Pick the way that is best for the personality type of your friend.

If your best friend responds to scientific facts, here is some thing to talk about...

Post traumatic growth
Everyone has heard about post traumatic stress disorder or post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Yes it's a bad thing.  Bad things happen and it causes some people to have a hard time getting over stuff.

However...at the other end of the spectrum there is also post traumatic growth.  This is what happens when a person has a breakup or suffers some kind of loss and then becomes a better version of themselves because of the 'bad thing'.

Post-traumatic growth is a positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.  The term posttraumatic growth, is about human beings who have been improved by their encounters with life challenges, sometimes in radically positive ways. The theme is present in ancient spiritual and religious traditions, literature, and philosophy. What is reasonably new is the systematic study of this phenomenon and ways to cultivate resilience.

What forms does post-traumatic growth take?
Post-traumatic growth tends to occur in five general areas.

  1. Life crises can help to develop a sense that new opportunities have emerged from the struggle, opening up possibilities that were not present before.
  2. A change in relationships with others. Some people experience closer relationships with some specific people, and they can also experience an increased sense of connection to others who suffer.
  3. An increased sense of one’s own strength – “if I lived through that, I can face anything”.
  4. People with post-traumatic growth experience gratitude and a greater appreciation for life in general.
  5. Some experience a deepening of their spiritual lives,however, this deepening can also involve a significant change in one’s belief system


Calhoun, L. G., Tedeschi, R. G., Cann, A., & Hanks, E. A. (2010). Positive outcomes following bereavement: Paths to posttraumatic growth. Psychologica Belgica, 50(1-2), 125-143.

Cobb, A. R., Tedeschi, R. G., Calhoun, L. G., & Cann, A. (2006). Correlates of posttraumatic growth in survivors of intimate partner violence. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 19(6), 895-903. (the graph on page 899!!!)


What if your friend is more into celebrities and stories?

Stories are a powerful way to change the day.  I'm sure you've seen movies that have caused you to change the way you were feeling.  The movie Rocky or even just its soundtrack can cause a shift in emotions.  This is because you know the story of Rocky and the powerfully uplifting feelings attached to it.  This is one of the amazing and magically transformative powers of story telling is that it can cause emotional and experiential learning in very subtle ways.  And you do want your friend to cheer up and you do want them to get over it like a rockstar, don't you?

I'm going to give you two short stories for you to embellish and give your own style.  Both the stories are true and they are about people who had a breakup and then became rockstars because of it.

1. Joanne divorced from her husband and was living in poverty, she had a six year old girl and an apartment full of mice.
Joanne couldn't get a job and was feeling suicidal after her breakup.

She thinks that getting a book published would be easier than getting a job so she writes.  She gets rejected by publishers at at least ten times.  Eventually a publisher publisher her children's book.  It goes on to sell 30,000 copies.

It's called Harry Potter.  Now Joanne Rowling is a billionaire.   Her rags to riches story happens is created after her breakup, and after her suicidal thoughts and after her cognitive behaviour therapy.  She's a huge role model for showing what's possible after a breakup.  If your friend has seen a Harry Potter movie with you, using J.K.Rowling as a topic would be a natural segue for you to give a story to cheer them up in ways that also has the benefits of thinking more resourcefully.

Remember that you're telling the story is to give your friend the understanding that breakups are a stepping stone to a better version of themselves.

Here is another to use and shape in the way that's right for you:
Stefanie Germanotta had a breakup.  It upset her so much that she told her ex-boyfriend that he won't be able to get a coffee in town again without hearing her name.  She was a musician in New York.  She played piano, she sang.

A few years later Rolling Stones magazine wrote about her epic transformation to stardom after her breakup.
She had a breakup and then became super successful afterwards.  She is a music icon now and her ex boyfriend has been hearing about her ever since.
She uses her stage name more often than not.

She goes by the name 'Lady Gaga'.

Rolling Stone article: Breakup that turned Stefanie Germanotta into Lady Gaga

Post-traumatic growth is real and so is your ability to tell stories to your friend to cheer them up and get over it faster and you can be the friend that has the right things to say with the right lessons in it without sounding ceremonious.six million dollar man post traumatic stress

The more you tell stories that show how a breakup is a stepping stone to a brighter future, the more you are empowering them to move forward,  sort of like the six million dollar man.  We can rebuild him.  Better.  Faster.  Stronger.




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