Because even Taylor Swift needs help when she gets dumped.
This year, wedding season is fast being taken over by breakup season.
As you may have heard, Taylor Swift and Gigi Hadid both got dumped last week. Lucky for them – and everyone else out there with a freshly broken heart – I’m an expert in dealing with heartache.
All seven of the following tricks have been personally tested by yours truly and proven effective, so read on for relief…
1. Cry as much as possible
When you go through a breakup, people give you a lot of useless advice. ‘Keep your chin up’, they say. ‘There are plenty of other fish in the sea’, they tell you. ‘Men are like buses – another one comes along every 10 minutes.’ Okay, maybe only my mother said that.
But I’m not going to tell you to buck up or to let a smile be your umbrella – no way. I say go ahead and cry as much as humanly possible. Do whatever you have to do to get those tears flowing. Watching Terms of Endearment usually does it for me. The goal is to achieve that hollowed-out, hiccup-y feeling so you pass out and sleep the deep, dreamless slumber of the emotionally exhausted. You’ll feel better in the morning, I promise.
2. Listen to Barry Manilow
Hey – don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. Can you really listen to ‘Mandy’ without tearing up? “I remember all my life, raining down as cold as ice. Shadows of a man, a face through a window, crying in the night…” I mean, come on! Other good ones: ‘Even Now’ (“Even now I wake up crying in the middle of the night. And I can’t believe it still could hurt so bad”) and ‘Weekend in New England’ (“When will our eyes meet? When can I touch you? When will this strong yearning end? And when will I hold you again?”). Get over yourself and make an all-Barry Spotify playlist already.
3. Burn anything that reminds you of him
That’s right, don’t just get rid of it – burn it. Instead of asking yourself if something sparks joy a la the KonMari Method, ask yourself if it makes your heart ache. Concert tickets, love letters, his old T-shirt – these are all excellent fuel sources. Don’t think about it too much, just do it. Pick up ingredients for S’mores and invite your girlfriends over for a sticky and satisfying night.
4. Go to karaoke bars
It doesn’t matter if you can’t sing or if you’ve never done karaoke before. In fact, if you can’t carry a tune, all the better; karaoke bars are very forgiving places. Go ahead and belt out ‘Foolish Games’. Offer to sing backup vocals for the person who signed up for ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’. Ask that burly motorcycle dude in the corner to duet ‘Endless Love’ with you. Give an encore performance of ‘I Will Survive’. You’ll get cheers and high-fives. You’ll dance until you’re sweaty. You will survive.
5. Make friends with your heartbreak
After you’ve cried yourself out, communed with Barry, had a good bonfire and sung yourself hoarse, it’s time to get spiritual. Buddhist nun Pema Chodron says we should ask ourselves “Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace – disappointment in all its many forms – and let it open me?” I suggest sharing a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey with your pain while you’re at it – it’ll help all this philosophical thinking go down a little easier.
6. Write his name on the bottom of your shoes
I read this a long, long time ago, in a very funny book called Breakup Girl to the Rescue!. It’s the most ridiculous, juvenile thing to do, yet it’s oddly satisfying. It’s even better on a busy street, because then it’s more likely to be absolutely filthy. With every step, you’ll feel just that little bit better.
7. Get back out there
After all that, there’s really nothing left except to try, try again. Reactivate those old dating profiles, post plenty of selfies with your adorable new post-breakup haircut (you got one, right?) and get back in the game. You’ve made it through the rain – it’s time to take a chance again.
GIFs via giphy.com.
Comment: What’s your best advice for dealing with a breakup?
Elizabeth lives in Brooklyn with two daughters, occasional mice and innumerable to-do lists. She runs a nine-minute mile, bakes a mean chocolate chip cookie, and can always be persuaded to sing at a karaoke bar. Follow her on Twitter.