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15 Books To Gently Heal A Broken Heart

15 Books To Gently Heal A Broken Heart

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.

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    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

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          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.

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                  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

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                        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.

                                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

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                                Last Updated on August 19, 2019

                                How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                                We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

                                When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

                                In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

                                Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

                                If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

                                According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

                                No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

                                When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

                                Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

                                1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

                                When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

                                Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

                                When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

                                Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

                                In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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                                It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

                                You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

                                Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

                                What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

                                You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

                                That’s where we all should be.

                                So, answer me this:

                                How are you, really?

                                And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

                                Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

                                Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

                                Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

                                Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

                                It’s taking control.

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                                2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

                                You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

                                You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

                                In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

                                Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

                                You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

                                Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

                                But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

                                It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

                                In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

                                It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

                                Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

                                Change will happen.

                                Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

                                You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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                                And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

                                You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

                                That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

                                You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

                                When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

                                There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

                                3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

                                Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

                                In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

                                If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

                                Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

                                Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

                                How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

                                Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

                                “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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                                Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

                                Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

                                It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

                                Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

                                “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

                                What would you do if you felt you were enough?

                                By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

                                So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

                                Final Thoughts

                                By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

                                Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

                                When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

                                You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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                                Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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