A breakup can completely uproot everything we have planned for our life.
It can screw up our long-term goals, leave our life feeling meaningless and without ambition and direction.
But one thing is for certain: a tough breakup is not the end of the world.
Of course, that’s easy to say, but it’s very hard to get out of your state of mind. For that reason, we’ve put together a list of some of the best books to read after a breakup.
Some of these are hyper breakup-specific, others are just damn good books for giving your life a sense of direction when you have none and nothing to go off of.
I believe much of the pain of a breakup comes from having a life plan that you have fallen in love with. When it does not work out, you become angry that you now have to pursue a new life plan.
– Karen Salmansohn
So, let’s get to it. Here are five of the best books to read after a breakup.
1. The Breakup Bible by Melissa Kantor
This is a novel, not a non-fiction self-help book, but it’s probably the best book on this list for helping you get through your very first heartbreak.
The book follows Jen, a high-schooler whose boyfriend Max breaks up with her, and details what Jen goes through while having to continue to see Max around school — and the influx of feelings that are constantly hitting her.
The book has a lot of heart, but it’s also very realistic and serves as a great guide for dealing with heartbreak.
2. The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing From a Breakup or Divorce by Rachel Sussman
Not to be confused with the one above, this breakup bible is an entirely different non-fiction guide for getting through a tough breakup.
This book is especially great for any woman going through a difficult divorce (although it has a lot of value for men as well). In the book, Sussman explains her “three phases of healing,” which contain invaluable wisdom for healing after a difficult breakup.
3. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is a novel about a boy in search of his personal legend.
This, at first, might not sound relevant. However, it’s easily one of the best books to read after a breakup. That’s because The Alchemist is, at its core, a story about following your heart.
The Alchemist won’t tell you how to get over your ex, but it will do a damn good job of guiding you forward to a fulfilling life when everything seems meaningless and confusing.
4. How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days by Howard Bronson and Mike Riley
If you’re a practical person looking for a No-BS guide to getting over a tough breakup, this is the book for you.
In How to Heal a Broken Heart in 30 Days, authors Bronson and Riley break down what happens after a breakup in a way that is easy to understand, including both the underlying emotions (what you’re going through) and what you should do to move on in a productive way.
5. Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing that Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott
Another incredibly practical breakup book, Susan J. Elliott’s enlightening guide is especially perfect for anyone who is finding it difficult to move on and resist the urge to pick up their phone and dial the ol’ ex.
This book is also great because of how it helps you reframe a breakup into a stepping stone to move forward with your life even better than you were before.