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Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You Paperback – May 5, 2009

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Frequently Bought Together

Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You + How to Survive the Loss of a Love + Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, 3rd Edition (Rebuilding Books; For Divorce and Beyond)
Price for all three: $29.45

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books (May 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738213284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738213286
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An estimated 43 percent of marriages in the U.S. end in separation or divorce, a grim reminder that most all of us experiences at least one painful breakup in our lifetimes; speaker and certified grief therapist Elliot has come to understand that many aren't successful in overcoming that pain, which can stall anyone's personal and professional life indefinitely. Using her personal experience and stories from her practice, Elliott provides sound advice for those still driving by the ex's house or obsessed with self-blame. She advises a cold-turkey, "No Contact" blanket rule, but doesn't ignore the reality of situations involving mutual friends or a shared workplace, and provides seven rules for making things easier on the kids. As the end of a relationship can be much like the death of a loved one, Elliott also reviews the grief process and its importance in processing loss. While working through grief and putting time into serious self-examination won't necessarily "transform your life into everything you've always wanted it to be," the payoff should be steady progress toward a mended heart, a clear conscience and a stronger sense of self.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Curled Up with a Good Book
“Elliott delivers the goods with a book that can help anyone get past a broken heart, and be stronger for it…The book provides solid, usable information told with compassionate understanding that really jumpstarts a heart that is on standby…The tools are priceless, and the inspiration to come out on top is what really makes this book stand out in the ocean of other self-help titles out there.”

ForeWord This Week, 4/22/09
“Each of the book's steps has been thoughtfully developed from the author's personal experience and her training and experience as a grief counselor.”

Bookviews, 6/09
“This book identifies the frequent mistakes people make during the early days of a breakup and explains how to avoid them. [Elliott] shows how to use the pain to grow, reassess your goals, and create a healthier life.”

Publisher’s Weekly, 6/8/09
“Provides sound advice for those still driving by the ex’s house or obsessed with self-blame.”
“Tell[s] people who have suffered relationship devastation how to get through the stages of grief associated with romantic implosion-and how to pick themselves up afterwards and come out of their distress better than they ever were before…Elliott’s comments on the stages of grief, although scarcely new, can be helpful to just about anyone who feels devastated by the end of an intimate relationship.”

Midwest Book Review, June 2009
“An effective book any general lending library will find popular.”

Midwest Book Review, June 2009
“A recommended read for those looking for more reasons to embrace better health.”, “Top Breakup Books,” 1/1/10
“An excellent breakup book that assists not only in dealing with the shock of a relationship ending, but also how to move past the breakup to become a stronger, better person in spite/because of it. Topics such as dealing with breakup myths (“I need closure!”) and boundaries (how do I not get into this situation ever again) are refreshing and well-suited to the tone and style. Highly recommended.”, 1/1/10
“A well thought out and surprisingly thorough book about dealing with a breakup…With chapters on learning new boundaries and how to tell the kids, Elliot has covered topics that most books of this genre ignore outright. Chapter 2, The Rules of Disengagement, are a must-read for anyone who has ever suffered a bad breakup, particularly the list of items that keep folks stuck in their grief—most notably the concept of needing closure after a failed relationship…Well written and thorough. Practical how-to’s in every chapter. Warm and friendly tone that never comes across as condescending or judgmental.”, “Top 5 Breakup Books of 2009,” 1/1/10
“This practical book offers useful tips about how to get through the depressing post-breakup stages of loneliness and desolation. If you can't afford a therapist, this useful tome will help you take charge of your life instead of giving way to grief.”

Midwest Book Review, August 2010
“What sets this book apart from other self help titles is the fact that the author has suffered the same type of heartache…If you are getting over a failed marriage, or a breakup of a relationship, then this is the must have book that will get you past your pain and suffering…[It] offers hope to those who are suffering. It will show you how to change a life altering experience into something that will change your life for the better.”
Kansas City Star, 9/29/10
“If you’re in recovery from a relationship that ended… read this book.”

“Bookworm Sez”
“From the devastation that comes at the end of a relationship, through the reeling, dealing and healing, Elliott worms her way around all aspects of a broken heart…Getting Past Your Breakup will help you see a crystal-bright future.”

More About the Author

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Susan J. Elliott is an author, certified grief counselor, motivational speaker, and attorney. Elliott is the author of Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss Into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You and appears as a relationship commentator nationally and also locally in the New York City and is quoted frequently in magazines, newspapers, and websites.

Susan J. Elliott was born in New York City and grew up in the Soundview area of the Bronx. She was given up to the foster care system early in life and later adopted at the age of eight. Her adoptive childhood and teenage years were not easy ones, and as a young adult, she involved herself in dangerous, destructive relationships. Elliott married and had three sons with her first husband, whom she later divorced. Surmounting the hardships from an early life of difficulty, abandonment and abuse, Elliott went on to earn an A.B. in English from Mount Holyoke College graduating with High Honors, magna cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, an M. Ed. from Cambridge College, and a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Elliott worked to overcome the emotional and psychological issues from her past, and met and married her husband, Michael DiCarlo, with whom she created a happy marriage. In September 2009, DiCarlo, described by Elliott as "honest, open, kind, and caring" died of brain cancer. Elliott writes, "Michael was a very special individual. He was a sweet, kind, loving, giving family man who treated his family with nothing but respect and affection." She established the 'Michael A. DiCarlo Memorial Fund' with the 'National Brain Tumor Society' in his honor.

Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn A Devastating Loss Into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You (Da Capo Press Lifelong Learning Books, 2009) was released in May 2009 and details the program she created for dealing with breakups and divorce. Elliott's book focuses on how to let go of past relationships and how to deal with the pain, grief, loss, and accompanying behaviors of post-relationship situations.

The book is in part a narrative, detailing the relationship and recovery stories of Elliott, her coaching clients, her seminar students and her blog readers. Getting Past Your Breakup was voted one of the top five breakup books in 2009 by Yahoo Shine!, won the 2010 International Book Award in two categories, and was selected as the top 2009 breakup book by

In 2008, Elliott's internationally-read blog Getting Past Your Past was voted as best in the relationships and health category in 2008 by Wellsphere and rated as one of the top 100 blogs. She works as an attorney, appears on local and national television as a relationship expert and is quoted extensively in both print and on line publications. She started "Heartbreak Bootcamp" an intensive six week course designed for those having difficulty moving on and gives one-day and weekend seminars as well as talks all over the country. Check the book website, for more information on bootcamps, seminars and speaking engagements.

Once a victim of violence, Elliott also founded the GPYP DV Project to donate books to Domestic Violence shelters and organizations and to give scholarships to her seminars and bootcamps. At the present time the Project has donated over 100 books to organizations around the country and in Europe and has given hundreds of scholarships.

Today, Elliott lives in the greater New York City metropolitan area. After Getting Past Your Breakup was so successful, she left practice as a full-time attorney, choosing to work as a breakup and relationship coach. She appears on radio and television as a relationship expert. She also does writing, speaking, teaching and occasionally does work in the legal field. Her children are grown and they enjoy a close relationship. She has four grandchildren whom she sees frequently.


Elliott is currently working on a follow-up book to GPYB, a memoir and a screenplay. She has been approached by several networks to develop a reality program based on her bootcamps or a film based on her life, but has declined thus far.

Customer Reviews

This was a really good book with very helpful advice.
C. Anderson
What I really liked about this book is it really is a guidebook to getting better.
I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who is going through a bad breakup.
Lee Cowan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

181 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Moving On on May 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Every once in a long while, a person comes along who touches your life in such a profound way that you almost can't believe it.

For me, that person is Susan Elliott.

I stumbled upon her blog when I was at an all-time low in my life, having just undergone a heart-wrenching breakup that turned my world upside down and inside out. How could I allow someone to treat me so horribly in the name of love? Why didn't I recognize that I was being exploited? What was so damaged in me that I chose such a narcissistic mental case?

Susan's blog shed light on all of these questions and set me on a long journey toward becoming the person I was meant to be. My life is far better now than I ever could have imagined, spanning all areas, and she is in large part to thank.

This is not just a book about how to overcome your breakup -- it provides the resources to heal from your damaged past, recognize that you deserve better in life, learn to listen to and trust your instincts, and find real happiness. There's no hocus pocus here -- it's a smart book that executes key elements of cognitive psychology.

Simply put, this book is a life saver. Read it, apply it and be forever changed.
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91 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Annae on June 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
Like some of the others, I found Susan Elliott's Getting Past Your Past blog when I was struggling after a major heartbreak. Without any doubt, the website, and subsequently this book have done more for my healing than any other resources I have come across.

It is practical help, written with the compassion of someone who has gone through it, to guide you through those darkest hours and beyond. Like the best kind of friend, who is there for you even when you are not there for yourself, one who tells you the truth even when you don't want to hear it, her no-nonsense approach to both understanding where you are and guiding you with how to deal with it, is invaluable. There is no fluff here. Heart break and betrayal are soul destroying and the grieving and the healing processes need to be honoured.

Ms. Elliott provides the tools you need when you are in no place to think for yourself, the tools you need to get your life and yourself back, and the tools you need to navigate a better, more beautiful future for yourself when the time is right. And in the end she leaves you to spread your own wings and fly again - the best kind of teacher. She is an awesome woman, and this is an awesome book.

I will never let go of this one. I want it on my bookshelf, just in case. Not that I'm expecting ever to be in that space again. I can honestly say since coming across Susan Elliott's work I have become stronger, clearer, got back into my own life, and taken complete responsibility for my healing. And although I may suffer heartbreak again, I will not lose myself in the process.

I've not written a review before, but I can honestly say this helped me get through this like nothing else. Actually... not just get through it, I'm learning to thrive and really live my life. So, if you're going through a heartbreak, or know someone who is, get this. And go visit her blog. All the best to you.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Angelita on April 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
What I really liked about this book is it really is a guidebook to getting better. It's a very easy read with clearly written steps to take. So many self-help books are just a mish-mash of analysis, but this one is so much more practical than that. Also, I found that I could (unfortunately) relate to some of the personal stories, which helps me to want to apply the "tools" in this book.
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By hsw on October 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
About a year ago, I went through a horrible breakup with my partner of nearly five years, and best friend for ten. I turned to books about breakups to help me through a time I didn't know how I was going to survive. I purchased about 8 books, and this one was far and beyond the best-- absolutely no comparison. This is the only one of the 8 that I have underlined, highlighted, and still read, even after the grief has passed. In fact, this book is sitting right in the front spot on my shelf right now.

The reason why this book is still so valuable to me is that it is more than a breakup book, it is a book about how to live your life as a happy and complete person. The book offers not only ways to get past your breakup, but ways to build your confidence, be happy single, and be happy in a relationship. The chapter on setting boundaries has been invaluable to me.

Another reason why I strongly, strongly recommend this book is that there is a companion website, created and maintained by the author, Susan Elliott. The website,, is a great community of people and Susan writes amazing posts that expand on the concepts in the book. I can truly not express how much the website and book have helped me in the past year.

As a final note, another reason I appreciate this book is that it is appropriate for any gender, any age, and any sexuality. Susan is careful not to use heteronormative or gender specific language, and I really appreciate that. The book also takes into account that the readers may be at very different points in their lives-- from in college, to having kids, to beyond.

In conclusion, I can't recommend this book enough!
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful By pathwalker76 on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Among dozens of the break-up books I have read, this one is by far the best. The thing I like about the book is its combination of various scientific techniques under the covers to help you heal properly. There are a lot of books out there which focus only on the future, they try to make you forget and move on as soon as possible, without much introspection for yourself and for your past. This book is different. It places an emphasis on introspection and self-awareness, yet it isn't a solely theoretical psych workbook. It emphasizes balance in your life. It attempts to teach you that you will be fine no matter what as long as you have a great relationship with yourself. This book focuses on fixing the foundation (the concept of core-self) instead of trying to alleviate the symptoms, yet gives practical advice when it is time to go out and meet people. It has proved to be a great value in my recovery and I highly recommend it.
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