22 Post-Breakup Books That Are a Balm For Your Heartbreak
Breakups can be tough, and while it may sound obvious, often the best thing to do when you're heartbroken is to take some time to get to know yourself better, grow as a person, and focus on your personal goals. That might look like finding a new hobby, spending more time solo or with family and friends, taking a trip, journaling, talking to a therapist, scream-singing to some heartbreak anthems, or reading some enlightening "breakup books" to help you feel seen and gain perspective.
Great news: we're here to help with that last one. We've rounded up some insightful post-breakup books — from fictional tales about finding yourself to self-help books about moving on — that will guide you toward living your best life. Plus, we added a few fun, distracting reads to the mix. So no matter what your headspace is like or what your plan of action is, take a deep breath, check out our list of books to read after a breakup, and get ready to start healing. Since it can take a while to get over someone, we've included plenty of options for heartbreak reads. These 20-plus breakup books will keep you busy, so you can take all the time you need.
— Additional reporting by Lauren Mazzo
"Attached" by Amir Levine, MD, and Rachel S.F. Heller, MA
After a breakup, it's easy to replay the relationship over and over in your head wondering where it went wrong. Science can help you gain more perspective. Dive deep into the science and psychology of relationship attachment styles in the book "Attached" ($15) by Amir Levine, MD, and Rachel S.F. Heller, MA. In this book, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Dr. Levine and Heller scientifically explain how attachment theory colors the way we experience relationships. This book can help you learn whether you're an anxious, avoidant, or secure attachment style and why that matters.
"How to Date Men When You Hate Men" by Blythe Roberson
If post-breakup dating feels impossible, take comfort in the fact that writer and comedian Blythe Roberson can relate. In "How to Date Men When You Hate Men" ($18), Roberson examines the heterosexual dating scene with sharp observations and, thankfully, humor. The self-described "comedy philosophy book" will help you approach getting back out there a little less seriously while pondering the dating culture facing us today.
"Heartburn" by Nora Ephron
With "Heartburn" ($17), Nora Ephron, creator of "Sleepless in Seattle" and "When Harry Met Sally," penned a somehow-hilarious and touching novel about the breakup of a marriage. The protagonist, cookbook author Rachel, navigates finding out her husband is in love with someone else while she's seven months pregnant. Along the way, she shares recipes, too — including none other than the vinaigrette behind the Olivia Wilde salad scandal. This breakup read will make you laugh, maybe cry, and probably be hungry, too (which is honestly perfect when heartbreak has quashed your appetite).
"I Am Yours" by Reema Zaman
In this critically acclaimed "shared memoir," public speaker Reema Zaman explores what it takes to find your voice in a world that's hellbent on silencing it. "I Am Yours" ($17) is not a sappy, lighthearted, or self-help breakup book, but rather a call to empowerment, a path to self-love, and a revolution for women everywhere. Critics call it a "spiritual guide" and "lovely work of hope and resilience." After a breakup, it's just what you need to find your way forward.
"Really Good, Actually" by Monica Heisey
In comedian Monica Heisey's "painfully relatable" debut novel, "Really Good, Actually" ($20), 29-year-old Maggie tries to find joy and meaning in her young divorcée life after an unexpected breakup. Despite being hilarious and heartwarming, this breakup book doesn't sugarcoat the process of moving through heartbreak — and that can actually be a huge comfort.
"Tiny Beautiful Things" by Cheryl Strayed
"Tiny Beautiful Things" ($12) is a collection of bestselling author Cheryl Strayed's greatest Dear Sugar columns, offering humor, insight, and compassion for overcoming life's obstacles and heartbreaks. If Strayed's name sounds familiar, it's because she also wrote the incredibly popular book "Wild."
"Everything I Know About Love" by Dolly Alderton
"Everything I Know About Love" ($17) is Dolly Alderton's heartfelt memoir that details her life as she navigates friendship, love, and loss. The book is hilariously relatable and contains great advice on how to navigate the confusion and darkness after a breakup. Be prepared to laugh out loud, shed a few tears, and be moved by the lessons this breakup book has to offer.
"Mr. Perfect" by Linda Howard
Sometimes the best cure for a breakup is to lose yourself in a thrilling and engrossing book. "Mr. Perfect" ($19), by Linda Howard, focuses on main character Jaine Bright and her three friends who create a funny, and seemingly harmless list of attributes for the perfect man. But the plot thickens when one of her friends gets murdered. Along the way, there are many twists and turns as the suspense builds and the body count increases.
"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb
"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" ($17) is a critically acclaimed memoir by Lori Gottlieb. In the book, she details her experience as a psychotherapist, who after a bad breakup finds herself in therapy. With her wit and humor, she creates an engaging story that showcases the importance of therapy when dealing with a life-shattering change.
"How to Survive the Loss of a Love" by Harold H. Bloomfield, Melba Colgrove, and Peter McWilliams
"How to Survive the Loss of a Love" ($6) by Harold H. Bloomfield, Melba Colgrove, and Peter McWilliams is a powerful and deep book, applicable to heartbreaks caused by divorce, death, or a breakup. The renowned self-help book provides skills and tactics to cope with the pain, making it a perfect book to read after a breakup.
"Juliet Takes a Breath" by Gabby Rivera
"Juliet Takes a Breath" ($10) by Gabby Rivera follows the story of Juliet Milagros Palante, who comes out to her family and then leaves her home in the New York City neighborhood of the Bronx to move to Portland, OR. Along her journey, Juliet grows as a person, learns more about the LGBTQ+ community, and starts to realize that feminism means different things to different people. This book is a wonderful read and highlights the importance of intersectional feminism and identity.
"The Wisdom of a Broken Heart" by Susan Piver
Breakups can be really painful, especially if your significant other was an integral part of your life. "The Wisdom of a Broken Heart" ($13) is an introspective breakup read filled with exercises, self-love practices, poems, funny anecdotes, and practical advice on dealing with the pain of a broken heart. Susan Piver's genuine and honest advice is reassuring and encourages you to acknowledge the depth of your pain, as that's the first step in the healing process.
"The Single Girl's To-Do List" by Lindsey Kelk
"The Single Girl's To-Do List" ($13) by Lindsey Kelk is a fun novel about Rachel Summers. After a breakup with a man whom she had been dating for seven years rocks her world, her best friends come to the rescue with a very special to-do list. At its core, this breakup book is a great page-turner that shows that life goes on after a horrible breakup.
"It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken" by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt
"It's Called a Breakup Because It's Broken" ($13) is written by husband-wife duo Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt, and it's the ultimate guide to help heal a broken heart. This breakup book details all the thoughts and feelings people tend to have after ending a relationship, tries to make sense of those emotions, and then helps people move on.
"The Rules Do Not Apply" by Ariel Levy
"The Rules Do Not Apply" ($14) is an excellent memoir by Ariel Levy. It covers heavy topics — including infidelity, her wife's alcoholism, and a heartbreaking miscarriage — that accumulate and result in a breakup. The book is a thought-provoking read about modern marriages, balancing personal ambition with parenthood, and what it means to find a life partner, making it a great post-breakup read.
"Why We Broke Up" by Daniel Handler
"Why We Broke Up" ($17) by Daniel Handler and illustrated by Maira Kalman tells the story of Min Green and Ed Slaterton's breakup. This unique book is written as a letter detailing the reasons why the couple didn't work out. It's an emotional read, but it's filled with beautiful words and equally outstanding artwork.
"Audrey, Wait!" by Robin Benway
"Audrey, Wait!" ($15) by Robin Benway is a funny read about Audrey Cuttler, an ordinary girl who wants to live her life to the fullest. After her ex-boyfriend's song about their breakup hits the top of the charts, her life is turned upside down as she's thrust into the spotlight. This hilarious book about a breakup follows Audrey as she tries to navigate life after becoming famous overnight.
"The Breakup Bible" by Rachel A. Sussman
"The Breakup Bible" ($17) by psychotherapist Rachel A. Sussman is a book that helps women create a new life for themselves after going through a breakup. Based on hundreds of counseling sessions, Sussman created a three-phase plan that guides women to put themselves first and move on from heartbreak. The book accounts for scenarios like divorces that include children and cultural dilemmas. The motivational spirit and tone of this novel make it the perfect book to cope with the end of a long-term relationship.
"Confess" by Colleen Hoover
A steamy romance novel can often be the best cure for a breakup, and this one will help you get back out there. "Confess" ($13) by Colleen Hoover follows Auburn Reed and Owen Gentry, two people that have experienced a lot of heartbreak, but along the way they learn to love again.
"The Goodbye Girls" by Lisa Harrington
"The Goodbye Girls" ($16) by Lisa Harrington focuses on Lizzie, an awkward student that notices that the halls of her school are filled with terrible, messy breakups. So, she starts a business where she makes and sells personalized breakup gift baskets, but things don't go quite as she planned. This story is filled with drama, mystery, and sabotage — but a teenage romance blossoms in the midst of the chaos.
"How to Be Single and Happy" by Jennifer Taitz
Sometimes the best thing to do after a breakup is learn to love yourself outside of a relationship — but that's easier said than done. Enter, this breakup book. Jennifer Taitz, PsyD, wrote "How to Be Single and Happy" ($15) as a science-based guide that challenges modern-day tropes and myths about romance. The book provides strategies and guidance on how to find a life partner by cultivating a healthy attitude and mindset toward dating, as well as advice on how to build a strong foundation when starting a new relationship.
"The Modern Break-Up" by Daniel Chidiac
Daniel Chidiac's "The Modern Break-Up" ($14) follows Amelia, a woman in her thirties who goes through a difficult breakup. Even though it's fictional, it feels like a book deeply rooted in psychology that captures the nuance of dating today. It contains beautiful life lessons, challenges you to be more introspective, and explains the complexities of modern dating — in all, a perfect book to read after a breakup.