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Relationships

Loving Yourself after a Breakup: 10 Necessary Acts of Self Love and Motivation to Keep Going

Breakups are one of the worst things that can happen to any human. They make you feel weak, leave you insecure, and open the door for overthinking, which makes you question everything around you. 

All the cute texts, beautiful flowers, magical dinner dates, jokes that just the two of you understand, everything you were working together for, every lovely thing you both shared, and everything that you ever loved about your partner seems to go away. 

You keep forcing yourself to believe—it’s just a nightmare, and when you wake up the following day, everything would be back. But, all you’re left with, are thoughts and memories.

This is the point when people fall right into a negative loop, and their self-esteem starts to take a dive. One question that most often gets stuck with the new single is—What did I do wrong?

You’re not alone. According to research, 64% of Americans have gone through the breakup of a long-term relationship.

Loving Yourself After A Breakup 

An end of a relationship is a phase full of negativity, self-doubt, denial, and self-loathing. Often, people feel tempted to cut themselves off from society and social media, spend their nights crying, looking at the mirror, and constantly reminiscing everything their ex said to them, all in an attempt to understand what went down. 

They use breakups as proof that they are unloveable, which is not true as breakups are just a normal part of life. But while grieving, many people tend to take the loss personally. This is why loving yourself after a breakup is a crucial step to healing. 

“The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” — Ralph Blum. 

Although breakups can be hard to navigate, they help discover your pain points and where you’ve been abandoning yourself. Instead of finding out what might have gone wrong, choose to put your time and attention into someone who needs you more right now, that is ‘you.’ 

Below are ten self-love acts to begin loving yourself after a breakup.

1. Give yourself time to grieve 

We all struggle in our lives at some point. Most of us try to move away from the pain, as it is our natural response. But running from our problems, do not fix them. Instead, it brings more distress with time. The only thing that can work for the better is to feel. Feel the emotional pain you’re going through. 

“That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt.” — John Green. 

Try to stop seeing emotional pain, grief, sadness, loneliness, anxiety, stress, loss, or even depression as a threat or never-ending situation. Instead, you can try to learn more about these feelings, the wisdom they offer you, and the purpose they serve in your life. 

Pain is inevitable and necessary. 

No one can stop you from feeling something, and it is better to do so instead of repressing because repression will only cause breakouts, and the effects will be worse. Give your mind and body more time to grieve and accept reality. 

In the meantime, surround yourself with the people who understand you better, who listen to you, and realize what you’re going through. With time, you’ll get exhausted and run out of bad memories to remember and tears to shed. 

2. Accept that you’re not the ONLY reason for the breakup

It is imperative to understand and accept that you aren’t the only one responsible for the split. 

Toxic people have the tendency to make you believe that every single fight or disagreement that ever happened between you both was your sole fault. These are the kind of people who struggle to see their own role in the downfall. 

Even if you regret some things, relationships and breakups are a two-hand clap. Avoid getting caught up in thinking that things would have been different if you “didn’t say anything” or “didn’t talk about the things that affected you.” 

These situations are just mere parts of a complete relationship, and often people only think about the things they could have or should have done during the relationship. They forget to recall the times they made sacrifices to hold the bond together and the times they stopped an argument from becoming a huge fight. 

If you fought until the very end to keep your relationship alive, be proud of yourself. You did your part, and if the other person isn’t willing to make things work out anymore, there’s no point in staying. 

You gave a lot to the relationship, and it’s time you stopped and gave yourself some credit. That’s step two to self-love! 

3. Get rid of your ex’s stuff, but remember the bad times

If you still have your ex’s stuff safe with you, it is time to get rid of it. Yep, including the hoodie, you still sleep in. 

You do not have to burn these things, as getting rid of your ex’s stuff is not an attempt at revenge. The only goal is to remove any memories or reminders of someone who is no longer a happy part of your life. 

Simply put their stuff into a cardboard box and arrange an exchange or drop off, or you can donate it to charity. 

The reason behind this is that things often have memories attached to them. It would be best to cut off any possible future thoughts that might be triggered by having their stuff with you. 

The actual process and ritual of cleaning and removing your ex’s belongings from your space can be cathartic,” says Jesse Kahn, LCSW, CST, director, and sex therapist at The Gender & Sexuality Therapy Center in NYC.

Once you’re done with getting rid of your ex’s stuff, start remembering the bad times that your ex put you through. This may be difficult to do when you’re clearly missing them, but it is important to stop putting your ex on a pedestal. 

Instead, remind yourself of your ex’s toxicity and narcissism, closed-mindedness, inability to accept their mistakes, the energy they used to put in proving you wrong, and everything else. 

According to a small study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, thinking about your ex’s bad qualities can help you rip the “love feelings” off compared to giving their positive traits space. 

But do not spend too much time building hatred for your ex, as the goal is to start loving yourself after a breakup. Focus more on yourself and throw energy into something better—self-care, traveling, physical sports like cricket, or football, hanging out with friends, or whatever works for you. 

4. Set Healthy Boundaries 

You’re the one who gets to decide what comes, goes, and stays in your life. 

The memories of your ex that keep you trapped in the past, old toxic friends, things that remind you of the baggage of your past relationship, and the insecurities that took birth because of external factors, are all examples of things you can let go of. 

Create a larger space for yourself in your life where you feel better and confident. Set your own boundaries and learn to say “no” when it is necessary. Do things for yourself. Live for yourself. 

Now is the perfect time to find the self-love and body-positive strategies that work for you. Breakups are one of the most beautiful times to start being who you actually are—freely and without being sorry. 

But, this may not work if you’re lying to yourself about the pain and insecurities you’re experiencing. Never try to push your body and mind to work for the more significant cause if you aren’t ready. 

Instead of trying to distract yourself using food, drinking, smoking, and partying, sit down and listen to what your mind and body are actively craving. 

5. Affirmations, Encouragement, and Self-talk 

When affirmations are spoken with confidence daily, it can adjust your mind to trust what you’re saying.

There are both positive and negative affirmations, so be attentive about what you say to yourself every day. If you keep telling yourself that you’re ugly and nobody likes you, your mind will start to put that as a default, and you will start believing that, even when it’s not true. 

Likewise, if you tell yourself that you are beautiful, solid, and worthy and that you deserve the best, you will eventually start believing it. 

The negative side is often heavier than the positive one, so stop the negative self-talk first. This doesn’t mean you can never have negative emotions. We all get negative emotions, and it’s important not to let them stay forever. 

Feel the feels, and let it go. Below are some affirmations you should say to yourself on a daily basis: 

  • I am enough. 
  • Today I will learn and grow. 
  • Life does not have to be perfect to be great. 
  • I am beautiful.
  • I have the power to change. 
  • My imperfections make me unique and special. 
  • I choose myself. 

These affirmations are about accepting and loving yourself for who you are. They may not work overnight, but as you put the time and work on your mind, it will start changing the way it thinks.  

Building a new healthy habit takes time, and so would these affirmations. But they have the power to help you with loving yourself after a breakup. 

6. Go to Therapy 

A professional therapist can help support your mental health because it deserves good care, just like your physical health. If you’re in any kind of emotional pain or mental health concerns, therapy is recommended. 

Therapy does more than just offering support to your mental condition. In addition, it is an essential tool that can help you solve problems, set and accomplish goals, improve socializing skills, harness your real power and point it in the right direction. 

It can even teach you better ways to keep track of your emotions and stress levels. Therapy is one of the best ways to learn about your feelings and start loving yourself after a breakup. 

If you can’t find or afford a good therapist, you should try a therapy app like Moodfit or Talk Space

7. Self-compassion

When you were in a relationship, it was mostly about sharing things and ideas, selflessness, and working as a team to conquer the world. Now, it is time to be a little selfish, independent, and unleash your real self. 

Self-compassion defines the ability to show love, effort, understanding, commitment, and acceptance to yourself. It simply asks you to turn inward the flow of care you typically put forward for others. 

Self-compassion is a bond of three key elements: 

  • Common humanity: It allows you to realize that mistakes, negative experiences, and pain are a part of every human’s life. Nobody is perfect, and our imperfections make us different. 
  • Mindfulness: It allows you to accept the negative thoughts and distress feelings rather than suppressing them. You also start treating these thoughts and feelings as mere thoughts and feelings. 
  • Self-kindness: It allows you to be gentle with yourself and avoid self-blame and self-criticism. You start allowing positive aspects in your life like understanding, forgiveness, support, and patience for yourself. 

All you have to do is let these three key elements in your life, so you can build self-compassion and move forward for your own betterment. Self-compassion can offer you greater happiness, stronger resilience, increased motivation, and better physical and mental health. 

8. Call your Friends 

Reaching out to the people you love can be the best way to start loving yourself after a breakup. 

Being able to talk about your feelings, the breakup, things that move through your mind day & night, and your current mental and emotional state with someone who listens to you carefully and cares about you can help you feel supported. 

This kind of friendship can be incredibly nourishing. 

Ensure you talk about more things around you rather than just your ex. It is found that people who excessively talk about their ex can slow down the healing process because the more they talk about a certain thing, the more headspace it occupies. 

9. Hang out with your loved ones 

Spending time with the people you love can also be remarkably refreshing. It can help you get out of seclusion (the state of being private and away from other people), which can stall your growth progress. 

You must ask your friends directly to hang out like, “Hey, what are you doing tomorrow night? I’m going through a breakup and could use your support and company at the moment.” 

Never fall into an assumption that nobody cares for you. Your friends love you and care for you, but they are not aware of what exactly is going inside your head. So, you can hint them into the fact that you need some care, love, and time together so that they can be there for you! 

10. Do things that release fun, excitement, and healthy energy

You can do a million things, like fun games, new healthy habits, energetic activities, group video calls, friendly outings, etc. Such things are found to release dopamine in your body. Dopamine refers to a happy hormone which means feeling enchantment. 

Here some things you can do to start loving yourself after a breakup: 

  • Read an erotica

You probably fantasized (sexually and nonsexually) a lot about your ex when you were in a relationship. Maybe the fantasies were limited to bed, or you mapped out the next five years of your life, including a marriage with them. Maybe you even decided the names of your babies together.

Regardless, it is found that reading things that engage your “fantasizing muscle” can be a fun way to create new exciting thoughts that do not involve your ex. Reading erotica can help you feel chillingly good, and if you do not know where to start, “Literotica” is one of the great treasure troves of the internet. 

  • Spend time on music 

If you’re looking for an easy way to lift yourself whenever you feel low, start listening to good music. Do not go after worldwide famous songs. Instead, spend time listening to random music and figuring out the kind of lyrics that drive you the most. 

It is shown in various studies that music can boost your mood, fend off depression. It can even lower your levels of stress-related hormones like cortisol, improve your blood flow, and ease the pain

  • Become more physically active

Breakups are a major emotional event that can cause people to lose themselves. One way of regaining this lost sense? Start getting active again and do things for yourself! We even have an how to date yourself.

After an intense time like breaking up with someone, it’s easy for your self-esteem to take a hit. But the best thing you can do is get back into doing physical activities – because they’ll make you feel so much better about yourself in no time at all!

Bottom Line 

Being single is normal. Makeups are normal. Hookups are normal. Relationships are normal, and so are breakups. Please do not give a breakup more than the time and energy it deserves. It’s a mere part of your life, a sad one, and it shall pass. 

Here’s a poem for people who just went through a heartbreak and cannot find the right ways to start loving themselves after a breakup. 

“There are stars you haven’t seen 

and loves you haven’t loved

there’s light you haven’t felt 

and sunrises yet to dawn 

there are dreams you haven’t dreamt 

and days you haven’t lived 

and nights you won’t forget 

and there is more to you 

that you have yet to know.”

It may not be easy to start loving yourself after a breakup, but these 10 real-life acts will get you on the path of self-love. If you have something to share about how you started loving yourself after a breakup, feel free to let us know in the comment section. makes you question everything around you. 

All the cute texts, beautiful flowers, magical dinner dates, jokes that just the two of you understand, everything you were working together for, every lovely thing you both shared, and everything that you ever loved about your partner seems to go away. 

You keep forcing yourself to believe—it’s just a nightmare, and when you wake up the following day, everything would be back. But, all you’re left with, are thoughts and memories.

This is the point when people fall right into a negative loop, and their self-esteem starts to take a dive. One question that most often gets stuck with the new single is—What did I do wrong?

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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