Love Better

People Tell us Their Tips to Deal with Break-Up Loneliness

“Treating yourself to your favourite things and revelling in not having to share.”
woman clinging

One of the worst parts of a break-up is abruptly finding yourself without a partner in crime. Being single is supposed to be fun and freeing – you can do what you want when you want, without having to worry about how it affects someone else – but the initial transition back to standing on your own two feet when you lose the person standing beside you for months or even years can be rough.

It’s normal in the wake of a break-up to want to disappear into your duvet and watch a hundred hours of mind-numbing TikToks. Spending a couple of days permanently strapped to your mattress isn’t gonna do you any harm, but there’s a point where you have to put the work in to feel better.  It’s almost impossible to avoid the waves of melancholy all together, but you can make it easier. 


So how do you deal with the sudden disappearance of an S/O? 

Well, we asked people their best tips on how to tackle that all too familiar, lonely post break-up period. 

This is what they had to say:

“Challenge yourself to do stuff on your own. The movies, a cafe, a gig.” 

“Reconnect with nature and check out of social media.” 

“Treating yourself to your favourite things and revelling in not having to share.”

“Distraction is key. Force yourself to find a hobby.”

“Figure out what other changes in your life you need to make that you’ve been avoiding.”

“Watch lots of kids' movies. Or horror movies. It feels good to just feel basic feelings like fear and happiness when your own emotions are in such a complicated place.” 

“Bedroom karaoke to Dua Lipa's New Rules.”

“Leaning on your friends.”

“When I’m feeling lonely I physically write down all the things I’m grateful for on paper and put it on my wall. It sounds lame, but it works.”

“Honestly it’s a cliche but yoga is really good.”

“Have sleepovers with friends. My best friend and I had like 10 in a row.”

“Learn to enjoy your own company again.”

“I gave myself a month of doing stupid fun stuff and that felt very liberating.” 

“Do all the cheesy stuff like give yourself hugs and smile at yourself in the mirror and say positive affirmations when you feel down. I feel like it tricks your brain into actually feeling a little better.”


“Message your friends more.”

“Go out alone.”

“Remind yourself over and over that the lonely feeling doesn't last. You will feel better one day, so keep telling yourself that till you do.”

You’ve probably heard the saying “we’re born alone, we die alone,” but it’s not as depressing as it sounds. Remembering that you’re the one person who’s got your own back is super important when you’re suffering from a bout of loneliness – because if you can challenge yourself to find happiness in your own company, you’ll have something that no one can take away from you. Whether it's indulging in familiar comforts or starting a new hobby, learning to enjoy spending time with yourself is one of the best cures to a broken-heart. 

But you can’t do it all alone. As contradictory as it sounds, it’s key to find the balance between regaining independence and leaning on your friendships and support systems. 

And then, there’s time. Loneliness stings like nothing else, but no feeling lasts forever – so don’t panic. One day you’ll feel like you again.

Own the Feels is brought to you by #LoveBetter, a campaign funded by the Ministry for Social Development.

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Rachel Barker is a writer / producer at VICE NZ in Aotearoa. You can find her @rachellydiab on IG and Letterboxd and see her film criticism on Youtube.