Celebrities may live glamorous lives, but no amount of fame or wealth can protect anyone from the pain of a relationship that has soured. Heartbreak is universal and there’s nothing more relatable than stars who have opened up about love and loss. No matter who you are, breaking up is hard to do.
But that also means they have some wisdom to impart. Read on to see which celebrities have gotten real about heartbreak, relationships, and breakups:
Miley Cyrus admitted she worried about being alone when she broke off her engagement to Liam Hemsworth.
“I was so scared of ever being alone, and I think, conquering that fear, this year, was actually bigger than any other transition that I had, this entire year,” Cyrus told Barbara Walters in 2013. “I don’t ever want to have to need someone again, where you feel like, without them, you can’t be yourself.”
Jennifer Lawrence said she struggled to find herself when she finished filming “The Hunger Games” franchise and also broke up with Nicholas Hoult.
“I was also in a relationship with somebody for five years and that was my life. So my life was this person and these movies, and we broke up around the same time that I wrapped those movies,” Lawrence told Diane Sawyer in 2015. “Being 24 [years old] was this whole year of, ‘Who am I without these movies? Who am I without this man?'”
Rihanna told a fan that sometimes you just need to cry it out.
“Just believe that the heartbreak was a gift in itself. Cry if you have to, but it won’t be forever! You will find love again, and it will be even more beautiful! In the meantime enjoy all that YOU are!” Rihanna told a lovelorn fan on Twitter in 2017.
Emma Stone revealed that her first experience with heartbreak was a visceral one.
“I was crawling on the floor. I remember throwing up,” she told Cameron Crowe for Interview magazine in 2012. “Like, within the hour. I remember being on the floor… I have never felt anything quite like that. It was so visceral. It’s like someone has killed you and you have to live through it and watch it happen … It was awful.”
Serena Williams said going through surgery was easier than having a broken heart.
“I think everyone kind of goes through [heartbreak]. It definitely isn’t a good feeling,” Williams told Piers Morgan in 2012. “I think having surgery is definitely a lot easier – having a pulmonary embolism is definitely a lot easier than a heartbreak.”
Sarah Jessica Parker said she thinks heartbreak is an important life lesson.
“I think it’s great to have been wrong in love and been destroyed and heartbroken. I just think it makes what you imagined to be a life choice better,” Parker told Gwyneth Paltrow on her Goop podcast in 2018. “Everybody should date if that’s what you’re interested in and you should be wrong, and you should break some hearts and your heart should be broken, and you should lay in bed in your old days next to a telephone looking at it hoping it’s going to ring and be disappointed that it never does.”
Emma Thompson said she channeled her painful divorce from Kenneth Branagh into her performance in “Love Actually.”
“That scene where my character is standing by the bed crying is so well known because it’s something everyone’s been through,” Thompson said at a fundraiser in 2018. “I had my heart very badly broken by Ken. So I knew what it was like to find the necklace that wasn’t meant for me. Well, it wasn’t exactly that, but we’ve all been through it.”
Ashton Kutcher said he needed alone-time after his divorce from Demi Moore.
“Right after I got divorced, I went to the mountains for a week by myself. I went into Big Sky in Montana, and I did no food, no drink – just water and tea,” Kutcher said on Dax Shepard’s podcast in 2018. “I wrote down every single relationship that I had where I felt like there was some grudge or some anything and then I wrote letters to every single person and sent the letters on day seven. I typed them all out and sent them. It was almost like an A.A. exercise, where I was like, ‘I probably have done some damage,’ so I just cleared [my] palate.”
Gwen Stefani said she realised that heartbreak was necessary after her divorce from Gavin Rossdale.
“For a long time, I could not understand why I’d had so much heartache in my life. I have parents who are still married and in love … I had such loving role models. I didn’t understand it,” Stefani told Marie Claire in 2017.“What I learned was that my heartbreak was supposed to happen, that it was my purpose to write about and share my story. I met at least 50 to 100 people before each show on my tour and got to hear that my truth and my story translated, and I feel very lucky and honored knowing that.”
Katy Perry said she makes sure to practice self-care after a bad breakup.
“There are two ways you can go: You can either nurture yourself or go destructive. I have gone down the destructive path before, and that didn’t work for me,” Perry told Marie Claire in 2013. “You dig deep beyond those scars and find that soft tissue again, and you massage and nurture it and bring it to life, little by little, through serving yourself well. I did it through hikes and vitamins and therapy and prayer and good friends.”
Lauren Conrad said it’s important to let yourself mourn the relationship for at least a few days.
“Let yourself go and let yourself obsess over every little detail of the breakup and the relationship. You will need to do this for yourself. You will need to allow your mind to take it all in so that by the time you get back up on your feet, you know how you feel,” Conrad wrote on her website in 2013.“The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re going through this first phase is that you should only limit it to one weekend. If it is was a really long relationship, four days might be necessary.”
Taylor Swift revealed that time is the only real way a breakup seems less painful.
“And you know how it is when you’re going through heartbreak. A heartbroken person is unlike any other person. Their time moves at a completely different pace than ours. It’s this mental, physical, emotional ache and feeling so conflicted. Nothing distracts you from it. Then time passes, and the more you live your life and create new habits, you get used to not having a text message every morning saying, ‘Hello, beautiful. Good morning,'” she told Elle in 2015. “You get used to not calling someone at night to tell them how your day was. You replace these old habits with new habits, like texting your friends in a group chat all day and planning fun dinner parties and going out on adventures with your girlfriends, and then all of a sudden one day you’re in London and you realise you’ve been in the same place as your ex for two weeks and you’re fine. And you hope he’s fine.”
Jennifer Garner said she refused to see her split from Ben Affleck as a tragic event.
“This isn’t a tragedy by any measure, but it does affect me and my family and so, before my mum’s garden club lights up her phone, I wanted to set the record straight,” she wrote on Facebook in 2017 in response to report saying she was “heartbroken.”
Robert Pattinson said he found talking about his breakup with Kristen Stewart more difficult than actually ending their relationship.
“S— happens, you know? It’s just young people … it’s normal! And honestly, who gives a shit?” he told Esquire UK in 2014. “The hardest part was talking about it afterward. Because when you talk about other people, it affects them in ways you can’t predict.”
Ryan Reynolds said he saw his divorce from Scarlett Johansson as a wake up call.
“Anyone who gets divorced goes through a lot of pain, but you come out of it. I’m not out of it yet. At all. But I sense that as I do come through it, there’s optimism,” Reynolds told Details in 2011. “How can there not be? I don’t think I want to get married again, but you always reevaluate these things. Any kind of crisis can be good. It wakes you up. I gotta say, I’m a different person than I was six months ago.”
Nicole Kidman called her divorce from Tom Cruise a “shock” to her system.
“I thought our life together was perfect,” Kidman told DuJour magazine in 2014, adding, “It took me a very long time to heal. It was a shock to my system.”
Amy Poehler said that knowing heartbreak is universal doesn’t make it any less painful.
“When you are a person going through a divorce you feel incredibly alone, yet you are constantly reminded by society of how frequently divorce happens and how common it has become. You aren’t allowed to feel special, but no one knows the specific ways you are in pain,” Poehler wrote of her divorce from Will Arnett in her 2014 memoir “Yes Please.”
Jennifer Lopez said she felt like a failure after her divorce from Marc Anthony.
“There’s no pain or failure like going through a divorce. That hope, that dream, that fairytale, with that first time that dream gets blown to pieces, you feel like you’re going to die. You feel like you failed. You feel like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t make it work,” Lopez said in the 2015 HBO Documentary “Jennifer Lopez: Dance Again.”
Jessica Simpson compared her divorce from Nick Lachey to a “death in the family.”
“It was hard to imagine I would ever walk down the aisle again. It was like a death in the family: You go through the mourning stage, then the rebellion, and then all of a sudden you have to find life by yourself. Once you do that, you feel complete – and that’s the only time you can truly fall in love again, and give yourself over completely to another person,” Simpson told Glamour in 2009.
Madonna said she focused on her work in order to get through her divorce from Guy Ritchie.
“What can I say? It was a challenging year,” Madonna told Rolling Stone in 2009. “I think work saved me, and I’m very grateful that I had work to do. I may have thrown myself off a building. Life is an adjustment. It’s different. My sons aren’t with me right now, they’re with their father, and I’m not comfortable with the idea of my children not living together.”
Jenny Slate called the end of her marriage the “destruction of a belief system.”
“Even though we had an amicable divorce, I think that’s still something that you need to mourn. When you get separated from somebody that you actually care about, it is the destruction of a belief system. That is really, really sad,” Slate told Vulture in 2017.
Elisabeth Moss said she grew to see her divorce from Fred Armisen as for the best.
“Looking back, I feel like I was really young, and at the time I didn’t think that I was that young,” Moss told Vulture in 2014. “It was extremely traumatic and awful and horrible. At the same time, it turned out for the best. I’m glad that I’m not there. I’m glad that it didn’t happen when I was 50. I’m glad I didn’t have kids. And I got that out of the way. Hopefully. Like, that’s probably not going to happen again.”
Beyonce said she used all the heartbreak in her life as a chance to learn and grow.
“I have experienced betrayals and heartbreaks in many forms,” she continues. “I have had disappointments in business partnerships as well as personal ones, and they all left me feeling neglected, lost, and vulnerable. Through it all, I have learned to laugh and cry and grow. I look at the woman I was in my 20s and I see a young lady growing into confidence but intent on pleasing everyone around her. I now feel so much more beautiful, so much sexier, so much more interesting. And so much more powerful,” she told Vogue in 2018.
Sam Smith said that even when relationships end amicably, it can still be difficult to process.
“I’m still trying to figure out what I took from that relationship and what it meant to me,” Smith told The Times in 2018 of his relationship with actor Brandon Flynn. “It’s still quite raw.”
He added, “Brandon was wonderful. All my relationships have ended in a nice way, never nasty.”
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