Advertising

15 Books To Gently Heal A Broken Heart

15 Books To Gently Heal A Broken Heart
Advertising

Is it easy to recover from a breakup?

It’s a silly question indeed: how can it be easy to forget the one you loved and considered yours yesterday who has suddenly become a complete stranger today? Time heals, they say. And we say that the best books to read after a breakup can help you much more than simply waiting for the moment when the pain finally goes away.

Books have the power to heal. When you choose the best books to read during some difficult moments of your life, you may be surprised how much easier it becomes to overcome these difficulties. Books give you advice; they share knowledge and experience with you. They do not judge, they talk to you, and they help you cope with unrequited love and find inner peace.

It’s you who decides which book will become your friend. When it comes to a breakup, you need someone to support you, to tell you that everything’s going to be okay, to share their personal stories and let you know that you are not alone with your pain. Moreover, you need someone who will shake and inspire you, instill optimism and explain that a breakup is not the end of your life; rather, it is a new beginning.

Books are silent. They help us write, study, and live.They do not interrupt you; they do not impose their views. They just whisper stories, and you become slowly healed and reborn to a new life without noticing it. Here they are: the 15 best books to read when you go through a breakup.

1. Stag’s Leap: Poems by Sharon Olds

stag-leap-poems

    The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (2013), this book of poems will help you let your past go and find courage to move on in your life. Written by a lady whose 26-year-old marriage fell apart, these poems will help you accept your breakup and take on a “I am finally free” perspective without having regrets.

    Advertising

    2. Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King

    dolores-claiborne

      This author perfectly knows how to make our hearts freeze with fear, allowing readers to get into characters’ heads and disclose the reasons of their actions. This is the story of an eccentric woman and the ways she chose to deal with her drunk husband; this is a story of how strong and powerful a woman can be when it comes to danger and injustice; this is a story about women’s resilience. After reading this book, you will never consider your breakup a problem anymore.

      3. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

      history-nearly-everything

        After a breakup, you can think about nothing but love and how unfair it is. This book reveals so many interesting facts that can’t even be compared with your so-called drama, that you will forget about all earthly problems at once. As far as we know, everything is relative: who has never tasted bitter, knows not what is sweet. So, check this book to understand how tiny your problem of breaking up is in comparison with some universe disasters.

        4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

        eat-pray-love

          There is no lady who would not like this book and the story it tells about a divorced woman and her soul-searching journey to Italy, India and Indonesia. Yes, her divorce was bitter, and her love affair was disastrous, but she has found ways and strengths to change life for better. This is an inspiring story for us to understand that life does not end after a breakup; moreover, life may start after it.

          5. Under the Wild and Starry Sky by Nancy Horan

          Advertising

          under-wild-sky

            Based on true events, this book will help you understand that your ex was not the last and only love of your life. The story of a woman who escapes from her cheating husband with three children and picks up a new, cool man is a must-read for you to understand that the next love is already waiting, and it can find you at the most unexpected places sometimes.

            6. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

            ethan-frome

              Here is another well-written story to help you understand that your breakup problem is small compared to the problems that other people have. This is a beautiful novella about a man who falls in love with the young caretaker of his sick wife. The story allows us to accept the fact that anything can happen in life; you have lots of chances to write the future screenplay of your life, and there is no need to sit and cry over the past.

              7. You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

              you-should-have-known

                What would an experienced couples therapist do if she found out that she was the last one to discover that husband was planning to leave her? Moreover, he could be (maybe) connected to a murder; so, now it’s high time for her own investigation. This psychological thriller will help you realize that it could have been much worse than a simple breakup with your boyfriend.

                8. How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley

                how-did-you-get-this-number

                  What should you do if an unknown girl calls you one day and says she has found your number in the phone of her boyfriend? The problem is, that this man is—your boyfriend. Sloane Crosley knows the answer to this question, and she decides to write a book in a funny and instructive manner for each of us to understand the ugly truth of life: bad things happen, but you can always find a way out and overcome all relationship problems.

                  Advertising

                  9. Him, Her, Him Again, The End of Him by Patricia Marx

                  him-her-him-again

                    Marx writes for The New Yorker, but she also wrote this book which is a satirical story about a girl who has spent 10 years trying to attract a pretentious PhD student just to understand how wrong she was and how much time she wasted as a result. The story is based on the author’s own experience, and shows that your breakup might be a blessing rather than a curse.

                    10. Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak by Larry Smith

                    six-word-memoirs

                      Can you find six words to describe your breakup? It’s easier to say than to do, but if you have suddenly forgotten all words, this book is here to help you. A wonderful collection of six-word confessions, it is a must-read for everyone whose heart is broken. All these heartbreaking, confusing, and sometimes optimistic memoirs are here to inspire you and help you turn the page of your past relationship.

                      11. What Was I Thinking: 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories by Barbara Davilman

                      what-was-i-thinking

                        This book is a collection of 58 stories on broken relationships told by different women and designed to make you more optimistic about your own breakup. Your love may last for a week, a month, or a year; but somewhere deep inside you, understand that, sooner or later, it will be over. And we have nothing to do with that: just accept that, be thankful for those wonderful moments, and keep going.

                        12. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

                        Advertising

                        bridget-jones-diary

                          Are you a single and lonely lady now? This book should become your desk book then, because it is a real bible of what you must NOT do while not having a life partner. Forget about sitting and staring at the phone with a hope to get a call from him; do not even think about flirting with your boss, and forget about all those stupid things that come to your mind just after a breakup. But what should you do instead? Bridget Jones has an answer to this question, so keep reading to find out.

                          13. Split: A Memoir of Divorce by Suzanne Finnamore

                          a-memoir-of-divorce

                            Such stories happen every day: love appears, boys ask girls to marry them, and after a couple of years, the same boys make another proposition: divorce. The author of this book shares her story with humor and honesty, revealing all the dirty details of her marriage and divorce to make you understand that when something goes wrong, it becomes an experience which lets you do things differently next time.

                            14. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

                            high-fidelity

                              It’s time to suggest a breakup story from the male perspective. Yes, girls are not the only ones who cry. This book by Nick Hornby will tell you the story of a music addict who decides to make a list of his own “top 5” breakups, and it will probably change your mind about your own breakup.

                              15. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz

                              this-is-how-you-lose-her

                                Despite his flaws, you can’t help loving the protagonist of this book. Even though he is a man who does not take women seriously, there is something about this guy that makes you sympathize with him. It helps you understand that all men need to realize how bad they are before becoming good. This is a story that will probably help you perceive your ex differently.

                                Advertising

                                Remember: a breakup is not the end of your life, even if it is difficult to believe and accept this fact at first. Your new love is waiting for you somewhere already; so, get ready and open up your heart and mind while reading the above-mentioned books that will help you get through your ended relationship.

                                Featured photo credit: I Dont Want A Broken Heart/Nawal Al-Mashouq via flickr.com

                                More by this author

                                25 Apps College Students Shouldn’t Live Without 25 Essential Books That Every College Student Should Read 6 Ways to Cope With Unrequited Love student-write-essays 10 Bomb Messages Students Hide In Essays To Get A+ leonardp-dicaprio 10 Things That Will Help Leonardo DiCaprio Get an Oscar

                                Trending in Communication

                                1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

                                Read Next

                                Advertising
                                Advertising

                                Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                                How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
                                Advertising

                                You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                                Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                                Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                                Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                                1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                                According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                                “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                                Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                                Warming up

                                If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                                If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                                Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

                                Advertising

                                1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                                2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                                3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                                Stay hydrated

                                Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                                To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                                Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                                Meditate

                                Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                                Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                                Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                                Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                                2. Focus on your goal

                                One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                                Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                                Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

                                Advertising

                                Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                                If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                                3. Convert negativity to positivity

                                There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                                ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                                It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                                Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                                Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                                Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                                4. Understand your content

                                Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

                                Advertising

                                However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                                “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                                Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                                Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                                One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                                5. Practice makes perfect

                                Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                                In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                                Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                                6. Be authentic

                                There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                                Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

                                Advertising

                                Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                                To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                                With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                                Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                                7. Post speech evaluation

                                Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                                Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                                We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                                You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                                Improve your next speech

                                As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                                Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

                                Advertising

                                • How did I do?
                                • Are there any areas for improvement?
                                • Did I sound or look stressed?
                                • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                                • Was I saying “um” too often?
                                • How was the flow of the speech?

                                Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                                If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                                Reference

                                Read Next