There’s no way to get around saying it: Going through a breakup is hard. Even if the relationship wasn’t all that great, the end of one comes with its own kind of mourning—the mourning of a way of life, perhaps a circle of friends and maybe the connection to your former significant other’s pets, among other things. Life as you knew it won’t ever be the same. And even though you know that can be a good thing, early on, it’s hard to see.
While the jury’s still out on the best way to move on after a breakup, one tried-and-true way to at least distract yourself with is to watch a movie. And maybe add some friends and some treats or drinks. Whether you’re together with other loved ones or going it alone, the right movie will help you experience a range of emotions and step through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—all from the comfort of your couch.
Go ahead, scroll through this curated list of movies to watch after a breakup and start your moving-forward journey. Whether it’s a movie about an actual breakup, or just handling grief, or even a feel-good flick, these films will help you feel again.
Chocolat tells the story of a young mother who arrives at a conservative French village with her spirited daughter. She opens a chocolaterie, and it begins to change the culture of the town. In the process, she runs into some friction with town leaders and even finds love.
With music you can’t help but sing along to, Disney’s Moana tells the story of its namesake character, chosen by the ocean to reunite a relic with a goddess. Moana is strong-willed and will face the challenges. She begins her search for the demigod Maui in hope of saving her people.
When 20-year-old bride Sophie reveals she’s secretly invited three men who could be her father to her upcoming wedding without telling her mother, chaos ensues in Mamma Mia. Based on the Abba musical, the film includes many of the Swedish band’s top hits as the characters prepare for the wedding day. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows; there’s some pain in there, too.
In Walking and Talking, viewers step into Amelia’s rough life. Her roommate moved out, her cat got cancer, and her best friend, Laura, is getting married. She learns to cope with things with the help of some friends, and a brief romance with “the ugly guy,” Bill.
500 Days of Summer is about a breakup that catches one party completely off-guard. That’s at least how Tom, a greeting card writer and hopeless romantic, feels when his girlfriend, Summer, breaks up with him. The film is filled with Tom’s reflections on their 500 days together, trying to figure out what went wrong.
In 50 First Dates, Henry sets his heart on winning over Lucy, only to find out she has short-term memory loss and can’t remember what happened the day before. Each day he has to woo her again. He also has to convince her loved ones he’s in it for love.
Elle Woods has one goal at the beginning of Legally Blonde: to be Mrs. Warner Huntington III. Her plans fall apart when Warner fails to propose. Elle fights back by getting into Harvard Law to be with Warner, determined to win his heart once again.
After Carl Fredricksen’s wife passes away, he pines for her in the home they shared in Up. In an act of desperation, the 78-year-old Fredricksen fulfills a lifelong dream and ties thousands of balloons to his house, to fly away to the South American wilderness. Fredricksen’s worst nightmare comes true when he discovers a stowaway, a young boy named Russell, aboard his floating home.
In Celeste and Jesse Forever, longtime sweethearts Celeste and Jesse begin to drift apart after marrying young. Celeste initiates a divorce, believing she and Jesse can remain friends, and Jesse goes along with it even though he loves her. As the separation starts to sink in, Celeste begins to have second thoughts.
Scott Pilgrim has never had trouble getting girlfriends. That is until Ramona Flowers comes into his life. In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Pilgrim finds he has to face an army of Flowers’ ex-boyfriends who are determined to keep the pair from being together.
When American Jesse meets French Celine on his way to Vienna, the pair begins to form a strong connection in Before Sunrise. The only problem is Jesse is headed to Vienna, and Celine is headed to Paris. Jesse convinces her to get off the train with him in Vienna, and the pair wander the city together, making their imminent morning separation painful.
In Sliding Doors, two scenarios are at play. First, Helen is fired from her job as an ad executive in London and catches a train to find her boyfriend Gerry in bed with another woman, and she dumps him. In the second scenario, she leaves late, misses the woman, and lives miserably, suspicious of Gerry’s infidelity.
Cal Weaver’s life looks picture-perfect until it starts to unravel in Crazy Stupid Love. Once he learns his wife, Emily, has been unfaithful, the pair divorces. Cal struggles with being 40 and suddenly single, and seeks the help of Jacob, a player, who teaches him how to impress the ladies.
In this film adaptation of the famous novel, Pride and Prejudice follows Elizabeth Bennet as she lives with her family in the English countryside and faces mounting pressure to marry. When Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy, the pair begins to fall for each other. While the pair’s attraction is no secret, Darcy’s demeanor threatens the fledgling relationship.
In 2 Days in Paris, American Jack and French native Marion book a European vacation to repair their relationship. By the time they arrive in Paris, it’s clear the efforts aren’t helping. Could the visit to the most romantic city mean the end of the couple’s relationship?