By Chris Owen

When you’re unceremoniously dumped by your partner, it could easily be a major life-affirming moment. However, most of the time, being dumped just seems to confirm that your life is awful and you’re terrible to have trusted that good-for-nothing ex.  Of course, even though it always hurts after a breakup, it’s never the end of the world. Although you’ve stumbled along your path to happiness, with a little bit of reflection you can learn from your situation in order to move forward. Breaking up can be a little like overcoming an addiction, which can make it tough to move on. However, it’s certainly doable, especially with the help of friends, family and time. Consider these tips for getting over a broken heart:

Related: Dating After Being Dumped: How to Avoid Messy Rebound Relationships

1. Have a good cry: Before you can move on, allow yourself time to wallow in self-pity and misery until you think you’re completely done with tears. Though you might have a relapse, like if you hear a specific song or go to a certain place, it’s important not to be upset if that happens. Just pick yourself and try again. Once you’ve had time to cry, it’ll be a lot easier to get over your ex and move forward.

2. Go on holiday: Get your best friends together (preferably the single ones) and organize a holiday. It doesn’t have to be an amazing series of adventure travel activities or anything else too fancy. Just getting together for a weekend in another town or country can help take your mind off your ex, letting you remember what it feels like to laugh and fun again. Be aware, however, that when you return home you might have a flood of emotions on your return.  Don’t let that be a setback.

3. Join a club: Concentrating on a project at work and putting in long hours can often help to numb the pain of a split. However, you don’t want to overdo it, as that could make you exhausted or sick. A good alternative is to join a club or find a new hobby, which can be similarly distracting but more relaxing. This will let you meet new people while filling the gap left by your ex-partner.

4. Spend some cash: Don’t underestimate the healing power of that old classic hobby–shopping. Of course, I’m not advising that you re-mortgage your house or max out your credit cards, but there’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy to put a smile on your face and some brand new clothes in your wardrobe. Bring along a fun and funky friend to help you stay away from beige and black and find something bright and cheery.

Related: Is Dating Your Ex Off Limits?

5. Look up some old friends: With social media, it’s almost impossible to hide from old friends from school, college and work. Returning to the single life is the best time to get back in touch and have some fun. Seeing old friends is a good opportunity to re-encounter the ‘old you.’ By talking about the good old days, you’ll forget about your current situation in no time.

When you’re finally going wild on singles holidays abroad with your brand-new wardrobe and new friends that you met at Scuba club, it’ll be easy to remember that life is for living. After a breakup, we just often need a nudge to know where to start.

Chris Owen is well over his first breakup and looking forward to adventure holidays with his young family–time’s a great healer!