In March, I went through a heinous breakup. I was shocked by my then-boyfriend’s decision to break things off (via text message!), and I was not doing well emotionally. For some reason, I thought it would be smart to binge-watch the Netflix show Love. You know, the Judd Apatow one where Gillian Jacobs falls into an inconvenient, on-again off-again romantic thing with that curly-haired guy.
Let me tell you, that was a bad idea. Not only did the central love story keep my own broken romance top-of-mind, but the story did that thing indie movies do where they sort of leave things ambiguous for like, art, which failed to give me any catharsis. There was zero emotional respite to be found.
My instinct to turn to Netflix mid-heartbreak isn’t unique. If you ask a group of people what their go-to breakup binge is, more often than not, they have one. For me, TV shows and movies are the answer to an impossible post-breakup problem: I’m terrified of feeling alone, but I don’t have the energy to be around people. For others, this coping mechanism is more about escapism, or enjoying a few mindless laughs, or remembering that love does exist, somewhere.
Here, 19 people share the TV shows and movies they’ve relied on in times of emotional need. Their answers range from apocalyptic zombie stories to tear-jerker romantic comedies, proving that the only thing weirder than what makes us fall in love with someone, is what helps us when we fall out of love with them.