5. Feel some kindness toward your ex. "The most potent step you can take in your own healing," Piver writes, "is to extend loving kindness to your ex." Although that seems counterintuitive and next to impossible, the process of extending your heart to someone whom you have no intention of loving ever again, she says, can actually bring feelings of stability and peace to your inner mind. You don't need to forgive or forget your ex's past transgressions or stay in touch. (In fact, Piver says it's a good idea to de-friend him on Facebook to keep from obsessing about his every move.) Your focus should be on letting go of anger. Piver recommends sitting in a quiet, comfortable place and spending a few minutes wishing yourself well—may I be happy, healthy, peaceful, accepting of myself—before wishing your ex the same. Remember that no matter how badly he treated you, he has the same longing as you: to find love and be happy.
6. Write the story of your relationship. Do it from the third-person point of view in three different writing sessions. First, tell about how this woman met this man and how they fell in love. Then write about the love story and how it started going south. Finally, tell the story of the breakup: She said this; he did that. "Just taking that step back and looking at your circumstance as if you were describing someone else may sound silly, but it helps you bring a very valuable perspective," says Piver. "And it also helps you look at your story from the stance of someone who's OK instead of someone who's embroiled in agony." You might also gain some valuable revelations: what you miss about the relationship and what you don't.
7. Steer clear of the self-help section. Bookstore shelves are crammed with books that say, "This is your fault. You created this situation by the way you thought, or by carrying forward childhood wounds," Piver says. But that's not true. "Don't try to come up with reasons on why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Allow yourself to feel heartbreak—that's what actually gets us over it."
8. Give love. Perhaps at no other time than post-breakup do we want love so much, Piver says. But instead of desperately searching, give love, to anyone, in any situation. "There's always a chance of loving," Piver says. "That is how you balance the sorrow and rage from the heartbreak you're dealing with—by giving love to whatever situation or person you are interacting with. That is the secret."
Updated on 3/21/2012: This story was originally published on Jan. 14, 2010.