One of the most difficult times I’ve lived through in recent years, was immediately following a horrible breakup. Regardless of what I did to try and distract myself (watching movies, working out, cleaning), I couldn’t escape the deep feelings of sadness. The raw emotions and symptoms that came along with them, were inescapable. During this time, one of the only things that southed me was reading the words of those who had been through a similar experience, knowing that if they had some how made in through this excruciating time in life, so could I. At different stages of my life post breakup, there were different books that helped me along the way, but each one played a part in getting me to the next step and ultimately putting my back together.
Here are the 3 books I read that helped me get over my breakup:
Author: Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt
When to read: 0 to 3 months post breakup
There’s no doubt about it—as we’ve already established, breakups suck. But in the first few hours or days that follow, there’s one important truth this book certainly made me realize: Some things can’t and shouldn’t be fixed. This book was the wake-up call I needed to stop being sad, stop missing, and start giving myself the hard truths I needed to hear – If he broke up with me, he doesn’t want to be with you. Duh, I know. At the time, it didn’t seem so clear. This book taught me that it wasn’t up to me anymore and there was nothing I could do to make things different. And even if there was, did I really want that path now? No! Accepting finality is hard, but as soon as I, I was able to relinquish most of the what ifs, and start living in the present.
Not only does this book have a ton of breakup battle stories that may even make you feel better about your own, it will also remind you and give your practical tips to hold on to the one thing you have left – your dignity. The book promises to teach you:
- Why you shouldn’t call him—and what he’s thinking when you do
- How to keep your friends and not lose your job
- How to avoid breakup pitfalls: IMing, stalking, having sex with your ex
- Reframing reality—seeing the relationship for what it was
- How to transform yourself into a hot, happening Superfox and get a jump on the better, brighter future that awaits
Author: Jean Hanff Korelitz
When to read: 3 to 6 months post breakup
This is a story of an experienced couples therapist who finds out that her husband is planning to leave her. Even worse, he could be connected to a murder; so, now it’s high time for her own investigation. This psychological thriller helped me realize that it could have been so much worse than a simple breakup with my boyfriend. I constantly compared my story to stories like these, helping me to see just how easy I had it in comparison. This book in particular made me sympathize with the main character, which took the focus off of my own grief. When moments of doubt made their way into my mind, I would turn to these stories for comfort.
Author: Gretchen Rubin
When to read: 6 to 8 months post breakup
Six to eight months after my breakup, I was starting to feel normal once again, but I certainly wasn’t 100% back to my carefree, happy self. Feeling bouts of sadness was my new normal. In fact, often enough, a dark cloud would follow me around all day. The worst part was my mind was too often living in the past and rehashing old memories. Sounds pretty horrible right? It was. So I took a recommendation from a friend and started reading the Happiness Project. This book lifted my spirits within the first page or two. It gave me the encouragement to put my well being and state of mind, back into my own hands. It was also gave me a practical roadmap for how to get there (there, being happiness).
Even today many years later, I refer to this book when I’m feeling down. It’s a great pick-me up that you can immediately apply to your day to day.
Still looking for more inspiring breakup books? Check these out.