There’s proof that when you’re super bummed about the loss of a relationship, surrounding yourself with friends can give you a boost. "Research shows that people who have reminders of being appreciated experience less pain than those who don’t," explains Guy Winch, PhD, author of How to Fix a Broken Heart.
Besides, the alternative (you know: sobbing, snotting...) sucks. “You can either spiral downward or use your breakup as a catalyst to create the life you want,” says Amy Chan, founder of Renew Breakup Bootcamp. Here’s how to focus on having some fun.
Invite good sports
Be selective with the guest list. "Ask supportive friends who are likely to create an empowering environment," suggests Winch. They can be close coworkers, old friends, and even your mom or sister. Just don’t include anyone who’s too cynical. This kind of party should have levity (and no downer ex-bashing), so invite people who can go with that vibe.
Clear negative clutter
Take down any photos of The Ex Who Shall Not Be Named, and fill those empty places with uplifting mementos. That wild girls-only weekend in La Union? Set up a digital frame, and let every hedonistic shot see the light. Or prominently display any personal accomplishments (e.g., your half-marathon medal). "Part of recovery is reclaiming aspects of your identity that may have been pushed aside during your relationship," says Winch.
Eat your words
You may be craving sweets (for real). Research has found that people yearn for sugar when they’re sad. So go ahead and get a damn cake. Make it party appropriate by asking the bakery to write something on top like "Back in the Game!" or "Single and Hot AF."
Blast turn-up tunes
Play the most uplifting songs you know—think dance beats that trigger happy feels, á la Beyoncé’s or Britney Spears’ greatest hits. (Later, for a solo post-party wind down,
have soothing, not sad, songs ready to cue up. Try Spotify’s Chill Tracks or Dreamy Vibes playlists).
It may sound corny, but give this a try: Write thought-provoking questions like "What’s the most exciting thing you’re going to do solo this year?" on index cards. Hand them out at random, and at some point in the night, ask each person to answer theirs aloud. "Instead of small talk and gossip, these questions enable human connection and give you perspective—important for mending your heart," says Chan.
Another option: Ask each guest to write down one quality—a physical trait, personality quirk, or other detail—they wish your next partner would have, suggests Winch. Maybe that’s a sense of adventure or six-pack abs. Later, use the list as a reminder of things you deserve in your next S.O.
Don't get too lit
"It’s okay to drink in moderation. The thing to avoid is drinking to numb painful emotions resulting from heartbreak," says Winch. Limit yourself to one cocktail per hour, and if you start to feel like you want to drunk-text ex-bae, hide your phone or give it to your BFF.
Set the mood
Capitalize on a mind trick called anchoring by lighting a fat, deliciously scented candle. Smelling it when you’re having a happy, fun time (tonight!) will teach your brain to feel good whenever you sniff it in the future. Chan suggests finding one that has hints of sweet orange, calming lavender, bergamot, or patchouli.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.