Throw yourself a breakup dinner. Believe me.

After a breakup ruined my life, I thought I should grow bangs. Or buy a one-way ticket to Bali, or at least go straight to the club and make out with the first available guy in sight. Instead, I threw a dinner party and I think you should too.

At first, things were...bad. I cried in front of three real estate agents, feeling like a wobbly, confused deer. Desperate for something solid to hold on to, I took all the advice, found a therapist, kept a journal, tracked breakup influencers, and started reading too deeply into my zodiac sign—almost everything It’s all too in-depth. I needed a way forward, a sign that everything would be okay. After a week of being single, I was flipping through Alison Roman's cookbook , Nothing Fancy , when one of the pages caught my eye.

In a note titled "When Things Go Bad," Roman recommends "embracing the chaos, laughing, and trying to have a good time no matter what." Here, she's referring to things like over-cooked brisket slow disaster. Yet, in my fragile state, this became profound wisdom applicable to all of life’s difficulties. Embrace the chaos! laugh! Anyway, have fun! challenge accepted.

Alison Roman recommends "Embrace the chaos, laugh, and try to have a good time no matter what."

I invited a group of friends that Saturday night. I chose five recipes from my new bible: labneh with sizzling scallions and chile; citrus-infused olives; sticky walnuts toasted with sesame and sumac; a little gem salad sprinkled with garlic, pistachios and lemon zest; eagle Coconut chicken stew in a sea of ​​beans and spices. I cleared the apartment of two weeks of gloom. Turns out, preparing a feast and transforming your home into a livable place is quite a job! No time to wallow. Instead, you have to set out cute old-fashioned glassware and vacuum the cat hair away. Chop. It feels good to be productive again.

Objectively speaking, I looked terrible that night: dark circles, dull skin, limp hair. (Maybe I really needed that haircut.) But to get into the festive mood, I put on gold eyeshadow and threw on a trendy party dress. Minutes before people arrived, I hid a pair of video game controllers I'd left under the couch and queued up an Ariana Grande playlist. The stage has been set.

My favorite person walks in with pecan pie and champagne, a tight hug and the assurance that, yes, absolutely, one day, everything is going to be okay. A friend took away the kitchen chair my ex sat on when he said “we need to talk” and deleted two years of photos from the favorites folder of my camera roll. Another burning saint.

Westend61/Westend61/Getty Images

A few things didn't go well that night - I burned the walnuts and ran out of utensils - however, following Roman's instructions, we still had a great time. There's juicy celebrity gossip, plenty of wine, and enough scented candles to mimic a fragrant séance. My friend danced around the living room holding my cat. I took a video that has always been in one of my favorite folders: panning the table and exclaiming, “Look at my friends! ” It was so humbling to be surrounded by so much love after a painful two weeks. People are happy.

This isn't the first time they've given me a boost lately. They listened to me vent, sent flowers, and slept next to me when my bed was too big for just one person. But this is crisis mode. This was different: a night away from sadness, a celebration of the beginning of a new era, and a reminder that I was never truly alone. It wasn’t a completely clean escape (the salad bowl was a housewarming gift from my ex’s mother), but it was joyful nonetheless.

One meal won't solve everything, but it's a start. Ultimately, I feel like myself again, just more resilient, more grateful for the people in my life, and better at toasting walnuts.