How ‘Elf’ helped me get through a break-up

There’s no debate that as soon as Elfwas released in 2003, it became an instant classic. There’s the magic of the holiday season in New York City. Jon Favreau directing. Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel falling for each other. Amazingly talented actors rounding out the cast like Mary Steenburgen, Amy Sedaris, Peter Dinklage, James Caan and numerous others. But did you also know it’s an excellent movie to help get over a break-up? It is! I promise. And while a break-up around the holidays for some reason feels exponentially worse than any other time, I have been known to watch the movie year round. (I tend to alternate it with When Harry Met Sally). Here’s how it has helped me.

Buddy unknowingly is all about promoting break-up snacks

While I may never have put maple syrup on my spaghetti, I have totally gone on a sugar binge while nursing a broken heart. Buddy’s affinity for sweets and how excited he gets to eat them, inspired my own confectionary creations during my crying fits and refusal to leave the house. Reese’s pieces and gummy bears with chocolate chip mint ice cream? Sure! Hot fudge and whipped cream too? Bring it on. Pretty sure I made the same content “mmmm” sounds ingesting my ridiculous sundaes as Buddy did. Sometimes a ridiculous indulgence is just what you need to feel better.

Family and friends help when your heart hurts

Buddy spends some time feeling lost and like he doesn’t belong anywhere-also a common byproduct from a break-up-but ends up realizing that he has the best of both worlds. He has two families. His elf family and his human family. The same way that when we are devastated by a break-up we have our friend family and our biological one. They are all there to remind us that we aren’t alone, we are loved, and we will eventually feel ok again, so we should embrace each other and remember that.

Buddy’s endless optimism and wonderment

As knee-deep in tissues as you might be, it’s impossible to not smile while seeing Buddy’s delight in what the rest of us consider mundane. A ginormous toilet? A diner proclaiming they have the world’s best cup of coffee? Working in a dungeon-like mail room? These are all endlessly entertaining to Buddy, and a good reminder that even when everything feels pretty terrible, we can try to find joy in the tiniest of things, instead of taking them for granted. It’s a small step in the process of trying not to dwell on our bruised feelings.

Jovie overcoming her skepticism and fears

Having dated in New York City, it’s easy to see why Jovie regards Buddy as having some kind of agenda or is possibly someone a little too bizarre for her taste. But she gives him a chance and ends up having a completely original, wonderful date, clearly unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Her willingness to try something unknown and new is a great attitude to have when you’re considering jumping back into the dating pool after a break-up. In the same way that she also overcomes her fear of singing in public. It’s something she wants to do, but she’s afraid. Going out with someone new can be scary, but it can also be worth the risk. You might find someone with a kind heart like Buddy.

Just plain old hilarity

When you’re miserable from a break-up, laughing can feel like the furthest thing from your mind. But as cheesy as it sounds, laughter can be the best medicine. It has repeatedly been scientifically proven to aid in all kinds of ailments. And Elf, in case you haven’t watched in awhile, is laugh out loud hilarious.

[Photo via Universal Pictures]

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