When you breakup with someone, your life can change.
If you’ve known them for a long time, your routines and day-to-day life may look completely different.
Even if you only knew them for a short while, the pain of heartbreak and loss can change who you are as a person.
With all these confusing emotions, it can be difficult to know what to do next.
To help you get over someone, you can consider making a breakup bucket list. Depending on the items you add to it, it can help distract you from sadness, move on, heal and find happiness again.
In this post, we’re sharing 36 breakup bucket list ideas to help you overcome heartbreak.
The Ultimate Breakup Bucket List Master list
How to Use the Breakup Bucket List
We suggest using our breakup bucket list master list to create your own. Some items will resonate with you while others won’t apply at all. Jot down the ones you think will help you and make you smile, then get working on it!
#1 Try Out New Recipes
Many times, when we’re with someone, we’re limited by their preferences. They don’t like beef? Guess we aren’t making it for dinner anymore. They’re on their newest diet fad? Guess we’ll never eat real food again.
… But, now that you’re broken up, you can eat, cook and bake whatever you damn well please. I suggest starting with the foods they hated the most. Or—any recipe requiring a ton of garlic and onion 🙂 There’s nobody to worry about your breath now!
#2 Try Out New Exercises
After a breakup is a great time to start exercising. The reason many people will give is because they want to “show up” their ex and surprise them with their new, “bangin’ bod” (did I really just type such a douchey, magazine-like phrase). Sure, you could do that. But there’s many other good reasons to get healthier during a breakup:
You have more time to workout
You have no one to judge how or how often you workout
Exercise releases endorphins—a feel-good chemical that can help ward off stress and anxiety
#3 Get More Sleep
When you were dating, you may have been partially operating on someone else’s schedule. Now that it’s just you, you can create your ideal sleep times. Maybe you wake up extra early and start new, healthy morning routine. That alone can be lifechanging. Or, maybe you’re just happy you’re not dragged to a Sunday morning church service so you spend it sleeping in. Whatever the case, when you sleep is totally up to you now. Take advantage of that!
I personally love the idea of traveling with someone else. But there’s no guarantee the next person you meet will like to travel or that your schedules will line up. And, there’s always a possibility that “life will pass you by” and you’ll continue putting it off. If you have the resources to now, explore while single!
#5 Date Around
Maybe you’ve done it before, maybe you haven’t. If you’re used to settling in with one of the first guys you meet, you may not end up meeting a lot of people. To discover what you want and need in a partner, it can help to date around. As you begin to learn about the different types of people in the world, you can gain a better sense of who will fit into yours.
#6 Learn Something New
What’s that thing you wanted to learn but have never had time to? Maybe it’s sewing, racing cars, singing or snowboarding. Whatever it is, it’s a great way to fill the gap of time your partner used to take up. And, unlike watching TV, you’ll have something to show for your time spent.
#7 Find Your “Relaxation” Hobby
Many hobbies come with an end result. For example, the creation of a new craft or the usability of a fixed motorcycle. But, not everything we do in life needs to come with fixed results. Some hobbies should allow us to just “be” without producing anything useful. Since breakups are often stressful, now is an ideal time to start experimenting to find your relaxation activity. Try a few things out and see which make you feel calmer:
- Taking a bath
- Jogging or working out
- Watching a stand-up comedy
- Playing with your dog’s/children
#8 Read a Self-Help Book
Self-help books cover a wide range of topics, so choose something that resonates with you. You could go for something on the spiritual side, like Wayne Dyer. Or you could go for something career-orientated, such as the 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People. There’s plenty of inspirational and motivational self-help classics to choose from too.
#9 Read a Relationship-Centered Book
When I was going through a tough breakup, I found that it helped me to understand the psychology behind some of the events that happened. For example, I loved reading Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find–and Keep—Love. Another option is to go for something more “fun” like It’s Not Okay. That book was written by the Bachelor’s Andi Dorfman and there’s a little bit of wisdom to go along with her hilarious sass—perfect for a breakup.
#10 Reading a Novel
During a breakup, sometimes you just need to get out of your head. Getting back into reading is a good hobby for that. Choose a genre that gets you hooked (mine’s mystery) and makes you forget about the crap going on.
#11 Go 30 Days without Something
With no one overly close to you anymore, it’s easier to avoid temptation. For example, if you’re trying to cut out soda, it will be way easier to do without someone. That means you’re more likely to stick to new habits. Whether you continue beyond the 30 days is up to you. You could go 30 days without:
- An unhealthy snack or food
- A bad habit
#11 Go 30 Days with Something
…Alternatively, you could go 30 days adding a new habit. With some freed-up time, it should be a little easier to plan for your added thing. It could be a challenge you do for yourself. For some, you may choose to give it a certain amount of time. Others, you may want to permanently add into your routine. Whichever the case, start off small with even a week challenge and build up. If you’re not sure where to start, search your topic and “30 day challenge” into Google. You could go 30 days with:
- Upping your water intake
- Eating well
- Going for a walk
#12 Create a Mini Bucket List of Good Deeds
A quick way to pick yourself up is to make someone else feel better. It’s a good thought to start doing more good deeds, but without actionable steps, it’s less likely to happen. Take a moment to brainstorm a list of acts of kindness you’d actually do. After each one you complete, you’ll feel a little more uplifted. Ideas could include:
- Leaving a kind review for a local business online
- Writing a letter to a store about a kind employee
- Writing a kind letter to a friend or family member
- Buying an anonymous gift for someone
- Paying for someone behind you in the drive-through
- Donating to a local charity
- Helping a family in need
#13 Set Aside a Boyfriend/Girlfriend Dreaming Session
One way to feel better about the breakup is to realize that you have the opportunity to meet someone who has the traits your ex didn’t. Maybe they weren’t caring enough, never bought you flowers, didn’t watch sports, etc. Now, you have the possibility to meet someone who’s truly your dream. How you daydream is up to you. Here’s some suggestions:
- Make a list of non-negotiables your next partner will have
- Journal about the way your future partner will make you feel
- Search for attractive people on Pinterest and pin them to a secret “Relationship Vision Board”
- Do a visualization “soulmate meditation”
#14 Do the One Thing Your Ex Hated (Or Really, Really Liked + Give it to Someone Else)
…Unless it’s harmful, of course. If there’s something your ex didn’t like you doing that you didn’t agree with, go ahead in an act of rebellion. For example, if a controlling partner didn’t like you travelling alone, travel alone. If they didn’t like you dressing a certain way because people flirted with you, dress that way all the time.
Another version of this is to get good at something they really, really liked. Then, when you meet the right person, they’ll get the benefits instead of your ex-partner. It’s a satisfying act of rebellion but it’s still really only useful if you like the new thing/habit. For example, maybe your ex-partner hated that you didn’t like video games and now all the sudden you’re the next upcoming videogame streamer. Or maybe they said they wanted someone who dressed better and now you dress great for everyone but them.
#15 Start New Habits
If you’re used to living with someone and now you’re alone all of the sudden, the extra “freedom” can be overwhelming. Instead, use it to your advantage by designing your ideal routine. Now is a great time to incorporate a relaxing morning routine (ex. meditation, yoga, walk, etc.). Or, you could develop a nightly self-care habit specific for your needs.
#16 Rearrange/Redesign Your Space
Whether you live in a house, an apartment or a room, post-breakup is a great time to switch things up. A change in scenery could mean fewer memories of the person in your place. Even if not, it can feel like a good way to symbolize a much needed fresh start.
#17 Move (if you’ve been wanting to)
If you’ve been wanting to move or try out living in a new city, use the breakup to push you to finally do it. If moving means seeing the person less, it could make moving on easier. Even the thought of having no chance of bumping into them can feel like a final severing of ties.
#18 Have a Spa Day
Whether you’re a man or a woman, if you can afford it, give yourself the luxury of a nice hair cut and massage. It’s a good way to pamper yourself without having a partner. And after what you’ve been through, you probably deserve it!
#19 Eat Alone
If you’ve never eaten alone in a sit-down restaurant before, you have to try it! It’s not something to be afraid of or feel sorry for people about. It’s a great way to enjoy a meal with no rush and stand in your confidence.
#20 Get Rid of Your Exes Things
We won’t tell you how to do it, but we will tell you to do it. Keeping stuff of your ex around serves no purpose but to prolong the heartache every time you see or think of it. If it’s something you need to give back, dreading that day can make it even worse. Get it over with and cut off the ties completely. Give back what you need to and throw out, give away or donate the rest.
#21 … Get Rid of Those Pictures Too
Pictures count too! And since they’re in so many places these days, that can be quite a feat. Go through your phone and delete anything on your camera roll. If some of those memories are special for reasons that extend beyond the person (ex. a trip, family gathering, etc.), you can store them somewhere else instead. For example, moving those pictures to a hard drive or Google Photos can ensure they’re still there if you want them, but they’re not immediately accessible when you’re missing the person.
#22 Reconnect with Family
If you don’t have a supportive family, I won’t try to convince you of this one, so skip to the next item. But, if you do, now is a great time to increase your contact with them. Whether it’s getting in touch with a long lost relative, visiting your parents more or just phoning up a family-like friend, reach out!
#23 Have (At Least One) Intentional “Nothing” Day
Yep, have a day where you don’t do anything. No cooking, working, chores or even changing out of your pajamas if you don’t want to. You can stay in bed and watch TV all day, order takeout, read, whatever you want. Breakups can take a lot of emotional energy and we need to build in time to just fully relax sometimes.
#24 Buy New Underwear or Boxers
Yep, a new pair that your partner has never been in. And, while you’re at it, you might as well make it the best pair you’ve ever bought.
#25 Start a Journal
It may sound corny, but if you don’t journal already, it could help you get through your heartbreak. A 2017 study showed the people who expressively wrote about their past relationship has fewer physical symptoms and fewer intrusive thoughts. While it may be tough to write about now, it can also be interesting to read later down the line. I wish I had written about my breakups years ago—I forget some of the crazy details now but it would be weird ride to relive them.
#26 Make a Gratitude List
You can choose to take 2 minutes each day to write a gratitude list—or you can set aside a larger chunk of time to write everything down at once. Either way, refocusing your attention on the positive instead of the negative can help you feel a little less crappy. It gives you a better perspective of life as a whole rather than just a snapshot of this tough situation. If this sounds corny, it may be. But science backs it up, so don’t blame us. Research shows that giving thanks can make you feel happier and reduce anxiety.
#27 Forgive Yourself
Even if our partner was the worst to us, we’ve probably done some things wrong too. It’s ok to where you could improve, even if you think the other person needs to improve more. But, with that being said, don’t be too hard on yourself. Beating yourself up over what didn’t go right won’t make things better. Everyone is imperfect and makes mistakes. Talk to yourself as you would a friend. If you’ve already learned the lesson, the only thing you can do is figure out how to put it into action.
#28 Make Mood-Centric Playlists
As you go through your breakup, you’ll go through different stages. You’re probably familiar with the idea behind several stages of grief. Well, breakups are another kind of grief. With that, you’ll probably go through sadness, anger, confusion and more before you finally reach a more healed, happy state. It can help to make playlists for each of your common moods. For example:
- Angry, “f-you” playlist
- Sad, “I miss you” playlist
- Sad, “you lost something great” playlist
- Motivational, “I’m so much better without you” playlist
Another option is to go even more specific. For example, if someone cheated on you, make a playlist of revenge playlist songs and listen to them as you beat up a punching bag.
#29 Take a Class
Make a pact with yourself to take a class. This serves a couple of purposes: it helps you meet other people who have nothing to do with your ex and it keeps your mind off of them too. It could be crafts, woodworking, dancing, music lessons, exercise, dog training, etc.
#30 Try a New Look
The theme of breakups doesn’t need to be—but often is—“reinventing” yourself. Although real change starts from the inside, your outer looks could be a symbol of that. So, don’t be afraid to try a new hair color, cut or fashion style. If you have a beard, maybe shave it. If you don’t, consider growing one. Little changes can make you feel like a different person, and with that, ready for a better future.
#31 Have (at least one) No-Phone Day
That’s right. One entire day without your phone. That includes no logging onto Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or anything else on your desktop either. While this may not be the best idea in the beginning stages of the breakup (when you’re lonely), it’s a good way to spend time with yourself. Spend the time in whatever way you choose—as long as you’re in present real life the entire day and not basked in the world of technology.
#32 Get Out in Nature
It’s your choice whether you want to make this a habit—such as going for a daily walk in the park—or a one-time thing, such as camping. Either way, many people agree that there’s just something healing about nature.
#33 Do Something Super Scary (But Exciting)
Do that thing you’ve always kinda wanted to do but kinda not because it’s terrifying. That looks different to everyone. It could be skydiving, zip-lining, asking someone out, a hot air balloon ride, going on a rollercoaster, public speaking, etc.
#34 Write Letters and Texts You’ll Never Send
If my exes read every letter and text I never sent, it’s unclear whether they’d cry or hire someone to kill me. Writing out the things you never got to say finally gets them out and can help you move past them. Just keep in mind: If it’s actually over, there’s little point in pressing send. It will probably only make things worse.
#35 Find or Renew Your Spirituality
Going through dark times often leads us to become more spiritual. Our new beliefs can give us the hope and courage to conquer tough events. A “higher power” looks different to everyone. In the traditional sense, it could mean going to church, mosque or temple. It could mean delving into new age or mystical beliefs. It could mean learning divination tools or reading a bit of everything. If you don’t believe in God, it could simply be your connection to nature or the world or humanity at large.
#36 Start a Side Project
If you’ve always wanted to try starting a business, now is a good time to do it. Since you have extra time to plan and carry out the steps, why not go for it? The options are endless. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to sell your homemade candles on Etsy. Or, you’ve been wanting to start a blog.
Summary of Bucket List for Surviving a Breakup
Creating a personalized breakup bucket list can help guide you through this tough time. We encourage you to make it special to you. Include some items for fun, for learning, for distraction and for healing. You can use our master list of ideas to create your own breakup bucket list.