What to Watch on Netflix When You're Heartbroken


Gabrielle White

When you’re going through a breakup, a little escape can be welcome relief. Movies are a great way to pass the time that it takes to heal a broken heart, and they can provide relief from the looping thoughts of your post-breakup mind. While some people prefer to cope by laughing, others prefer to be met right where they are with breakup related dramas. Whatever your style, here are 11 Netflix picks to get you through.

Classic Fave: Legally Blonde

Who can forget the opening breakup scene of this movie where Elle (Reese Witherspoon) mistakes dumping for a proposal? Oof.

90's Fave: Sliding Doors

Gwyneth Paltrow’s breakup with her cheating boyfriend, and post-breakup transformation, is one that never gets old. (Though not on Netflix, View From The Top is another movie where Gwyneth's character transforms after a breakup.)

Action Fave: Kill Bill

Breakups progress through many phases, from intense sadness and grieving to eventual acceptance. Somewhere in there lies a good bout of just being pissed off, which makes a solid revenge flick like Kill Bill just the bad medicine I need. A saga in two parts, the film invites us into the life of The Bride (Uma Thurman) as she sets out to avenge her attempted murder, ordered by her ex (David Carradine.) Kill Bill is pretty much just an all-out good opportunity to live vicariously through a scorned assassin as she kicks major ass to a killer soundtrack.

Mental Health Fave: Silver Linings Playbook

A bipolar obsessive divorcee (Bradley Cooper) meets his match (Jennifer Lawrence), and we watch the two learn to recognize value in relationships where it hadn’t quite existed before.

Period Fave: Mona Lisa Smile

A radical Wellesley professor (Julia Roberts) challenges her pupils to reject the 1950s cultural imperative that the university years are for husband-hunting.

Sci-Fi(ish?) Fave: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 

This movie is weird, but we’ve all wished we could erase a lost love from our minds. This film explores what happens when a couple tries to do just that. The question is, can their hearts forget each other, or will they always be drawn back?

Drama Fave: Chocolat

OK, so this isn’t technically about a breakup. But, in most post-breakup circumstances, Johnny Depp and copious amounts of chocolate is a winning combination.

Documentary Fave: Meet the Patels

This doc follows the dating trials and tribulations of comedian and actor Ravi Patel, freshly 30 years old and out of a breakup, tries to meet his Indian parents’ traditional expectations.

TV Fave: Grace and Frankie

An already strained friendship between two women (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin) takes a turn when they find out that their husbands are romantically involved. Proof that you can handle heartbreak at any age.

TV Fave: New Girl

The event that launches the series is a cataclysmic breakup, which sends Jess (Zooey Deschanel) reeling and catapults her into a new and very funny life with male roommates. There are too many breakups and heartbreaks to count in the entirety of this series, which makes it the perfect post-breakup companion.

Comedy Fave: Swingers (1996)

This is just a classic comedy, whether you are going through a breakup or not. But if you are going through a breakup, Jon Favreau plays Mike, the perfect heartbroken character to keep you company. Mike is the personification of someone who can't let go, waiting for his ex to call, neurotically checking his message machine at home and cornering every person he can to talk about his breakup (even potential dates).You'll laugh, for sure, but you'll also be reminded that there is life after heartbreak. In the words of Trent, played by a very young Vince Vaughn: "The best thing you can do is just get back out there."

Also, check out how Netflix affects your love life.

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