22 People Reveal How They Survived Brutal Heartbreak


1. “In college my boyfriend decided to leave school at the end of our Sophomore year to join the Army. We left things with us totally in limbo as he had been definitely going down a different path than I in the months prior. I decided I needed to get away from everything and everyone so no one would ask questions or I would have reminders. So I spent the summer in Alaska with my sorority little sister working as a dock rep for the cruise ships. I packed up whatever fit in my SUV and it was freeing. It was my first time traveling solo and I drove from Vancouver BC to my home, alone, with overnight stays.” — Kristina

2. “Go on road trips. Do things you are scared of.” — Kelly

3. “I would constantly think of a date and focus on how when that date arrived I would be over it. Time always flies, so dates come before we know it. Your birthday or Christmas for example. I could say “I’m sad now but on July 18th I will look back at this day and realize I got over it.” — Randi

4. “What helped me: Literally realizing that I was worth so much more than lies and always ending up being the other woman, no matter how many times I was told I was the *only*one. I was also tired of police calls at 4am because of drive-buys, drug use, and warrants. I was drinking until I was blackout to make myself feel less scared that at any moment I could lose him… again. I also realized I was wasting time and I deserved someone who would look at me and know that I was worth every bit of their attention. I also realized I was worth loving – that loving myself more than anything else was a better option. And so I packed up, I left – I lived for ME. No more 3 am phone calls. No more begging to be loved. I knew my worth and I owned it. That is how I ended up where I am today, with the most beautiful child I could ever ask for and the best partner ever who loves me exactly as I am. Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, they’re toxic for you.” — T Noelle

5. “Having a good friend to be able to talk to and bounce ideas off each other.” — Ian

6. “A positive support team, after and during the crying, get drunk, get angry and get over it phases. Not moving on until you figured out the whys and started trusting yourself again.” — Marilyn

7. “The thing that really helped me get over heartbreak was finding something in me to look forward to. I had to learn how to find my inner strength from the things that I like to do and the people I like to be around. I found a side of myself that I never knew I had, which in turn made the heartbreak easier. That heartbreak led me to where I am today and now I have wonderful loving husband and a beautiful daughter.” — Sarah

8. “There were a few things that helped me get over my heartbreak.  I lost my shit. I mean I was beside myself, I was sad, broken and a version of myself that I hated. I felt weak but I needed that. I began to reevaluate myself. Was a person really going to make or break my happiness? Or was I the one who could decide? When I realized that I was in control, I took back my life. I let myself remember the good things but never ignored all the shitty things in the broken relationship. All the anger I felt, the distrust, how bitter I felt sometimes. I had to remember why I had decided I no longer wanted to be with him. I reminded myself that I needed a new start.Even when I regretted it. I began to reevaluate what I wanted in my life. What my ambitions were, my goals. What did I want to do alone? Did I remember what it was like to have friends and not worry about pleasing someone else? I created my top three musts in a person in my life. Love or friendship. Did they have faith? Do we have the same kind of interests? Are they loyal to those they care or love? I surrounded myself with people who loved and cared for me. It was so important.”— Isabel

9. “I listened to the song IDFWU by Big Sean on repeat for a week.” — Danielle

10. “My relationship was a very unstable relationship. I should have seen the signs from the beginning, but I chose to ignore them. We were together two years and I caught him cheating on me. It finally gave me the excuse to pack up and move. I left the relationship with so much anger, hatred and heart ache. More than I had experienced in my whole life. I knew I needed a break from dating but I made the mistake of trying to date someone new after a couple months. It was a huge mistake. I was paranoid and I just wanted him to love me. It didn’t last long but I knew I was only dating to not feel alone. I was trying to shove all those hurtful feeling down. What I needed was to heal. I needed to cry, be with my friends and family again (which my ex was controlling so I had drifted from them) and I need to find myself again. I had lost so much of who I was when I was with him. I needed to forgive not only him but myself. I forgave him because it was the only way for me to move on. If you’re going through something similar, you need to forgive yourself. Be with friends and family as much as possible. Give yourself time to heal. Grieve. When you are ready, date again. Eventually the hurting hurts less. You learn to love not only yourself but someone else again. Heartbreak never gets easier but knowing the pain won’t last forever is something that I always clung to.”— Sommer

11. “Music.” — Lori

12. “As cliché as it sounds, time is the best healer. It’s not something we can control so it drives us mad. We strive to find anything that will reduce the hurt, when all you really need is to take that time to hide from the world if that makes you feel better. One day you’ll go five minutes without thinking about them. Then it’ll be morning until lunch. Work will be busy and you’ll realize it’s been a day or two until one day they pop in your head and it doesn’t change your mood.” — Kristofer

13. “Distraction. My friends literally forced me to go do things or hang out with them or get dressed up for no reason, other than selfies. It was the best thing to keep my mind from going back to the bad place. Surround yourself with the people who love you no matter what. Make yourself look as hot as humanly possible and take allllll the photos and then scroll through them reminding yourself how amazing you are and how HE fucked up.” — Mandy

14. “Working out.” — Samantha

15. “What helped me after a breakup is to feel exactly what I was feeling. Feel all the sadness, emptiness and loss of the other person, whether mutual or not. Being a writer, I let it all out in the form of poetry. Believe it or not, combine alcohol and poetry and you get amazing words. I also learned once a relationship ends, you have to find yourself again, the person who you were beforehand. That person may not be who you want to be anymore, but that’s all you have. I learned that traveling, exploring and doing exactly what you want instead of maybe what another person wanted or expected of you is a perfect way to move on.” — Bryan

16. “Alcohol helped me quite a bit. I actually got scared for a second. Also, fast cars and motor cycles were my medicine. I would combust spontaneously, but really though, I would take drives up a dirt road going fast and sideways. It was a way of letting me be free.” — Casey

17. “I tend to stumble through heartbreaks but I have found that reading “He’s Just Not That Into You” always makes me feel better.” — Carly

18. “I waited a long time to date. I was intimidated by the idea of it. My first heart break was a rather fast romance. It was sweet and unexpected. I thought I was just having coffee with a guy. We would have some conversation and maybe see some live music. The first night we spoke for hours. We spent the whole night talking and laughing. He moved out of the country shortly after. Even though it was short, he was my first love. I had to just deal with the thoughts of what could have been. Good friends, funny sitcoms and sitting in nature helped me as well.” — Krystal

19. “Telling myself it’ll work out and I’ll be fine. There are a lot of people out there and I won’t be alone forever. Learning to look at the positive helped me a lot.” — Ashley

20. “When my husband called me up and told me he wanted a divorce, I was devastated. I honestly don’t know why I was so surprised considering he had been cheating and emotionally and mentally abusive for years. He told me I was worthless and nobody would ever want to be with me again and that I was ugly. So when we split, I wasn’t sure how to handle myself. I really thought I was nothing important and that I didn’t deserve anything. He’d always told me it was my fault. So besides work, my outlets were drinking and finding that certain attention that I had never really gotten. It wasn’t the right kind of attention, but I kept telling myself even if it’s just for a night, I want to feel like somebody wanted me. I would go out dancing, and flirt my way around until I found someone I wanted to take home. For months, I would travel around and go to many different places, temporarily filling that hole for a night, just to turn around the next night and do it again. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of calling up my mom or my girlfriends and crying for hours. Or drinking a 12 pack a night to forget about the train wreck my life had turned into. Those just didn’t seem to fill the gaping hole in my heart how I needed at that point in time. But honestly, the more I basically used men to satisfy my need for feeling ANYTHING, the more my eyes opened up and helped me realize that I AM better than what he always told me, and somebody will treat me right. I’m not ashamed of what I experienced that summer. I know it helped me get over my issues, and for that I’m forever grateful, even if it’s the dirty version of mending a broken heart.” — Taylor

21. “Long drives with good friends and loud music were what I needed.” —Amanda

22. “Cry it out. Feel all the hard, ugly feelings you have. Don’t live there though. Have your car be your sanctuary (or anywhere you feel at peace). I like to listen to music that makes me feel like a bad ass, bitch. Emulate that strength until you feel it. Meet up with your girlfriends and bitch as much as you want. We’ve all been there. You will get through it.” — MacKenzie