One time, when I was feeling sad, my friend’s mother, who is a therapist, told me I ought to give myself permission to do whatever felt good. It was a tip that stuck with me, and one I may have taken a little too seriously in the aftermath of my most recent breakup. What followed was a months-long bender wherein I indulged my most “feel good” behavior. While this is definitely not a list of things you should do (in my experience, you should never listen to anyone who tells you to “tweet with abandon”), it’s not not a list of things you should do.
1. Tweet With Abandon
My dad once gave me the advice to not tell everyone everything I’m thinking, and I told him to stop reading my Twitter. I tweet pretty personal stuff, is what I’m saying. Fortunately, almost no one follows me on Twitter besides my mom, who will sometimes reply to me that she is proud of her “dotr.” As a result, my feed essentially functions as an online diary that no one chooses to read. The upside? When I started hitting send on victory tweets anytime I saw someone throw away the flowers they got on Valentine’s Day, no one was there to bear witness to my bitterness. Unfortunately, I am 26, still on my family’s data plan, and recently used up all of our shared data from tweeting, so my dad has asked that I stop and I am attempting to comply.
2. Ignore Everyone’s Advice Not to Blog
I spent a lot of time on Google searching “how to get over a breakup,” and while I found the internet to be quite useful, the resounding advice to not “blog” after a breakup didn’t sit well with me. I run a newsletter with 26 subscribers, after all, and I’m not about to not divulge intensely private details about my life to them. Anyway, it was a newsletter, not a blog, which I decided was an important distinction. I sent out my breakup newsletter on Valentine’s Day, just to keep the people grounded. It was met with lukewarm response but only two people unsubscribed!
3. Make Forums Your Friend
I have used Quora exactly two times in my life: once when I had an infected body party I will not get into, and again after my breakup. In a moment of weakness, I went to the website and asked if people had breakup album suggestions. The thread generated a lot of good material, including the suggestion that I start listening to Fiona Apple, who is amazing. Have you ever been to a piano bar and asked them to play Fiona Apple’s “Werewolf?” I have, and I hate to rag on the piano bar scene but I was very disheartened when the pianist implied my new favorite song of all time was a “downer.”
4. Swipe Right, Pray They Don’t Read the Aforementioned Tweets
My coworker convinced me there was no such thing as “too soon” and that I should get on Bumble immediately. I complied. I have found, however, that it is always “too soon” to admit to not liking dogs on dating apps (heterosexual men seem to love it when women like dogs). On the plus side, Bumble gave me ample opportunity to work on my opening one-liners, ranging from,“I haven’t brushed my hair in four years,” to, “What kind of ramen do you fuck with?” In both cases, neither man responded. Anyway, there are these things called “super swipes” on Bumble that cost $1.99, which may not seem like a lot at first, but will add up until before you know it, you’re still single as a Pringle with a bill from Apple for $46.55.
5. Make Playlists, Receive Playlists, Music Is Your Best Friend
People who follow me on Spotify may have known something was up when I started naming my playlists things like, “All My Flowers Are Dead” and the more explicit, “Songs To Cry To.” But the truth is, I found creating playlists to be very therapeutic, and even uplifting, especially the ones that heavily featured Hailee Steinfeld and her hit song “Love Myself.” Also, friends often made playlists for me as comforting gestures, which was very nice. Everyone should have a friend that will make you a playlist with Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable” on it. My version of this friend called me Marissa during the first month of our friendship. It’s nice to keep in mind that things evolve.
6. Switch Therapists
When I became single, I switched therapists, thinking everything in my life needed a “fresh start.” This also led me to purchasing a pair of white sheets which I deeply regret as they are forever stained from a time I drunkenly ate hot wings in bed. I wish my therapist were Brené Brown, an actual earth angel I discovered on YouTube when I was down a dark internet k-hole watching TED talks on the power of vulnerability, but I think she might be too famous to take me on as a patient. Anyway, my new therapist is good, I think, though I’m pretty sure all therapy is a mixed bag. We do a lot of meditating, which I hate, and she lets me charge my phone during our session, which I love. Either way, I leave both calmer and fully charged, lol.
Throughout my breakup, I was constantly asking people if what I was feeling and what I was doing was “normal.” Most everyone told me it was, except for my mom, who believes in “radical honesty.” But I think my point is: who cares if it was normal? There’s no “normal” way to get your heart broken, anyway.
What extremely helpful and productive things have you done to get over a breakup? I’m still taking tips.
Photo by Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast/Contour via Getty Images.