Treat Your Breakup Like A Hangover

Most of us have had those mornings where you wake up with a pounding headache, your mouth like a desert and your will to live all but extinguished. The indulgences of the night before have caught up with you and you are suffering from a terrible hangover. 

And most of us have also had the morning after a breakup when you realize it was not just a nightmare. 

You just broke up. Breakups hurt. Words don’t really cover the absolute devastation left behind by a breakup. Your brain is withdrawing from the feel good hormones your partner helped you release (Psychology Today) like an addict quitting cold turkey. Your heart is broken, your plans fell through and you’re left, wondering what now? How do I heal from my breakup?

First things first, triage your initial post-breakup malaise like you would a hangover. 

Get rid of the shit.

Brace yourself for some poop talk. Bear with me. 

It’s no secret that taking a dump the morning after heavy drinking immediately makes you feel better. 

Same thing for your breakup. Take this time to get rid of your emotional and physical ties to your ex. 

  1. Emotional: Cry it out. Rage. Sob. Scream into your pillow. Call your friends and vent. Get that shit out. 
  1. Physical: Get rid of his shit. Throw it away. Chances are, you don’t need to return it. If you do, have a friend come and get the box of stuff from you. Get it out of your house. He can coordinate with your friend to pick up his stuff. Expel everything that is not yours from your space.

Cleaning out your environment can help make the breakup less painful. It will not instantly help you get over your breakup but it is a good first step.

Don’t beat yourself up for crying last night. 

This reminds me of that brilliant Maren Morris song “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry”. 

They do. We do. It’s okay. No party is complete without at least one girl sobbing it out. (I highly recommend giving the song a listen if you need to be reminded that you deserve better).

Same with a breakup. It sucks! CRY. Let yourself cry. This is how you process your heartbreak.

Maybe it’s hard because you are still in shock. Or maybe you protect yourself by squashing your feelings down. Swallowing your feelings will kill you faster than any poison. Let it out. 

If you are having trouble crying or feeling your feelings after your breakup, try a crying playlist. I found this advice from Kendra at Your Breakup Bestie. Basically, make a playlist of the songs that get you in your feels. The goal is to trigger the first tears so you can let it out. Kendra takes the playlist for a drive when she needs a good cry. I like to listen to mine in the shower. Just figure out what works for you. 

Eat a good breakfast.

Right after a breakup it is so important to take extra good care of yourself. If you are in the thick of your breakup, sometimes even getting breakfast in your stomach is a big effort. Or maybe you are on the other side of the spectrum where you are using food as a drug to numb out your feelings. 

Although I am a big supporter of you doing what you need to do to get through the day when you are heartbroken, feeding yourself good, healthy food is super important. 

You need the energy to process your grief. If you are crashing from a sugar binge, or are feeling depressed because of low blood sugar from not eating, you are making yourself feel way worse. It would be easy to assign what you’re feeling to the fact you just broke up when really some of it is basic biology. And you don’t need to make this breakup even harder. 

Stay hydrated. 

Same same, but different. Everyone knows that hangovers leave you dehydrated. 

When you just went through a breakup, you’re emotionally tired. Don’t make it worse by not drinking enough water. Water keeps the body going and the tears flowing! Sad laugh.

Also, after a good cry, it’s the best feeling to drink a glass of water. I think I started this in childhood because my dad would always get me a glass of water when I was upset (I had a break down once when my parents couldn’t tell me the meaning of life, LOL). ANYWAYS. 

Drinking a glass of water after crying really helps and is a way for you to parent yourself and self-soothe. 

Sweat it out.

Moving your body is the last thing you want to do when you’re hungover. The idea of your heart beating faster or jolting your head around is the least appealing activity. All you want to do is curl up in bed with the blinds drawn. 

Same goes for after a breakup. Your heart is tired. Your self-discipline is being used at a high capacity already, just making sure you do the things you need to do to survive. How can you force yourself to go to the gym or go for a run? 

Yet, a gentle workout can make such a big difference in your quality of life during the post-breakup time. 

Sweating and moving helps your body clear the alcohol from your system. 

It also releases endorphins, the feel-good hormone that can help counteract the withdrawals you are going through from the breakup. Whenever I am at my lowest, I try to get a sweat going, even for just twenty minutes and it ALWAYS helps. 


I know you are going through a tough time right now. A breakup can be devastating on a level that is hard to explain. I get it. I see you. You’re going to be okay. 

If you want to talk about it, I offer a complimentary consultation to see if coaching could help you process your grief post-breakup, grow from your heartbreak and get your glow back.

Send me a message below if that is of interest to you.


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