Wondering what to do after a breakup?
Perhaps a Nancy Myers movie marathon and crying session under the covers will lift your spirits. Or maybe spa day experimenting with playful spring nail trends will ease the tension. Sweet treats are a must, obviously.
Although breakup coping mechanisms and habits for happiness don't look the same for everyone, our relationship experts agree there is a universal rule that each one of us must follow when recovering from heartbreak. And yes, it's essential to the grieving process, so don't try to weasel your way out of it!
What to do after a breakup, according to the pros
It's simple, really. After parting ways with a lover, it's time to switch gears and be a little selfish—whatever that might mean to you.
"Shift the focus onto yourself and do things that you love that bring you joy and make you happy," says dating coach Rikki Dymond.
That could be a combination of things; there's no science to follow. For some, that might mean finding comfort in loved ones. For others, it could mean a night of solitude, listening to breakup songs and having a good cry—and cry you must.
"When you cry, your body releases two positive hormones, oxytocin and endorphins, which can help reduce stress and promote well-being," sex and relationship expert Pippa Murphy at condoms.uk reassures us. "Holding in your emotions or trying to suppress them can actually be detrimental to your mental health and prevent you from moving on."
Rikki Dymond is a dating coach and Flirtini dating expert. Her mission is to "help women reconnect with themselves and use their natural feminine energy to bring forward mature and lasting love."
Pippa Murphy is a sex and relationship expert at condoms.uk, which provides access to safe and trusted brands within the sexual health industry, as well as information about your sex health.
Whether it's journaling, looking into therapy options or simply chatting with someone you trust, you won't want to deny what you're feeling. Being inauthentic will only make the process more difficult and time-consuming. If you need to shed a tear, find the tissues.
"Allow yourself to feel all your emotions immediately after a breakup and for as long as it takes. It’s part of the healing process and healthier than burying your emotions," says Maria Sullivan, a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com.
Above all, make sure that you remain the center of your universe. Carry that Main Character Energy you used in the dating world when nursing a heartbreak. The pros insist that positivity and a self-love mentality will go a long way.
"Spend time with people that lift you up and encourage you to be the best version of yourself," recommends Eva Gallagher, the resident dating expert at Plenty of Fish. "Keeping busy and staying in routine is great because it helps distract you but if you need a day buried under your duvet, that’s okay too, just lean into whatever feels right at any given moment."
When you do find the right moment to get back out there, be positive and embrace all of the good that's headed your way. If you need a little reassurance, our favorite first-date tips are here to help.
Maria Sullivan is a dating expert and the vice president of Dating.com.
Eva Gallagher is a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, a Match Group dating app with personalized connection options that help "create the same magic online that you would IRL."
Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.
Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few.
When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.
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