Therapists Explain 10 Ways to Cope With Heartbreak (+ 10 things to avoid)

Therapists Explain 10 Ways to Cope With Heartbreak (+ 10 things to avoid)

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Everyone has their unique coping methods for getting over a breakup. However, some may be much more effective than others. It’s essential to go through your grief in the right way to get you back on your feet again. We share ten ways to cope with heartbreak (and ten behaviors to avoid).

10 “Dos” When You Must Cope with Heartbreak

1. Do Seek Support

It’s perfectly natural to want to talk to someone about your breakup. You probably have a lot of feelings festering up inside of you. Look for opportunities to express your emotions in an appropriate setting. Go to the people who are closest to you first. Of course, you want to avoid anyone who may be caught in the middle of the breakup. Venting to them could make them feel uncomfortable.



In the case of life-altering breakups or leaving an abusive relationship, you may want to go to a therapist or support group. The damage inflicted may be more serious than a gab session with your mom or best friend can manage.

2. Do Focus on Your Physical Health

When you treat your body well, you will notice a positive change in your mental health as well. Eat well and exercise. Focus on foods filled with nutrition and not empty calories. Stay away from fried foods and processed foods. You should also make a point to get out and exercise throughout the week. A body in motion stays in motion, so your body will continue to move correctly as long as you work it out.

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3. Do Stay Busy

The last thing you need is too much time on your hands. You may end up dwelling on the breakup, causing you to feel bad about yourself. Instead, fill up your calendar with different events to keep you busy. When you are out doing things every night, you won’t have time to think about the person who hurt you.

4. Do Help Others

Breakups tend to bring out the selfish side of us. We wallow in self-pity and talk about ourselves a lot. Instead, it might be more beneficial to go out and help others. Spend time with family members or volunteer at a charitable organization. You will not only be helping others, but it can also make you feel good about yourself.

5. Do Examine Your Dating Practices

While you shouldn’t place blame on anyone (especially yourself), you should take time to think about some of your dating habits. You may be able to make some changes that will help you in your future dating ventures. Do you tend to fall for bad boys? Are you too clingy? Do you flirt with other people outside of the relationship? Look at some things you can change to help yourself succeed in love the next time around.

6. Do Cry

Some people try their hardest not to cry or feel angry about the end of their relationship. However, it’s a natural reaction to feel a certain way. You should not feel bad about your emotions. In fact, it is best to take some time to explore how you are feeling.

Otherwise, you only bottle up your feelings inside of you. Take a night to listen to sad breakup songs with a scoop of ice cream to let it out. When it’s finally all out there, you’ll feel a lot better. Just don’t make it a habit.



7. Do Get a Pet

You may have a lot of love you want to share. Get a cute pet to focus your love on. You can dote on your new cat, dog, or lizard (whatever pet you’re into). Just remember a pet is a big responsibility and commitment.

8. Do Focus on Other Relationships

Your romantic relationship wasn’t the only relationship in your life. Consider all of the family relationships in your life– your parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, etc. Spend some time developing those relationships.

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9. Do Find a Creative Outlet

You need to find a way to express yourself in a safe, creative way after heartbreak. Some people choose to start painting, singing, or writing. You can talk about the breakup or a variety of other topics affecting you at the moment.

10. Do Date

You should go out and start dating again–when you are ready.  You may want to give it a couple of weeks or months before going on your first date. Only you know the best timeframe for you, as confirmed by research. But you shouldn’t get too used to staying inside every day. When a new dating opportunity comes up, take it. Take things slowly and casually before you fall in love headfirst again, though.



10 Don’ts When You Suffer from Heartbreak

1. Don’t Overindulge

Some people choose to make themselves feel better by overindulging in certain activities, such as drinking or casual sex. It may make you feel better at the moment, but it won’t lead to long-term happiness. Watch how much you engage in reckless behavior.

2. Don’t Contact Your Ex

Your ex was a large part of your life. It’s hard to entirely and suddenly stop talking to a person who was once so important in your life. When something good or bad happens in your life, your instinct may be to pick up the phone and give your ex a call. You may also want to call just to see how they are doing. Avoid all temptations. Contacting your ex will only lead to a complicated relationship that can prevent you from moving on and even more heartbreak. It’s over. Only talk to your ex when you need to.

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Never send these text messages to your former love.

3. Don’t Talk About the Breakup on Social Media

Social media is an excellent place for people to express themselves. However, you don’t want to tell everyone about what’s going on in your life. Rants about your ex may be entertaining to other people, but it will only make you look crazy and unprofessional.

4. Don’t Stoop to Their Level

Breakups can bring out the worst in people. When someone is emotional, they may do something mean. When your ex starts making your life difficult, you may be tempted to stoop down to their level and retaliate. Don’t do it. You may only make yourself look bad or even get yourself in trouble. Even when your ex goes low, you need to stay high.

5. Don’t Let Yourself Go

After a breakup, you may not shave or do your regular skincare routine. However, you need to keep up on these things more than ever in the case of a new prospect coming along. You don’t want a new potential significant other to see you in your pajamas with no makeup during the day.

6. Don’t Hold onto Gifts/Items

You and your former partner may have gifted each other things throughout the relationship. The items will become a reminder of your relationship when they are gone. You may enjoy a certain pair of shoes or piece of jewelry, but you shouldn’t wear those items if it’s going to be a constant reminder of a failed relationship.

7. Don’t Become a Shut-in

After a breakup, the world may look scary and unfriendly. You may not want to go out and socialize with people. However, you need to overcome these feelings. Some people want some time to themselves after a breakup, but you may start to be depressed staying inside all of the time. You need to go out and experience fresh air. You should also go do things you enjoy and see people in your life. These things will put your life back on track.

8. Don’t Portray Yourself as a Victim

It can be easy to make yourself look like a victim without even trying. This would be especially true if you were cheated on or abused during the relationship. However, you need to make a point to remain strong. You should not lie about what happened, but you do not need to tell your story without provocation.

9. Don’t Stick to Old Negative Patterns

Many people who are unlucky in love may notice that they tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. You need to examine these mistakes and do what you can to make a change. In some cases, you may want to get professional help to assist you through your issues.

10. Don’t Rush Into the Next Relationship

Some people cure heartbreak by rushing into the next committed relationship. While you want to go out and date, you don’t want to jump a long-term commitment with another person right away. Take the time to get to know somebody. Allow things to happen organically. Otherwise, you’ve just headed toward heartbreak again.

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Final Thoughts on Coping With Heartbreak So You Can Move On



These tips make it clear for people to make the right decisions for their emotional and romantic health after heartbreak. A breakup isn’t the end- it’s the start of something new and exciting. You just need to see it that way.

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