Helpful, empowering, and entertaining reads to get you through the post-breakup blues.

By Jamie Harrison
July 19, 2021
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Let's face it, going through a breakup can be a pretty traumatic experience. Whether you're the one who initiated the breakup or not, there's a certain amount of grief that can arise when ending a relationship—and for a while after it ends. Oftentimes we find ourselves mourning what used to be, what could've been, and agonizing over random triggers such as familiar songs, smells, or places that remind you of your ex.  

However, as the age-old adage goes, "time heals all wounds," and the good news is that there are many ways to support your recovery after a breakup. (Besides playing Beyoncé's "Me, Myself and I" a couple hundred times. Just me...? OK.) One not-so-talked-about recovery method includes reading breakup books—yes, you read that correctly.

When you're going through a tough time—whether it's post break-up or another unsettling life transition—a good book can be an excellent source of comfort and healing. Not only do they provide a healthy escape from reality, books are informative, insightful, and entertaining—thus helping you to heal from a broken heart and cope with your new normal. For those experiencing the dreadful breakup blues, here are six reads that will help reclaim your life and help you to start feeling like your (awesome) self again.

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Books for Breakups: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, by Pema Chödrön
Credit: bookshop.org

1 'When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times' by Pema Chödrön

$16, bookshop.org

In this best-selling classic, American Tibetan Buddhist teacher, nun, and author, Pema Chödrön, draws on her own experience with personal crisis and the ancient teachings of Tibetan Buddhism to offer gentle and incisive guidance. Instead of running away from fear or pain, Pema suggests that moving towards painful situations can actually be the key to overcoming heartache and misfortune. The book offers blunt, straight-to-the-chase advice, but with an enlightened point of view, thanks to Pema's Buddhist background.

Books for Breakups: The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing from a Breakup or Divorce, by Rachel Sussman
Credit: bookshop.org

2 'The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman's Guide to Healing From a Breakup or Divorce' by Rachel Sussman

$16, bookshop.org

If you're looking for a book that's going to double as a self-help guide and a thorough therapy session, then consider The Breakup Bible for your next read. Here, psychotherapist and relationship expert Rachel Sussman reveals helpful secrets every woman needs to get her life back on track. While writing The Breakup Bible, Sussman drew from her own experience with painful breakups as well as the healing process of hundreds of other women she counseled and interviewed along the way.

Books for Breakups: It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak into Happily Never After, by Andi Dorfman
Credit: amazon.com

3 'It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After' by Andi Dorfman

$11, amazon.com

Calling all reality TV fans! If anyone knows how to bounce back from a gut-wrenching (and not to mention, very public) split, it's Andi Dorfman, beloved finalist of season 18 of The Bachelor and the star of season 10 of The Bachelorette. Read along as Dorfman indulges in juicy, insider stories about her dating life (on and off the screen), reflects on her personal challenges, and shares uplifting advice about overcoming obstacles in relationships.

Books for Breakups: Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes
Credit: bookshop.org

4 'Year of Yes' by Shonda Rhimes

$17, bookshop.org

Sometimes breakups can lead to a fresh start, and if you're ready for a new lease on life (or at least a solid distraction), check out Shonda Rhimes' spectacular and inspiring book, Year of Yes. As a self-proclaimed introvert, the uber-talented creator of Grey's Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away with Murder describes how stepping outside of her comfort zone and saying "yes" changed her life for the better. Now, it doesn't quite suggest that you go around saying "yes" to all things in life—but this engaging and laugh-out-loud funny memoir may inspire you to join a new book club, pick up a new hobby, go to a concert, or take that vacation you've been dreaming about. Why not say "yes"?

RELATED: 13 New LGBTQIA+ Books That Are Perfect for Pride Month Reading (and Beyond) 

Books for Breakups: How to Date Men When You Hate Men, by Blythe Roberson
Credit: amazon.com

5 'How to Date Men When You Hate Men' by Blythe Roberson

$12, amazon.com

For those seeking comedic relief, this page-turner is definitely worth a read. If the title alone doesn't grab your attention (totally relatable, right?), then New Yorker and The Onion writer and comedian Blythe Roberson's sharp and sarcastic humor will surely draw you in. Her witty and entertaining essays provide her hilarious yet thought-provoking, introspective takes on dating in today's society. In her collection of quips and reflections, Roberson touches on dating subjects relating to patriarchy, technology, and gender roles in a way that could double as a Comedy Central set.

RELATED: 7 Romance Novels to Heat Up Your Summer

Books for Breakups: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson
Credit: amazon.com

6 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Stieg Larrson

From $10, amazon.com

Looking to get lost in a psychological thriller? The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an international bestseller that combines murder, mystery, love, and family sage into a jaw-dropping novel. Lead character, Lisbeth Salander, is a world-class computer hacker and all-around badass who has no problem seeking revenge on the bad guys. Now I must give a disclaimer—this book isn't exactly for the faint of heart, but if you feel like indulging in this intriguing murder-mystery, give this book a shot.

Books for Breakups: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed
Credit: bookshop.org

7 'Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar' by Cheryl Strayed

$16, bookshop.org

Written by the bestselling author of Brave Enough and Wild, this book is a collection of Strayed's best-ever pearls of wisdom from her beloved advice column, "Dear Sugar." Strayed's natural gift in the ways of the heart are on clear display as she tackles everything from loss, heartbreak, and family drama, to minor inconveniences, quirky questions, and even their happiest moments. It's wise, compassionate, honest, and uplifting—the perfect antidote to any breakup blues. It might not heal your broken heart instantly, but it will help remind you that life goes on, no matter what crummy cards you've dealt at the moment.