6 Books to Get You Through a Breakup

By: Abdelrahman Fawzy

Heartache. Lovesickness. Broken heart. Anyone that has suffered from a breakup will attest that the intense pain of a failed relationship can be debilitating, especially at first. People can be so impatient to get rid of their sadness that they mask the pain, or ignore it, and don’t actually take the time to reflect on the breakup so that they can learn from it and gain clarity to apply to future relationships. The best thing to do after a breakup (besides the obligatory ice cream benders) is to read books that help you heal effectively and understand what went wrong, what went right, and the steps you can take to grow from a rough experience. 

Here are some of the best ones out there:


How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days by Howard Bronson and Mike Riley


“Can you become a virgin again? Perhaps not. But your ability to open yourself to a loving innocence can be recovered. Time, healing actions, and the right kind of insights will make all the difference.”

For obvious reasons, breakup books tend to focus on the person who’s been dumped and seldom mend the heart of the heartbreaker. I like How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days because it’s agnostic to these roles and sympathetic to all types of romantic woes. Authors Howard Bronson and Mike Riley present a practical, meaningful and actionable plan to understand your failed relationship, make peace with your ex, and enjoy your life while moving toward a happy future. 

Beasts of Prey: The Hard Truth about Men by Orna Gadish


 “asked a male friend of mine what it is that guys look for when they go out on their first date. He took no more than five seconds to answer: buttocks.”

If you’ve been in a relationship, whether it’s been good or bad, you have probably noticed that men sometimes seem like a different species altogether. Orna Gadish dives deep into these behavioral differences in his book, Beasts of Prey: The Hard Truth about Men. This book goes through the biological basis for common male tendencies too, and their views on monogamy and love in general. The research presented is eye-opening; it’s a fascinating read (though some of the information is tough to swallow) and it’s particularly helpful if you want to gain a greater understanding about men after a tough breakup.

Beautiful Uncertainty by Mandy Hale


“You don’t need a significant other to lead a significant life.” 

Many relationship books offer advice on how to use the post-breakup period to emotionally prepare for finding love again, but what if we stopped looking at this period as a time to prepare for the next thing? Beautiful Uncertainty by Mandy Hale asks readers to embrace exactly that; there’s something liberating in learning to find beauty and purpose in the not knowing. Being too mentally focused on finding your next romantic partner might tempt you to settle for someone you don’t want to be with, but Hale argues that your best bet is to be secure in being single and exude independence, confidence and positivity. The right person will come along when you stop trying too hard to find them. 


This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz


“You eventually erase her contact info from your phone but not the pictures you took of her in bed while she was naked and asleep, never those.” 

If you have brothers or platonic male friends, you might know how helpful it can be to solicit a male perspective when licking your wounds after a breakup. This is How You Lose Her, a collection of short stories by Junot Díaz, is a work of fiction- but the wisdom it provides is anything but that. At the center of these stories is young, passionate, and flawed Yunior, who longs for love and looks far and wide for it. Díaz’s protagonist tells of the women he loved, the women he left, and the women he lost, along with his beautifully written, haunting perspective on experiences and mistakes made along the way.


Dumped by Maryjane Fahey and Caryn Beth Rosenthal


“ You would have dumped him and you know it. He just beat you to it. Here’s our grown-up guide to gettin’ off your ass and over your ex in record time.” 

I can’t possibly put it any better than Maryjane Fahey and Caryn Beth Rosenthal did on the cover of their breakup book, Dumped. The authors write about their own experiences as well as their friends’ love lives gone sour. It’s enlightening, hysterical, and cathartic.

He’s Just Not That into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo


“The word “busy” is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. It seems like a good excuse, but in fact, in every silo you uncover, all you’re going to find is a man who didn’t care enough to call. Remember: Men are never too busy to get what they want.” 

For anyone harping over why their relationship ended, or considering waiting around while he ‘figures things out,’ you might need to hear this harsh truth. He’s Just Not That Into You (which was the basis for the film) is a book by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo that drills relentlessly into your brain the notion that often– and this goes for serious relationships as well as dating in general– it really is as simple as the fact that if you didn’t feel like a priority, you probably weren’t. The book is a mirror that forces you to first realize, perhaps deny, and eventually appreciate the fact that if it was like pulling teeth getting attention from him, you don’t actually want to be with him either. It’s really very empowering. 

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