We’ve all dated that guy. The one everyone warns you about. The one you know is a bad idea but you can’t help but fall madly in love with. And you convince yourself that you, out of all people, will be the one to turn a "bad" boy into a good one (ha, right). However, nature takes its usual course and a few months later, you find yourself with a box of tissues in one hand crying over the fact that things didn’t turn out as well as you wanted them to. 

No matter how bad the reason for the break up was, a break up is a break up. Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered on how to process and recover. Here is a list of the stages of a break up and the foods that will help you get through all of it.

Stage 1: The Phone Call – A Pint of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

After breaking up with the guy that crushed your heart into a million pieces, the first step into a full recovery is calling your best friend. If she’s as good as a best friend can be, she’ll know exactly what to do. Nothing means more than having him/her barging in at the middle of the night with a pint of your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. There is absolutely no shame in devouring a full pint of ice cream while crying yourself to sleep. It's all good. It happens. 

Stage 2: Taylor Swift Jam Session – Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

If you’re a hopeless romantic, then you’ve probably had that moment when you listen to a Taylor Swift song and feel like she made a trip into your mind and wrote all of her break up songs based on your entire life story, every single song reminding you of him.

The best way to get over this stage is to indulge in all of the chocolate in the world, while jamming out to your favorite Swift songs. Scientifically proven, chocolate does, in fact, help reduce stress. And I’m pretty sure singing "Blank Space" at the top of your lungs helps too. 

Stage 3: Rom-Com Marathon – Mac n' Cheese

What even is a break up without a marathon of your favorite sappy, tear-inducing romantic comedies? Gather up your best friends, whip up a pot of your favorite mac n' cheese recipe, and feel free to cry over your newly non-existent love life. At the end of the day, The Notebook is just a movie and you will have realized your life isn’t one. But, hey, this is only step three out of eight into a full recovery.

Stage 4: Denial – BBQ Chicken Pizza

sauce, cheese, chicken, pizza
Lissane Kafie

During the fourth stage, you will begin to feel the void that your ex has left in your life. At this point, you are done feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, you’ll miss those late night phone calls, random dates to the movies, and even the fighting (just for the mere fact of having someone to fight with).

Then you will attempt to make sense of every single moment of your relationship with him and try to figure out where you messed up. But the whole break up thing isn’t really your fault, you’re just trying to find a reason for why it all went wrong. At this point, you refuse to believe that your chance at ever finding love again just got very slim. You'll wonder if you dodged a bullet or just lost the potential love of your life.

Feelings of nostalgia will begin to stir inside you and you will find yourself in a state of denial, until a hard and crude wave of reality hits you in the face. Well, BBQ chicken pizza is the answer. There is nothing else that describes this perplexing moment better than BBQ sauce, gooey mozzarella cheese, and grilled chicken all on top of a thin crust pizza.

Stage 5: Anger/Hate –  Lots and Lots of Alcohol

tea, wine, coffee, beer
Alex Frank

Before I begin, I must say this is not the best way to heal a broken heart, even though the idea of being careless and free for a night sounds very appetizing, especially when you’re recently single. However, after a little too many shots of tequila, there will be some crying involved, or maybe even some mistakes like drunk-dialing your ex or making out with a stranger.

By the end of the night, you’ll have learned a very valuable lesson: don’t mix feelings with alcohol. A night of hardcore partying will lead you right into the next step: depression.

Stage 6: Depression – Cookie Dough 

Next comes the stage of depression. Okay, maybe depression is a tough word, but at this point it feels like you have sunk as low as you can get. The one where you literally feel like you are just so done with all of this drama in your life and can't take anymore.

Cookie dough is always the answer. I know this might just be another excuse to make eating cookie dough totally acceptable, but remember, you just got dumped. At this point, forget about fitting into those skin-tight jeans. Eat the damn cookie dough. I promise it’ll make this stage go by faster.

Stage 7: Acceptance – Quinoa Salad

pepper, corn, tomato, vegetable, salad
Sydney Toth

It’s that glorious moment when you realize: “What the heck was I even thinking?” At this point, you are contemplating every single life decision you’ve ever made. You’ll have realized you had to go through all of the previous stages to reach this point, and you will finally begin to convince yourself that you are single, and that being single may just be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

So, you begin to pull your life back on track and try that quinoa salad recipe you’ve been hearing about from your health-nut friends.

Stage 8: Realization/"New You" - Açaí Bowl 

raspberry, sweet, strawberry, berry
Lissane Kafie

Finally, you’ve reached the final stage of recovery. You feel empowered. You feel like a new person. Now you realize you’re worth more than getting dumped by a guy that never really knew what he had when he had you and hasn’t realized what he lost either.

For some strange reason, your ex will notice how great you are doing without him and try to reach out to you. But it’s too late now because you know you deserve so much better. At this point, you are a new person, doing the things that you love and trying new things such as doing something wild to your hair, running your first 10K, or obsessing over açaí bowls. 

So this is where you are right now. Taking over the world, as an independent woman who knows her full worth and potential. And if another guy comes along and sweeps you off your feet, at least you’ve learned what to guard your heart from and how to get over the next guy that breaks your heart with the help of these eight stages of a break up and all your favorite foods. Ladies and gents, my job here is done.