How to Cope With a Heartbreak

Three Parts:Accepting What Has HappenedTaking Care of YourselfMoving On

Nursing a broken heart is a harrowing endeavor. Once you can accept what happened, and prepare to take care of yourself and your emotions, you'll be able to move on and grow past it. One thing to keep in mind is that you will eventually feel like yourself.

Part 1
Accepting What Has Happened

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    Face your heartbreak head on. You've been hurt, and you feel sad. These are normal emotions, and you need to accept that they are happening. Don't lie to others, and yourself, by saying "I'm fine" when you are not. You may be able to push it down for a while, but something else will bring it up again, and you'll be worse off because you weren't honest with yourself.[1]
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    Remember that it is okay to feel sad. In fact, it’s okay to feel a whole range of emotions, including sadness, confusion, and anger. The key is not to let those feelings affect your whole life. Do not try to numb yourself to the pain or swear off relationships forever. These activities will only hurt you in the long run. Instead, give yourself time to feel the hurt.[2]
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    Cry. Crying is a good way to healthy way to express extreme feelings, so if you feel like crying, let it out. Find a place where you can be alone, or with a good friend, and let the tears flow. It'll be over more quickly than you think, and you'll feel a little better afterward getting those emotions out.[3]
    • There are some places where that is inappropriate, public settings like a store or in class, so you'll want to be able to control your tears in public. Breathe deeply (in through your nose and out through your mouth), and blink a few times to control the tears. You can try to distract yourself with some kind of physical movement like squeezing a stress ball. If a few tears do slip out, cover them with a yawn, or blame something like allergies or feeling sick.
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    Release your negative thoughts. Avoid letting negative thoughts control your worldview. These include filtering, that is looking at only the negative aspects of your situation, and personalizing, blaming yourself entirely for what happened. Keep an eye on yourself to see if you are looking at your situation this way, and from there look for ways to avoid those negative thoughts.[4]
    • An excellent way to expel negative energy is to meditate. Put yourself in a comfortable seated position in a comfortable place, usually alone and away from distractions like television or other stimulating things. Breath deeply, and let your mind go by focusing on another object, repeating a mantra, or visualizing a peaceful place.
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    Examine your relationship. Think about what went wrong, and why you two broke up. There is always a reason. Also think about what you liked in the relationship, and what things you would want to look for in a future partner. By working through these ideas, you can grow as a person, and find the right relationship later down the line.
    • You may reach a point where you and your ex are comfortable becoming friends, but don't think too much about that early on. You need to give yourself space after the breakup.[5]

Part 2
Taking Care of Yourself

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    Think positively about yourself. Think about your strengths and feel proud of them. Do things that make you feel good about yourself--take time to finish that painting you started or go on a run. Acknowledging that something bad happened to you, and realizing that you are strong enough to deal with it is a key part of getting over your heartbreak.
    • Make a list of your strengths. Remind yourself of your accomplishments, and the good qualities you have. The act of writing them out can remind you of them, or you can create a list and read it whenever you feel down.[6]
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    Talk to someone else. You are not alone in the world. Look for a trusted friend or advisor, or a close relative, and tell them how you feel. Sometimes just getting your feelings off your chest can help you work through them. Additionally, you never know what help other people can give, whether it's good advice, or just a shoulder to cry on.[7]
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    Exercise. Physical exercise causes your body to release serotonin (a chemical that makes us feel happy) and stimulates the growth of nerve cells. On an emotional level, exercising may help you to feel like you are becoming the master of yourself again. Plus, you'll look better too.[8]
    • You don't need a full workout. Something as simple as 10-15 minutes a day doing a simple exercise like jogging or yoga can be enough to get you a good frame of mind. Even work that doesn't feel like exercise, like weeding a garden, gets you up and moving. The most important thing is that you stay consistent in what you do.[9]
    • If you're feeling down, it can be hard to motivate yourself to exercise. Work around that by distracting yourself with something enjoyable. Maybe just walk through a mall or some other place you enjoy. You can also give yourself something to do only while exercising, like listening to certain music you enjoy, or watch your favorite TV show while on a machine. That will keep your mind off the workout and onto something you enjoy. As long as you leave that only for exercising, it can give you something fun to come back to.[10]
    • You can always ask a friend to come with you. Even if you don't talk, or have anything to talk about, it's always nice to exercise with company rather than by yourself. Being responsible to another person also makes it easier to show up regularly than being responsible to yourself for .
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    Look out for depression. Keep an eye out for the major differences between sadness (a normal and healthy emotion) and depression. When you are depressed, nothing you think about seems to matter in your life, and you are unable to stop thinking about the things that cause you grief. If you think you are noticing these signs, or if your sadness lingers for several weeks or up to a month, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.[11][12]

Part 3
Moving On

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    Get rid of things that remind you or your ex. This includes pictures of you and your ex, listening to ‘your’ song, and gifts she gave you. While you don’t necessarily have to throw all the stuff out (that cook book you two would try recipes from might come in handy in the future) you should move it from your direct line of sight.[13]
    • However mad you may be, it is best not to destroy something that may be of significant financial or sentimental value to him (expensive items or family mementos). If you have items like this, the best thing is to gather them up, and arrange a time for him to come get them. This is not an invitation to reconnect, so keep your messages short and professional.
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    Stop all contact with your ex. Keeping in contact with will make you feel even worse than you already do. Don’t call your ex crying or send passive aggressive texts, and definitely don’t communicate when you've been drinking. Your ex has made it clear that he or she is moving on. The best way to do that yourself is to avoid contact with him or her.
    • Delete your ex from social media. You don't need the constant reminder of what he is up to that you'll automatically get from Facebook or other social media sites. That kind of avoidance will help keep you from thinking about him.[14]
    • Ask your friends to help. Don't make, or let, them fill you in on what your ex is up to. Instead, ask them to help you get your mind off him, even if it's just by spending time talking about anything else, or keeping you from contacting him.
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    Get involved in new activities. The best way to get over the past is to create a new, bright future for yourself without that person. Now is the time to fulfill your dreams of learning new skills or trying different activities. Enroll in a new after school or work class, or join a sports team, even just joining a pick-up game every week will work. The goal is to distract yourself with new ideas and activities, and to meet new people.[15]
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    Help someone else. One of the best ways to get your mind off your own problem is to try to help someone else with a challenge they are facing. Ask your friends about what is going on in their lives, or talk to your family about how they are doing. Don’t let your emotions block you from the fact that other people are dealing with their own sadness.[16]
    • You don't have to just limit your helping to people you know. Volunteering is a great way to put your own situation into perspective. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or shelter and focus your efforts on bettering the lives of others. You may just find that in the process you discover new meaning in your own life.
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    Meet new people. After giving yourself some space, get back into the game of love. You shouldn't close yourself off, and losing someone does not mean you are unlovable or can never love again. Use your new activities to meet potential new partners, or even be willing to use online dating. You don't have to actively look for new relationships if you don't want to, but don't immediately reject the possibility if someone asks or offers.[17]
    • Be careful with a rebound relationship. Opening yourself up does not mean rushing into a new relationship immediately. If you move too quickly, you may mistake the easy intimacy with real feeling, and create greater pain for yourself and the other person.[18]
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    Be patient. These processes take time, and while on the way to recovery, you may come up against days that are harder than others. Don't beat yourself up over feeling sad when you thought you were recovering.[19]
    • Occasionally fantasizing about your ex is normal. The surest way to think about something is to tell yourself not to think about it. Sometimes that will happen. Rather than suppress these thoughts, accept them, and look for something else to think about instead.[20]


  • Sometimes it's just good to tell yourself out loud that you are important and someone greater is out there for you.
  • Indulging in things that bring short-term comfort, like unhealthy foods or alcohol, can be helpful in moderation, but you should avoid things like pills and other drugs. Not only will they leave you in worse shape, they can also be illegal.

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Categories: Handling Rejection