There is no better medicine for a broken heart than a marathon of breakup movies. It’s like the hair of the dog for your emotions. Thankfully, there are tons of good ones that will surely help you shake it off, Taylor Swift style.
After all, there’s no better way to empower yourself than by watching badass characters get through what you’re going through.
Just look at Elle Woods, who becomes Harvard’s greatest student ever after getting dumped by Warner Huntington III. Or Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann’s characters in The Other Man who band together with Kate Upton to get revenge on their cheater boyfriend/husband. What could be more cathartic than that?
Below, find 39 breakup movies that will help you become your best single self.
1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Sometimes you need a reminder that there are people like Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo) out in the world: sweet, charming, and completely devoted to you. Even better, Lana Condor’s Lara Jean is such a refreshing delight of a character—she’s an instant mood-lifter.
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Who among us hasn’t wanted to erase a relationship from our brains after a bad breakup? But Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet’s characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind prove that isn’t the right answer after all. Also, Winslet’s hair evolution is phenomenal in this one. You know, just in case you’re looking to shake things up.
3. How Stella Got Her Groove Back
The title says it all. If this ’90s classic inspires you to ditch your IRL problems for a minute and run off to an island like Angela Bassett’s Stella…well, we’re here for it. You may even find your own Taye Diggs.
4. Call Me By Your Name
A beautiful romance blossoms in the Italian countryside between Oliver (Armie Hammer) and Elio (Timothée Chalamet). It’s a gorgeous, overwhelming, and heartbreaking story of first love. Plus, if you’re looking to cry, the final scene will definitely get you there.
5. Legally Blonde
Warner, who? Elle Woods (and Reese Witherspoon) taught a generation of women to never let someone’s expectations of you stop you from living out your dream. Instead, just go to Harvard and become a kickass lawyer—or whatever your version of sticking it to your ex is. What, like it’s hard?
6. Breaking In
Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of a messy breakup, it’s best to avoid relationship movies altogether. Instead, try something that focuses on a badass woman kicking butts and taking names. Enter Gabrielle Union in this action-packed movie as a mom who will do anything to save her kids from home intruders.
7. Tiny Furniture
This Lena Dunham gem kicks off with Aura (Dunham) getting dumped by her college boyfriend. If you’ve ever felt anxious about where your life, career, and romantic pursuits are headed, you’ll find this one oddly inspiring. Tiny Funiture reminds you that there’s more to life than dating and what you perceive at the moment as a huge fiasco is often just paving the way for your next greatest triumph.
8. Goodbye to All That
Blindsided by a breakup that came out of thin air? You’ll relate to this. Paul Schneider plays Otto, a man who must put himself back on the dating scene after his wife suddenly asks for a divorce. Rebound sex abounds, and he learns some valuable lessons about relationships along the way.
9. Mona Lisa Smile
Personal life emergencies call for two things: a constant stream of text support from your BFFs and Julia Roberts. Really. In this uplifting movie, Roberts (supported by Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles) plays the role of a newly-anointed art history professor at Wellesley. Sure, Mona Lisa Smile can get get a bit earnest, but it’s a powerful reminder that the relationship you have with yourself is the most significant one you’ll ever have.
10. Sliding Doors
It may have been filmed in the ’90s, but the lessons Gwyneth Paltrow preaches about love and betrayal ring just as true today. Ultimately, this film reminds you that you will get out of your post-breakup funk. Plus, it’s funny. So go ahead and rock that Springsteen adage, “Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night,” as you get ready for your next first date.
11. The Last Five Years
You’ll want to text every ex you’ve ever had after watching The Last Five Years…to let them know you’re so much better off without them. This 2015 musical starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan allows you to watch the rise and fall of Cathy (Kendrick) and Jaime (Jordan)’s marriage as Cathy tells the story from their divorce to the beginning, while Jaime starts from beginning to end.
12. The Princess Bride
You may not have to scale crazy rock formations or evade ocean predators to get to your own happy ending, but this romantic AF cult classic is proof that it’s out there.
13. 13 Going on 30
Becky: “I like your dress.” Jenna: “That’s because I have these incredible boobs to fill it out.” If the charming script doesn’t shake you into a better mood, we don’t know what will. You know the storyline: Awkward teen magically wakes up as a 30-year-old bombshell, with road bumps, romance, and plenty of humor along the way. Jennifer Garner should be cast in every movie.
14. Failure to Launch
If you’ve already watched every episode of Sex and the City twice, get your dose of SJP in this refreshing rom-com from 2006. You’ll be magically transported to a simpler time of Ugg boots and stretchy pants. Watch, laugh, and go to sleep knowing your parents will never suffer the sad fate of having to hire a relationship consultant for you. We promise.
15. Begin Again
Just when you feel like you’re never going to meet someone again, in comes this endearing modern-day romantic comedy. With plenty of amusing one-liners and the eye candy that is Adam Levine, we can’t think of a better way to postpone the inevitable meet-up with your ex (at least by an hour and 45 minutes).
16. Last Holiday
Aside from the fact that LL Cool J makes everything better, we love the message of this film. Georgia Byrd (Queen Latifah) finds out she has less than a month to live and decides there’s always time to reinvent herself. That goes for you, too.
17. A Little Bit of Heaven
Another dim backdrop sets the stage here: Marley (played by Kate Hudson) finds out she has terminal cancer. Several plot twists and hearty chuckles later, she and her doctor, Julian (played by Gael García Bernal), fall for each other. The end’s a real tear-jerker, but also a potent reminder to pick yourself up—even if today that just means washing your dishes and brushing your hair. You just gotta keep going through the motions until it starts feeling like your life again. It will.
18. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
A movie after our own temporarily sad hearts. The plot is simple: Dude (Matthew McConaughey) tells his coworkers he can make a woman fall in love with him in less than two weeks. Meanwhile, Andie (Kate Hudson) is writing an article titled “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Who will achieve what they set out to do? You probably know the answer and have seen this movie a million times already. But does that bathroom scene ever get old? Nope!
19. Save the Last Dance
Probably a staple of your pre-teen sleepover circuit, it’s time to give this 2001 classic a re-watch. There’s plenty of stellar dance scenes (the young Julia Stiles and Sean Patrick Thomas are insane), but the best part of this movie is the hope that love often comes at the most unexpected times. Speaking of which, now’s your excuse to join that running club or vegan cooking class you’ve been curious about.
20. Someone Great
When Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) gets her dream job in San Francisco, her boyfriend of nine years breaks up with her instead of trying the whole long-distance thing. This leads to a fantastic night out in New York City with her two best friends, Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow)—exactly as it should be.
21. Table 19
Anna Kendrick is replaced as the maid of honor at her friend’s wedding but decides to go anyway. She ends up at the titular Table 19 which is full of outcast guests, who actually end up helping her figure out the messy breakup situation that led her to this place.
22. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Who among us has not dreamed of running off to Hawaii after a big breakup, as Jason Segel does in this movie? Of course, you usually don’t want to run into your ex and their new partner on said vacay…but at least he’s got Mila Kunis on his side.
23. How to Be Single
Unexpectedly dumped by her college sweetheart, Dakota Johnson plays a newbie to the dating world when she moves to New York City to start her grown-up life. Thankfully her co-worker (played by Rebel Wilson) can teach her how to party and her big sister (Leslie Mann) can teach her how to survive without a man.
24. Birds of Prey
Yep, Birds of Prey is a breakup movie. After her split with The Joker, Harley Quinn finds that not only is she lonely, she’s also the number one target on the streets of Gotham. She’s got no protection, no boyfriend, and no clue what to do, until an at-risk teen crash lands in her lap, leading her on a wild ride and out of the post-breakup blues.
25. She’s the Man
You probably can’t get over your break-up by disguising yourself as your own twin brother, but at least watching She’s The Man will temporarily lift your spirits! It’s a classic Shakespearean love triangle about people pining for people who don’t like them back. Amanda Bynes was never funnier and Channing Tatum was never more hilariously awkward. A perfect double feature with Magic Mike, just for the Channing of it all.
26. The Squid and the Whale
Divorce doesn’t always just mean the break-up of a marriage, it can also cause the break-up of a family. Bernard (Jeff Daniels) and Joan (Laura Linney) intend to split custody of their two sons, but their bickering makes things so stressful for the boys that they start to act out, taking sides and playing their parents against each other.
27. Sex and the City: The Movie
The most devastating Sex and the City break-up of all time? No, we don’t mean Carrie being left en route to the altar, though that scene is horrifying, even if she does get a happy ending. We mean Steve cheating on Miranda. Steve! We loved Steve! After six seasons about finding and losing love, the movie is all about repairing it, asking when to let go, when to move on, and when to make it work. And the shoes, of course, it’s also about the shoes.
28. When Harry Met Sally…
Harry (Billy Crystal) and Sally (Meg Ryan) are friends. They help each other unpack apartments and carry Christmas trees. But mostly what they do is coach one another through relationships and break-ups. She’s there for him when he gets divorced; he’s there for her when her ex is suddenly engaged. A fantastic reminder that your heart might get a little broken on the way to your soulmate.
29. 500 Days of Summer
Over a 500-day relationship, Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Summer (Zooey Deschanel) experience the bliss of new love and the devastation of realizing you just aren’t compatible with someone long-term. This movie will remind you to treasure the good memories along with the sad ones and to believe your partner when they tell you what they’re looking for.
30. The Break-Up
No spoilers here, it’s all in the title: this movie is about a break-up. Specifically, the kind of break-up where you live with your significant other and can’t move out until you sell your condo, so you’re forced to see them every day and maybe confront the not-so-great aspects of your own personality. No one sees you quite as clearly as an ex.
31. Blue Valentine
Devastating. We see everything, from first attraction all the way to divorce, and it’s hard to say, exactly, what the “plot” is here because it’s nothing dramatic: just two people falling in and then out of love as the hardships of everyday life erode their happiness.
32. He’s Just Not That Into You
The central theme of the movie—and the book it’s (loosely) based on—is a tough but necessary pill to swallow: people don’t act wishy-washy when they really like someone. They don’t constantly cancel plans on someone they’re really into, they don’t cheat on the person who actually makes them super happy, and the guy who’s a dick to your face isn’t secretly in love with you.
Harsh but true, and the sooner you get past the losers sending mixed signals, the sooner you’ll find the person willing to actually step up to the plate the way you deserve.
33. The Heartbreak Kid
Ever have one of those “instant regret” relationship moments? You trek three hours to a bar only to realize your date is totally annoying or book a non-refundable flight with a partner you just found out isn’t serious about you? Well, this adaptation of Neil Simon’s play of the same name is all about that feeling. Following a man who, tired of the single life, throws himself into a relationship with a woman he doesn’t know too well, only to discover on their honeymoon that she’s his worst nightmare come to life.
34. The First Wives Club
Don’t get mad, get a group of friends together and get even. Dumped by their husbands for younger women, three college besties team up to get revenge by any means necessary, whether it means contacting the mafia, dragging their exes to court for alimony, or just triumphantly (and drunkenly) singing a Lesley Gore song.
35. Little Black Book
If your relationship imploded from insecurity or infidelity, you’ll relate to Little Black Book. Daytime talk show producer Stacy (Brittany Murphy) researches and meets all of her boyfriend’s exes he won’t talk about, manipulating them into giving her the information he won’t. While the film’s central PalmPilot might be a thing of the past, social media has only made it easier to do a deep-dive into your person’s former flames. This is a movie about why you shouldn’t.
36. Marriage Story
The end of a marriage is hard enough without lawyers getting involved, but when money and custody are on the line, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson star as two artists who hire vicious legal teams to hammer out custody.
37. Maggie’s Plan
Is Maggie a home-wrecker or a match-maker? Well, a little bit of both, actually. After deciding that she actually doesn’t want her lover John to leave his wife for her, she sets about getting the two of them back together, engineering her own break-up for the sake of a family, but mostly for the sake of her own conscience. If only Rebecca Miller could script everyone’s romantic troubles so neatly.
38. The Other Woman
Not only is The Other Woman laugh-out-loud funny (mostly thanks to Leslie Mann’s amazing portrayal of Kate), but it’s also empowering AF. It’s about three badass women who come together to get revenge on their cheating boyfriend/husband.