Healing After Heartbreak: Therapist-Recommended Breakup Recovery Tips

Breaking up with a romantic partner can be a painful experience, no matter why it happens. If you’re consumed with various emotions following a breakup, this article covers tips to help you move on after the relationship ends.

Why Do We Grieve Relationships?

While grief is commonly associated with mourning the loss of a loved one, research suggests individuals going through a romantic breakup also experience symptoms of bereavement. Angela Amias, a licensed clinical social worker, said people may move through grief stages following a breakup, including:

● Denial
● Anger
● Bargaining
● Depression
● Acceptance

Amisa said grief isn’t linear, and some people might potentially move forward or backward throughout the process.

How Long Does It Take to Get Over a Breakup?

Alana Carvalho, a licensed mental health counselor, said there’s no formula for determining how long recovering from a breakup will take. However, an older study in The Journal of Positive Psychology discovered that couples who lived together and had plans to marry experienced a greater decline in life satisfaction following a breakup than couples who were not in this situation.

A recent study also revealed that individuals who understood why a relationship ended experienced more satisfaction and less conflict in future relationships.

Tips for Coping With a Breakup

If you’re wondering what to do after a breakup, here’s some advice you can follow:

Engage in Positive Journaling

Journaling for 15 to 30 minutes daily can help you process your breakup. According to one study, individuals who participated in a three-day writing practice focusing on the positive aspects of a breakup experienced greater comfort and confidence.

Don’t Judge Yourself

Amias said it’s important not to judge how you feel after a relationship ends. She also said people who make space for their personal experience and let themselves feel their feelings move into the next phase of their life with no baggage from their last relationship.

Prioritize Your Health

After a relationship ends, you may neglect your basic needs, like getting a good night’s rest. However, inadequate sleep can affect your healing process. You must sleep properly to prevent mental stress and help you move forward.

Exercise Regularly

Engaging in physical activity can ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress associated with your breakup. According to a meta-analysis of 92 research studies, any form of physical activity could lead to mental health benefits.


Ending a romantic relationship can feel similar to losing a loved one. However, moving through the grieving process and healing can help you recover and prepare for the next phase of life.