Coping with a break up

When you’re coping with a break up it can be hard to know what will make you feel better. There are a couple of things you can do that will help with the process of healing. However, if things don’t get better you may need to seek help from someone who knows good coping strategies like a counsellor or psychologist.

This can help if:

  • You're going through a break up
  • You have already gone through a break up
  • You want some coping strategies for when a relationship is ending

Tips for coping with a break up

Coping with a break up can be incredibly hard. Many people feel a sense of grief or loss after a relationship ends, as though something is missing from their life. But there are some things you can do that may help you feel a bit better. 

Let yourself heal
Healing after a break up takes time. It can be difficult to come to terms with what has happened and what to do next. Don’t expect to bounce back immediately and accept that you’ll have good days and bad, but it will get better in the end.

Talk to someone
Sometimes it’s worth talking to a friend or family member and other times it’s better to enlist professional help. It can be particularly helpful to have an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist, even if only to get some good strategies and an outsider’s perspective.

Treat yourself
Make time to do the things that you like. Whether that’s hanging out with friends, going to the movies, cooking a nice meal or going for a long relaxing walk. Take it easy and try to make yourself feel better.

Avoid depending on alcohol or drugs
It might feel tempting to get completely out of your mind with alcohol or drugs in order to forget how you’re feeling. But in the end, alcohol and drugs will just make things worse and you’ll feel a lot more miserable when the high wears off.

Stick to a routine
During a break up it can feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. In order to make things feel a bit more in control, it can be worth setting a routine for yourself. This can be something as simple as having a shower before bed each night, or waking up every morning at 9am. Whatever will help you get a bit of stability in your everyday life.

If things don’t get better

There are coping strategies you can develop to help you deal with stressful times. See the 'Developing positive coping strategies' fact sheet for more info. You may also want to consider visiting a counsellor - they'll be able to guide you through finding ways to cope that work for you. We know it can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Have a go using ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.

If over time you still feel just as sad as the day you broke up, you might be going through more than just a hard time. Check out some of the 'Signs of depression' and visit your GP if you're worried. It'll be much easier and faster to work out what's going on if you have their help. No matter what, you will feel better in the end but it will take time and a strong support network to fully heal.


What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 03 June, 2016
Did you find this article helpful?

You have already rated this article

Add a comment

Read the commenting guidelines: keep safe and respectful


  • ohheylisa    (773 days ago)

    @stonetrust I definitely see where you're coming from. It's hard to move forward after a breakup when you know you can still find out what that person is up to and who they're with. I've been there before, and it made it nearly impossible to move on with my life and be happy because it felt like I was really sad over the breakup and he had just moved right on. It's a good idea to try not to "check up" on him/her after the breakup and try to use energy on other things that will help you heal and start to feel better, faster (like some of the things listed above)!

  • Stonetrust    (779 days ago)

    I think Social Media checking...what are they doing, who are they with, looking through there pix very common and more harmful than helpful when trying to cope with a breakup