How to recover from a breakup

Taryn Davies
Published: January 15, 2015

We’re often told to get up and carry on with normal life after a break-up, when all we really want to do is wallow in our own misery, binge on bad food and cry watching Bridget Jones over and over, but our way of getting through this may, in fact, be the best option.

A new study suggests that taking time after a split to wallow in sadness, can help you feel better, faster.

The study recruited people who had been through a non-marital breakup in the past six months. Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Arizona did think that the study might have had a negative effect on the emotional recovery, but they still went ahead.

Talking things through

There were two groups, one who filled out questionnaires, and the other who had talk about the breakup, have their vital signs monitored and record their thoughts on it too.

The study, published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, found that those who were more intense with their recovery were actually better at the end of the nine weeks.

The researchers used a parameter of self-concept reorganisation, which sees you define yourself as a separate thing from the ex and relationship.

Grace Larson of Northwestern University said that reflecting on the relationship helped the people build a stronger perspective on who they are as single people.

What to do when you break up

Larson says that it can be difficult to unwind from the psychological part of a relationship, but the idea that self-concept repair could actually be the best thing for our wellbeing at the end of a relationship.

Whilst we all won't have the ability to take part in this kind of study when we break up with someone, it might be important for us to take time to mull over the relationship and consider who you are as an individual, apart from the relationship.

What do you think; will you be reaching for the Galaxy bars post-breakup or a journal to express your feelings? We know which one our waistline would prefer.