11 Celebs Who Bounced Back After Serious Breakups
It's a universal truth that breakups are one of the worst life experiences one can go through. So often they can be brushed off by society as some tough but character-building life event, but a devastating breakup can be almost like a death: it's a loss of love, a loss of companionship, a loss of an entire life and future dream that you built for yourself. It takes time to mourn all of these losses — and stars are not immune to a breakup's harsh effects. Which is why it's so refreshing to see celebs bounce back after serious breakups. It's like a public declaration of "If I can get over it, so can you." I imagine that it takes one hell of a lot to deal with a split in the public eye (said by someone who once was a walking zombie for two weeks after my worst breakup), so it makes it all the more empowering when a celeb totally owns their post-breakup image.
Sure, like any human being with the capacity to feel emotions, celebs are undoubtedly hurt after a breakup — no matter who initiated the end of the relationship, both parties are bound to feel pain — but it's all in the way that they channel that pain and present themselves publicly. Going through a breakup involves a grieving process, and whether these stars are open about their pain or just walk around in public in the wake of a breakup with their heads held high, it's admirable (and empowering) to watch them stay strong in the watchful eye of the spotlight.
1. Jennifer Aniston
Full disclosure: 2005 Jennifer Aniston was my absolute fave. Aniston was the definition of class during her (insanely high-profile) divorce from Brad Pitt and the subsequent Brangelina debacle. For 15-year-old me who was going through her first heartbreak, I was #TeamAniston all the way and admired to no end how gracefully she handled herself in the public eye.
2. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani's divorce from Gavin Rossdale was not easy ("I really just wanted to be in bed crying and do what you do when you life falls apart," she told Elvis Duran), but she picked herself up, went to the studio, and channeled that pain into her emotional song "Used to Love You." Now, Stefani is still shaking off the effects of her split, but with a much happier outcome — she's dating fellow recent divorcee Blake Shelton.
3. Nick Lachey
Nothing says "over a breakup" like chart-topping career success. Lachey's emotional, post-Jessica Simpson divorce single, "What's Left of Me," is his highest-charting single to date. Not to mention that he met his future wife Vanessa Minnillo on the set of the music video (ironically, she stars as the Jessica Simpson-like character).
4. Shania Twain & Frederic Thiebaud
The ultimate revenge is living well — and Shania Twain and her second husband, Frederic Thiebaud, are living proof. After Twain's husband, music producer Mutt Lange, allegedly cheated on his country superstar wife with her best friend Marie-Anne (who was married to Thibeaud), Twain and Thiebaud undoubtedly bonded. And that bond soon blossomed into love — and marriage. Take that!
5. Gigi Hadid
Model Gigi Hadid has certainly bounced back after every one of her high-profile breakups. After ending things for good with longtime boyfriend Cody Simpson in May (the two had been dating for more than a year), the "It Girl" moved on to Joe Jonas. And just weeks after she and Joe Jonas called things off, she's been spotted out with Zayn Malik. No matter the breakup, Hadid is clearly in control of her public image — and her fame and career only gaining more traction.
6. Perrie Edwards
Perrie Edwards was the picture of strength after she and Zayn Malik ended their engagement earlier this year. Sure, the Little Mix singer may have broken down in tears during a performance with her bandmates, but her honest reaction is refreshing. And just the fact that she was still doing press and putting on a relatively happy face while coping with the ending of her three-year relationship — I give her SO much credit.
7. Caitlyn Jenner
Kris and Caitlyn Jenner were married for over 20 years, and a breakup after that long is bound to be tough for anyone. Just four months after Kris and Caitlyn Jenner finalized their divorce, Caitlyn came out as transgender — even winning the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her bravery.
8. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez pretty much wrote the book on bouncing back after a bad breakup. No matter what is going on in her personal life — be it a breakup or divorce — J. Lo continually slays the game professionally and in her public persona, refusing to let any personal life upset effect her career. Whether it was her 2004 #Bennifer breakup or her surprising divorce from Marc Anthony, Lopez never let her splits get her down, forging on with a career that has thrived throughout the decades. (And I always appreciate someone who can mock her love life, like J. Lo did in an unforgettable episode of Will & Grace .)
9. Katy Perry
Anyone who has seen Katy Perry's Part of Me documentary is well-aware that the doc wound up inadvertently chronicling her breakup with Russell Brand. The scene that always sticks out in my mind is the one where Perry is crying so hard that she almost cancels her show — but instead chooses to rise to the occasion (literally), going on stage and getting the job done no matter how devastated she was just moments before.
10. Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff and Zachary Quinto broke up in July 2013 (sad face). But little did the Broadway actor know that just a few months later, upon its release, Frozen (he voiced Kristoff) would become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Talk about an upswing!
11. And, Of Course, Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has not only turned her breakups into songs and those songs into massive, Grammy Award-winning hits, she's reclaimed the narrative of her dating life — refusing to be defined by the tabloids' definition of her personal life and instead mocking their version (see: the Grammy-nominated "Blank Space") and instead creating her own.
While the ending of relationships is undoubtedly difficult, let these celebs be a reminder of the good that can come out of a breakup. You do you!