Let’s talk exes. Whether you love them or you hate them, we all have them. And let’s be honest, they truly have an unique way of ruffling up some feathers. Your tail feathers may be fluttering away in a flamboyant mating dance as your heart still pitter-pats for them. Or they may instead be trembling in a frenzy, ready for a fight to the death to prove your upper hand in the breakup.

But regardless of your current take on the relationship's end, chances are your emotions are in overdrive, and they aren’t leaving anytime soon. You may still smell your ex’s over-sprayed cologne lingering throughout your entire wardrobe. Or maybe you can still hear the whispers of their pointless yet somewhat beautiful bedtime banter, the banter that was spouted through the same lips that gave you the good morning kisses which you're probably missing right about now.

Either way, you’re fucked up on lost love, probably some lust, and memories of the better times. But that vanilla (or not so vanilla if you know what I mean *wink wink*) memory lane ice cream cone does not come with a ruby red maraschino cherry on top. Instead it comes with an overload of chocolate syrup spiked with hatred to ail your broken heart. With that being said, there are healthy and not so healthy ways to deal with the deepest of love’s wounds.

The question now lies, do you want to nurse that shattered heart with doctor prescribed rubbing alcohol or with tequila? Both will do the trick, but by using one you’re wasting perfectly good shots that could in lieu be used for a wild night of tomfoolery. So let’s instead dive into the metaphorical brands of rubbing alcohols you can use to mend your torn apart heart that was left on the floor, pissed on, and then stomped all over. Here’s some advice from someone who made it through. And you will too --you may just need some assistance along the way.

1. First and foremost, delete them.

I find myself feeling slightly over-dramatic banishing an ex from my existence. You, good sir, shall not lay eyes on me no further. With the will of my finger I shall unfollow you from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. And better yet, I will block you on all of the above, text you that I blocked you, and then delete your number from my newly purified phone. But in all honesty, as dramatic as it might seem, for most it is indeed necessary.

In order to get over someone you shouldn’t be witnessing their posed “happy” moments on social media, cultivated to make you jealous. And on the flip side, you shouldn’t be having the urge to fabricate falsified happiness to indirectly give your ex the middle finger through Instagram. You also probably shouldn't post the photo that you drunkenly asked your friend to take as you swopped saliva with that hottie at the bar last night (with the hashtag #singleliferules as your caption). We all know you only talked to them for ten minutes, and although stupidly attractive, there really was nothing going on upstairs. But hey, high-five on the wicked make out session.

Likewise, you need to get that picture of your ex asleep in your arms off of your phone’s memory. Sure, save it to your cloud if you feel like you’re going to want it at a later less vulnerable time, but delete it from immediate access. That’s right, pause reading this, and delete it, right now. It’s okay to acknowledge that you guys had good times, but you don’t have to be reminded of them every time you open your camera roll to send your mom a picture of the latest bakery you tried. Same goes for texts. To heal you need space, and in our world today, space includes from the internet, pictures, and electronic communication. 

2. Cry in the shower

Blast the sad tunes and let yourself drown deep in your sadness. To hold in your emotions is not doing your mental health any favors; part of the break up process is letting yourself feel. And there's no better place to ugly cry than in a shower that feels like a warm blanket hugging your blues ridden soul. Not to mention there’s an automatic cleanup of any snot that may be plunging down your face in accompany of those whaling cries. Plus the sound of rolling water covers up any Moaning Myrtle howls.

Pro tip: sit on the shower floor, curl up in a cradle position, and act like there is a f*&king rain cloud above your weeping body. Let the melodramatics consume any future shower crying sessions to come. 

3. Watch all the sh@tty break up movies. 

There are moments in any breakup where you want to be alone, but not fully alone. And background voices of over-theatrical teen actors are the utmost perfect distraction from your racing mind. So sit back, slip on your oversized sweats, pop some corn, and enjoy the next 24 hours of mind numbing bliss.

I placed a list of some of my favorites: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, John Tucker Must Die, 500 Days of Summer, How to Be Single, The Break Up, Blue is the Warmest Color, Call Me By Your Name, The Big Sick, The Notebook. Or if you want a season: Gilmore Girls, Friends, Girlboss, Shameless, Gypsy.  

4. Drive. 

If you don’t have a car, take the bus. Either way, hop in a vehicle, blast the same sappy music you listened to during your first heartbreak in high school, and look out at the ever-changing landscape. There is something incredibly therapeutic about driving on a highway to nowhere, watching as the scenery blurs to the speed of your vehicle.

If you are in your own car, be sure to pull over when and if the tears are blinding. But scream your lungs out to the lyrics of your favorite song, or simply in anger. You are no longer confined to those unsatisfying pillow screams, as not to bother your roommate that always seems to have an exam the next day. *Eye roll* 

If you’re on a bus wear sunglasses, even on a cloudy day, and let the tears roll down your face while you let someone else take the wheel. Put those headphones on, and ride until you’ve made a full loop back to the bus stop you hopped your sorry @ss onto. Pick a bus line and time you know not to be too overcrowded so you can have at least a little person space. 

5. Tell the grocer.

Society constantly tells us not to talk about the our negative emotions, and always, without fail, act like we have our sh*t together. But that’s bull-honky, and expressing yourself is necessary to recovery. So the next time the cashier swiping your ice cream and family sized chip bag asks you how your day’s going, tell them the bloody truth.

Eight times out of ten (made up statistics) they will be grateful to not receive a generic answer of “I’m good, and you?”. They're humans with problems too and can often empathize with you. Granted, two times out of ten (also made up statistics), you’re still going to get that @ss hat who just gives you crazy eyes. But babe, that’s their problem they have a stick up their @ss, not yours. Rant to whomever you can. Whenever you can. Let your lioness feeling out of the bag. Let them hear your roar.  

6. Spend a day with an animal.

If you don’t have a pet of your own, borrow your friend's for the day. Animal therapy is the real deal. There's simply an unspoken connection we humans have with those fluff balls that can’t fully understand us. They will listen to you b!tch and whine all day long without an ounce of judgement. Well let's be honest, your cat might judge you a little.. But regardless, they will give you cuddles that you’re craving and kisses you need.

If all else fails, go to your local humane society and play with the doggos and kitties that need homes. It’ll be a mutually beneficial experience for you and the animals that both need lovin’. Who knows, you may even find your new best friend there. 

7. Let your crazy ex persona out.

Egg their car. I’m not actually sure if I can legally give you this advice, but... Sometimes it’s just nice to get juvenile revenge on the f#cker that cheated on you, and be the crazy ex that you’ve gossiped about in the past. It’s down right fun. Prank call him. Put dog shit on his doorstep. Bleach “@sshole” in his lawn. Just don’t get caught, and don’t physically harm him or her. These are the moment best friends shine: plotting your revenge. But keep in mind, this is at your own risk... you probably should know your ex well enough to know how they will react.

8. Do NOT scheme to get them back. 

This is a big one for those still in love with their ex. There are a small number of situations where it’s logical to plot a way back into your ex’s life, but for the most part, breakups happen for a reason.

It’s extremely easy to hone in on the good times with your ex when you still have strong feeling for them, and with that it's just as easy to look past the negatives. But you need to stay strong and remind yourself there is a reason they are no longer in your life. Maybe he didn’t allow you the confidence you deserve, or she didn’t get along with your friends. Maybe he didn’t respect your time, or was suffocating you. She could have been holding you back from your goals. One of you may have fallen out of love, or moved, or lied, or shared a different value, or wanted a different future plan. Or maybe you guys simply had bad sex. Point is, just because you laughed, and even loved together, doesn’t necessarily make them the one. You need to look at all the pros, and all the cons. There is no need to settle on a mediocre relationship.    

9. For the ladies: buy a vibrator / body pillow. 

Ladies, whether or not you and your ex had good sex, no one knows your clit like you do. People often equate the end of a relationship to be the end of their sex life unless they choose to hoe. (Side note: there’s nothing wrong with hoeing around). But if that’s not your thing, treat yourself to a new X-rated toy. A friend once said to me “masterbate like your single,” meaning please the fuck out of yourself because you don’t need a man to make you O. And on a even more glorious note, you no longer have any outside pressure to maintain the bush either. So hit your nearest sex shop, and on the way home hit Bed Bath and Beyond to get yourself a body pillow. Not to hump (unless you want to of course -- don’t yuck others yums), but to pass out on after you hit the big finish line. 

For the gentlemen: I wish I could help you more with this subject, but I only have my female knowledge on deck. Maybe google: "ways to spice up your masterbation technique." I'm sure you will find something?  

10. Go out with friends. 

And leave your phone at home! One of the iconic moments of being single is the legendary girls/guys night out, where you get a little (way) too drunk. You'll cave at the end of the night and dance with a the weird girl or guy thats been constantly eyeing you from across the room. And probably talk to the rando you just met in the bathroom about your world of problems. This night is most likely going to occur without fail. But make sure the end of the night does not conclude with you drunk texting your ex.

You are allowed to have fun, in fact too much fun, but DO NOT end the night sobbing to your ex about how much you hate or miss them. That is the definition of cringe. You will regret it, trust me, so lock your phone away for the night. Don’t allow any form of temptation. 

11. Write break up letters, but never send them.

There will be so many things you want to say to the person you said everything to and shared everything with. But as hard as it may be, they most likely are no longer the person you can rant to. However, even with that realization, the urge to speak to them and explain every emotion you're experiencing does not vanish into thin air just because it’s supposed to.

So tell them everything... Just don't send it. Write to them as if they are right in front of you. Write letters, poems, texts, or any form of written word that resonates with you. Then crumple them up as tight as possible, trash them, delete them, or store them in a secret hideaway. Sure, you won’t get a reply, but this is a way to get thoughts off your chest without any added potential embarrassment. 

12. Have a "new you" phase.

Sadly, oftentimes a long term relationship can end up defining a large part of who you are. You may not even know how to decide on what restaurant to order takeout from or what brand of toilet paper to buy, let alone how to spend your newly freed up weekends. So in order to help yourself get over any routine you had with your past partner, you may need to find a new appreciation for yourself and what you love to do. Or you might want to explore what you’ve always wanted to try but never have. With that being said, do not entirely recreate yourself, because you are indeed spectacular. But eliminate anything, and everything, that reminds you of who you were in relation to your ex.

Give away that oversized t-shirts he gave you, and have a retail therapy session at your local thrift store; get a new outfit that makes you feel sexy. Get a membership to the climbing gym you’ve always been curious about. If she constantly wanted the weekends to be just you and her, plan a camping trip with your mates. Chop off your locks if he never wanted you to cut your “mermaid hair”, and rock the short sassy look. Make art, listen to new music, join a new club. Buy new bedsheets if she marked her period-territory all over your current pair. Pamper yourself with a sharp man-killer nail manicure. And above all, reorganize your room. Your room is most likely full of memories revolving around the two of you. Therefore to fully be your sacred space, you need a new look that doesn’t involve memories of the past. 

13. Adjust your health.

You often hear of breakups and the overindulgence of ice cream. Which I won’t lie, is indeed a stage, but the next stage is to take those emotions on a rollercoaster and produce a new healthy outlook on life. Relationships are a pattern, but now that you're breaking away from that pattern there's room for a new one, such as a healthier lifestyle.

It’s way too easy to fall into a slump of binge eating and watching excess amounts of television when you're comfortable with someone. But now it’s the era to take any newly acquired extra time you've gained from no longer managing another person’s life around your own to exercise, meal prep, practice mediation, and fall in love with your body again. Join a 24 hour gym if you haven't already, get a new healthy recipe book, YouTube a how-to yoga session, and dance in front of the mirror. You are only given one body in this lifetime, so treat it well, and fall in love with it. 

14. Download Tinder... 

...or Bumble, or Grinder, or if we are getting real serious, OKCupid. After a month or so of dwelling in your heart break you deserve to shop, as you drop… a deuce. Yeah that’s right, there is no better place to swipe right then in your W.C. Cause let’s be real, dating apps are a pass time when you're bored. And we no longer have to read the back of a shampoo bottle for the tenth-millionth time now that we have phones (and dating apps).

But dating apps also can give you a chance to re-boost your confidence. Ideally you will end up going on a few dates. And yes, most of which will be awkward, but this process will show you how to talk and flirt with people you’re attracted to again. And if nothing else, it will lead to some hilarious stories.

Chances are you probably won’t find your next boo thang on one of these apps, but you can in fact discover some fun individuals, practice putting yourself back out there, and most definitely find some awesome sex, if that’s what you’re into.

However, beware of the classic rebound relationships. Tinder is riddled with recent dumpees, who are trying to f*ck the sadness away. Therefore it’s smart to go into these apps with a slightly guarded heart. But have fun. You deserve it. And who knows, there have been successful love stories that started with a swipe right. 

15. And lastly, be open to love again.

This will take time, but don’t close your heart off completely. No matter how torn apart you are from this recent breakup, it doesn’t mean you need to give up. There are 7 million more fish in this sea. Go swimming, and find another guppy. Open your heart up. Ask the boy or girl at the coffee shop out. If he says no, treat yourself to a personal care movie night and move onto the next. The world is full of lovely people. So don’t allow your ex to have the upper hand and ruin your future along with your past. 

(Next article to read: What You Should Drink, Based on How Bad Your Breakup Was. )