How to Survive a Breakup, Based on Your Sign

It’s more than just an urban legend: Summer is officially “uncuffing season.” As the longer days of sunlight flood your brain with feel-good serotonin, you’re far less dependent on the warm-fuzzies of a relationship to churn up that neurochemical high. Relationships that felt like magic last spring might be leaving you gasping for air. Maybe you can’t stop fantasising about bolting on your boo-thing to go have a #HotGirlSummer. Or maybe you’re all in your summertime sadness feelings after being dumped. Before you do anything rash, read on and find out how your zodiac sign bounces back from a breakup. Here are some heart-healing tips to help you bounce back long before Labor Day.

Aries

Your impatient sign can love ‘em and leave ‘em faster than most. When the tables are turned, however, breakups infuriate you. Aries is the sign of self-love. You’re proud and confident, and the thought of someone rejecting you is a massive blow to your ego. While other signs may spiral into self-doubt post-breakup, you spend hours wondering, “Why would they be insane enough to leave me?” You’re a catch, and you know it. With that philosophy, one might think you’d move on quickly. But, no. Your fiercely independent sign doesn’t commit easily. You’ll hold out for exactly what you want in a mate. No settling!

Once you find that special someone, you pour yourself fully into the relationship, and you want it to last forever. As the zodiac’s warrior sign, you’ll fight to make it last, even if the love has died. You also have a childlike innocence about you, and you want that happily-ever-after fantasy. How many seasons of KUWTK did it take for Aries Kourtney Kardashian to ditch “Lord Disick”? Three kids and countless binges later…

If you need to move on, it’s best for visceral Aries to limit contact with your ex. And since you’re a fire sign, light up that pyre and burn something, be it your former flame’s T-shirt or a rage-filled letter you wrote, but know better than to actually send. With a little time and space, you’ll be ready for the next perfect person to sweep you off your stilettos.

Taurus

Steady, loyal Taurus, you’re no fan of change—and that includes switching partners. Since you view every relationship as an investment, breakups just don’t make sense in your playbook. Wait…wasn’t this supposed to last forever? Like Bull babes Kelly Clarkson and Adele, you’ve likely been planning your dream wedding since you were a kid, and anyone who you commit too has “potential spouse” written all over them.

When romance doesn’t go according to your fairy-tale plan, you can tumble down a ranting rabbit hole, bitterly rehashing all the energy you “wasted” on your ex—even treating a new love interest like a sounding board! Like an angry bull, you grow more and more agitated until you’re a ticking timebomb, ready to explode with rage, or being ultra-defensive with a new mate.

We know that recovery is hard, especially for a creature of habit like you. Ironically, the fastest way for you to heal is for you to consciously change your environment and daily habits. First and foremost, stop doing all the things you did with your ex, and find new places to frequent. (Yes, that means giving up your favourite bar…for a little while.) Paint your bedroom a new coluor; heck, get a new mattress. If you and your ex always had coffee on the balcony, pour your cold brew in a to-go mug and head to morning yoga. For sensual, kinesthetic Tauruses, moving your body accelerates healing.

Gemini

When someone breaks your heart, you’re quick to get lost in your head. You’ll analyse the situation from every angle, spinning out until you’re mentally exhausted. The logical “twin” within has an uncanny ability to draw back and view the situation dispassionately. The other half of you neurotically turns over all the things you could have done differently. Don’t get stuck in these feedback loops! There are a thousand ways to look at the situation, but that doesn’t mean you have to explore every one of them.

While other signs might mope around the house, you stay on the move. Within hours, you’re meeting friends for drinks, even hooking up with someone new to get your mind off your ex-mate. Or, you could become convincingly high-minded about it all, letting everyone know that this was “for the best.” And you’ll post it all on social, letting your ex think you never cared about ’em at all. While nothing could be further from the truth, your tendency to waver on feelings might have something to do with why you’re breaking up in the first place. If you are granted a second chance with your ex (and you want one), choose bae wholeheartedly—for all the flaws and strengths—and stop looking around every corner for a better fit.

Your swift recovery time can be an advantage, but don’t try to emotionally bypass the pain of a heartbreak. In between revenge f***s, let yourself cry, vent and process. As a verbal Gemini, true healing happens when you talk (and write) about your actual feelings. If you don’t, the unfinished business will come out sideways with snarky comments, Twitter battles and baggage that you drag into your next relationship. Rule of thumb: no snooping or spying! Just because you know your ex’s passwords, doesn’t mean you should use them!

Cancer

Relationships are the ultimate comfort to Cancers, but you don’t give your tender heart away to just any old schmo. A lover must have long-term potential to pierce your shell. If they do? You’re all in! And maybe at lightning speed, like Cancer Ariana Grande who rushed into a whirlwind engagement with (Scorpio) Pete Davidson. Because you get so swept up in the fantasy, you can take breakups particularly hard, like a sad Disney princess whose glass slipper doesn’t come in time for the ball.

If a relationship ends unceremoniously, some Cancers put up a fierce front, excoriating your ex to anyone in earshot. Behind the scenes, you’ll plunge into your wounded feelings, isolating yourself or huddling up with your besties or your mom. Even if your crab claws aren’t visibly engaged, you may cling to the nostalgia of what once was. Ultimately, you emerge, often sharing your heartbreak in a cathartic way that helps others heal from similar situations. (See @arianagrande)

Once the initial sting is gone, you throw yourself back into “doing you,” which can be a double-edged sword. Taking the risk of trusting again can feel unbearable, and we know many Cancers who have gone decades dodging relationships to avoid feeling that level of hurt again. It doesn’t have to be that way! Instead of hardening your shell, dive into a healing journey. Treat yourself to weekly therapy, heart-healing seminars and retreats. Go visit your GFs who are in happy relationships and let them serve as your role models. Since your home is your castle, purge it of the past so that you aren’t triggered by all those painful memories 24/7.

Leo

As the zodiac’s hopeless romantic, love is your favourite drug. Until things get unbearable, you’ll stand by your mate and do anything to keep the relationship together. You might even swallow breakup-worthy behaviour—cheating, abuse, lies—just to keep things looking good to the outside world. Since your relationships often start out on a public, passionate note, the breakups can be an equally dramatic spectacle. (Google Leos Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Lovato, if you don’t believe us.)

With your flair for the theatrical, your love life can get downright Shakespearean. You and your boo may break up and get back together numerous times, which can exhaust friends who spend hours comforting you. For this reason, you’d be wise to implement a 72-hour “no social media” rule after any sort of split. No one needs to be freaked out by another false alarm meme!

If it’s truly over, nothing heals the Leo heart faster than diving into a creative project. Your art is your catharsis, and you may cry your way through a series of oil paintings or the tracks of your first EP. Throw yourself into your work and get back in tune with the shining star that you are! Leo Mae West said, “The best way to get over one man is to get under another.” True, but apply that advice judiciously. In your vulnerable state, you could easily mistake a rebound fling for the real thing.

Virgo

Nothing throws a Virgo into analysis paralysis quite like a breakup. You may spin out with a million questions, playing out this scenario and that—and all the things you wish you’d done differently. You can make your own head explode from all the woulda-coulda-shoulda’s, so you may literally have to force yourself to stop dwelling—or go do something physical to distract yourself from the mindfuckery!

Or, as the sign of the critic, you can pivot to the offence, shredding your ex for all their flaws—even if you defended the very same traits to your friends just days ago. If you’re the one to break off the relationship, you may be plagued by guilt, keeping your ex on your shared phone plan for months, or giving them rent money just to get them out of your apartment. Worst case scenario: you can spiral down into self-destructive behaviour, a la Virgos Amy Winehouse and fashion writer Cat Marnell. While the tortured soul thing might produce great works of art, the suffering you impose on yourself is never worth it!

As the zodiac’s perfectionist, you can waste far too much time guarding against heartbreak happening again. You’ll read every relationship advice book, burn uncrossing candles from the local witch shop, enrol in expensive self-help workshops. Or you could go into caretaker mode, busying yourself with helping friends solve their problems. Don’t encase your heart in an igloo, Virgo! Let yourself process—and talk about—all the painful feelings. We know it’s unfair that love doesn’t come with an insurance policy, but dating is ultimately a numbers game. Don’t wait too long to get back out there again.

Libra

You’re a shameless flirt and a serial dater, Libra. But when it comes to commitment, you like to take your sweet time, weighing every option and feeling people out for as long as you damn well please. When you finally give your heart away, you have no plans on going anywhere, much like signmate Snoop Dogg who is still married to his high school sweetheart after 22 years. For as much momentum as it takes you to get into a relationship, getting out is even more intense!

Libra is the sign of the scales, so balance is the first thing to go when emotional turbulence hits. A heartbroken Libra is a depressing sight—and requires emergency relief. You’ll skulk to the cafe with your Moleskine journal, order black coffee and pour out pages of emo poetry. Or, panic-stricken at the idea of being alone, you put on your thirst trap bandage dress and head to the bar, only to attract the shadiest character you could meet. Or, you’ll announce that love is for suckers, and leave on a Peace Corps mission for six months.

Cliché as it may be, time heals all wounds for the heartbroken Libra. But while you’re going through the process, remove all visual cues of your ex-bae, which can be triggering for your aesthetically oriented sign. Pamper yourself as much as your budget allows. You’re ruled by glamorous Venus, after all! Like a post-Kris Humphries Kim Kardashian (a Libra), indulging in spa and beauty treatments can help you bounce back faster. Don’t rush to re-activate your profile on the dating apps though. You’ll only wind up crying about your ex on a new person’s shoulder (at least after a couple glasses of wine), which is not a good look!

Scorpio

Intense Scorpio is the sign of extremes, and breakups can definitely ignite some combustible behaviour. This is part of the reason you’re reluctant to get involved in the first place: You know that once you’re attached, that bond runs deeper than the tree roots in the upside-down world of Stranger Things. The idea of breaking a connection literally feels like your insides are being torn out. As a result, you can go for years without ever opening your heart—even if you’re in a committed relationship!

Ironically, it often takes a breakup for you to realise how much you loved your partner. Scorpio is signified by the Phoenix, a mythic creature that rises from the flames of total destruction. You may subconsciously destroy your own relationship just to see what remains after the demolition. You only trust what survives…so if you find some feelings in the rubble, you declare it true love.

Alas, your other half probably won’t see it that way. What you often fail to realise is how attached people get to you, Scorpio. By the time you’re “ready,” your boo may have tired of the power struggles, and head games, and moved on. If only people understood how to read between the lines of your complicated twist on love. Perhaps this is why so many Scorpios date each other. But should a relationship end, the first step is to find something new to obsess over (instead of your ex). Take a dating hiatus to recoup your pride. The last thing you need is break someone’s heart who gets dragged through your revenge dating phase. Avoid anything addictive, because you can go to some truly dark places when you’re feeling down, like a post-Ashton Demi Moore or Drake on any given day.

Sagittarius

For all your wild and worldly ways, Sagittarius, you can really get blindsided by a breakup. As the zodiac’s optimist, you’re always looking on the bright side of things, so you rarely see a split coming. Like Archer Miley Cyrus, commitment can freak out your free-spirited sign. But when you’re in, you’re in—at least for a while. Along the way, you’ll break many hearts, maybe on the level of Sagittarius Britney Spears crushing (Aquarius) Justin Timberlake during the Cry Me A River era. But somehow, you’re never prepared for your own heart to be broken! You hate to give up, and may literally beg your ex-boo to give the relationship another shot. When they refuse to cooperate, it’s a challenge to accept this and move on.

Lucky for you, Sagittarius is a symbolised by the Archer, who shoots arrow after arrow until hitting the bullseye. You always bounce back and try again. It’s that period between the breakup and the recovery that’s so fiery and dramatic. Sagittarius rules the higher mind, so stay in yours by meditating, reading inspirational books, or signing up for a class. Traveling can also pull you out of a funk, as long as you don’t take the journey alone and wind up sobbing into your mobile phone in an airport terminal…and racking up roaming charges because you forgot to switch your calling plan.

Hope springs eternal for Sagittarians, so you’ll always move on. In fact, within moments of meeting someone new and promising, you could literally develop amnesia about the person you were hopelessly pining for days earlier. Fickle? Not as far as you’re concerned. You’re just levelling up! And once you do, you’re surprisingly forgiving. Archers tend to remain friends with most of your past lovers, and may even be the matchmaker who arranges their next relationship!

Capricorn

While you’ll enjoy a casual date here and there, you’re too busy to fritter away your time. You like to invest in quality, Capricorn, which makes you a long-term mate who is serious about relationships (and most things in life). But you’re also persevering! As the sign of the goat, you see life as a rocky uphill climb, and you’re prepared to take on the challenges that come with a partnership. But you also want someone who gives as good as they get. You’d rather be alone than settle for someone who doesn’t meet your lengthy checklist of requirements.

Although you can be stoic on the surface, breakups bum you out just like everyone else. As the zodiac’s provider sign, you struggle to reach out for support, and may bury yourself in your work to avoid feeling the pain. But this is one of those moments where you should really let old friends and family be there for you, just as you’ve been for them! Otherwise, you can spiral down into a melancholy hole, and become numb and pessimistic about everything in life.

Moving on is not easy for a sign that values history like yours. Plus, you may have created a 10-year plan with your ex-bae that you now have to rewrite. As frustrating as that can be (especially if you get hung up on “failure”), stop fixating on it. Push yourself to get out and new experiences, rather than dwelling in sentimentality or sticking to the familiar. A little spontaneity can go a long way in your healing process.

Aquarius

Calm, cool Aquarius, you may act unflappable, but breakups can really rattle you. Underneath your lighthearted (and high-minded) exterior, you harbour insecurities just like the rest of us mere mortals. The stress of a split can show through your body language. Suddenly, you’re all twitchy, full of nervous energy and adrenaline. You may go into overdrive, doing a million tasks or talking at lightning speed about all the other things you’re worried about—money, work, often anything besides the simple fact that you’re hurting. Or, you’ll unleash your inner rebel, hitting the party scene every night and hooking up with a string of randos.

Take a deep breath. We know a split can be a shock to your system, but sitting still and “being with” the pain is the only way it will heal. Aquarius is an emotionally detached sign, and you may have a difficult time accessing your feelings until life forces you to deal. Consider this: emotions are stored as energy, and when you block them, they get stuck. Since Aquarius rules circulation, you need to let your feelings pass through you like electricity running through a wire. Go for a run on the beach, or do some breathing exercises, book a session with a Reiki master, energy healer, or acupuncturist. Unleash your rage proactively! Take a baseball bat to a mattress or hit the bag at a boxing gym.

Surround yourself with BFFs, like Aquarius Jennifer Aniston always does after an unceremonious parting. If you simply can’t get out of your funk, do some volunteer work. As the zodiac’s humanitarian, making a difference for others will lend you some needed perspective.

Pisces

While you’re one of the zodiac’s most sensitive signs, you handle breakups better than most signs. Truth is, you’re an old soul who was born with a little bit of a tragic bent to you. Although you may appear fragile and broken at times, you possess an amazing inner resilience. Behind those watery, soulful eyes, you’re a survivor and a hella tough cookie. (Cue Pisces Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats.) That reservoir of spiritual strength serves you well during a split. It certainly did for Elizabeth Taylor who was married eight times to seven different men.

If you’re not involved in a breakup, you’re usually supporting someone else who is. With your deep compassion and inbred wisdom, you know how to handle matters of the heart. Pisces is the sign of the nurse, a natural caretaker. While you sacrifice much for others, though, it can be hard for you to request the same support. Be sure to lean on all those friends who turned to you when they were heartbroken!

Staying involved in healthy activities and social circles is another key to your healing. But make sure they are positive and uplifting people! Your sign has a propensity for addiction, so drowning your sorrows at a #WineTime gathering could take you down a slippery slope. Avoid the victim mindset, which can also be toxic to your energy field. Vent proactively—to a healing circle, support group or a great therapist. Since you’re a born nurturer, adopting a rescue pet can give you a place to put all that loving energy that you once showered on your partner.

This article first appeared on ELLE.