DSM Break Up Survival Kit
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SuggestionAuthorComments
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Lex R.
HeartburnNora Ephron
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Katie Roche
http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/Natalie - Baggage ReclaimGreat Blog - also just bought some books from her.
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The Unbearable Lightness of BeingMilan KunderaYes I love this book
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Gabrielle W.
Margaret AtwoodAgree re. anything by Atwood. Darkly funny, feminist, and knowing.
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This Is How You Lose HerJunot DiazSOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!!! (I love this book, can you tell?)
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Rosie W.
https://www.reddit.com/r/BreakUp/comments/36fvkd/how_to_handle_getting_dumped_like_a_pro/This morning I was listening to the latest episode, and you said you were compiling all the best breakup materials for your listeners. I tried "When Things Fall Apart," like Anna mentioned, but it was a little too woo-woo for me. I am no good at yoga and meditation and that stuff. But the most helpful thing I read during that time was actually a post from Reddit. I printed it out, highlighted the sections that really stood out to me, and carried it around in my wallet for months. Whenever I needed a little advice or pick-me-up, I'd read it. I eventually gave my highlighted copy to a friend who was also going through a breakup, wHen I felt ready to stop carrying it around with me.
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Leah B.
Stag's LeapSharon Olds
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Department of SpeculationJenny OffillNona
"How to Survive the Loss of a Love"
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Kory H.
Stop Taking Care of the Borderline or Narcissist
Margalis FjelstadHeartbreak"
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The Gifts of ImperfectionBrene Brown
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Rising StrongBrene Brown
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Kaizen WayRobert Maurer
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Deep SurvivalLaurence Gonzales
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Zen HabitsLeo Babauta
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Mary S.
Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships
Diane Vaughan
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Rachel C.
It's Called a Break-up Because It's BrokenGreg Behrendt
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Why Does He Do That?Lundy Bancroft
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Heidi L.
This is HowAugusten Burroughs
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ShopgirlSteve Martin
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Leigh-Anne Z.
How to Survive the Loss of a LoveHarold Bloomfield
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He's Just Not That Into YouGreg Behrendt and Liz TuccilloRead this several times
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Jess H.
Alone in the Kitchen with an EggplantJenni Ferrari-AdlerCollection of Essays about cooking for one, embracing the idiosynchrocies of loneliness.
This was awesome.
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Girl with the Lower Back TattooAmy Schumer
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WildCheryl Strayed
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Tiny Beautiful ThingsCheryl Strayedthis changed my life.loveTiny Beautiful Things is kind of a narrative-based handbook to many crucial ethical and emotional issues, including forgiveness, but especially those of love and grief. It's beautiful and inspiring, wise and compassionate.
Yas! + Podcast - Dear Sugar.
I loved this book! It helped me cement my decision to leave my ex and is chock full of really great life advice for all sorts of scenarios.
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Eat, Pray, LoveElizabeth GilbertThe right balance of woo-woo, humor, and therapy
I can't stand this book, I have to say. I liked the Eat chapter because of the food descriptions, but pray was so cringworthy "privileged American experiencing eastern spirituality in India", I wanted to throw up. Never made it to love. I had to be a closet EPL hater because I tried to read it whilst living in Santa Cruz, CA, and it's like, city code that every woman who reads this GD book loves the shit out of it. I've recently found some truthers, but we're very secretive about it.
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Sarah R
Textbook Romance
Zoe Foster-Blake, with occasionally useful comments by Hamish Blake
The best balance of sass, self respect and laugh out loud funny. Perfect for getting on with life.Can't find it!
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Melissa M.
It's Not OkayAndi DorfmanWhether you are a fan of "The Bachelor" franchise or not, Andi takes you through her healing process after going through one of THE MOST public breakups. Girl Power, break up tips, and juicy tidbits (for those who actually watch "The Bachelor")
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The Girls' Guide to Hunting and FishingMelissa BankA series of short stories about Jane throughout her young adult life. Each story explores the men in her life, both romantic and otherwise. She was so many variations of women I recognized in my life including myself.
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Molly P.
Self HelpLorrie MooreThis collection of stories always makes me feel less alone, especially "How." There's so much here to remind you that if it ended, there was likely a reason.
Also highly recommend "Anagrams" also by Lorrie Moore, if nothing else for this quote: "...I believed in starting over. There was finally, I knew, only rupture and hurt and falling short between all persons, but, Shirley, the best revenge was to turn your life into a small gathering of miracles."
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The Unbearable Lightness of BeingMilan Kundera
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HeartburnNora EphronHeartburn is more about straight-up catharsis, but what Ephron lacks in spiritual elevation, she makes up for in witty observation. When working on the movie, someone complained about the script's unsympathetic approach to the male lead and Meryl Streep said, "I think this is a story about someone who got hit by a bus, and it's not about the bus driver." At some point or another, we each get hit by a bus, and at a time like that, there's nothing like knowing you're not alone. And there's nothing like a good laugh.
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Circle of FriendsMaeve Binchey
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Tara RoadMaeve Binchey
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Peter M
When Things Fall ApartPema ChodronCrazy Coincidence: Saw the book on the coffee table at a Salon waiting for haircut, for a new post-breakup look. Looked at the book, "huh." Looked at the table of contents. "Holy crap. This is my life right now." Talked to my stylist, and she said her mother had brought the book in the previous week saying she had a feeling someone was going to need it. Apparently, that was me. The stylist told me to take it with me. It changed my life after losing a fiance, my mother, and dealing with alcoholism.
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Radical AcceptanceTara Brach
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Daring GreatlyBrene BrownI second this one! -Michelle
Third this one!!! Talks all about shame and being kinder to ourselves :) - AR
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There's Nothing Wrong with YouCheri Huber
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Jordan G.
Milk & HoneyRupi KaurA really wonderful book of poetry. Her writing resonates so well with the a broken heart, but encourages you to mend it as well.
Definitely agree! I'm currently going through a really rough heartbreak and reading all of the poems brings comfort to me. As y'all know, sometimes with heartbreak you can't help but feel alone. But as soon as I read a few of her poems, I no longer felt alone and she made me feel worthy. I find myself reading the poems over and over again, and each time it does not fail to make me feel a little better. These poems definitely speak what my heart feels perfectly.
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The Shining Stephen KingJack Torrence's life makes mine feel so much better
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A little lifeHanya YanigaharaSimply a heartbreaking book. Guaranteed to give you a good cry, which is just what one needs after a breakup.This book will tear you part in such a way that it will definitley stay with you. There aren't words that could ever describe the beauty of this tragic story of friendship, love and wanting to save a particular character from himself but not being able to. UGH this book still touches my soul after reading it 2 years ago... - CR
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Annie B.
This is the Story of a Happy MarriageAnn PatchettA short essay that begins with the author's divorce. It so resonated with me.
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Annie B.
Falling Apart in One PieceStacy Morrison
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Annie B.
The Mighty Queens of FreevilleAmy Dickinson
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Matthew K.
All About Lovebell hooksThis book changed the way I think about love in all types of relationships (familial love, friend love, romantic love, spiritual love, etc). bell hooks has an amazing ability to transition from the theoretical to the practical to the personal. De-mystifying love by deconstruction common "truths" about love and how we are socialized to love.Yes! This book helped me during one of the toughest, messiest break ups of my life. hooks is a beautiful writer and this book helped so much in helping me heal and understand love better.
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Heather C.
You are a BadassJen SinceroThis book (I went for the audible version) is inspiring cover to cover and was helpful in getting out of a few different "ruts". It's funny, sincere and makes you feel like you could kick some serious ass after each chapter!
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Allie B.
Three Wishes Liane Morarity
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Nicki K.
BluetsMaggie NelsonMy friend gave this book to me after a recent heartbreak, and it was exactly what I needed. Nelson is so devastated after a breakup — and yet so poetic — and I related so much to her agonizingly beautiful writing.
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Kirsten B.
Living Through Personal CrisisAnn Kaiser SternsBook about grief I read after my divorce. Short book and explains and validates typical grief experiences.
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Living Through Personal CrisisCheryl Strayed
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Rising StrongBrene Brown
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Madeline M.
The History of LoveNicole KraussI have lost count how many times I've read this. It's a love story that crosses generations and the world. It's incredibly heartwarming, but my little review here simply doesn't do it justice.YESSSS!
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Megan WAdvice to A GirlSara TeasdaleI love this poem, "No one worth possessing. Can be quite possessed." I tell myself that to remember that I need to live my own life and so do they. The rest of Sara Teasdale's poetry is just as healing when going through a breakup.
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Christian
The Book of LongingLeonard CohenWhen you fell down, ugly and depressed, this book won't help to make you feel any better!
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Renée M.
Mating in CaptivityEsther Perel A fresh perspective on long-term love. (very imformative after a 6+ yr relationship)
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Emma J
XVIIPablo Neruda
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This Is How You Lose HerJunot Diaz
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Rising StrongBrene Brown
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Brave EnoughCheryl Strayed
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TorchCheryl Strayed
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Modern RomanceAziz Ansari
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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling
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Spinster: Making a LIfe of One's OwnKate Bolick
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The AlchemistPaulo Coelho
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Anatomy of LoveHelen Fisher
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Celeste M
Hold Your Own Kate Tempest
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Anonymous
Romance novelsFor some reason these were really helpful to me. They are unrealistic, but mostly the women overcome any obstacle by the end and reach an emotional resolution. This was super comforting at the time.
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Rising StrongBrene Brown
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Molly T
Greg Behrendt, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt
Someone else mentioned this on here, but I think it's worth giving a second vote. This helped me get past the crushing disappointment and feeling of "how to heck do I move on?" after a tough breakup. I've shared it with friends since.
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Julia E
The Language of Letting GoMelody BeattieGreat daily meditations. Largely geared toward AA and substance abuse, but love and relationships can be eerily similar to dependence on harmful substances.. A great way to spend 10 minutes being mindful each day and moving through the breakup.
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Julia E
Getting Past your BreakupSusan L. ElliottAmazing tips, stories and actionable steps to take to get yourself to a better place. I still refer to the concepts in my daily life and when in a healthy stable relationship many years after my horrible break up that led me to this book and my long healing process.
I second this one. I read it while I was a sobbing mess and it definitely helped.
Yes; terrible name. Very helpful book
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Jason H
The Brothers KaramazovFyodor DostoyevskyBecause of the singular moment when Ivan says to Alyosha, even if I had lost everything I hold dear in the world, still I would want to live. And for all the other moments as well.
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Amanda M
(Various works)Warsan ShireHonestly...there is beauty in pain if you look in the right places.
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SaltNayyriah Waheed
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Sarah C
Anna KareninaLeo TolstoyFor those who don't mind a long read. Tolstoy has a habit of being so poignant in a few sentences, and there are multiple relationships in this book that shed light on romance as a whole.
Yep. I vividly remember the scene where a group was at the summer residence. An older professor was observing a woman he had unspoken feelings for, and she for him...and this beautifully sad moment where he could have said something, and never did, and the opportunity passed, and they never connected. I'll never forget it. - JJ
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Harry PotterJK RowlingIf confronting romance head on is not ideal, then this is my go-to because I get so involved in the magical world when I read them. Most of the story lines are completely unromantic, and they are SO EASY to read.
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Glenda W.
The Missing Piece Meets the Big OShel SilversteinYou can be ok on your own.
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Glenda W.
Sex at DawnChris Ryan and Cacilda JetháEspecially if your relationship involved infidelity... this has some evidence that monogamy is not natural. I don't agree with cheating (and I was cheated on) but this help me put things in a different place in my mind
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Heather C
BelovedHenry Nouwen
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Michelle B
The Universe Has Your BackGabrielle Bernstein
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Maureen J.
https://smallstepstoyou.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/the-shameful-grief.html
This is a gritty and no-holds-barred piece on the grief of abandonment.
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Maggie S.
Ask PollyHeather HavrileskyBy far, the best thing that helped me through my breakup (my first relationship, my college boyfriend that turned long distance and fizzled, no matter how much effort I put in.) was Heather Havrilesky's Ask Polly Column, Why Don't the Men I Date Ever Love Me? - http://nymag.com/thecut/2014/09/ask-polly-why-dont-men-i-date-ever-love-me.html My friend sent it to me, about one month post-breakup. I had just found out that my ex had cheated on me. Before then, I had prided myself on how "well" we split up, how "mature" I had been, and how I was managing my breakup like a bad cold - being proactive about my healing, journaling, staying positive, and minimizing moping time. I had taken a day off of work, drank some wine and ate some chocolate with a friend, and thought I was done dealing with it. I didn't want to be the stereotype of a devastated 20-something who couldn't cope with a breakup. I didn't want to be weak. But acting like I was fine, like I was mature, was never going to help me heal. At all. The column spoke right into my damn soul, and called me out. My favorite quote, that is almost seared into my brain at this point is: "You're so good at being GOOD. But how good are you at being YOU? You know what makes a spark? A real human being with a bad attitude who's tired of moving shit just to sit down in a motherfucker's apartment. A woman who, after 18 months of doing everything together, doesn't sigh and say, "Okay. I'm hurt, but I totally get it." She says, "HOLY FUCK I THOUGHT YOU WERE ABOUT TO POP THE FUCKING QUESTION. THIS IS SUCH A FUCKING CURVEBALL." [Knocks a pile of books off a chair to sit down.] "I just wish I hadn't worn these fucking tall shoes, they're killing me, and I thought I should wear them in case we needed to go out somewhere nice to celebrate!" [Takes off shoes and throws them at the wall.] "GodDAMN IT! FUCK THIS!!!!" [Grabs a sketch from some pile of shitty sketches and rips it into a million pieces. Throws body onto filthy carpet and sobs, noting bits of filth in carpet while sobbing.]" What I loved so much about it was the idea of being "good" and "adult" while having a breakup. And how that's not useful or healthy. You're allowed to be angry, upset, emotional and a little unhinged when someone breaks your heart. You have to mope. You have to recognize that this is unfair and it sucks and you're really freaking upset. Once I fully embraced, and got through the moping phase, I kicked into the "focus on me, girl power" phase. This included singing and dancing around to "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon, Kate Nash's "Merry Happy" and Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me." It's been more than a year and a half since the breakup, and I'm much better than I ever thought I would be. It took a long time, and it can't be rushed. There's no shortcut. There's keeping your head above water until you look around and notice that the water has receded to your ankles without you even noticing. I love her advice - it's suddenly okay to be a total wreck! -JJ
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Jenn
Alison James
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anne a.
comfort me with applesruth reichlrelationships both failed and new, delicious foods from all over the globe, friends, troubles, mistakes, new beginnings, just EVERYTHING. ruth reichl keeps me company in my lowest moments always. i've read this a million times and will read it a million times more.
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Rebecca M
It's Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You're Single
Sara Eckelsometimes you're just single for no other reason than the fact that you haven't met the person you want to be with longer-term. A great guide for people both immediately coming out of a relationship and those who've been single for a long time and have begun to internalize the mess of messages women especially get
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Helen S.
Infinite JestDavid Foster WallaceThis is just a stand-in for any book you always felt like you could never finish before. Just finish it.
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Liz D
My Life on the RoadGloria SteinemI'm not sure if this will work for men like it did for me as a woman, but there is something about reading a book by a lifelong feminist that helps you turn your pain to rage and rage to acknowledgement that a guy that tells you your "history" of dating is the reason he's breaking up with you isn't even worth the breath you'd useto call him a mysogonist.
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Single. Carefree. MellowA group of short stories about other people and their romantic situations. Makes you see just how many ways we can love people in our lives.Yes! I still think about the characters.
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Allie C
The NamesakeJhumpa LahiriReading this now :-)
i love lahiri and her writing - takes my mind off anything!
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Allie C
The History of LoveNicole Krauss
A beautiful novel about love, family, grief, and growing into yourself. I read it at least once a yearGreat book!
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Leah G
Communion: The Female Search for Lovebell hooksI've never read a book like this before. It's sort of about decolonizing love and becoming the hero in your own romantic journey. It's self-helpy but rooted in great anecdotes from hooks and radical feminism
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Leah G
Unrequited: The Thinking Woman's Guide to Romantic Obsession
Lisa Phillips Part memoir, part case studies, part critical theory, part social science. Great read if you're stuck on someone and can't figure out why. I loved that even though it's about uncovering the feelings beneath the emotions around romantic obsession, it's also a tender defense of the merits of unrequited love. Helped me see that time where I was recovering from a breakup and felt mostly useless, as one that was actually quite emotionally fertile and productive.
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Leah G
I Love DickChris KrausCan't remember what life was like before I read this book, it was so affecting. Check out the pilot on Amazon too
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Julia Z.
How to Heal a broken Heart in 30 Days: A Step-by-Step Guide to Saying Good-bye and getting on with your life
Howard Bronson, Mike RileyNo nonsense, no cliché advice but sound tipps and reflection exercises that will help you to truly close the door on the past relationship. You have to ask yourself some tough questions and do the work, but just reading the tipps and following the advice helped me tremendously. My heart hasn't fully healed in 30 days, but i am well on my way to be alright again.
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Julia Z.
Designing your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful LifeBill Burnett, Dave EvansI know, I know, this isn't 100% what you might be looking for, but the "designer approach" to life is extremely comforting. Anything you try in life can be regarded as prototyping. So, if you think like a designer, the solution is simple: obviously, this design didn't work, so I need to design another prototype. And maybe another. And then another one. And then finally find one that will work. The authors cover all aspects of life in this book, and they provide worksheets with it.
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Nona
Heartbreak: Recovering from Lost Love & MourningGinette ParisFrom the cover: The pain of mourning and heartbreak is neurologically similar to being submitted to torture...This book explains what you need to understand in order to avoid victimization from the traumatic aspects of heartbreak and mourning.
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Jessica C.
Love: A History Simon May More like a philisophical textbooky read but it really helped me understand my values in relationships
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Jessica C.
The Awakening Kate Chopin
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