Just give your eyes something new to view!


8. stop obsessing over what went wrong

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Focusing on the past, not the present promotes feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.


Easier said than done of course, but probably the most important aspect of getting over a breakup. Focusing on the reality of the present and working toward acceptance is much better the obsessing over the past – which you have no control over and can’t change. 


9. Make a new playlist


On one of the most painful days of my life, I wanted to listen to music but was fearful of attaching the memory to the music. I turned on Pandora and searched for something different – Miles Davis type jazz. I’ve been listening ever since and it helped tremendously – and strangely, there are no negative associations.


10. Return to the things you love doing, but they didn’t


Maybe you love Chinese food and she didn’t. Go hit your old favorite spot. Maybe you used to hike every weekend and she was a treadmill junkie. Go hit the trails.


11. Lose yourself in a good book

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Not a reader? There are hundreds of podcasts worth exploring to get lost in.


Whether it’s revisiting an old favorite or finally tackling that growing list of books you’ve been meaning to read, find a comfortable spot and get lost in a good book. Not a reader? Start exploring podcasts. 


There’s no denying that getting over a breakup is painful – especially if it’s the first time. Doing it alone and without support is not the right way. If you’re short on helpful friends, find an awesome therapist or life coach you like and trust to help you get your head back in the game so you can move forward.


James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists reduce stress, increase fulfillment and enhance performance so they can move From Surviving To Thriving.