26 Ways to Cheer Up a Heartbroken Friend

Katie Sweeney

During the holidays, many couples get engaged, but just as many break up. Take my little sister, for example. She and her boyfriend, who she lived with and had been dating for two-and-a-half years, decided to call it quits on New Year’s Eve. While she was the one who initiated the termination of their relationship, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the doing the dumping or being dumped, you end up heartbroken nonetheless. Breakups are incredibly difficult (and they never get easier, no matter how many times you experience one) so I’ve been trying to come up with ways brighten my sister’s day. If a friend or loved one is also dealing with a broken heart, here are 26 ways to cheer them up.

  1. Encourage her to grieve. Let her cry on your shoulder.
  2. Do what she wants to do. If it involves burning her leftover couples Christmas card, have the matches ready!
  3. Listen. Even if she’s telling you for the 207th time about how unfair he was in the end, listen to what she has to say.
  4. Send a beautiful bouquet of flowers to her work (or house) just because.
  5. Make her feel understood by reassuring her. Say something like, “This really sucks. I’m so sorry this happened,” or “You’re strong. I believe in you,” or “I can only imagine what you’re going through.”
  6. Don’t bring up any past boyfriends.
  7. Take her man-hunting. Bring her to a bar where you know there will be single eligible men, then let her get her flirt on.
  8. Stage a photoshoot. Use the photos to help her create the most fabulous online dating profile ever.
  9. If she gets drunk and starts to be crazy, confiscate her phone. She will be cheered up the next morning to learn that she didn’t contact her ex in a drunken, crazed stupor.
  10. Plan a girls' weekend away. Book an Airbnb or a couple of nights at a beloved hotel. Go away with her and two or three of your other gal pals and focus on having as much fun as possible.
  11. Surprise her with a manicure, blowout, or spa treatment at her favorite salon.
  12. Sign up for a new hobby together. Take that calligraphy class you have been talking about already!
  13. Show up at her house on a random weeknight with a bottle of wine and take-and-bake pizza. Agree to binge-watch whatever television show she wants.
  14. Make her laugh by sending her daily funny emails, or text her pictures of adorable teacup pigs doing humanlike things such as eating ice cream and playing the guitar.
  15. Put together a gift basket for her. Place the latest Us Weekly or Vogue, a bottle of sparkling rose, a bouquet of flowers, nail polish, and chocolate-covered pretzels into a fun tote. Leave it in front of her door with note telling her how much you love her and value your friendship.
  16. Invite her over for dinner. Light candles and set the table. If her ex hated mushrooms so she never got to eat them, make her mushroom lasagna.
  17. Get her to do something active. Set up a Monday-morning walk date, or sign up for that 10-week cardio kickboxing boot camp together.
  18. Send her a box of extravagant chocolates.
  19. Take her to the pet store. Let her cuddle with some puppies or kittens.
  20. Plan a day trip. Visit a winery or museum you know she’s been wanting to check out.
  21. Bring her to Sephora and convince her to get that hot-pink lipstick or expensive skin cream. She’s worth it!
  22. Get your dance on. Have a dance party at home with vodka martinis and a '90s throwback playlist, or head to a bar that you know has a good DJ and crowd of people dancing on Friday or Saturday night.
  23. Invite her to a concert. If you can afford it, buy her ticket.
  24. Go shopping and help her pick out a couple of new date outfits.
  25. Host a vision board–making night. Invite her over to browse old magazines while drinking sidecars. Cut out images of what you want want your future to be, and turn it into a collage.
  26. A breakup can deflate a gal’s self-esteem, so give her the gift of confidence. Make a list of everything that you love about her. Write it on a pretty piece of stationary and send it to her through snail mail.

Shop items perfect for a cheer-up gift basket below. 

What's your favorite way to cheer up a heartbroken friend? 

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