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The break-up app that will help you get over your ex

Relationship columnist Zoë Foster Blake wants you to wash that ex right out of your hair

Is there anything worse than the suffocating, crying-your-eyes-out heartache of a break-up? In a post-dumped state, even the best of us forget how to live like a normal human being, instead eating peanut butter with a spoon and obsessively stalking the social media accounts of our suddenly perfect ex.

Author and relationship guru Zoë Foster Blake believes she can make your drunk texts and general misery a thing of the past with an app. Yes, an app. Break-Up Boss was launched in March 2017, and according to the website is a ‘teeny-weeny pocket coach’ giving you all the tools, techniques, and advice you need to survive your break-up. This year, Foster Blake is even launching a waterproof (i.e. tear-proof) version, aka a book.

“I have been writing relationship stuff for a decade”, Foster Blake tells Dazed, “and most of the people writing to me are about to be in, or are already in a break-up. Nothing simple and straightforward on the topic existed. And it should.”

Although initially intended as a book, Foster Blake found the idea of an app more accessible, particularly for young brokenhearted women who “live on their phone.” 

The app offers a spinning wheel of emotion from which you identify your current feeling (an example: ‘WTF JUST HAPPENED’) and are then offered four choices (‘I’m panicking. I’m properly panicking!’). This is followed by a very hilarious advice column that will undoubtedly cheer you up – at least for a moment. You can then rinse and repeat until you have washed that ex right out of your hair.

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One of the most effective qualities of the app seems to be the ‘text to ex’ function, with one anonymous reviewer describing it as an “incredible idea”. After one too many Red Stripes, instead of locking yourself in the bathroom and ending up a miserable meme on @textsfromyourex, you can text the app instead. You just type your ex’s name into the fake message page on the app – don’t panic, it doesn’t add the number – and go well and truly in without a regret-hangover the next day. The anon reviewer continued: “After expressing all my rage I felt a lot better.”

Aside from the interactive element, the book is exactly the same as the app. “Some people will always just prefer a book”, Foster Blake explains, “You can hold it, and write notes in it, and loan it to Darlene next door when her boyfriend leaves her for her cousin.”

So, does Break-Up Boss actually work? “Yeah hugely!” 24-year-old app user Sophie Samuelson-Powell tells Dazed. Despite being the one doing the dumping, she still found solace in Foster Blake’s advice: “The app recognises that just because you weren’t on the receiving end of the break-up, you can still be totally miserable, even if it was the right choice. It stopped me from confusing unhappiness that came with the life change with unhappiness because I’d made a mistake.”

Foster Blake’s app has come at a time when life-tool applications are increasing (your phone can even be used as a form of contraception), and continues a conversation around our reliance on technology. We’re reaching the stage where people are living out entire relationships online – you can meet, get to know, and dump someone all from the comfort of your 8am train to work, and be using Break-Up Boss to get over it by the time you board the 6pm train home.

But Foster Blake is optimistic about the prevalence of apps, “They can inspire you to exercise, meditate, eat and sleep better, heal your broken heart. And they’re just going to get better.”

The ubiquity of social media definitely makes it a million times harder to get over a break-up, but not all tech is bad for you. If texting your burning rage to an app makes you feel better then go for it, and if not, then maybe the book is a satisfying alternative for heartbroken traditionalists.

Break-Up Boss will be published on 30 April 2018 by Penguin, and the app can be downloaded from the app store now.