My 30-Day Divorce Detox

By Jackie Pilossoph, Creator and Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling site, podcast and app, Love Essentially columnist and author

Today is February 2nd-just over a month into 2016. The novelty of the new year has probably worn off, with many of our new year’s resolutions already broken. But that’s OK! The way I see it, the dreary darkness of winter is the perfect time to give yourself a detox.


I’m not talking about a health food detox to cleanse your organs. That’s not my field. I’ll leave that to Karen Malkin or Carolyn Collins. I’m talking about sharing my 30-day divorce detox with you: a cleansing of the soul, perhaps, that I think could help you on your road to inner peace, acceptance, and of course, hope.


So, for the next month, see if you can complete this 30-day divorce detox. I want to point out that not everything on here is for everyone. So, if there is something you don’t feel comfortable with, skip it.


The Divorced Girl Smiling 30-Day Divorce Detox

Before I get into the specifics of every day, there are a couple things you should do EVERY DAY during your divorce detox:


  • Drink 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Get some form of physical exercise daily. If you don’t consider yourself a “workout person” I’m not saying you have to start hitting the gym hard core. Whether you do an hour yoga class, a strength class, a 30 minute cardio blast, or some lunges and arm circles in your home for 15 minutes, at least do something. “Any amount of exercise is better than no exercise.” – recently saw that quote somewhere and it really motivated me. I think I’ve worked out every single day since. Even the days I don’t go to the gym, I do a little something in my living room. You will be surprised at the effect it will have on you, both physically and mentally.
  • Aim for 7-8 hours sleep a night.
  • Sign up for “The Skimm” and read it every morning. It seriously takes less than 3 minutes and you will be up on the latest news headlines.
  • Read the Serenity Prayer. This takes 20 seconds or less.


* Also, during the detox, try to minimize alcohol.


Day 1: Clean out a closet or drawer. Just pick one. Only one. Throw away or donate un-needed items.


Day 2: Choose a platonic old friend and send him or her a Facebook message, text or call to reconnect. Say, “I’ve been thinking about you and hoping you are great.”


Day 3: Go to your favorite candy store and buy yourself a present. (Make sure it’s not too large of a quantity.)


Day 4: Call a babysitter. Then call a girlfriend or platonic male friend and make a dinner date at a really nice restaurant.


Day 5: Call 5 friends and tell them you are ready to date, and ask them if they know anyone.



Day 6: Call someone to whom you know deep down you owe an apology. It’s scary, but just do it!


Day 7: Go through your clothes closet and separate the clothes you haven’t worn in the past 12 months. Take these and put them in another closet. If you miss them, you can always bring them back, but trust me, you won’t. If you don’t go get them in 6 months, donate all of them.


Day 8: Do a yoga class. If you already do yoga, ask someone in your class if she wants to have coffee or tea with you.


Day 9: Give each of your children a really nice card, handwritten, telling them how proud you are and how much you love and care for them. If you don’t have kids, you can write to anyone-your parents, your sister, even a close friend.


Day 10: Buy yourself a nice plant and take care of it.


Day 11: Take out a piece of paper (or word doc on computer) and write: “What I want in life” Underline it. Then start listing what you want. Leave nothing out.


Day 12: Go to your place of worship and talk to God. The time you spend doesn’t matter. It could be 5 minutes or an hour. If you don’t have a place of worship, do it in your living room.


Day 13: Get a recommendation for a good romance novel from someone you trust, buy the book (or get from the library) and begin reading it. Make yourself finish it.


Day 14: Email your kids’ teachers and tell them how much you appreciate them.


Day 15: Donate some winter jackets that you don’t wear or that your kids have grown out of.


Day 16: Bake cookies with your kids. So what if they are older. And, if you don’t have any kids, bake cookies for yourself. Bring some over to your neighbor.


Day 17: Go through your jewelry box and start wearing a necklace, ring or bracelet from a long time ago—something that you remember wearing during a happy time in your life.



Day 18: Clean out your car! Get rid of all gum stuck to the seats and garbage on the floor. Also, get a carwash.


Day 19: Look online for three jokes. Copy and paste them, and tell them to 5 people.


Day 20: Bring in bagels to the people in your office. When someone asks why you did it, just say, “Because I appreciate all of you.”


Day 21: Buy a new lipstick color and wear it every day. Make sure it’s bright.


Day 22: Schedule a time to volunteer. Pick any cause you want.


Day 23: Take a bath. Have candles lit and soft music if you’d like. Do not get out for at least 45 minutes.


Day 24: Go through your kids’ old art projects. Keep the meaningful ones, get rid of clutter (come on, you don’t need to save every single one) and frame a few pieces.


Day 25: Call someone who does a lot for you and just say “thank you.” Also ask, “Is there anything I can do for you?”


Day 26: Go through your underwear drawer and throw out all old underwear and granny panties. Also, get rid of stretched out bras. When shopping for new lingerie, please ask the salesperson for help. Trust me, she has seen it all. She won’t judge you and will be great in helping you choose undergarments that are practical yet pretty.


Day 27: Drink a cup of hot chocolate (or green tea) in front of your fireplace, while going through some old baby photos.


Day 28: Buy the person behind you in the Starbuck’s line a coffee.


Day 29: Pick a business you really like—a store, restaurant, carpet cleaner, dentist, etc. and give them a huge shout out on FB, twitter, instagram, linked in and other social media. Maybe even email a bunch of people. In other words, help them grow their business.


Day 30: Drink a glass of champagne with a girlfriend or two. Make a really good toast.


The thing is, you don’t have to do these in order. You can do one per day and cross it off your list of 30 if you’d like. Did you notice that not one thing on here has to do with HIM or your divorce attorney or even the past? That’s because this divorce detox is about doing things that precipitate self-love and happiness.

Let me know how you feel when you’re done!
Buy novels by Jackie Pilossoph


Want Financial Security After Divorce?
Take the quiz to get recommendations Join the DGS Club

Sign up for the Divorced Girl Smiling newsletter to get articles on divorce and dating.

Sign up

    Listen to the Divorced Girl Smiling podcast! a weekly show about divorce and dating Download the Divorced Girl Smiling mobile app


    The Center for Divorce Recovery
    Take the 2-minute quiz to get recommendations
    Joanne Litman - Eagle Strategies LLC
    Stagger, Stumble and Stand is an interactive, online divorce support course for women during the early stages of divorce.
    Jan Leasure - Mortgage Lender and Certified Divorce Lending Professional
    Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video
    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Divorced Girl Smiling is here to empower, connect and inspire you. Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling, the site, the podcast and the app. A former television journalist and newspaper features reporter, Pilossoph is also the author of four novels and the writer of her weekly relationship column, Love Essentially. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism and lives in Chicago with her two teenagers. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

    3 Responses to “My 30-Day Divorce Detox”

    1. Rosemond

      Great ideas for a detox! And love the power of just doing some sort of exercise everyday no matter what it is. And getting rid of the granny panties!!

    2. Miranda

      I absolutely love this list! I continue to return to it, year after year, when I need a good starting point for organizing my life. Do you have any other lists similar to this one?


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *