9 Steps to Be Happy After a Painful Breakup

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You love someone, and you hope they love you back, but suddenly your world crashes when they turn to you and say those fated words – “I think we should see other people.” It’s absolutely devastating. 

Having poured heart and soul into a relationship only to go through a painful breakup is nobody’s idea of fun. It can also be very difficult to get back up after suffering such heartache. Worst still, a breakup is never just between you and the person you love(d). Instead, you have to see and experience the drama play out in a public arena. 

You are surrounded by people who see, have opinions, and ask questions when all you want to do is hide under a rock until your heart stops bleeding. So how do you get back up and get the courage to be vulnerable and risk happiness as you learn how to be happy after a breakup? These steps will help. 

Why Are Breakups So Hard?

Breakups are hard because it represents rejection and the end of something you hold dear. If your relationship ends, it hurts because your life changes. A foundation you had built for the relationship suddenly gets ripped away, leaving you floundering in murky water. 

While people understand that if your partner passes, it’s a time of grieving, and it will take a while for you to adjust to being single again, few people understand that the end of a relationship is the same trauma to get through. 

Reasons for a Breakup

There are several reasons for a breakup, and depending on the reason, your reaction and emotional response may be different. People break up because of:

Infidelity

The betrayal of one or both parties being unfaithful to the other is often the cause of a breakup. Whichever partner was unfaithful, it can lead to severe emotional distress to both partners. 

Loss of Love

When you fall into love, you can also fall out of love. People sometimes have a mistaken idea of their partner, and when this ends, the relationship also ends. 

Lack of Communication 

If you and your partner don’t communicate well, the relationship is in for rough times. It can even lead to the end of the relationship. 

Romance Doesn’t Last Like Friendship

You and your partner will last longer if you are friends first, lovers second. Romance is a hormonal need, and it doesn’t have the endurance to last a lifetime. 

Jealousy 

If jealousy enters your relationship, the relationship dies before you even break up. Take care to never foster jealousy. 

Respect Has Ended 

Your partner and you need to respect each other at all times, whether it’s earned or not. If respect fades, the relationship will become an unsafe space. 

Money Troubles 

Financial difficulties can destroy a relationship if friendship, respect, real love, and good communication aren’t in place. 

It’s important to know why a relationship may end as it helps you prepare for your future relationships and ensures you don’t make the same mistakes again and again. 

Different Feelings During a Breakup

When you experience a breakup, it can cause similar feelings as when someone close to you has died. Effectively, the end of a relationship is like experiencing death in your life. 

Some of the feelings you can experience include:

Rage

You may feel intense anger. A natural primitive response is to feel angry and become aggressive when you have suffered loss.  

Denial 

Perhaps you feel as if the whole end of the relationship is a dream and you merely need to wait for tomorrow you and your partner will be back together again. However, this denial is not healthy as it holds you back. 

Remorse 

Your next step may be a feeling of deep regret as you start to experience a feeling of being to blame, that you messed up, and the relationship ended because of you. Uncertainty, a feeling of not knowing what you did wrong, may also fill you. 

Confusion 

If you don’t know why the relationship ended, it can destroy you. Why did it end? Did you do something wrong? How didn’t you see it coming? The confusion sets in, and you feel overwhelmed and become negative about future relationships. 

Despair 

Should you feel as if your chances of finding love have ended, it can lead to despair. You may be convinced your chance of being in love and being happy has ended. It can be really difficult to connect with any future partners and believe in love again. 

How will you find happiness when you feel despair? It is possible. 

Happiness After a Breakup—What Is It?

When you’ve had enough time to process the breakup, you may come to new insights. Hopefully, you will be able to reflect on your experience in a safe and meaningful way, and you can even see that happiness is there for you, if you believe and work methodically at achieving it.  

9 Steps to Being Happy After a Painful Breakup

Happiness is yours to create, but you need to know what to look for and how to proceed. Here are the steps to help you become happy again after a painful breakup.  

1. Experience Grief Acceptance  

The first step to finding happiness is to let go. You can’t let go of the relationship that was when you are still holding on and haven’t grieved. Grief is a process. You recall all you had, then let yourself feel the loss of those things being taken away or falling away. 

It hurts. 

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Now is the time to begin spending time with yourself, taking care of your needs, and meeting your own requirements for a partner. 

Let it hurt until it doesn’t hurt so badly any more. Trying to enter another relationship while you are still grieving is a really bad idea as you will end up comparing your ex with your new partner. Instead, acknowledge what was good, own what broke your partnership, and move forward

Tip: Journaling can really help you in this stage. Write down what you feel, what you remember, what you wish for, and what you regret, and when you no longer burn through pages of ink, you know you are starting to let go.  

2. Practice Self-Care

When you let go of a failed relationship, it will open a space in your life, your heart, and your mind. Now is the time to begin spending time with yourself, taking care of your needs, and meeting your own requirements for a partner. 

Being self-partnered for a few months (or longer) is a great idea as you teach yourself what you want in your next relationship. 

Some self-care ideas include: 

  • Taking up a new hobby
  • Spending time taking better care of yourself with what you eat, drink, and how your body lives. Go to the gym, take up yoga, or visit a salon once a month. 
  • Spoil yourself in thoughtful ways. Not only does this meet your inner need to be seen and validated, but you also learn how to take care of someone else and make them feel special. 
  • Work on self-friendship. Do you talk to yourself with affection and care? It’s time to really let you care about yourself. Don’t be harsh. The world has enough critics without you slaughtering your own dreams. 

3. Find Support

When you have support, it’s so much easier to get through a day in one piece. Your partner was your support (hopefully), and having lost them, you need new support. Instead of looking for a lover, why not find a best friend instead? A caring individual will be there for you, supporting you in small but meaningful ways. 

Tip: To have support, offer support. Don’t just expect others to do something for you when you can and should do for them too. Support is a two-way street.  

4. Unleash Your Serotonin 

A breakup typically leads to depression, and you may find your brain chemistry isn’t quite geared toward being in a healthy relationship yet.

Your brain may be flooded with cortisol (the stress hormone), and this can cause you to repel what you really want and attract more drama. 

Get ready for happiness by activating your happiness hormone—serotonin. One very effective way to get more happiness into your step is to get active. Go to the gym, take up dance classes, or start hiking in nature, but get active

Happiness will happen when you get off your butt and get out there making it. 

5. Embrace Quiet

So few people know the value of quiet. When you are in a partnership, you probably end up not having much time to yourself to reflect and just be. Your partner may be demanding, and even if they are easy, they probably occupy your time and you do stuff with them. 

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A caring individual will be there for you, supporting you in small but meaningful ways. 

Solitude and quiet are soothing to hearts that are broken. Take some time to reflect on what was and embrace the time you now have to be you. Spend at least one night a week alone at home, switch off the TV, sit in the dark, light a few candles, and just enjoy the sensation of the world falling away as your mind finally grows quiet. 

Embrace being alone, and know it can be temporary if you don’t want it to be. 

6. Value Yourself Aloud

A breakup can make you feel like you don’t matter and that you’re not good enough. I mean, after all, you got dumped, right? Perhaps you did the dumping, and this can be as painful as you start to self-doubt and fall into despair. 

Your inner voice may become a negative tone that plays the same refrain over and over: “You’re not going to ever be happy, and you’ll never be wanted by someone amazing.” 

Silence that voice in step 6. Now, in step 7, begin to praise yourself. Acknowledge all that’s great about you. What do you have going that can help others see how incredible you are and gravitate toward you? 

If you wouldn’t buy you, why would someone else do so? Mentally “sell” yourself. You are good enough to be scarce. Value yourself. 

7. Accomplish a Few Goals

Being dumped can leave you with a severely dented self-esteem. Use this opportunity to build up your sense of self-worth. When you feel good about yourself, others will feel the same. 

A good way to feel better about who you are is to set some goals and achieve them. If you accomplish what you set your mind to, you will feel much better about yourself. You will attract happiness and the person you are meant to be with by being much more positive. 

8. Throw Away the Rear-View

Often, we look back at what was at the cost of what is. You end up looking in the rear-view mirror instead of keeping your eyes fixed on what lies ahead. Learn not to look back. 

Forget about your ex and what they are doing. Don’t revisit the good times or dwell on the bad times. What was is over, and you have a happy life ahead of you. 

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One very effective way to get more happiness into your step is to get active.

Tip: Practicing gratitude is an effective way to keep your eyes looking forward. When you are truly happy and thankful for what you have, you won’t long and dwell on the past. 

9. Get Professional Help

If happiness continues to elude you, it may be time to find professional help. The stress and trauma you experienced with the breakup may have done psychological damage that requires professional help.

Perhaps the trauma triggered an earlier memory, and now your mind clings to a past that is beyond your ability to change. 

Instead, reach out to a cognitive behaviorist, a psychoanalytic therapist, or a spiritual counselor.

You aren’t alone, and you can use professional help if you are honest and open to the process. There is no shame in this, only a return to joy. 

Final Thoughts on How to Be Happy After a Breakup

Being happy after you’ve had your heart ripped out may seem like an impossible outcome when you have just suffered a serious breakup. But hope is out there. You need only look for it and make it yours. It’s all around you. 

Accept grief, practice self-care, develop support from friends and family, and reprogram your mind with healthy happiness hormones and quiet your inner mind to learn how to be happy after a breakup. 

A final tip is to use quotes for positivity to help increase your mental maturity and build joy into your mental code. Read our article on 75 quotes for positive vibes for more. 

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