It's now scientifically proven: Binging on Phish Food and rom-coms after a bad breakup is perfectly healthy. According to a new study, wallowing in your feelings after a split can help you feel better, faster.
The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, recruited subjects who had been through a non-marital breakup in the past six months. Researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Arizona even told them that participating might have a negative effect on their emotional recovery.
Brave participants who didn't bow out were split into two groups; one simply filled out questionnaires at the beginning and the end of the study, while the other went through nine weeks of intense reflection. They sat for interviews, had vital signs monitored, and privately spoke about their breakups into a voice recorder.
What they found was the complete opposite of conventional wisdom. The participants who had to constantly reflect on the breakup felt better at the end of the study. Researchers say that's because dwelling on the details can help you with your "self-concept," or your identity outside of being in a couple.
"I would encourage a person who recently experienced a breakup to consider who he or she is, apart from the relationship," researcher Grace Larson said in a press release. Crafting a new narrative of you as a single, independent woman can help you focus on the future. And if it takes a few (dozen) boxes of Kleenex to make that happen, so be it.
You should also check out:
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
For Deepica Mutyala, Entrepreneurship Is Worth the Sacrifice
The Live Tinted founder talks having it all—but not all at once.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
"It's Been Hell on Earth": Inside Alabama's Fertility Crisis
Last week, the state's Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are legally considered children. 'Marie Claire' spoke with affected women about how they’re grappling with an uncertain future.
By Jessica Goodman
Sydney Sweeney's Canadian Tuxedo Is Unlike Anyone Else's
She made the double denim look completely her own.
By Aaron Royce
30 Female-Friendly Porn Websites for Any Mood
All the best websites, right this way.
By Kayleigh Roberts
The 82 Best Cheap Date Ideas for Couples on a Budget
"Love don't cost a thing." —J.Lo
By The Editors
Diary of a Non-Monogamist
Rachel Krantz, author of the new book 'Open,' shares the ups and downs of her journey into the world of open relationships.
By Abigail Pesta
COVID Forced My Polyamorous Marriage to Become Monogamous
For Melanie LaForce, pandemic-induced social distancing guidelines meant she could no longer see men outside of her marriage. But monogamy didn't just change her relationship with her husband—it changed her relationship with herself.
By Melanie LaForce
How the pandemic has mutated our most personal disunions.
By Gretchen Voss
16 At-Home Date Ideas When You're Stuck Indoors
Staying in doesn't have to be boring.
By Katherine J. Igoe
Long Distance Relationship Gift Ideas for Couples Who've Made It This Far
Alexa, play "A Thousand Miles."
By Jaimie Potters
15 Couples on How 2020 Rocked Their Relationship
Couples confessed to Marie Claire how this year's many multi-stressors tested the limits of their love.
By Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW