Keep Busy After a Breakup: 50 Things to Try

by Sarah Horth on November 6, 2009

After a breakup you might feel like you have more time on your hands, your ex is no longer around filling in your day.  It can be a real adjustment but it also a chance for you to be selfish – there are many wonderful ways to keep busy.  I heard a lot of different suggestions on how to keep busy after breaking up from the women I interviewed this year, so I thought it would be a good chance to put them all in one place.

  1. Volunteer at a group that interests you
  2. Read trashy novels
  3. Stash away all pictures of your ex
  4. Start a new hobby
  5. Plan an overseas holiday – even if it is for next year, start researching now
  6. Attend a fun class
  7. Go to a career counselor to work out where you are going with your career
  8. Volunteer at your kids’ school activities
  9. Watch a whole TV series on DVD
  10. Plan a Wallowfest
  11. Find some new recipes and master them
  12. Hold a freedom dinner party – invite your friends around to try your amazing cooking
  13. Look into taking a class that will advance your career
  14. Start a herb or vegetable garden
  15. Start writing a blog
  16. Start researching and writing that book you always wanted to write
  17. Organize your closet – pull out everything, sell the clothes that aren’t ‘you’ anymore and enjoy the extra space  (especially as his clothes are gone)
  18. Organize your iTunes library, create some new playlists
  19. Create a budget
  20. Start or join a book club
  21. Clean out your bathroom cupboard and your makeup drawer
  22. Do an adventure activity that is out of your comfort zone, like whitewater rafting
  23. Write down your goals for the next year
  24. Work out a plan of action to make your goals happen
  25. Buy a vibrator!
  26. Write some erotica
  27. Start a new sport
  28. Try a new exercise program, even if it is only walking regularly
  29. Make a picture book for your kids
  30. Talk things through with a therapist
  31. Join an online forum of one of your interests
  32. Find some blogs and websites you enjoy and follow them
  33. Redecorate your bedroom
  34. Go for a massage – you could try your local massage school for a discounted rate
  35. Search for the perfect piece of freedom jewelry
  36. Take a minibreak with your kids or friends and get away for the weekend
  37. Get busy with art or craft projects you enjoy
  38. Write a list of all the things you are thankful for
  39. Write a list of all the things you want to be thankful for this time next year
  40. Read that classic novel you’ve never had time for
  41. Get some of your favorite photos printed out and framed
  42. Start taking your camera around with you, and take more shots
  43. Make a time with a person who has your dream job to ask how they got there
  44. Make a time with a person who has your dream relationship to ask how they got there
  45. Pull out your sewing machine and start on a sewing project
  46. Get out the tools and start a home handywoman project
  47. Say ‘yes’ when someone asks you to something you wouldn’t normally go to
  48. Have a crush on that cute guy that served you at the restaurant
  49. Sleep in the middle of the bed – because you can!
  50. Write your breakup tips or story to Sarah – I’d love to hear from you.

And of course you also need time out – time out to become accustomed to your newly single status, time out to grieve your past relationship, time out to adjust to your new life after breaking up.  Don’t get overly busy otherwise the grieving process will take longer.  Make sure you have time to yourself.

I’ve also written about this in a related article on hubpages, with more detailed examples of women’s stories of what they did to keep busy after a breakup.  If you’d like to add to your sad songs list on your iPod, check out my DJ Downer post

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

carl harris July 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

all this is not working like only 9 of the 50 dont sound like a complete waste of time but thats just me but i believe u can help me still

qwerty February 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

most sound like a waste of time….. i want something constructive and self improving so i can feel empowered and superior and succesful.

Lauren Clohessy June 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm

I have just gone through a horrendous heart break after my boyfriend of four years and I ended things because I wanted to get married and have a life with him, yet he still wanted to be “free” and work overseas. I have already tried out a load of the things on your list and it’s nice to read that I am not alone, I feel agitated and restless since the breakup but I know time will only help. Thanks for the advice :)

akash August 18, 2014 at 11:53 am

how we move on after breakup if our gf is our classmate…plz help me how to forget her because i have to see her daily as she iz my classmate

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