>Just like the iconic song says, breaking up is hard to do. It doesn’t matter what stage of the relationship you’re at or whether it’s your first breakup or your fifth—ending it with someone never gets easier. A broken heart is difficult to mend, and time is one of the only things that truly heal it. Whether you’re the one doing the leaving or being left, you end up heartbroken nonetheless. Of course, that’s what friends are for.
>Just because breakups are difficult doesn’t mean we should ignore them and hope the pain will go away for those we love. We truly believe you can help those going through a tough breakup to see the silver lining with some kindness and TLC. So if you have a girlfriend who’s going through this right now, we rounded up a few simple ways you can brighten her day.
- Encourage her to grieve. Let her cry on your shoulder.
- Do what she wants to do. If it involves burning leftover cards or notes, have the matches ready!
- Listen. Even if she’s telling you the same story for the 207th time, listen to what she has to say.
- Send a beautiful bouquet of flowers to her office (or house) just because—send one with meaning.
- Make her feel understood with reassurance. Say something like This really sucks—I’m so sorry this happened, You’re strong. I believe in you, or I can only imagine what you’re going through.
- Don’t bring up past relationships.
- Take her out. Bring her to a bar or somewhere you know there will be single eligible dates, and then let her get her flirt on.
- Stage a photo shoot. Use the photos to help her create the most fabulous online dating profile ever—if she’s ready, of course.
- If she drinks too much or starts feeling too nostalgic, confiscate her phone. She will be cheered up the next morning to learn that she didn’t contact her ex.
- 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.
- Surprise her with a manicure, blowout, or spa treatment at her favorite salon.
- Sign up for a new hobby together. Take that calligraphy class you have been talking about already.
- 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—documentaries are a great place to start.
- Make her laugh by sending her daily funny emails, or text her pictures of adorable teacup pigs doing human-like things such as eating ice cream and playing the guitar.
- Put together a gift basket for her. Place her favorite magazine, a bottle of wine, a few sweet and salty snacks, and some self-care essentials into a fun tote. Leave it in front of her door with a note telling her how much you love her and value your friendship.
- Invite her over for dinner. Light candles and set the table. If she loves mushrooms but her ex hated them, make her mushroom lasagna.
- 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.
- Send her a box of extravagant chocolates—or one of these healthy chocolate bars.
- Take her to the pet store. Let her cuddle with some puppies or kittens.
- Plan a day trip. Visit a winery or museum you know she’s been wanting to check out, like some gorgeous Napa vineyards.
- Bring her to Sephora and convince her to splurge on that hot-pink lipstick or expensive skin cream. She’s worth it!
- Get your dance on. Have a dance party at home with drinks 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.
- Invite her to a concert. If you can afford it, buy her ticket.
- Go shopping and help her pick out a couple of new date outfits.
- Host a vision board–making night. Invite her over to browse old magazines while drinking sidecars. Cut out images of what you want your future to be, and turn it into a collage.
- A breakup can deflate a gal’s self-esteem, so give her the gift of confidence. Make a list of everything you love about her. Write it on a pretty piece of stationery and send it to her through snail mail.
Shop our favorite items for a cheer-up gift basket below.
What’s your favorite way to cheer up a heartbroken friend?
This post was originally published on January 25, 2016, and has been updated by Sacha Strebe.