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Anger is a normal emotion that you might feel following a breakup, but it can be more intense for some people than for others. Luckily, there are several helpful strategies for processing your anger and moving on with your life after a breakup. Start by acknowledging how you’re feeling and working through your emotions. Then, look for ways you can take better care of yourself to promote an overall sense of calm and well-being. Talking through your feelings can also be helpful whether you choose to talk to yourself, a friend, your ex, or a therapist.


[Edit]Processing Your Emotions

  1. Acknowledge and accept your angry feelings. Before you can move past your anger, it helps to acknowledge what you’re feeling and accept those feelings for what they are. This process can be as simple as stating out loud that you are angry and why, or you could write about your anger.[1]
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    • Try writing about your feelings in a journal or putting them into the form of a letter to your ex that you don’t send.[2]
    • Some people even find it helpful to scream while sitting in a car with the windows rolled up, or to punch a pillow. You can express your emotions any way you like as long as you’re not hurting yourself or other people.
  2. Forgive your ex so it will be easier for you to move on. Forgiveness is not as much about the other person as it is about your own well-being. If you keep dwelling on your anger and holding a grudge against your ex, it will be difficult for you to move forward. Instead, take a moment to release these feelings and forgive your ex, no matter what happened.[3]
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    • For example, you could say out loud that you forgive your ex for whatever they did, or put your message of forgiveness into a letter that you don’t send to them.

      Tip: It’s okay if you need more time to experience your emotions, but try to forgive your ex as soon as you’re able.

  3. Identify your triggers and look for ways to avoid them. If you know that certain situations, thoughts, or people trigger anger over your ex, you can use this information to prevent flare-ups. Make a list of everything that sets you off and identify ways that you can keep those triggers out of your day-to-day life.[4]
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    • For example, if you get angry when you see your ex’s posts on social media, unfollow them so you won’t see their posts. This is a good post-breakup strategy no matter what.
    • If you usually walk past your ex’s place of work on your way to work and find yourself rehearsing angry comments you’d like to make them as you pass by, take a different route to work.
  4. Remind yourself that the breakup was not your fault. You may sometimes fall into a pattern of self-blame or self-directed anger over the breakup. If this happens, reassure yourself that you did not cause the breakup. Tell yourself that out loud, or make a list of all of the things that may have contributed to the breakup.[5]
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    • For example, you could reassure yourself by saying, “It’s not my fault we had to break up. There were many reasons behind it.”
    • If you make a list, you might include on it things like, “different goals for the future,” “both our needs were unmet,” and “incompatible communication styles.”

[Edit]Taking Good Care of Yourself

  1. Give yourself permission to take it easy for a little while. If you’ve recently broken up with your significant other, don’t rush into any major changes or set big goals for yourself. Allow yourself at least a few days to rest, reflect, feel angry, cry, and grieve the loss of the relationship. Then, after 2-3 days, start focusing on your goals for the future.[6]
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    • Try watching your favorite movies, listen to music that comforts you, and spend some time alone.
    • Allowing yourself time to deal with the aftermath of your breakup will help more than trying to pretend it’s not upsetting you.
  2. Exercise for 30 minutes 5 days per week to boost your mood. Getting regular exercise can help you to release pent up anger and improve your mood overall. Try doing something you enjoy to get your exercise, such as walking, dancing, riding a bike, or taking an aerobics class.[7]
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    • You might even try a form of exercise that helps you to release your aggression, such as kickboxing, hitting baseballs in a practice cage, or learning karate.

      Tip: Walking in nature can also provide some added calming benefits if you’ve been feeling angry. Try taking a walk in a local park or even through your neighborhood.

  3. Use relaxation techniques to help you soothe anger and manage stress. Set aside at least 15 minutes every day to meditate, practice yoga, breathe deeply, or engage in another relaxation technique that you enjoy. Some people also calm themselves by doing simple activities, like taking a bubble bath, listening to calming music, and engaging with a favorite hobby. Find what works for you and incorporate it into your daily routine.[8]
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    • You might plan to do your relaxation technique at a time of day when you are most prone to anger at your ex.
    • Having a mantra might also help you, such as “I’m feeling calm and doing fine.”
  4. Practice good self-care and establish a daily routine for yourself. Good self-care involves everything from basic hygiene, to eating properly, to getting enough rest and relaxation. Take stock of your self-care habits to determine if there’s anything you might improve. This could be something small, such as drinking more water during the day, or something big, such as starting a diet.[9]
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    • Make sure that you steer clear of unhealthy coping strategies, such as drinking or self-medicating with other drugs, shopping, and binge-eating. These are not forms of self-care.

[Edit]Talking About Your Anger

  1. Ask yourself questions to combat cognitive distortions. If you find yourself stuck in a negative or unhelpful loop of thoughts, you can break free from it by asking yourself questions about the thoughts. Ask about the truthfulness of the thoughts, what evidence you have to support or refute them, and what a more realistic thought might be.[10]
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    • For example, if you find yourself feeling angry and telling yourself that you will always be alone, ask yourself, “Is this true?” Probably not.
    • Then ask, “Is there any evidence to support the thought?” Not really. Just feeling upset because of the breakup.
    • And finally, “What might be a more realistic outcome?” I’ll probably meet someone new in a few months, but it could take a little longer to find someone who I really connect with again.
  2. Talk about your feelings with a trusted friend or family member. Choose someone who you trust to keep what you say a secret, who will also listen carefully to what you have to say, and who will be supportive. Avoid talking with anyone who might share your comments with your ex or other people, or who might have a conflict of interest, such as a mutual friend. With the right person, talking through your feelings can help you to feel much better about the situation.[11]
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    • Try texting or calling up your friend or family member to arrange a time to talk, such as by saying something like, “Hey, I have been feeling so angry since my breakup. Would you mind talking with me about it later this afternoon?”

      Warning: Never talk about your ex with your children if you and your ex have kids together. This puts them in a difficult position and it can have long-lasting effects on their emotional state.

  3. Use “I” language to express yourself if you talk with your ex. It’s best to avoid talking with your ex, but that’s not always possible. If you still need to interact with your ex sometimes, such as to coordinate childcare if you have kids, then practice speaking in “I” statements. “I” statements put the focus on what you’re feeling and prevent you from making accusations, which might put your ex on the defensive.[12]
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    • For example, instead of saying, “You’re always late and it makes me late for work,” try saying, “I struggle to get to work on time when you’re running behind, so please be on time or a little early.”
  4. Join a support group or online forum. If you’re not comfortable talking with anyone in your social circle, or if you find you need to share more about your breakup, look into a support group or online forum that you could join. This would give you a chance to talk with other people who are going through a breakup and find out how they dealt with feelings of anger.[13]
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    • Try asking a therapist about local support groups for people who are getting over a breakup, or go online and join a breakup forum, such as on a site like Reddit.
    • You could also look into anger management support groups and forums if this is a bigger concern for you.
  5. Meet with a therapist if anger is disrupting your daily life. If anger is making life harder for you or if it persists for more than 2 weeks, get help from a mental health professional, such as a licensed therapist or counselor. Meeting with a therapist is a great way to work through your feelings, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and move forward with your life. Try asking your doctor for a referral, or ask friends and family if they know of any good therapists in the area.[14]
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    • Keep in mind that you may need a referral from your doctor in order to get insurance to cover the appointments.
    • If your insurance does not cover the cost of seeing a therapist, call to ask if they offer a sliding scale for uninsured clients.


  • Never try to act on your anger as this may lead to criminal charges.[15]
  • Avoid involving your children (if you have any) in the conflict with your ex.[16]



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