Bad Breakups

5 Books to Make You Forget That Sour Breakup

I think we’ve all been there at one point or another…


You’re in a relationship with someone you’re totally into, everything is going good, and things just feel right, right?


And then this weird distance begins to nudge its way between you, making you feel like two strangers rather than a team. The amount of messages and calls quickly takes a nose-dive, and you know damn well things used to be better. Unspoken words become weights in the air when you’re together and finally the rug is pulled from beneath you.


You’ve just had a really bad breakup and you are now a whirlwind of emotions.


You may feel the urge to write sad, poetic songs despite your lack of instrumental skills. Or perhaps you want to take every love note and movie ticket you’ve ever collected from your dates and burn them in a pit them while eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. No judgements here.


But we’ve found a more productive (and bookish) way to spend your time and bounce back when you’re stuck in that post-breakup funk. Here are five books to cure that heartbreak and learn more about you.


1. How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide to Saying Good-bye and Getting On With Your Life by Howard Bronson and Mike Riley


Breakup Novel

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We’ll start here for the systematic readers who prefer a clear how-to. Bronson and Riley will help you restore your life without having that other person around. Naturally, they’ll encourage you to remember the good times you’ve both had, but never forget the reason for the breakup. You’ll learn how to handle emotions, face your fears, forgive and forget, and just let go.


2. The Post-Birthday World: A Novel by Lionel Shriver


'The Post-Birthday World: A Novel'

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If you want to drown your sorrows and bitter feelings in someone else’s dilemma, then this is a good choice. Successful Irina lives a simple and enjoyable life with her reserved and safe partner Lawrence. However, this laid-back setup is questioned when Irina comes across a passionate, over-the-top player who is totally opposite to Lawrence. Faced with a choice, we watch as Irina’s world takes two unexpected turns and shows the result of staying in one place or giving in to temptation.


3. Self-Help by Lorrie Moore



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This one is sure to teach you a few lessons and shed a new light upon your dark cloud. Nine stories about lovers, loss, life, and family will remind you of what’s really important (a.k.a. not the jerk who broke your heart). You will laugh, cry, contemplate, and feel content with the gold you take away from these stories.


4. Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney


Never Have I Ever

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Never mind tear-soaked pages, this one oughta lift your spirit with its sweetness and relatability. Heaney’s memoir about her ill-fated crushes and lack of boyfriend at the age of twenty-five will put a smile on your lips and a laugh in your belly. She’s the relatable heroine who has the best family and friends behind her and (surprise) maybe that’s all you need.


5. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri


'Unaccustomed Earth'

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As a reader of Jhumpa Lahiri’s other novels, I will vouch for this one. Her language has this uncanny way of sounding like a voice you’ve known for years. This collection of stories follows family, friends, loves, and the main ingredients that make life, well, life. Voted as Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Lahiri takes us across the world right into the characters’ hearts and minds. Give it a shot.


So, before you go throwing pebbles at windows, casting a spell on an ex’s old hoodie, or swearing off relationships for good… Check these out. You may be surprised by how much you can learn about yourself. And in my book, being you again outweighs any heartbreak.


And side note: don’t forget the Ben & Jerry’s.



Feature Image Via Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash