The Five Best Self-Help Books To Read While You're Going Through A Breakup

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Going through a breakup is rough. In fact, according to Psychology Today, when we experience a breakup, we often go through seven stages of grief before we can fully come to terms with what we have lost. When the breakup is fresh, we often hope to find a reason the relationship ended, searching for answers as to why things didn't work out and possibly what we could have done to turn things around. This often leads to denial, a common stage of all types of grief. We refuse to believe it's over and are unable to come to terms with the life change. This is often when we might have the urge to text our ex (don't do it). Next, we may have feelings of wanting to try again, followed by an increased sense of anger and rage. This rage can lead to unwanted feelings and even unwanted things like breakouts, making us feel even more unlike ourselves.

Eventually, you will start to accept the breakup and feel hopeful again. And when you do, you may want to lean into books to help you find yourself again. According to Byrdie, a breakup is a great time to reinvent ourselves and find out who we truly are — and these self-help books will help you get there.

When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön

Pema Chödrön practices Buddhism and according to Byrdie, has been mastering the art of wellness, meditation, and recovery since 1972. So, if you are going to follow anyone's advice when it comes to finding yourself after a breakup, it should be Pema Chödrön. Her book "When Things Fall Apart" takes a different approach to recovery — instead of trying to erase our pain, she recommends going towards it and learning from it. Once you finish the book, you will have the tools you need to heal and move forward. But, beyond healing, you'll have practices in place to become a better version of yourself. Chödrön even shares her own personal experience with divorce, breakup, and using mindfulness to overcome the discomfort of both. The personal anecdotes that she shares make the book helpful and relatable — a win-win.

The Art of Breaking Up by HITRECORD

If you loved the movie "500 Days of Summer," Byrdie recommends picking up this book post-breakup. HITRECORD is a community created by Joseph Gorden-Levitt, who starred in the popular romantic film. The community has 750,000 artists who came together to express their own feelings toward love and breakups. Inside "The Art of Breaking Up," you won't find the traditional self-help book. Instead, you'll be met with puzzles, collages, photos, games, and even recipes that are meant to help distract you from this trying time while learning how to heal and overcome your feelings. And the best part? The book has two sides. Start on one side and you'll find things that will help someone who feels brokenhearted. But flip it over, and you'll find a ton of self-help tactics for the one who did the breaking. It's perfect for those who have, at one time or another, been on both sides of the breakup.

The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: How to Turn the Pain of a Breakup Into Healing, Insight, and New Love by Susan Piver

Bestselling author Susan Piver opens up about her own experience with heartbreak and how she was able to use that pain to find an even deeper, more meaningful love in "The Wisdom of a Broken Heart: How to Turn the Pain of a Breakup Into Healing, Insight, and New Love." According to Buzzfeed, Susan Piver is a meditation teacher. She teaches those who have been heartbroken to sit in their pain and give your emotions a space to be felt (in fact, the Buzzfeed reviewer admits to crying in the first few chapters). But you won't just be reading this book. Piver includes practices you can do at that moment plus poems, exercises, and even funny personal stories to help you feel that you are anything but alone.

Getting Over a Breakup: 75 Easy Steps by Kate Anderson

According to Goodreads, the slogan of this book is "A breakup is not the end of the world — overcome the feeling fast and move on with life!" If you are the type of person who needs solutions that work right now and aren't one to wallow in your own self-pity for days on end, this is a great book for you. It takes into account all the aspects of a breakup, not just the emotional toll it takes. This book also delves into how to relay the news to friends and family. It also addresses how to manage it on your social media pages, and how to learn how to be alone after being in a relationship. "Getting Over a Breakup: 75 Easy Steps" has been said to be a practical breakup book that doesn't have the "usual endless nonsense," per one reviewer.

Self-Compassion by Dr. Kristin Neff

Dr. Kristin Neff is the Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Despite an impressive academic background, though, her education doesn't lie solely in the sciences. During her graduate studies, she became interested in Buddhism, specifically the study of meditation and self-compassion. In her book, rightfully titled "Self-Compassion," Dr. Neff teaches us how to love ourselves and find that self-compassion within ourselves. It includes exercises to help readers "heal destructive emotional patterns so that you can be healthier, happier, and more effective."

While this book is great for those who have recently gone through a breakup, it can also be super helpful for people in any state of distress — whether that is dealing with parenting struggles, body image, or everyday life struggles. After reading this, you might emerge from your breakup feeling strong, clear-minded, and ready to tackle any life challenge.