You Really Do Glow After A Breakup—Here’s Why

Ever got back home after getting your heart broken and looked in the mirror only to see that your skin was positively glowing? It’s weird, right? Here’s how a breakup could actually be the reason for that glow —and not just on the outside. Yup, the breakup glow is a thing.

  1. A breakup means you can improve your life. A study that was done by Maguire Family Law in the UK surveyed over 1,000 divorced people and found that 65% of them said that nearly every area of their lives had experienced improvements after their breakups. It just goes to show that your life can glow after a traumatic breakup, even if you don’t think it will.
  2. There’s a name for it. Call it a breakup glow if you will, but it’s actually referred to as “post-traumatic growth.” This is a psychological change that occurs after you’ve gone through a difficult time, so it’s like the sunshine finally beating through the dark clouds. In addition, it refers to how the end of a relationship can actually push you to rise to a better way of life.
  3. But don’t feel the pressure to make things happen. Right, so let’s just state right now that you don’t have to let this breakup glow business make you feel pressure to make things happen for yourself or achieve more than you did during your relationship. This isn’t about freaking yourself out or putting pressure on yourself.
  4. It’s just about being. Honestly, you don’t have to do anything after a breakup. Sometimes the glow just finds you. Like when you wake up in the morning and realize that you don’t have to sit through boring dates with your boyfriend who was obsessed with fishing, or you can sleep in all weekend without feeling obliged to spend time with his difficult family. Bliss!
  5. The glow might take a while. If you’ve been single for a few months and you still don’t feel like your life has gone up a gear or like you’re happy, don’t fret. The breakup glow can take over a year to actually happen!  You know what that’s like: when you’ve come out of a LTR and you miss your ex so much that you have to work hard to get over the relationship. But then after a while of being single, you start to realize how amazing it is.
  6. You can turn your breakup into your glow-up. Basically, the relationship is broken but you’re not. You now have the chance to glow, such as by doing everything that makes you feel like you’re radiating light.
  7. Or… maybe it’s time to grow up. Not that you need to grow up, but sometimes a breakup’s the perfect time in your life to slow down and take stock, not about your dating type or relationship that crashed and burned, but about yourself. What areas can you improve on? What are traits you love about yourself and those you want to fix?
  8. Say bye to drama. There’s a special kind of glow that happens to you when you come out of a toxic relationship that wrecked your life. You not only come out stronger, but you don’t have to deal with so much stress that the relationship brought to your doorstep. Without that stress, you don’t look so tired anymore. Those under-eye patches disappear. You’re smiling instead of frowning. All of these contribute to an actual glow.
  9. There’s something about breakups that boost self-care. Remember what I said earlier about how breakups are the perfect opportunity to do some self-work? Well, they’re also the perfect opportunity for more self-love and care. When you’re beaten down by life, you can focus on yourself more. You can give yourself the love you didn’t receive, and that makes you glow from within.
  10. Thank cortisol. The stress hormone cortisol usually gets a bad rep, but when it comes to the breakup glow, you can (partly) thank it for why you look like you’re glowing and don’t need highlighters on your cheekbones. Basically, what it does in the body is this: When you’re heartbroken, cortisol increases in the body. This makes your body do a range of things, and one of them is to boost your gland’s production of oil. So, your skin looks moisturized and beautiful. Now, when cortisol hangs around for too long (like when you’re super-stressed) that can cause adverse effects, such as skin breakouts, but at least enjoy it for a while.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.