13 books to help get over a break-up

March 1, 2017

Is there anything more painful than trying to recover from having your heart smashed into a thousand little pieces?


But it’s still pretty damn sore.

The first few days are the worst. Whether you were the perpetrator or were the one to hear the heart-wrenching words, it takes a while to get over the initial shock. And then a little bit longer to get over the hurt. And then some more time to get over the anger that has burrowed itself inside you and makes you want to pin your ex-partner’s face to a bright red target and take a few well-aimed shots at their forehead. Breathe.

By the time you’ve reached the #OverIt, #SinglePringle and #StrongIndependentHumanBeingWhoDontNeedNoRelationship faze, chances are it’s been after a difficult few months of sadness and brooding, which to be honest can get pretty tiring – not to mention boring af.

So whether your neck is sore from your constant nodding throughout that last paragraph or your mouth is open in shock at how oh-so-relatable I am, (or maybe you’re just intrigued as to what on Earth I could possibly have to say after the world’s longest intro) I reckon we can all agree that it’s pretty difficult to get over a break-up, and it’s about time we found something to pass the time with. Which is why, ladies and gents, I’ve come up with a nifty list of phenomenal reading material that will help you heal your sad heart.

(P.S Because I’m oh-so-helpful, each book cover will take you directly to the cheapest available Amazon link so you don’t have to sell a limb. Enjoy!)

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Because: Who doesn’t need a good cry?

Yes, this book is that movie starring the beautiful Emilia Clarke and Sam Clafin. Yes, it is 99.999% guaranteed to make you cry your eyes out (the other 0.001% is reserved for my brother, who just doesn’t seem to cry at anything, apparently). And yes, chances are you’ll find yourself clutching your stomach in mirth whilst simultaneously crying your eyes out, and wondering how the hell that is actually possible. It’s quite the combination.
And hey – it’s got a phenomenal movie to go alongside it.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Because: It’s okay to be a wallflower.

I had read this book around three times, but it didn’t hit home until I had broken up with my boyfriend.
I had just been accepted into university, had a wonderful job flipping burgers, smashing friends and a fantastic boyfriend – what more was there to want? And yet I knew that I couldn’t stay in the same position forever. There was so much more to do, see and experience – I was only 17, I did not want to settle.
So amidst my confusion, I broke up with my boyfriend, left my friends, quit my job and delayed university. I’d say that qualifies as a bit messed up. But it’s comforting to know that there are people out there who are just as troubled and messed up as you are.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

Because: Why tf not?

Okay, so this book series isn’t exactly massively romantic, but it’ll cheer you up. It has a whole load of teenage I-don’t-know-whether-I’m-in-love-with-you-or-if-I-just-think-of-you-as-a-sibling which can get frustrating, but the family bonds and whole ‘love conquers all’ theme can really make your heart swell.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman

Because: We need to confront our reasons.

It was the first book I read after the break-up. It helped me pinpoint exactly why I had initiated it, and stopped me from feeling guilty and regretful.
Daniel Handler made it so much easier to deal with.

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Because: The little things count.

This book helped every single stage of heart-break. It allowed me to cry, to laugh, to grieve and finally, to look towards a better future.

The List by Joanna Bolouri

Because: Scotland, that’s why.

In all honesty, I first got this book because it was 99p in the Kindle Store and I was wallowing in self-pity – plus it said Glasgow in the description. It follows the story of a middle-aged advertising sales woman, and how she plans to get over her ex by creating a list of *ahem* indecencies to commit in the bedroom. It’s super funny, and includes a really cute ‘best friend turned lover’ theme. I love it.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Because: It’s adorable. And heartbreaking. End of.

It’s not your typical boy-meets-girl story – be prepared to have a full tub of cookie dough ice cream, a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a box of tissues handy.
Now it may be unhealthy to think this way, but this book helped me out of a ‘woe-is-me’ type state by basically telling me that a whole load of people have it worse than me.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Because: We all need a bit of inspirational literature now and again.

This one was a strange one for me.
Personally, I feel as though it is geared towards those who became single unwillingly – it helps to bring up your self-esteem and worth after somebody leave you, but I couldn’t relate to this.
I almost put it down half-way, but then it hit me.
It allowed me to think of the guy I left, and look at the break-up from his perspective. It helped me overcome my guilt, and later cut loose from the girl I used to be.

He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt

Because: Tough Love is your best friend… sometimes.

Again, this book is geared towards unwilling singles, and finding someone deserving of your attention.
It pulls all the characteristics from partners who are ‘just not that into you’ – they aren’t interested in what you have to say and they really just don’t appreciate you.
The movie adaptation completely does it justice – it’s the perfect ‘moving on’ book.

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkein

Because: Sometimes we have to search for that golden ring, and that’s okay.

To be honest, we all need a bit of adventure after emotional turmoil.
The family dynamic in The Hobbit is astounding – the dwarves are like brothers, and (eventually) accept Bilbo as one of their own.
Much like Harry Potter, it’s more of a ‘build you up’ book than one that deals with the heart, but J.R Tolkein’s beautiful writing style is enough to make anybody fall in love.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Because: It’s okay to be alone.

There is one thing that some (including myself) don’t anticipate when it comes to leaving a partner – leaving your friends too. I thought I was leaving them for the best, and that I was giving myself room to breathe and deal. In all honesty, it made me feel completely alone.
But this book helped me realised that that’s okay – it’s alright to take a lot of time to think about your past, present and future, and decide whether or not you want to start your story all over again, with a new plot and brand new characters.

Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin

Because: They are an ex for a reason.

In the months that followed my initial heart-break, I found myself incapable of opening up to another guy. I was comparing everyone I met to my ex, and completely fucking up my chances with anyone in the process. I either got attached too easily, or didn’t have any feelings at all.
But Emily Giffin helped me accept that they were an ex for a reason. It is no easy thing to break up with someone – it isn’t exactly something you do on a whim. Trust in your instincts.

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

Because: We all need a reminder of what not to do.

When you (finally) end the first few days of non-stop crying, it’s time to begin thinking about how you are going to cope with your newly single life.
This book should 100% be your bible – no more ‘accidentally’ sending messages or endlessly staring at your phone waiting for a call. Bridget Jones tells you exactly what not to do, even when you really, really want to.


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