Have you experienced your worst breakup, yet? Or you’re just in the mood to listen to breakup songs while in quarantine? Hello, everyone. I hope everything is well with you and your loved ones. Today’s blog post is a little biased and personal. Presenting my 10 best breakup songs that will help you get through your worst breakup.
Honestly, you can enjoy listening to these songs even if you haven’t experienced anything similar to a breakup.
Ready for the irony?
A study conducted byTaruffi & Koelsch (2014) showed that listening to sad music is not depressing at all. In fact, the most frequent emotion evoked was nostalgia, which is a bittersweet emotion — it’s more complex and it’s partly positive,” Taruffi said. “This helps explain why sad music is appealing and pleasurable for people.”
Moreover, the study covers the paradox of “Real” and music-evoked sadness. The study also states that…
…music-evoked sadness is often not immediately linked to a sad extra-musical event, thus allowing the listener to take pleasure in so-called negative emotions. This component of music-evoked sadness (the lack of “real-life” implications) differentiates our experience of music-evoked sadness from “everyday” sadness. – Taruffi & Koelsch (2014)
So without further adieu, let’s jump right into this list of best breakup songs that will help you get over your worst breakup (or not).
10 Best Breakup Songs that will help get over your worst breakup
1. Come Pick Me Up (Ryan Adams)
Controversies aside, I discovered Ryan Adams through a mixed tape (in CD form) from my college professor. The song was The Rescue Blues. I was even thrilled to find out that he married Mandy Moore.
Again, controversies aside, look at how beautiful these lines are
When you’re walking downtown
Do you wish I was there
Do you wish it was me
With the windows clear
And the mannequins eyes
Do they all look like mine
2. Untouchable Face (Ani Difranco)
I discovered Ani Difranco on Spotify (wuvwuv) and fell in love with her music as well as her advocacies on cultural and political organizations supporting causes including abortion rights and LGBT visibility.
Look at how bitter and angry these lyrics are.
Tell you the truth I prefer the worst of you
Too bad you had to have a better half
She’s not really my type
But I think you two are forever
And I hate to say it, but you’re perfect together
3. I Want You (Fiona Apple and Elvis Costello)
Fiona Apple did a brilliant cover version of the song. But the original is just as haunting and bittersweet.
I want you
The truth can’t hurt you it’s just like the dark
It scares you witless
But in time you see things clear and stark
4. Missing (Everything But The Girl)
This song is from their album Amplified Heart, which is my favorite.
I step off the train
I’m walking down your street again
And past your door, but you don’t live there anymore
It’s years since you’ve been there
Now you’ve disappeared somewhere, like outer space
You’ve found some better place
5. Somebody That I Used to Know (Gotye feat. Kimbra)
It’s impossible not to include this on our best breakup songs list. A lot of people say Gotye is a one-hit-wonder. I don’t mind at all. This is song is going to be on everyone’s best breakup songs playlist whether you like it or not. It’s timeless. It will remind you so much of how old you’ve become.
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough
No, you didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
6. Pile Up (She Keeps Bees)
What is worst than the worst breakup? Returning gifts. Yeah, this song just reminded us of how awkward that is.
I wanna recount all the gifts I gave
I wanna recount all the gifts you gave
Take ‘em to a field and pile em up we’re gonna see which one is bigger, bigger than the other
7. I can’t make you love me (Bonnie Raitt, cover by Bon Iver)
The original version by Bonnie Raitt is just as heartbreaking as this cover. But what made it stand out is the piano arrangement.
‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
8. Say It To Me Now (Glen Hansard)
If you haven’t seen the movie Once, bookmark this blog post, come back later, and watch it STAT. The movie is not your typical Hollywood cliche. It’s about music, unrequited love, and believing in yourself.
Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova were brilliant in this movie. No wonder they won the Oscars for Best Original Song. Say it to me now is one of the songs featured in the movie.
‘Cause this is what you’ve waited for
A chance to even up the score
And as these shadows fall on me now
I will somehow,
9. Tears Dry on Their Own (Amy Winehouse)
Amy Winehouse made me revisit jazz music. Such great talent. I miss her terribly.
All I can ever be to you is a darkness that we knew
And this regret I got accustomed to
Once it was so right
When we were at our height
Waiting for you in the hotel at night
I knew I hadn’t met my match
But every moment we could snatch
I don’t know why I got so attached
It’s my responsibility
You don’t owe nothing to me
But to walk away, I have no capacity
10. New York (St. Vincent)
This song was released by Annie Clark a.k.a St. Vincent in 2017 on her fifth studio album Masseduction. She even released piano versions of the album tracks, a more mellow vibe compared to her previous albums. For me, this is her best studio album to date.
I have lost a hero
I have lost a friend
But for you, darling
I’d do it all again
Dancing on My Own (Robyn)
If you are a 90’s kid, it’s hard to miss Robyn. She is a Swedish singer-songwriter, DJ, and producer. I’m sure you came across her 1997 hit song Show Me Love. Dancing on my own is a more mature take on a love that disappeared. I love how Robyn has grown over the years. It definitely shows in her music.
So far away, but still so near
The lights come up, the music dies
But you don’t see me standing here
I just came, to say goodbye
After You’ve Gone (Turner Layton, cover Fiona Apple)
After You’ve Gone is a 1918 classic by Marion Harris. This song has a lot of nice covers including the onces by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Hugh Laurie. But this one by Fiona Apple is my favorite.
There’ll come a time
Now don’t forget it
There’ll come a time
When you’ll regret it
When you grow lonely
Your heat will break like mine
And you’ll want me only
After you’ve gone
After you’ve gone away
There you have it. My 10 best breakup songs that will help you get over your worst breakup.
Which one is your favorite?
What else did I miss?
Let me know in the comments.