By Petra Halbur

A nasty breakup can leave you with a hopelessly bleak view of your future. You have two options: you can either convince yourself that you’ll never be happy alone, or enjoy success without that special “him” or “her” in your life. It’s during dark times like this that denizens of the entertainment world can actually offer a grounded perspective. Plenty of celebrities have emerged from painful breakups and divorces and gone on to achieve amazing professional success … often within only a few years of the breakup.  Here are a few to consider:

1. January Jones: Jones and singer-songwriter, Josh Groban, met in 2003 and dated for three years before calling it quits in 2006. Just one year later, Jones was cast as Betty Draper Francis on the hit show, Mad Men, and, in 2011, she joined the Marvel universe as Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class.

Related: What Does Unconditional Love Look Like?

2. Johnny Depp: In all fairness, Depp wasn’t exactly languishing in obscurity when he and Edward Scissorhands co-star, Winona Ryder, broke up in 1993. Still, Depp’s success starring in off-beat films like Cry Baby and Benny & Joon in the early 90′s was nothing compared to what he has achieved since playing Captain Jack Sparrow in 2003’s Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

3. Robert Downey Jr: Few people remember the days when Downey and Sex and the City star, Sarah Jessica Parker, dated in the 80’s. Neither actor enjoyed major professional success during their 7-year relationship, which spanned from 1984 to 1991. One year after their break up, though, Downey struck Oscar gold (well, almost) when he was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Chaplin. He has since gone to achieve Marvel film immortality as Tony Stark in the Iron Man and Avengers franchises.

4. George Clooney: It’s hard to believe that Hollywood’s favorite bachelor was once a husband. George Clooney hadn’t achieved much in the way of fame when he married actress Talia Balsam in 1989. The couple divorced in 1993. Just one year later, Clooney had his big break when he was cast as Dr. Doug Ross in E.R. The rest is history.

Related: Short Term Celebrity Marriages (Learn From Their Mistakes)

5. Angelina Jolie: Long before Brangelina came into existence, Angelina Jolie was Mrs. Jonny Lee Miller. Jolie and Miller tied the knot in 1996 and separated 18 months later. Their divorce was finalized in 1999 and in early 2000, Jolie won an Oscar for Girl, Interrupted. Jolie went on to become an action icon in 2001 when she was cast as the titular character in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Needless to say, things have only gone uphill for the actress and humanitarian.

Who’s your favorite celebrity couple? Tell us below.