3 Satisfying Ways To Get Revenge On Your Ex (Healthy Version)

By Joy Youell|Updated August 3, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

The pain that comes from ending a romantic relationship is real. Disappointment, internal pain, and anger can all come together and motivate you to make rash or harsh choices. Some might suggest that the best revenge is living your best possible life. Self-care and honoring your emotions during the post-breakup days are an important way of moving on with power.

Looking For Satisfying Ways To Get Revenge On Your Ex?

You may imagine all the things you could be do get revenge on an ex who broke up with you. However, the types of revenge we see against exes in movies like trashing their possessions, sharing their private information to the world, and embarrassing them like crazy in public are not really going to affect your ex in the way you might hope. Instead, it is more likely to reinforce with them that they made the right decision in breaking up with you. That’s likely not the sweet revenge you’re looking for. Your behavior reflects on you, and if you choose the path portrayed in the movies, you're likely to paint a picture that shows others you're not very empathetic or that you play games rather than taking the high road. Similar 'common' acts of revenge, such as sleeping with your ex's friends, sending their roommate a flirty text, sharing their private photos, or airing your ex's dirty laundry on social media is not going to do anything for your future dating appeal. It may simply make you look petty or vindictive and leave you feeling that way, too. You can’t control your ex, how they feel or respond, or what happened in the past. But you can control your own behaviors and choose those that are best for you now. Imagine a life of calm and peace. You might want to work out how you're really feeling in a healthy way, with an online therapist. Your best revenge may not be revenge at all.

So, if you want to know how to get revenge while still maintaining your dignity, keep these following points in mind:

  1. Better Yourself

Nothing says, "I've moved on and I’m fine," quite like becoming a better person than you were when you were dating your ex. In many ways, this is the ultimate revenge because it lets your ex-partner know that they weren't experiencing the best version of you. That version is now reserved for yourself. It also shows that you haven't let the breakup affect you in any negative ways and subtly implies that you're better off without them. Perhaps you can challenge yourself with a one-month workout routine. It's better to keep workout goals in the tangible short-term; otherwise, you may find yourself quitting after just one week. You can always continue with another month if you choose to afterward. Maybe you want to try getting those bright, blonde highlights or a dark purple tint. Perhaps you don't want to change anything physically about yourself, but you want to improve your emotional wellbeing. This is your time to focus on you and shine as bright as you can. This can be one of the most effective ways to move on.

  1. Let Nature Run Its Course

If your ex was manipulative and aggressive, the urge for revenge might seem overwhelming at times. However, most people eventually get what's coming to them. Many people refer to this phenomenon as karma. The idea that what goes around comes around may be a statistical probability because of people's characteristics. For example, an unnecessarily aggressive partner likely always displays this kind of demeanor, meaning that they will regularly find themselves in confrontational situations. It is likely that they will eventually find themselves in a situation they are unable to handle, resulting in their frustration. Your role is not to wish good or evil or to hate but to simply allow nature to run its course moment by moment. You don’t have to sit back and wait and watch; you can go out and live your best life in the present.

If you or a loved one is experiencing or has experienced relationship abuse or domestic violence, please seek help. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is free and confidential and offers support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You can also text “START” to 88788 or use the live chat option on the website at TheHotline.org. The Hotline provides essential tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live their lives free of abuse.


  1. Learn From The Experience

Despite the heartbreak, breakups can be a significantly valuable learning experience. Instead of channeling your energy into vandalizing property, stealing a car like some guy on tv, or playing mind games, try to use the emotions you feel for something useful, not for harm. For example, artistic ability is often magnified during times of sorrow. Use the emotions as a catalyst to write or paint or enjoy another creative outlet. It may not feel like you're getting revenge, but your ex's actions will have inspired you to create something unique and leave you with a sense of satisfaction.

  1. Take Care of Yourself

Studies have shown that people who follow through with extreme acts of revenge feel much worse for it in the long term. We may entertain revenge fantasies in our heads but acting them out won't benefit you in any way. Instead, try to learn from the experience and come out of it as a better person. Try taking good care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs. Exercise, healthy sleep, and nutritious eating are clear forms of self-care, but there are also so many other ways to nurture yourself. For example, you can connect with friends or loved ones who make you feel safe and loved; you matter to them. You can practice gratitude. You can have some fun with a best friend. You can explore new hobbies, take a short trip, or just step outside the house and appreciate the fresh air. There’s a big world out there, and it’s full of ways that you can care for yourself. The possibilities are great and can help you mend a broken heart.

  1. Take It Easy With Social Media—Or Take A Break From It

Social media can be challenging when you’re going through a painful breakup. Does your ex post photos and are you constantly checking them, day and night? Try to disengage from that habit. Consider a social media break – or at least a break you’re your ex’s online presence. You don’t have to remain their virtual friend. Some people go so far as to create a fake profile so they can see what their ex is up to or to scope out their new boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner. But it can be hard to move forward when your ex’s face is plastered all over your social media accounts. For example, if you see your ex online wearing one of your favorite shirts while posing with some other guy or girl (or anyone else, really), you might feel a twinge of heartbreak that could reignite your pain or suffering. It may be human nature to want to see all the things your ex is up to, but to help yourself move forward, keeping some distance may be best. And remember that when people do post pictures, they’re often not an accurate representation of what’s truly going on in their lives. If you see your ex with someone online, you might assume they have a new partner. But who really knows if a new relationship is in the works? You may feel much better if you give social media the cold shoulder, unfollow or unfriend your ex, and focus on self love and your own well being.

What Is A Life Well Lived?

The message contained in the saying "the best revenge is a life well lived" has been around for centuries. In fact, the sentence has been attributed to 17th-century poet George Herbert, who included it in a compilation of proverbs. While the sentiment is old, what might be described by the phrase "a life well lived" is almost certainly different now than it was when the first person uttered those words. The real question is: what kind of life do you want now?

If you don't know what you want your life to be, how will you know when you've accomplished this special form of revenge? Many of us don't really know what we want out of life until we spend some time contemplating what it is that means the most to us. We may be so influenced by what others say and do that we have a very hard time figuring out what kind of life would truly make us happy.

For some people, a life well lived means wealth, success, and power. For others, it means a happy family, friends, and a peaceful home. Still, others might feel their life has been well lived if they spend it traveling, working at a job they love, or creating a legacy.

Any of these might be a worthy goal. What matters most is what matters to you. Avoid getting caught up in trying to live a life that would make your ex jealous. While this might hurt them the most, it could also send you down a path you'd rather not be on. So, try to hang up the idea of getting revenge.

Even if your ex is consumed with trying to be rich, focusing on money may be the last thing that will make you happy. So, don’t worry about getting rich for the sake of revenge. Or if you want to live a healthy lifestyle, that’s wonderful – but try to do it for you, not because you’re hoping to build a revenge body, for instance. Similarly, if you want a new haircut, do it for you. If you find you’re ready to look for a new partner, think about what type of person you’d like to be with, not who will make your ex jealous. Whatever makes you happy, whether it's fortune, fame, or a simple life, is a life well lived as far as you're concerned. When you satisfy yourself, it matters less what someone else thinks of your choices.

Get Revenge On Your Ex: Taking Chances

High-risk behavior is rarely associated with good mental health. However, if you never take any risks, your life might never be what you want it to be. Taking chances isn't always easy, especially if you've rarely taken them in the past, but if you take some smart chance, you may find the outcome is successful. For example, if you’ve ever wanted to travel to another country and it’s within your budget and you have the time, why not consider doing it? If you’ve wanted to run a half marathon, start training. Taking the risk to accomplish goals we thought were too scary or risky can help us keep the focus on our growth and healing.

Of course, taking a chance means you might not get the result you had hoped for. Otherwise, it wouldn't be called risk. You can’t control everything, and when and if things don't go as planned (as can happen when traveling), it's good to have support waiting for you. Friends and family members who are empathetic can lend an ear and sometimes, when asked to do so, offer advice. It’s often said that the most important thing to remember when traveling is to be flexible. This rule works well for other goals you set for yourself, too.

Be Someone You Can Admire

You may find that in striving to live a better life, you begin to change who you are and how you interact with others. The change may be positive or negative. The most efficient way that you can become the best version of yourself is to understand how your decisions and actions affect who you become.

Where Is Your Ex In All This?

You might have noticed that the discussion here has been primarily about you. So, how is this revenge on your ex? When do you get to see the dismayed look on their face? Perhaps you never will. As you become involved in building a better life, you may forget all about them and hang up the hurt. You may simply change your focus and desire as you move on toward living your dream and begin to control your life for the better rather than focusing on making theirs worse. Either way, your ex is no longer the center of your universe. What could be better revenge than that? Somewhere along the way, as you make the personal changes that allow you to reach for your dreams, you may find that you have a more forgiving attitude toward people who have wronged you. You might discover that you now want the best for others. You may realize that you no longer want revenge on an ex and that you’d like to keep what happened in the past. If that happens, you will have successfully moved beyond that trauma and healed yourself.

Can A Therapist Help Me Move Beyond Revenge?

An in-person or online therapist can be extremely helpful as you sift through the options and decide what you want to do next. They can help you discover more about yourself and identify what matters the most to you based on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They can provide an objective view of what seems to get you most excited and what types of things make you feel calm and in control. They can help you if a past relationship is causing you to suffer. You can feel better and more positive.

A therapist can also encourage you to expand your comfort zone and try for something you've never imagined you could have done before. They're there for you to offer suggestions, insights, and support. Their expertise can change your perspective from seeking revenge to pursuing your own happiness.

Looking For Satisfying Ways To Get Revenge On Your Ex?

How BetterHelp Can Support You

Any time you feel the need to get revenge on your ex, you can start counseling at BetterHelp. Our counselors have helped numerous people turn inward and develop their personal wellness. You can meet with them using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop from the comfort of your home and at a time that’s convenient for you. BetterHelp will match you with a licensed mental health professional who can help you on this journey. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors from people experiencing similar issues.

Counselor Reviews

"Julia is a very open-minded, understanding, and warm-hearted person. She listened with kindness and without judgment. Her advice helped me tremendously through a bad break up and ensuing personal problems. Her advice and understanding have been very helpful in guiding me to a healthier mind frame."

"Shawna is an insightful and caring counselor, an attentive listener with a focus on practical strategies and techniques. In just a few sessions, I feel confident I have the toolkit to manage stress and the negative thoughts that took up so much of my day before. Wish I'd done this sooner!"


Going through breakups can be challenging. Working with a counselor to navigate the aftermath of relationship loss can be rewarding in helping you set goals and create plans to achieve them. The best revenge is to live your best, most radiant life. Take the first step today.

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