wellness·6 min read

10 Books That Will Help You Get Over a Breakup

Covers of books "Uncoupling," "How to Not Die Alone," "Communion"
Jan 20, 2022

Here’s one perk of being newly single: more time to read. Sometimes we read to escape, and other times we read to deepen our understanding of something we’re facing head-on in our personal lives. For when no amount of confiding in your friends and binging “Sex in the City” will do, see below for a list of reads that focus specifically on how to get over a breakup. Whether you’re looking for ways to feel better, rediscover yourself, or gain a deeper understanding of a problem you had in the relationship, we’re here to help you find the right book. 

“How To Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love” by Logan Ury

If you want to be single for now, but not forever…

The book, written by Hinge’s director of relationship science, is mostly about getting into a relationship. But there’s a chapter on moving on and getting back out there that’s so useful. Which explains why we interviewed Ury about it for our guide on how to get over a breakup. (Amazon, Apple Books)


“Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships” by Diane Vaughan

If you’re looking at your breakup through a sociologist's lens…

Dr. Vaughan used the word “uncoupling” years before Gwyneth made the term popular. Her book is about all the ways people slowly make transitions out of intimate relationships. Even though it was published in 1990, “Uncoupling” still feels current. That’s thanks to the universal experiences Vaughan shares in the book (she writes about the end of her 20-year marriage) and the more than 100 people she interviewed. (Amazon, Bookshop)


“Communion: The Female Search for Love” by bell hooks 

If you still love love…

The late scholar Gloria Jean Watkins, who went by the pen name bell hooks, has this message: You are worthy of love. Not only that, but you deserve to love yourself and have the courage to find true love. “Communion,” which shows how the feminist movement changed the ways we think about love, is the third book is hooks’ trilogy about — you guessed it — love. This one’s best enjoyed with hot tea and a warm self-hug. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“Stronger Than You Think: The 10 Blind Spots That Undermine Your Relationship...and How to See Past Them” by Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., Ph.D.

For when you’re just on a break…

Want a 10-minute spiel to help you feel better after a separation, then psychology professor Dr. Lewandowski Jr.’s Ted Talk is here for you. But when you’re looking for tips for maintaining your relationship, there’s his data-backed book. Where he shares advice for making a relationship work. One tip we found helpful: Don’t think of your partner as your perfect “soulmate.” Because that’ll make you less likely to work through problems in your supposedly ‘easy and perfect’ relationship. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again” by Catherine Price

If you’re looking for a good time…

Feeling broken hearted…not the most fun. But if you’re not having “true fun” — a magical mix of playfulness, connection, and flow — you’re not fully living, writes Price. Her book will help guide you out of that funk. Warning: It requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. But with great risk comes great reward. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“Milk and Honey” by Rupi Kaur

If you want to be in your feelings…

Kaur’s bestselling book of poetry can make any mood feel a little moodier. If you fancy a small collection of words that articulate your inner sadness: Kaur has a chapter called “the breaking.” If you want text to inspire you to love again: There are perfect bite-sized poems in “the loving” and “the healing” sections. Eat up. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“Attached: Are You Anxious, Avoidant or Secure? How the Science of Adult Attachment Can Help You Find – and Keep – Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

For a great discussion with your therapist (or a friend who moonlights as your therapist)...

This one will help you examine your past relationships through the lens of attachment theory, aka a scientific look at how people relate to each other. Use the book’s quizzes to determine if you’re “anxious,” “avoidant,” or “secure.” And if you’re not the last one, there are strategies for getting your current or future bae to meet your needs. “Attached” is a cult classic for a reason, and may have you listing it as a required reading for potential partners. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz 

For when you need an internal reset…

“Be impeccable with your word [read: don’t gossip]. Don’t take things personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.” Those are the four agreements, which are based on ancient Mexican Toltec wisdom. And yes, that advice is easier said than done. But if you let it, this short read can help you show up in the world as your best self. Might sound a little abstract. But not when it’s Miguel Ruiz’s words that encourage you to stop going over every little argument you and your ex had. ‘Inner peace,’ found. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


“Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships” by Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD 

For when you want to talk things out…

We all have needs. That doesn’t mean we should get all angry or defensive while sharing them. Enter: “Nonviolent Communication.” It’s a manual for how to share wants in ways that are *actually productive*. What a revelation.. The book isn’t just a guide for romantic relationships. But also (particularly contentious) professional and personal ones. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


"The Book of Delights: Essays" by Ross Gay 

For appreciating the little things…

Here’s a happiness exercise: Write an essay (nearly) every day for a year about the joy you find in life. Another option: Read this book where a poet actually did that. Entries cover everything from racism to gardening and cancer. “The Book of Delights” serves as a gentle reminder to seek joy even in the most mundane and harrowing of circumstances. Think: during a pandemic. Eep. (Amazon, Apple Books, Bookshop)


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