How To Step Back Into Your Happiness Post-Breakup

Last updated on : August 06 2022

They are sitting on the wooden chair.

Stepping Back Into Your Happiness Post-Breakup

In 1962, Niel Sedaka told us that “breaking up is hard to do.” 

For a song that’s 60 years old, that simple line still weighs heavily on anyone just getting out of a relationship. About 50% of marriages today end in divorce, and every other long-term or casual relationship still has a likely chance of ending in a breakup. 

No matter the reason for your breakup, it will always hurt. Even if you knew it was the right thing to do, you still have to deal with the loss of something familiar and the pain that comes with that. It’s not uncommon to feel extreme sadness or even hopelessness. Sometimes, you might even feel like a failure, or the break could cause your self-esteem and confidence to take a hit. 

While it might not feel like it right now, you don’t have to get stuck in a cycle of sadness forever. Breaking up with a partner closes a chapter and allows you to start a new one whenever you’re ready. 

With that in mind, let’s look at a few ways to step back into your happiness post-breakup. By learning how to cope in healthy, effective practices, you can take control of your life once again, rediscover who you are and who you want to be, and eventually consider moving on with someone new (if that’s what you want). 

Engage In Self-Care

The term “self-care” has become so popular in recent years that many people misinterpret it — some even think that self-care involves luxurious treatments or lavish and expensive activities. Nothing could be further from the truth. Self-care isn’t indulgent or selfish. Instead, it’s necessary to keep your mental and physical well-being as strong as possible. 

After a breakup, self-care is even more critical and looks slightly different for everyone. Start by doing at least one thing every day that helps to reduce your stress or makes you feel happy. That could include things like

  • Exercising;
  • Listening to your favorite music;
  • Taking a long bath;
  • Getting a massage;
  • Cooking a healthy meal;
  • Reading a good book.

Another essential part of self-care that can often be overlooked is setting boundaries. After a breakup, especially a messy one, you may be especially vulnerable, and it’s more important than ever to set limits to further your self-care. These limits may involve setting boundaries with yourself, your ex, and others who might try to take advantage of you - an effective strategy to use is the no-contact rule. 

Even if you only have a few minutes for self-care each day, prioritizing it will help you to see your value and worth and can help to build your confidence back up while improving your mental well-being. 

Nurture Your Mental Health

Of course, self-care is just the start of a mental health journey when dealing with a breakup. You should prioritize your mental health consistently — not just after a breakup. 

However, if you’re struggling with your mental health post-breakup, you might need to take things one step further to manage your mental wellness. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to nurture your mental health, including journaling, meditation, or mindfulness. 

You can even try mind mapping to experience mental clarity. Mind mapping is a great way to get to the root of your feelings and pinpoint specific areas that tend to hurt the most. When you peel back those layers and uncover the actual cause(s) of your pain, you’ll have an easier time working through things and moving forward. 

In some cases, you might benefit from seeking professional help for your mental well-being. 

Anxiety and depression are pervasive and often challenging to deal with on your own due to the vast symptoms. One study found that most university students had an altered state of mind after a breakup, affecting their test scores, concentration abilities, and overall academic performance

In addition, this altered state of mind rarely goes away on its own, especially when you’re struggling to manage your symptoms. Whether you feel like you can open up to friends and family or not, it never hurts to have the help of a professional. Talking to a therapist or counselor will make it easier to uncover the root cause(s) of your issues and why the breakup was so tricky. 

They’ll also be able to help you with the skills needed to move forward and cope in healthy ways. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of options available to seek out professional help. If you’re not ready to see someone in person, consider teletherapy so you can get the help you deserve from the comfort of your home. 

Focus On Friends And Family

They are laughing.

It’s easy to feel incredibly alone after a breakup. Even if you know you have friends and family members who are willing to support you, it can be tempting to withdraw from the people you love and the things you tend to enjoy. You might even be tempted to return to your toxic ex if you’re feeling incredibly lonely or worried you don’t have anyone else to talk to. 

That’s a mistake that can make you feel worse than ever. 

Now is perfect for reaching out to your social circle for support. Multiple studies have shown the health benefits of spending time with family. Some of them include

  • Boosted mental health;
  • Improved confidence;
  • More adaptability and resilience;
  • Enhanced physical health. 

Even if you have friends who feel as close as family members, spending time with them can offer similar benefits. Sometimes, having a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to will make a big difference in how you feel. Those closest to you want to help you in any way they can, so don’t be afraid to let them in to offer their support. 

However, it’s essential to choose your “breakup support system” wisely, and it all depends on the support you need right now — the support may vary depending on the person and the breakup. Sometimes you’ll need a group of friends to bad-mouth and trash-talk with. Other times, you may need plenty of distractions and laughter. 

Whatever support you feel you need should ultimately lift you instead of leaving you focusing on the relationship. Communicating your needs with your support system and what you think is best to help you heal on your breakup journey is best. 

Finally, don’t hesitate to show your appreciation for them. Expressing gratitude is a great way to improve your mood and help you realize how good your life is, even in the hard times. 

Pursue Your Passions

A breakup is an ending but also a chance at a new beginning. Depending on how long you were in your relationship, you might have lost a piece of yourself. It’s okay for couples to feel like a unit, but it should never come at the expense of your identity. 

If you haven’t been able to get involved in your old hobbies for a while, now is the perfect time to dive back in or consider trying something new. You never know what might spark your interest or ignite a new passion within you. 

Trying new things can help you experience more personal growth after a breakup. Consider getting involved in hobbies that will lift your spirits, like

  • Exercising;
  • Dancing;
  • Taking an art class;
  • Taking a martial arts class;
  • Learning a new language;
  • Traveling the globe.

When you’re willing to put yourself out there with a new hobby, you can find something that completely changes your life. If you decide to take a class, you’re also more likely to meet like-minded people and form new, supportive friendships. 

You might even end up interested in a new relationship. 

Get Back Into Dating – When You’re Ready

There’s no timeline in place that suggests you have to start dating again weeks, months, or even years after a breakup. Some think jumping back into the dating pool will help them cope with losing a relationship. Others have no interest in getting into another relationship soon after a breakup. 

The most important thing is to be true to yourself, your needs, and your wants. Don’t let anyone pressure you to go on a date or even put yourself out there. You have to be completely comfortable with the idea. 

There are benefits to dating, of course, including companionship, conversation, and the benefits of a physical relationship — all of which can reduce stress, improve your mood, and even boost your immunity. 


However, to be confident in your next relationship, it’s essential to do it on your terms and timeline. Think about what you want, consider things that went wrong in the past and how you can avoid those issues, and understand that it’s okay to be a little picky. 

Almost everyone experiences at least one horrible breakup in their lifetime - while it might seem like the worst thing that’s ever happened right now, the reality is that your story could just be beginning. The next chapter will be better than ever. 

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