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How to Get Over a Broken Heart… Go to New Orleans

Wherever you are in the slog of infidelity — in limbo, divorced, or draped over your furniture in despair — I have a cure for what ails you. Go to New Orleans.

New Orleans is the one magical place on this planet that celebrates destruction and rebirth. Hell, they have a jazz band named for it. The Rebirth Brass Band. In New Orleans they DANCE at funerals, stomp on coffins, and second line your soul home with a full horn accompaniment.

What I love about New Orleans, and what I hope informs this blog and your life after infidelity — is that in New Orleans, they are defiant in the face of grief. They don’t let this shit kill them. Hurricanes may try and wipe them out, but they will rebuild. New Orleans has made Getting Over It a holy art form. (Oh hey, they’ve got a song for that too, Irma Thomas’s Done Got Over.)

New Orleans holds a special place in my heart too, because that is where I met my husband. Life after destruction is a pretty good metaphor for the two of us. We met at Jazzfest in 2009, in front of Solomon Burke, the world’s sexiest 400-lb man in a shiny purple suit crooning “Cry to Me.” My husband had just divorced after 22 years of marriage to a serial cheater (had no idea, and divorced immediately, but of course was left wondering if his entire life had been an episode of the Matrix ). I was also divorced from a serial cheater.

We drank hurricanes, ate oysters, danced around like idiots and fell in love. This week we’re driving to New Orleans to celebrate our second wedding anniversary.

Before you consider going on Prozac, consider going on an adventure instead. I’m not saying you’ll find a new spouse in New Orleans, but you will find a coffin to dance on. And you’ll feel a hell of lot better.


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  • I went to New Orleans last summer by myself. First time I had travelled alone and it was the best thing I have ever done. I loved the city and plan to return and plan to take solo trips to other places as well.

    • Yea! Great for you! New Orleans is a pretty winning combination of happy — great music, great food, great architecture and history, great people. We’re hooked on the HBO series Treme over here. Great show about NoLa post-Katrina if you haven’t seen it.

  • What if you LIVE in New Orleans?

    Working my way through your posts, and got to this one. I’m so glad this city gave you such an amazing gift. It is a special place, indeed. And a wonderful suggestion to everyone else!

    • If you live in New Orleans you’re a lucky woman indeed! How could you help but heal when you can go to dba every Saturday and hear John Boutte sing? Or eat fried oysters? Or stuff your gob with beignets whenever you want to? I love, love, LOVE New Orleans! And I’m happy to give it a shout out whenever I can. Welcome to CL, nolagirl!

    • emily,
      Nola is most definitely safe for single women. Use the same common sense you would in any large city (i.e. Don’t wander around untraveled streets alone in the wee hours of the morning), and you will be fine. Come see us and enjoy!

  • I too went to New Orleans with some girlfriends a few months after I told my husband to move out. I had the best time, especially from all the attention I received – it was a much-needed ego boost from the previous train wreck year. Everyone should do it, thank you for sharing!

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