How to 'Glow Up' After a Breakup

That's the problem with heartbreak: to you it's like an atomic bomb and to the world it's just really cliché.

— Kate from Drinking Buddies

In its wake, a breakup leaves a dull rod lodged in a person’s chest, the object occasionally slipping and occasionally holding fast to the bones. No one ever wants to feel this way, yet heartbreak can be found in everything we consume—in books, movies, series, real life, and reddit. 

A certain redditor went through a particularly rough separation. Let’s call them Hayden.

Hayden was in a 5-year relationship with their ex before things ended on a painful, closure-deprived note. Hayden’s reddit post, which was published in r/confession, reads: “I came over to his house one morning to surprise him with breakfast and a video game he wanted, only to find him naked, asleep, and with his ex curled up in his arms.” Oof. That would gut anyone.

What Hayden did next was almost unthinkable for a lot of people. They left the video game and food they brought in their ex-boyfriend’s house, drove off without waking him and the person he was cheating with, blocked him on all social media, moved out of their apartment, and got a new job in a different city, effectivoely preventing their ex from having an “opportunity for dialogue”.

The way Hayden wrote their post made it seem like leaving a 5-year relationship is as simple as leaving a shopping mall, but even they admitted in the comments that tears began flowing the moment they got into their car. 

The link between physical pain and emotional pain

A study showed that our brains light up very similarly to painful stimuli—whether they’re physical or emotional. This finding suggests that the amount of attention we give an excruciating wound is comparable to the kind of attention we give a grieving heart.

On the plus side, a study found that our brains are also “wired for recovery”. The areas in our brain associated with regulating our emotions become active when we’re dealing with a situation as painful as heartbreak.

In this blog post, we want to share with you tips to “glow up” post-breakup. An important side note: This glow up is exclusively for you! Not your ex.

Pamper yourself with a few face masks.

Have a spa day at home with a face mask! This will help you relax and ease the hurt you’re feeling from the breakup. Set aside some time to pamper yourself, even if it’s only once a week. 

Plus, face masks do your skin some good! They contain oils and serums that go deep into your skin, delivering beneficial active ingredients efficiently. Keep using face masks once a week, and you’ll see your skin glow in no time.

Try on new clothes.

When a snake sheds its skin, it is likely because the snake is adapting to its growing body. Much like a snake, we must also accommodate the development that results from a life-changing situation. Emotionally, this means seeking professional help if needed, or doing small acts of self-care to cope with the situation better. Physically, we can “shed our skin” by changing a few things in our wardrobe!

Your clothes can affect the way you think, a study found. When we dress up for work, the formality of our clothing can influence our decision-making abilities and can even “enhance [our] ability to engage in abstract thinking”.

So find the clothes you’ve been eyeing for a while. Look for tops, bottoms, or dresses that make you giddy and excited. Wear clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. You have every right to!

Get a haircut.

Coco Chanel presumably said, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” That all women experience this, or that all men go through this as well, is probably an assumption standing on shaky ground. But altering your hairstyle’s overall look can serve as a marker of an important life event, said Renee Engeln, a psychology professor and author of Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women

Engeln further said that the decision to cut the hair usually means a woman is making a “small act of rebellion” against gender roles and the “traditional norms for women’s appearance,” according to an article on i-D

Experiment with makeup.

Similar to transforming your wardrobe, experimenting with makeup can also add color and vibrancy to the new phase in your life. Bust out your makeup tools, and search for makeup tutorials you find interesting! This is a good time to explore cute and fun looks you never thought you’d dare try.

Some resources we recommend are YouTube, the subreddits Beauty Diagrams, Random Acts of Makeup, and Makeup Addiction, and our Facebook group LIVE & GLOW.

Train for a marathon.

Running away from your problems can be unhealthful. But running, period? Now that’s something you can do. When you gear up and train for a 42 km-long marathon after your breakup, you also inevitably train your mind to redirect your focus from the hurt to—well—a more productive kind of pain. 

Plus, the list of benefits that come with running, from getting fit to improving mental wellbeing, is enough to help you cope physically and mentally from heavy heartbreak. 

If you’re not up for a long run, jogging for at least 30 minutes a day is enough to get you to a happier, healthier state.


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