The Best 10 Books to Read After a Breakup
If you’ve ever experienced the heartache of a breakup, then you know how overwhelming those post-relationship blues can be. One moment, you’re angry and depressed. On the other, you’re grieving and ruminating about what went wrong. Compounding all those emotions is likely the feeling that you’re going through it all alone, that no one else has ever experienced what you’re going through.
Thankfully, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
Not only have countless people experienced separation in their lives — but they’ve also used break-ups as an opportunity to reflect on their needs and values and how they can best be met in the future. Indeed, break-ups can be gateways to better versions of yourself. You know what they say: Let burned bridges lead the way.
Thankfully for you, many such wise people have penned books to read after a breakup and guide you through the healing process. Sometimes, a little perspective can go a long way toward self-love and a more hopeful future. To start the road to confidence, check out our Post-Breakup Guide and read about the books below.
Start your healing process by dedicating yourself to self-love
Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It by Kamal Ravikant
The road to healing starts with self-love. And if you want to see what true commitment to self-love looks like, then look no further than Kamal Ravikant’s book, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.
In this title, Ravikant believes that self-love is an act of defiance against negative feelings, and that forgiveness can lead to the fullest kind of self-love. If you’re ready to accept yourself as you are, eliminate self-doubt, and learn some practical meditations to help you embrace your whole self, then take the first step of reading this book.
Learn how to embrace negative feelings
Today’s solutions- and instant gratification-driven culture has made it natural for us to perceive any challenge as just another barrier to resolution. This kind of addiction to fixing things keeps us from giving painful situations — like toxic relationships or broken marriages — the honest attention and clarity they deserve.
For author Chödrön, feelings like loneliness and fear are simply doors to greater truths about ourselves and our needs. And only by embracing such concepts as “no more struggle,” and “using poison as medicine,” can we transform negative thought patterns into joy.
If you’re interested in reading a book inspired by Buddhist tenets, you’ll love this advice-filled guide on what to do when things fall apart.
Today, being alone bears a mark of shame; solitude simply isn’t the prized pursuit it used to be. In How to Be Alone, author Sara Maitland explores changing attitudes on loneliness throughout history and makes a case for why everyone should make concerted efforts to carve out a bit of solo time.
By the end of this book, you’ll have reframed loneliness as a luxurious state of being that can unlock curiosity, creativity, and a newfound appreciation for nature.
Mend your broken heart by treating it like a full-body injury
If you sprained your ankle or broke your hip, you wouldn’t expect to carry on with life as usual, right? So why do we expect ourselves to cope with heartache as if it were a casual, superficial injury?
In this book, Guy Winch shares why we should treat broken hearts like the systemic full-body injuries they really are and illustrates why emotional pain affects our cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills. Then, Winch reveals the tools that can directly address such emotional wounds, like practicing compassion towards others, letting go of material reminders, and reconnecting with your core self.
Learn how to process your grief
Imagine your wisest friend gave you a straightforward game plan for processing your breakup and re-emerging anew on the other side. That’s exactly what reading this book will feel like. From start to finish, Getting Past Your Breakup is an eloquent roadmap that’ll hold your hand through your grief and fear and help you grow from your pain.
Some advice, like Elliott’s clearly laid out argument for cutting off all communication with your ex and refraining from making any excuses to break the silence, might feel like tough love. However, the book does a great job of pairing strict tips with inspiring stories from real people and simple methods for helping you take care of yourself.
Recover your sense of trust
If you’ve already gone through the elementary stages of healing from a breakup and want to repair your broken trust in yourself and other people, then this book is for you. Richo will explain exactly how you developed your own sense of trust (it has a lot to do with early family relationships!), what situations can negatively affect it, and why we fear trusting.
Of course, the book will also dive into the role of trust in inner peace and why trust can be synonymous with acceptance and mindfulness. If a broken sense of trust was a major element in your last breakup, this book will teach how to heal and prepare yourself for a healthier relationship.
Lean into the art of “conscious uncoupling”
When you lose the person who’s become your primary attachment figure, it’s natural that you might feel abandoned and even resentful. But Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of Conscious Uncoupling, suggests that letting a negative bond replace a positive only jeopardizes your ability to move on.
To “uncouple” in a conscious way, Thomas proposes a radical formula for healing that involves naming your feelings, taking responsibility for your own role in the break-up, and having an honest conversation with your former partner about how you imagine a future together. It might sound complicated, but a “good” break-up can pave the way for a happy friendship.
Stop the cycle of toxic relationships
Let’s be real: Sometimes, the reason your relationship ended in a breakup is because of you. If you’re ready to confront that hard truth, then this book is for you.
But don’t think of it as an exercise in self-flagellation; this book will show you that you have the means to escape the toxic cycle of broken relationships by committing to your values, your vows, and by injecting your life with a bit more honesty. If you do it right, you’ll not only rescue yourself from another bad relationship, but you’ll probably help every other part of your life.
And by the way, if you don’t think this book is for you, perhaps it’s for the ex who caused the breakup in the first place. Do them a favor and pass this Blink on to them.
Discover which is your love language
Do you know what your love languages are? According to the author, most humans have a primary “giving” and a primary “receiving” love language, and identifying what it is will help make your relationship more nurturing, more mutually loving, and more meaningful. If you’ve ever wondered why you’re stuck in relationships where both you and your partner seem to be doing your best to show affection, but with negative results, then the answer might lie in incompatible love languages.
Figure out how to love with the sincerity of a Buddhist monk
What does it mean to love mindfully, without ego, and with no expectations? World-renowned Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh pens this book on love that’ll teach you how to love yourself, your partner, and the world around you with mindfulness as a central guiding practice.
His unique perspective will challenge your understanding of how spiritual practice can figure into a reciprocal relationship and the true role that sex can play in an intimate partnership.