I BELIEVE it was the rapper Jay "Sean Carter" Z who put it best when he said, "If you having girl problems, I feel bad for you, son. Empathy is important and I'm here for you if you need me."

Your boy had girl problems recently, and when your boy has girl problems, your boy tries to learn something from those girl problems. (Your boy apologizes for referring to himself as "your boy," and your boy realizes it's probably lost your boy any sympathy your boy may have received regarding your boy's breakup.)

Splitting up is heart-pulverizing, foundation-crumbling, reality-distorting barge garbage—but it can be valuable, too. Last breakup, I learned the importance of severing social media connections with an ex in the interest of sanity, and now I do that. It isn't natural to maintain that much contact with an ex, even if it's just in the form of tweets.

That shit never used to happen. Twenty years ago you'd get dumped, and then you'd see your ex like once, three months later, at a Sears or whatever. Just you, an aisle full of tires, and Diane. Get out of here, Diane! You never even went to Sears before we dated! (Is anyone still named Diane?)

This breakup, I learned there are benefits to being brokenhearted, and being in a soupy muck of despair. Sadness isn't all that rare, but that true earned sadness, that thick shit, that's a little more rare—and the breakup version of that sadness is the lowest stakes version. (Death, illness, Taco Bell fucking up your order and not putting your burrito in the bag and none of your friends are willing to share their Taco Bell and also you're stoned: These are examples of high-stakes sadness.)

Here's an example of using breakup sadness to your advantage: I live alone, and I'm also a coward, so when I hear a noise outside my house, I immediately assume it's a person showing up to murder me. In the thick of my depression, I didn't worry about someone breaking into my house to kill me when I heard a noise outside. I just stayed in bed whispering, "Get in here—you think you can hurt me worse than she did?"

The other (real) benefit of the breakup was that music all of a sudden got way better. Listening to music when you're happy is fine, but it's all just a bunch of blasting Blink-182 with your windows down, shouting "Slurpees forever!" at the top of your lungs while the sun is perpetually setting at the end of a perfect day.

When you're sad, music means more. It pries you open. Being sad can make you hear a song differently, even if you've heard it a million times. You could be sitting in your car, weeping, and a song will come on the radio that you've sat through countless times, but halfway through it you'll be struck. "Oh my god, he's right—I might as well be walking on the sun!"

Without heartbreak, you'd never have that moment. I've got 99 problems, and I'm just gonna sit with them for a while. @IanKarmel