Steps to Healing and Recovery After a Breakup

Updated on May 25, 2019
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This is my purpose in life: to better myself through knowledge and help others do the same. I hope you enjoy my writing.

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash | Source

After a breakup, it is right to feel pain. Whether you are the dumper or dumpee, the breakup might have affected you negatively. When love is removed or you are denied it, you'll tend to be affected psychologically. When the emotional bonding is severed, you will feel psychological pain.

The pain results from the fact you trusted your partner with your heart. You gave him your whole heart. Instead of taking care of your heart, he broke it into pieces. He betrayed your trust. Now, you are hurting. It is unbearable and you're wondering if you will ever heal and if the pain in your heart will ever go away.

Before you go do something extreme like committing suicide, realize that you can get up on your feet and move on. Healing is possible if you only allow the healing process to take place. When you have healed from the breakup, you will recover and you can move on with your life.

This article will show the steps you need to follow in order to heal from the hurt that resulted from the breakup.

1. Accept the Fact You Are Hurt

You have to admit you are hurt. You are feeling pain in your heart. Don't pretend you haven't been affected psychologically and everything is going well with you. Don't act as if it's not a big deal because it is a big deal.

If you do not accept you are hurt, the healing process will not begin. You will hinder the natural healing process to begin its course. Remember, you are not the only one who has been hurt as a result of the breakup. You need to take heart that you aren't the only one who is experiencing the pain.

2. Deal With Your Feelings

Don't bottle up the hurtful feelings. When you suppress the feelings, it is a clear sign you are running away from the hurtful feelings as you do not want experience them. In fact, you are behaving like a person who has gone to a pub to drink beer in order to deal with a problem that is troubling him. You are only deceiving yourself if you think the beer will help you in getting rid of the problem.

Experience the anger, the hatred, the bitterness and other hurtful feelings because that is how the body has been conditioned to deal with psychological pain in order for the healing process to commence.

When you have felt the hurtful feelings, it is time to deal with them. Get rid of them by ensuring you don't entertain them. Do not let the negative emotions be your companions. If you do so, you will never heal, recover from the breakup, nor move on with your life. You will develop certain psychological diseases such as depression which might translate to physical illnesses such as back pain and headache. You will not enjoy your life nor find the reason to live. Deal with the negative emotions. Do not let them control your life.


3. Don't Keep It to Yourself

Don't suffer the pain alone. It may get worse which might affect almost every aspect of your life negatively including your relationship with other people. You might develop depression and low self-esteem. Confide to someone who is very close to you or understands you about what you are feeling and how you are feeling. If you feel the pain is increasing in momentum, it might be better to seek a counselor.

4. Write It Down

Write down what and how you are feeling. This is because scientific studies have discovered writing aids in the healing process. When you jot down what you are feeling, a few hours or days later when you read what you had written you might gauge for yourself whether the pain has decreased from the time the breakup happened. It will create a picture of your condition at the moment. Thereby, you will know which steps to undertake to ensure you are on the road to recovery.

For instance, if you have jotted down that you're thinking often about your ex, when you read later on what you had written you will know you need to do something about it. This is because the more you think about your ex the more you feel the pain.

5. Take a Break From Your Ex

Breakups are tiring and stressful. You are wounded — not externally, but internally. You need to take a break so that the wound can heal. Your ex does not matter anymore. He will not make things any better for you. You are the one who has to decide whether you want to heal from the hurt that resulted from the breakup or not.

You need to stop contacting your ex. You have to exercise No Contact Rule whereby you cease any form of communication with your ex. Don't engage him in your life at the moment until you're sure you need him or not for the rest of your life.


6. Don't Turn Against Yourself

Don’t hate yourself. Don’t blame yourself for too long for contributing to the breakup or the end of the relationship.

Don't feel unworthy because you were dumped or because you dumped your ex. Don’t tell yourself you are stupid, that you don’t deserve another partner or that another relationship will never work out (even if it is your fourth breakup.)

In general, don't entertain any negative thoughts about yourself. We all make mistakes but the most important thing is whether we've learned anything, and whether we want to change for the better.

If you were the cause of the breakup, the best you can do is to ask your ex to forgive you. If you ended the relationship because your partner was always hurting you, try to forgive your ex.

7. Damage the "Video Tape"

If you want to heal and recover from your breakup, you need to stop re-running the good memories you shared with your ex in your head. Your mind has done a wonderful job of getting rid of the not-so-good memories and concentrated only on the good parts of the relationship that you had with your ex.

But the reality is that you are denying the fact the relationship did come to an end. You are trying to escape the pain by getting lost in the past. Damage the video tape.

8. No More Love Songs

You should take a break from listening to any love songs, both sad and not sad. When you listen to love songs, they will remind you of your relationship and make you long for your ex.

They will fill you with thoughts that you shouldn't entertain. Listen to uplifting, encouraging, motivating, and challenging songs.This is not a time to think about love or be reminded of it.

9. Experience the World

Don’t lock yourself in your closet for long. As much as the world hurts you, it also has a lot of good things to offer. Don’t mourn for too long.

Get out and feel the world. Breathe in the fresh air. Consider the beauty that is still left and know that the hurt won't last forever. Let the beauty of the world enlighten and inspire you.

10. Forgive Your Ex

There is no benefit in holding a grudge against your ex. You gain nothing by hating your ex and remaining angry. It will only become a burden to you. Forgiving your ex has several benefits.

  • It assists you in getting rid of negative emotions.
  • You learn to be strong when you are hurt by somebody.
  • You are reminded that your life is not dictated by a failed relationship or an ex who was inconsiderate of you.

11. Forget the Pain

Once you have forgiven your ex, be determined not to remember the pain. When you remember it, your chances of healing and recovering will be jeopardized.

Hurts are never meant to be remembered. They are meant to let you know that hurt is inevitable, and one should rise above it by learning to be strong when he or she faces it.

12. Don't Forget to Forgive Yourself

Try to forgive yourself. It doesn't matter who broke up with who—if you blame yourself and start conjuring bad thoughts, you will find yourself in a downward spiral of negativity. Give yourself a break. Don't let negative thoughts rule your mind.

How to Heal a Broken Heart—Stop Hurting Now

13. Read Books, Watch Movies, and Exercise

Read poems, novels, and books that have nothing to do with romance (except ones that concentrate on how to get over breakups and deal with the hurt that comes from someone wronging you).

Watch movies like documentaries and comedies. And exercise! Exercise helps a great deal when recovering from a breakup.

Just remember that you don’t want to concentrate on anything concerning past love, so avoid everything that reminds you of that.

14. It Is Your Decision

If you don’t come to the conclusion you want to heal and recover from the breakup, you never will. You have to decide to do what you can to realize the results.

If you are determined to come out of the breakup in one piece, you will. Therefore, decide to do whatever it takes. Concentrate on yourself and you will be able to move on.

Questions & Answers

  • How can I get over my ex even if I have to see him every single day? Will this method still work?

    It will never work unless you cannot avoid because you work in the same place or study in the same class. If this is the case only treat him as a casual friend. Engage only in greetings and things related to work or assignment.

    However, if it is the case you want to see him because you want to see him, you will not get over him. You have to stop seeing him, no talking to him or contacting him in any way. You have to distance yourself from him telling him you need your own space - of not seeing each other which means not talking to each other. Treat him as if you don't know him - a casual friend not a platonic friend.

  • How can I get over him? I loved him then and still do. I can't stay away even if I want to please him. Please help me. We have been dating for over 8 months. How can I forget him so easily?

    The first thing is you need to be disciplined and determined. You have to forget him if you want to recover from the breakup and move on. You need to delete his numbers from your phone book. Unfriend or block him from your online social accounts. Be determined you will not contact him and disciplined that when you feel like contacting him, you will tell yourself the relationship is over, you have to move on thus you need to forget him and move on with your life. Always remind yourself of this. You have to stop stalking him. Tear his photos into pieces. Always smile even when you feel sad because it will remind you there is a future, you can make it by recovering from the breakup and moving on. Forgive him if he was the one in the wrong and forgive yourself whether you were in the wrong or reacted negatively during the breakup. Be gentle to yourself and stop blaming yourself. Write a letter to yourself. In it, write why you have to forget him and move on. Always have that letter with you for it will always act as a reminder why you need to forget him. And love yourself and know clinging to him is denying yourself of the fact you can move on.

  • How can I forgive him while he never asked for forgiveness? How can I forgive him knowing he was the cause of my miscarriage?

    When you forgive someone, it doesn't mean you are giving him the leeway or opportunity to hurt you. It doesn't mean you accept what he did to you because it isn't acceptable.

    Forgiveness is for your own benefit. It aids you in getting rid of negative emotions - anger, hatred, bitterness. When you hold onto these emotions, they will have disastrous effects on your wellbeing both psychologically and physically.

    Nit forgiving him is the same as letting him (his actions) have control of what you should do and not do. They will dictate which actions to take.

    In life, we experience hurt or wrong is done against us on different levels. In most of these cases, those who wrong us don't ask for forgiveness or acknowledge what they did. We can't force them. What we are left with is to forgive them because we don't want their actions to affect us negatively.

    Forgive him not because you're condoning his action but to prevent yourself from being affected negatively by his action.

  • My boyfriend of five years didn't want marriage. I did, and so I broke it off. I keep hoping he will change and suddenly become the man I wanted. How do I stop these silly thoughts?

    You have to reaffirm to your heart that the relationship is over. You have to tell it whenever you long for your boyfriend, that you wanted a man to spend the rest of your life within the form of marriage. The man you'd thought would be the one didn't want it.

    Also, whenever you think of such thoughts, snap out of them by telling yourself to stop thinking about such things. You're wasting your life. You need to move on. It will take time, but the heart has to always know it is a no-no about your boyfriend and the wishful thinking.

    Lastly, cease any form of communication and concentrate on your life. Store away his photos or tear them into pieces. Erase his phone numbers.

    Tell your mind and heart to focus ahead. Always remind them the past is past. Now is the present.

  • I am very much in love with a girl - can't live without her. I tried not to talk to her, but after some days or one week, I went back to her saying, "Hi! Hello!" Whatever I do for her she always takes it in a negative direction. In the mid of our relationship she also cheated on me; now she is saying that we don't have any future and all that. What should I do?

    You need to cut off communication with her despite how much you love her. I don't see your relationship heading anywhere because whatever you do she steers it in a different direction.

    Don't contact her for more than two weeks. It will help in calming your mind and enabling you to reflect on the relationship without hurtful emotions or what you feel for her dictating what to think or decide. You need a time of your own to think things through.

    But the way you've described the nature of your relationship, it's better you move on. It hurts but it's the only plausible solution.


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    • profile image


      35 hours ago

      How can I get over infatuation if I don't want to leave behind my feelings on this person? I know it's a problem, but I don't really know if I want to remove all the feelings or just the obsessive part.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      10 months ago

      That's the sad fact about love or being in a relationship with another person.

      As you had indicated, moving on is the right decision to undertake. You have to let her go and move on with your life.

      In time, she will no longer form the central place in your heart. Someonr else will mean a lot to you. But, engage in another relationship when you have healed and have moved on.

    • profile image

      Richter Amukumbi 

      10 months ago

      All the responses are adorable and have given me an insight that am not alone. loved a lady for three years, adoring her and even taking care of her....she looks at it as nothing and breaks up with me. I will move on although I still love her. I have to let her go.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      13 months ago

      Hi Amanda,

      You have to stop thinking about your ex. You have to be disciplined that whenever you think about your ex, you have to force yourself to stop thinking about your ex. Always remind yourself your ex is no longer with you, he is no longer in your life.

      Ask yourself why you should take sleeping pills and drink wine just to feel better, when in essence they're affecting you negatively. Why depend on them when you can do without them. When you want to drink wine or take the pills, stop. Be determined that you won't take it. Tell yourself you won't take it because they're having negative effect on you.

      When you can control or bring into control your emotions that's when you'll stop taking the pills or getting drunk.

      During the night listen to soothing songs not related with love - encouraging and inspirational songs.

      If you have a close friend, tell her to always remind you at night that you need to live and take care of yourself. She should also remind you that you can sleep by yourself without relying on the addictive substances.

      Like I stated above, you have to control your emotions. You can do this by blocking him from your social media accounts, deleting his numbers and tearing off his photos. Stop listening to love songs. Control your anger and hatred towards him. Tell yourself you don't need to be angry at him or hate him. It won't help you positively. When your heart longs for him, tell yourself he's no longer in your life thus you don't need to long after him.

      Tell yourself you need to move on. Have your friend monitor you in terms of taking the pills and wanting to get drunk.

      Tell yourself you deserve a life of your own thus you won't starve yourself to death because of the breakup. The breakup happened thus you need to move on. Control of your emotions and the determination to move on will help you to get over your ex and recover from the breakup.

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      13 months ago

      Hi Yashu,

      I took long to reply to your comment. It's because it was detected as spam thus I wasn't able to notice it clearly. I have changed its status.

      Thank you for your comment and also for sharing. I will keep on posting such helpful posts. Thanks for the encouragement and motivation.

    • profile image


      13 months ago

      I can't cope with the pain of my break up. Can't eat or sleep, I feel depressed. Can't sleep without sleeping pills or wine. And to make things worse I think I’m getting addicted to them. How can I make myself feel better and sleep better?

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      16 months ago

      You have to ask yourself why you love your current boyfriend. What is it in your boyfriend that will make you want to stay with him than returning back to your ex?

      It's normal to still hold some feelings or a part of your heart still longing for your ex. But, ask yourself even if your ex has changed are you sure it won't lead to another breakup? Would your current boyfriend accept you back into his arms after dumping him?

      If you do love your current boyfriend, and you need to have justifiable reasons why you love him, and want to get married to him then you need to do something that you should have done but somehow found it hard. You need to cease any communication with your ex.

      The reason you still have feelings for your ex is because you're still communicating with him. You should tell him it's over between the two of you. You can't go back. You have moved on with your life and the evidence is you're in a relationship with another man.

      The most important thing I will stress is you need to have justifiable reason why you love your current boyfriend. If you love him because he is good then it won't stand the test of time. If you had a daughter with your current boyfriend after getting married and she asks you why you decided to fall in love with daddy till you got married; what would be your reason(s)? That reason(s) will help you get over your ex. As per now you haven't yet moved on because you're still communicating with your ex.

      You need to move on and that means forgetting your ex. You have to tell him you can't let go of your current boyfriend thus you can't continue any conversation with him unless it's very necessary.

      If your feelings for your ex are greater than for your current boyfriend, the relationship won't last. It will breakup. If you're happy in the relationship you're in, tell yourself a million times why you would want continue in the current relationship.

      Yes, he has changed (maybe). But it should be for his own benefit since you're in another relationship.

      Concluding, you should have solid reasons why you are happy to be in the current relationship and why you will never get back to your ex even if he has changed.

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      I am in a relationship but I still love my ex and even tho he has bring me nothing but pain and hurt I dnt want to be with him even tho he say he has change. I dnt want to leave my current relationship but I feeling empty even tho he makes me happy, and he is a better guy than my ex!! I think I need help to figure out my feelings. What if he propose and am still struggling with these feelings? Please help

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      16 months ago

      It does look she is being influenced by somebody, in this case as you've mentioned, her best friend.

      From what you've described, she doesn't really know what a relationship is all about. She has some misconception of what constitutes relationship, she isn't ready and she's confused.

      What does that mean? If you enter into a relationship with her right now, it will sure lead to a breakup.

      You'll have to give her space and time. You too need it. It will assist you in reflecting about her and the relationship in general, and will initiate the healing process.

      It's a hard decision to let her go. But you have unless you're sure she knows what she's getting into when she engages in the relationship.

    • profile image


      16 months ago

      We were in a relationship for only 1 month ...I am totally into her ..after 1 month she is suddenly saying that she wants to know me more ...and don't want to be in a relationship now ..she wants to live alone ...she thinks that if we get into relationship then her life will be controlled by me and I also think that she is influenced by her best (male) friend

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      I've got a lot of help from putting myself first and stop focusing on my ex. If you're dealing with heartbreak right now, I can recommend you to check out, it helped me a lot going through my breakup!

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      18 months ago

      Delete his phone numbers, tear into pieces or burn his photos, block him on your social media accounts. Do not contact him in any way. If you cannot avoid seeing each other because you work in the same office, just greetings; nothing more.

      Will your heart and mind to stop thinking about him. Concentrate on yourself. Do what you like doing, read books, watch movies, listen to encouraging and inspiring songs, read motivational books, work on your talents, be close to your friends and loved one. Be disciplined you will not think about you. When you do so tell yourself you have to stop thinking about him.

      Forgive your ex if he was the cause or yourself and ask for forgiveness from your ex if you were the cause. Stop wishing and be determined to move on.

      Lastly, thank your ex for the time you were together and wish him all the best. The text is better than calling.

    • profile image


      18 months ago

      How can i move on after break up?

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      hi, Alianess Benny Njuguna lovely post i would like to share this because its very helpful for me keep it up & please don't stop posting.thanks for share such kind of nice information with us

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      You lost me when I saw the "HE broke it into pieces".

    • profile image


      22 months ago

      Hey! Samantha, i too just broke up. With my gf i feel so damn low like i just want to time travel and make it so that i never would have dated her, the pain doesn't go away (i hope it goes away) i am in the same class as her so its damn hard to not think about her each day feels like i m drowning in cold water its just too hard. We broke up and got back together several times i know we wouldn't happy but i can't aceppt my life without her today i went to talk to her just to be ignored Samantha i hope you will recover from this breakup and don't think about getting back it will only bring you more suffering

    • Ben716 profile imageAUTHOR

      Alianess Benny Njuguna 

      23 months ago

      Hi Samantha. I understand how you feel. During the first days after the breakup you'll feel every pinch of pain. However, as was in my case and countless others, you can get out of breakup in one piece - heal and recover.

      Now is not the time to think about your ex or the possibility of getting back. Whether you'll get back together or not shouldn't be your priority now. What matters now is to gain the strength to get through the breakup.

      First, it will be good to confide to somebody you trust. This will assist you in loosening the baggage of pain you feel. Again, your friend or that someone you trust will act as a reminder you can get through.

      Next, if you've any photos of your ex it'll be a good idea to tear them into pieces or lock them somewhere you'll not remember them. You can ask someone to keep them for you. Block him from you social accounts such as FB and Whatsapp. Don't unfriend because you might be tempted to friend them. This will help you from wanting to see his photos, his updated status and the need to contact him. Delete his numbers so as to avoid the temptation of contacting him.

      As you've indicated, it will be a good idea to stop taking the sleeping pills. Although it will be hard to get sleep, there are various activities you can engage in to get the sleep that is much needed. Watch a movie, listen to songs (not love songs), chat with your friends and/or family members, read a novel, engage in writing activities e.g. participating in writing contests or if you have a pet, find time to play with it or spend some time with it.

      Don't stay indoor for a long time (even if you're an introvert). Visit places, your friends, spend time in the public library. Avoid visiting spots you know your ex likes going to. No accidental bumps. You should try as much as possible not to see each other face-to-face. In case you work in the same company or study in the same school/college/university or live in a small neighborhood, you can greet each other but no more.

      The Internet is full of success stories of individuals who healed and recovered from a breakup. Read those stories. They will strengthen and help you to resolve to get out of the breakup in one piece. There are online groups such as FB groups that deal with issues of relationships. You can join one of them. You will learn much and make friends who will enable you to get over the breakup.

      Remember, you will not get over the breakup in a short time depending on how much you invested in the relationship and the duration of the relationship. But, resolve you'll get over the breakup. Make up your mind the breakup won't break you down into pieces. You'll pick up the pieces and move on. Don't think about getting back together or think about the failed relationship. Stop entertaining any image of your ex in your mind. When it happens, engage in an activity to distract you from it.

      About the sleeping pills, flash them into the toilet. Don't take any.

      You might be interested to read my other two articles which I hope will help you feel better and sleep better: The Benefits of No Contact Rule and why you should forgive your ex.

      I know you'll get out of the breakup in one piece because you've resolved to do so. Best wishes.

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      I can't cope with the pain of my break up. Can't eat or sleep, I feel depressed. Can't sleep without the sleeping pills. And to make things worse I think I’m getting addicted to them. How can I make myself feel better and sleep better?

    • dashingscorpio profile image


      3 years ago from Chicago

      It's also good to spend time with your friends and family.

      Not only can they be supportive but they can help you put things in perspective. Almost everyone has been rejected or dumped.

      "A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn. Thankfully there are over 7 Billion other people on the planet.

      Every ending is a new beginning!

      One other thing to keep in mind....

      In order for your (ex) to have been "the one" she would have had to see (you) as being "the one". At the very least a "soul-mate" is someone who actually WANTS to be with you! (And vice versa).

      "Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

      - Oscar Wilde

      If someone dumps you they clearly don't think you're special.

      Your future lies ahead of you and not behind of you.


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