Healing After A Breakup: Coping Strategies For Reclaiming Your Life

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated February 20, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Breakups can be challenging, and it's normal to feel a range of emotions in the aftermath, such as sadness, anger, and grief. Finding the best way to get over someone and knowing how to heal can be hard, especially if you feel overwhelmed by your emotions, or if your situation involves getting over a person you never formally dated, which can feel more ambiguous. However, it's important to remember that healing is possible, and there are coping strategies that can help you reclaim your life and move forward.

Whether you're just starting the healing process or have been working through a breakup for a while, certain strategies can help you navigate the ups and downs and find a sense of hope and resilience, even when dealing with the "what ifs" and wondering about the future.

Ready to start healing after your breakup and reclaim your life?

Seek support

Need help finding coping strategies on how to get over someone you never dated? Unrequited love or an ambiguous romantic relationship can be complicated and might elicit just as strong feelings as official relationships. It may be helpful to have people you can potentially turn to for emotional support and practical help when you're going through a tough time.

Seeking support from loved ones may be ideal for starting the process of healing after a breakup. A supportive network of friends and family who can listen to you, offer comfort, and provide a sense of connection and belonging may be a good idea.

There are many ways to reach out for support after a breakup. Here are some suggestions:

  • Talk to a trusted friend or family member: Choose someone you feel comfortable talking to, who you know can listen to you without judging you. Spending time with a confidant may be therapeutic and might help you process your emotions.

  • Join a support group: There are many online support groups for people coping with breakups. These groups may provide a sense of community and a safe space to discuss your feelings and experiences with others who may be going through similar challenges.

  • Seek professional help: If you're struggling to cope with your emotions or feeling overwhelmed, it may be helpful to seek professional help and expert advice. An online therapist or counselor may provide a safe and supportive space to explore your feelings and might help you develop coping strategies.

Remember that seeking support is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage to reach out and ask for help, and it's a healthy way to move forward in the healing process.

Practice self-care

Practicing self-care is a part of the healing process after a breakup. Taking care of yourself physically and emotionally may help you feel more balanced and able to cope with your challenges.

Here are some practical ways to practice self-care after a breakup.

  • Exercise: Engaging in regular exercise may help reduce stress, boost mood, and improve physical and mental health. Whether you prefer going for a run, taking a yoga class, or hitting the gym, find an activity that you enjoy and that tends to help you feel good about yourself.

  • Get enough sleep: Sleep is ideal for your physical and emotional well-being. Ensure you get enough sleep by setting a regular bedtime, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and trying to avoid screens before bed.

  • Eat well: Taking care of your body also means paying attention to what you eat. Eating a healthy diet may help improve your mood, boost energy, and support overall physical health.

  • Take breaks: It’s good to stay busy, but it’s also good to give yourself time to rest and recharge. Try taking breaks from work and other responsibilities to do things you enjoy and help you relax.

  • Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness allows you to focus on the present moment. It may help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and might improve your overall well-being. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, or journaling.

Remember that self-care is not selfish. It's ideal for taking care of yourself so that you might be there for others and able to cope with the challenges of daily life. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you struggle to practice self-care independently.

Find healthy ways to express your emotions

Expressing your emotions after a breakup is a normal and healthy part of the healing process. Finding ways to express your emotions constructively might be helpful. Spend time reflecting on your feelings, and don't feel guilty if you feel sad.

Some ideas for processing your emotions include:

  • Write in a journal: Journaling can be a therapeutic way to process your emotions and reflect on your experiences. It might be helpful to spend time writing about your feelings and be honest and authentic with yourself when penning down your thoughts. As you work through your emotions, you may see improvements in self-esteem and gain insights that can shape your future relationships. Remember that healing takes time, and journaling can be a valuable tool in your journey.

  • Participating in activities that allow you to express yourself creatively: Creativity can be a powerful outlet for emotions. Whether you enjoy painting, drawing, writing, or singing, find an activity that brings you joy and allows for creative expression. Engaging in these activities may also help you focus on something positive and stop thinking about your former relationship, and could potentially lead to new connections or interests as you start dating again in the future.

The feelings you may have are normal emotions after a breakup, and it's okay to express them. Finding healthy ways to express your emotions may help you feel more balanced and better able to cope with your challenges.

Give yourself time and space to heal

Giving yourself time and space to heal is a part of the process after a breakup. Healing may take a longer amount of time than you expect, and it's best to be patient with yourself as you work through your emotions and adjust to your new reality. Don’t feel as though you need to throw yourself back into the dating pool immediately – it may be a long time before you are ready to put yourself out there and take a risk on someone new, and that’s okay. 

Ready to start healing after your breakup and reclaim your life?

There are a couple of methods you can try to give yourself time and space to heal:

  • Take a break from social media: Social media may be a source of stress and comparison, especially after a breakup. Consider taking a break from social media or limiting your use to give yourself time to heal and stop communicating with your former partner or love interest.

  • Take time for yourself: Make time for yourself and do things you enjoy that might help you relax. These activities could include anything from walking in nature to watching a movie or reading a book.

  • Seek professional help: If you're having difficulty coping with your emotions or feeling overwhelmed, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor may provide a safe and supportive space to explore your feelings and help you develop coping strategies.

Coping with a breakup in a safe and supportive environment with online therapy

Breaking up is never easy, and the sorrow and pain associated with a breakup may be emotionally shattering. Finding professional support might be the answer when coping with a breakup. Online therapy offers a wide range of therapy modalities, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical-behavioral therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. Using these approaches, therapists may help you process your emotions in an empathic and supportive environment.

Effectiveness of online therapy

Breakups may be difficult, but fortunately, you can use a variety of effective coping strategies for regaining emotional balance and reclaiming your life. For example, research conducted by the International College of Psychology (ICP) has demonstrated that online therapy might benefit those seeking healing after a breakup, using techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of therapy focuses on reframing patterns, developing problem-solving strategies, and building self-awareness to foster both emotional and psychological healing. Reaching out for expert professional help is a positive step towards embracing the truth that healing is possible post-breakup. 


Some final thoughts on the matter: while breakups may be challenging, it's crucial to remember that healing is possible, and time (usually more than a few weeks) can be the best medicine. Several coping strategies may help you reclaim your life and move forward. Online therapy may be a practical solution if you're struggling to cope with the end of an official or unofficial relationship. It may provide a safe and supportive environment to process emotions and build resilience, and a starting point to get over your partner and get on with your life.
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