Gina Vaynshteyn
December 31, 2015 6:00 am

When you’re broken up with, it truly feels like someone reached in between your ribs, pulled out your heart, and stomped on it with hateful gusto. Hey, I know. I’ve had my fair share of break-ups. But what kept me from crying 24/7 and hiding in an emotional fort made of pillows and bed sheets, were my friends. They were supportive and genuinely caring, making me feel less crappy and way more positive than if I were alone.

If your friend is going through a break-up, know this: your presence is invaluable. Break-ups are hard to cope with by yourself, which is why you’re there for your broken-hearted BFF. Are you expected to solve all her relationship problems? No way. Should you tell her that all men are dogs and that he didn’t deserve her anyway? Nope. It’s better to let your friend figure these things out on her own, and dissing her ex may just encourage more negativity.  However, you can listen to her. You can eat bad-for-you snacks with her. You can make this miserable time way more bearable by doing other things together, such as:

1. Signing her up for dance lessons.

One of the best ways to forget about someone is to replace them with a new, healthy obsession that involves movement. Yoga, Zumba, a hip-hop dance class, anything that generates positive vibes, elevates her mood, and makes her feel good about herself is the way to go.

2. Visiting the pet store together.

A tiny, fluffy kitten or eager puppy will guarantee smiles all around, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes.

3. Watching comedy films featuring triumphant under-dogs.

Movies about female protagonists who lose their jobs, get into accidents, or have to move back in with their parents only to overcome their fears, self-doubt, and struggles (i.e. Girl Most Likely or Paradise, which are both streaming on Netflix!), are the best movies to watch when you’re feeling down and out. These movies might make her feel more optimistic and confident that she WILL get through this.

4. Planning a day trip.

Find a place that neither of you have been to. Map out everywhere you want to go, everything you want to see, and all the restaurants you want to try out. Having something to look forward to is an awesome way to combat those break-up blues and will serve as a fun distraction.

5. Letting her sob, seethe, and wallow.

Don’t tell her to stop crying. Let her talk as much crap about her ex as she wants. Listen, let her do most of the talking, but try not to add your two-cents about the guy. You don’t know if that’s what she wants to hear right now, or if they’ll even stay broken up. It feels amazing to vocalize our hurt feelings, so give her the green light to do so if she wants.

6. Starting a project.

Go on Pinterest and try to make something with her, even if it will end up on one of those Pinterest Fail blogs. Even if crafts frustrate her, making something will ultimately take her mind off things.

7. Having a sleepover and ordering a giant pizza.

Pretend you’re in middle school again, and order a pizza with all the good toppings (sausage, pineapple, artichokes, EXTRA CHEESE) and eat it on the floor while you read ghost stories aloud, flip through magazines, or just spend quality time talking.

8. Taking her to Sephora.

If she’s into that kind of thing, of course! Sometimes, a new look inspired by a different, daring lipstick shade or bright green eyeliner is one way for her to feel brand new and dazzling.

9. Going to the park.

Just because you’re all grown up, doesn’t mean you can’t go on swings or hang off monkey bars. Plan a carefree day by hitting up the playground and helping her feel like a kid again.

10. Steering her away from making rash decisions.

Share a bottle of wine or a few shots of vodka, if you want! After all, sometimes a few drinks can be totally therapeutic. However, alcohol does this thing where it alters your brain chemicals and encourages you to make silly decisions. Like calling your exes and telling them they’re stupid and that they’re going to regret dumping you. Don’t let your friend do this! If you catch her trying to contact her ex to say something mean, do your best to dissuade her. Obviously, she’s a big girl and can take care of herself, but you can be her guardian angel while her defenses are down.

11. Visiting a book store, or the library.

Mmm. . .there’s nothing more amazing than walking into a building filled to the brim with books, right? Help her pick out a novel if you have any good suggestions, but maybe steer clear of mushy romance novels.

12. Hitting up the clubs. . .sober!

Go dance your butts off at a club, and solely rely on adrenaline (and okay, maybe a Redbull) to get you through the night.

13. Inviting some other girlfriend over and organizing a game of freeze tag or capture the flag.

She probably hasn’t played a kid game like this in years, right? Distract her with a lightly competitive game that’s a fun AND good for your friendship.

14. Helping her pick out a new outfit.

After break-ups, sometimes it just feels good to reinvent ourselves, even if it’s ever so slightly. A new shirt or pair of jeans can make her feel like an entirely new person.

15. Setting up a DIY spa in your apartment.

Break out those Epsom salts, nail polishes, recipes for the perfect facial mask, and some Enya (obviously). Spend the day pretending you two are at a lux spa, because the less stress for your friend, the better.

16. Making jewelry with a ‘90s inspired bead kit.

Let her know that you’re not going anywhere by making friendship bracelets. And no, you can never be too old for friendship bracelets.

17. Buying a box of assorted chocolate and trying out every single one for dinner.

As it turns out, chocolate does amazing things for your body (including a natural increase of dopamine levels) , so indulging once in awhile is less harmful than you would think, especially if you go for the dark chocolate variety.

18. Taking her to a concert.

Because sometimes getting lost in some music feels really cathartic.

19. Making her a mix CD.

Letting you know you get her and communicating this via music is really sweet, and it shows that you love her and want her to feel loved. Include happy, upbeat music, like Of Montreal, “Chandelier” by Sia, or some Beatles.

20. Telling her she’s amazing.

Because she is. And what she’s going through is horrible. It’s stupid we humans have to go through this, but she’s going to make it because she’s strong and incredible. Don’t let her forget that about herself.

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