7 Things That Helped This Single Dad Feel Whole Again Post-Split

By Brittany Wong

John McElhenney's outlook on life after divorce is pretty simple: Upward and onward. Of course there were some emotional moments during the process, but once he worked through his initial grief, the single dad tried to set his mind on regrouping and feeling whole again, if only for his kids' sake.

Below, McElhenney, who blogs about single parent life at The Whole Parent, shares seven things that helped him cope with stress during the hardest moments of his split.

The Album

"Radiohead’s 'In Rainbows' kept me sane throughout the final two months of our co-habitation, after we’d agreed to divorce. Absolutely amazing songs on that album. From 'House of Cards' to 'All I Need,' there's definitely some very divorce-oriented content on it. I even recorded the song 'Last Flowers' with my band Buzzie."

The Note

"This love note from my son made all the difference in the world to me. My favorite line? 'The feeling that you are still a kid inside.'"

The Hobby

"I jumped back into tennis in addition to long walks around the lake. Physical exercise is one of the best therapies. And when you’re exhausted you sleep better."

The TV Show

"Deep in the throws of the sadness and aloneness I binge-watched 'LOST.' Pretty women and men trying to survive a disaster. Yeah, the metaphor fit."

The Book

"I read the entire Percy Jackson series with my son. I was lost in the battles and swift writing. And it was great that we could share our love of these books."

The Second Job

"My singer-songwriter persona had been squeezed out by the demands of parenting. After we split, I brought my guitars back into the living room and started recording and playing live music again."

The Blog

"I started a blog called The Whole Parent. I try to show that single parenthood can 100 percent be a positive experience for people. Divorce is rough. You need to look at it this way: How can I make divorce a positive life transition instead of a negative one?'"