Relationships and finding love are not easy, especially in his day and age with hook-up culture being the norm. Lately, it seems like something is in the air with everyone having their heart broken by a girl or guy, at least in my current experience. Take Olivia Rodriguez for example; she practically has the whole world crying to her song about having her heartbroken. Having a broken heart doesn't always involve romance either; it could be a friend, a family member, or a missed opportunity that broke your heart. Anyway, if you thought "Driver's License" was a tear-jerker, give these songs a try. Sometimes it seems counterproductive to listen to sad music when you are already sad, but I also think we all have to let out the negative emotions we feel rather than push them away, and these songs really allow you to embrace those feelings.
1. "Somebody Else" - The 1975
Starting off, we have one of the greatest songs of the decade, at least in my opinion. This song is a heartbreaking masterpiece. Matty sings of the horrible moment when you realize an ex or past lover has moved on to be with someone else, and meanwhile you still miss them. It's truly one of the worst feelings when you cannot get over someone as fast as they got over you. Jealousy, sadness, loneliness, and bitterness all perfectly describe the feelings this song displays. Although, if you watch the music video, the song could also be deeper interpreted as the struggle with gender identity.
2. "Liability" - Lorde
This song is a pretty close contender for one of the most gut-wrenching songs I have ever heard. The number of times I have cried to this song is unreal. Lorde sings about the heartbreak of being too much for people to handle, so much so that they all leave her. "Liability" is one of those songs that you cry to, late at night when you are alone, laying in bed. The lyrics make it easy to think of anyone who has ever made you feel like a problem; it could be a significant other, a friend, friend group, family member, or anyone else.
3. "Slipped" - The National
The National is the perfect band with melancholy music for when you are feeling sad. This song in particular is about how the singer is in the place where a past relationship took place and is trying his hardest not to slip back into the sadness of the past heartbreak. He can't stop going back through his relationship to try and figure out what went wrong and what could have been if the relationship had lasted. It's a great song to listen to when going through the grief of a break-up. Nearly everyone has experienced the sadness of going to a place that reminds you of someone from a past relationship.
4. "Better Man" - Little Big Town
If you're looking for a song to belt out in sad anger about that boy who broke your heart, here is the song for you! One of the most frustrating feelings in the world is missing someone who you know you are better off without. However it's totally normal to miss someone whom you had a long relationship with! It hurts to wonder what could have been if the person had just been a better person or if things had gone a little bit differently. This song allows you to get all of that sadness and frustration off of your chest.
5. "Hold Me While You Wait" - Lewis Capaldi
Here's another one to belt out in the shower, the car, or honestly wherever you want. This song is about the uncertainty of a relationship when one person feels like they want to end it and the other person feels blindsided. It's never easy when you find out your significant other suddenly wants to end things. That shock can leave you feeling inadequate and desperate to hang onto the relationship. Capaldi's vocals and emotion make this song absolutely heartbreaking.
6. "Sandcastles" - Beyonce
Wow this song give me chills. You can hear the raw pain and emotion in Beyonce's voice as she sings about her broken relationship with her cheating husband. I absolutely love the metaphor of their love being a sandcastle; it was built up so high only to be shattered and washed away with a single wave of heartbreak and infidelity. Anyone who has tried to work through a broken relationship will find that this song is extremely relatable and heart-wrenching.
7. "Everybody Loves You" - The Chicks
This song is incredibly heartbreaking to me. The lyrics tell the story of someone who ended a toxic relationship with a person who is constantly receiving praise from others, and you can't for the life of you understand why. It reminds me of the kind of situation where you dated someone who became close with your friend group or who is part of your friend group, and therefore you have to watch all of your close friends having fun and laughing with your ex, even though they know that he or she hurt you. For anyone who has ever been in an abusive relationship, I think this song is especially chilling. It is traumatizing and hurtful to see someone who hurt you receiving all kinds of love from others.
8. "Don't Call Me At All" - Flatsound
Quiet, melancholy, and cold are the words I would use to describe this song. This song seems to be about the pain of unrequited love, but I honestly think that it fits for a break-up as well. The singer struggles with the idea of not being good enough for the person he has feelings for and becomes frustrated by his own failure to tell the person how he felt. "Don't Call Me At All" feels and sounds like pure loneliness in the cold of winter.
9. "I Can't Make You Love Me" - Bon Iver (cover version)
I get instant chills, every single time I hear this song, and to be clear I mean this version of this song. Bonnie Raitt's version is the original, but Bon Iver's cover take it to a completely different level of heart break and sorrow. Justin Vernon's voice is enough to make a grown man cry. The lyrics about unrequited love cut deep and just about everyone can relate to feeling this way at some point in their life. Little middle school me used to listen to this song when thinking about my crush and to this day I still relate to this song in my life. Wishing that someone loved you when you know that they don't is so incredibly painful. The hurt that this song holds is timeless and tragically beautiful.
10. "Falling" - Harry Styles
Yes, even Harry Styles has had his heartbroken and this song certainly holds the proof. In this song, Harry talks about his fear of losing himself within a painful breakup and not knowing how to find himself again. He fears that without the person he was in a relationship with, he will become lost and not know himself or his purpose anymore. It is incredibly sad and also relatable for anyone who is going through a breakup with someone whose world they revolved around.
11. "Running For Cover" - Noah Gundersen
Noah Gundersen's sad songs always make me so emotional and teary-eyed. This song in particular is about a failing relationship on the edge of breaking. He describes how the couple are running for cover from the war that seems to be going on within their relationship and that they can't seem to escape the danger that is coming. At least for me, this is one of those songs that I listen to more for the sad sound of it rather than the lyrical content. Either way, it is a heartbreaking tune.
12. "Illicit Affairs" - Taylor Swift
There are several Taylor Swift songs I could have chosen, but I felt like "Illicit Affairs" deserved to be on this list. Although it takes on a somewhat different perspective on heartbreak, I like its unique point of view and think that it is a beautiful song for anyone who has been in this position. It comes from the perspective of the girl who was the "other woman" in a relationship where the man was cheating on his girlfriend. If you think about it, I think a lot more girls can understand this point of view than we may think. It seems like nowadays so many men and women cheat and loyalty is rare. Getting cheated on is extremely painful, but being the girl who finds out that their man actually has a secret girlfriend is just as painful. No one wants to be the home wrecker, especially without knowing you're the home wrecker. It leaves you feeling stupid, used, and confused, which Swift perfectly describes in this song.
13. "Sucks To Be You" - SAINt JHN
I am currently obsessed with this song as well as SAINt JHN's music overall. This song isn't exactly about just heartbreak, but it is about how he had people tell him that they believed in him, only to turn their backs on him. SAINt JHN seems to be singing about a woman who gave up on him when he was struggling financially and now he is showing her what she is missing out on. I love the chorus and it feels good to belt out the lyrics when you are going through a heartbreak. It's a reminder that although you would've loved them so greatly, you ultimately deserve better and they're the ones who should be feeling regretful.
14. "Be My Mistake" - The 1975
God this song breaks my heart. Matty hauntingly sings about having a one night stand with a woman in an attempt to feel something again after a painful breakup. As he beautifully sings, you can feel the pain and loneliness in his voice. This song has brought tears to my eyes several times because it is so relatable. Everyone wants to feel loved and sometimes in moments of weakness we all settle for a person who isn't who we really want. I absolutely love this song for its emotion.
15. "Tell Me How" - Paramore
Hayley Williams wrote this song about her several bandmates who left and caused problems for Paramore, but it also relates heavily to the feeling after a breakup or lost friendship. When you breakup with someone or end a friendship, it is one of the strangest and emptiest feelings. You went through so much together and you learned the ins and outs of each others minds only to end up so far apart. It's like you give someone all of yourself and you share all these memories with them only to completely end it one day . Endings like this can leave you feeling confused about how to feel about that person, and that feeling is perfectly detailed in this song.
16. "Dead in the Water" - Ellie Goulding
I have always found this song to be so haunting and it sounds exactly like the title describe: drowning underwater. Although Goulding wrote this song pretty literally about being lost at sea, it has an underlying meaning about a crumbling relationship. It can be seen as a metaphor for one person in the relationship feeling lost and unhappy in their relationship, wondering why the other person can't see their unhappiness. The feeling of impending doom is heavily carried throughout this song, hinting towards the end of a relationship where the couple has lost love for one another and wondering where that love went.
17. "Wrong Direction" - Hailee Steinfeld
This song is a classic breakup song but it is so painful. The lyrics are so familiar for anyone who has been with a person who puts on a front of being kind and caring only to turn out to be a total douchebag. It's one of the most confusing feelings when you are manipulated and start to feel crazy about trusting someone. When someone ends up being a completely different person than what you originally thought, it's easy to feel like a fool for ever loving them, and Steinfeld perfectly describes that feeling.
18. "Okay" - Augustana
Coming from a different perspective, "Okay" by Augustana is about losing someone in a relationship due to your own mistakes. Breakups are difficult and painful on both sides, and it is definitely not easy to sit back and admit your own failures within a romance. Sometimes you really did make mistakes that caused the end of the relationship, and other times that person manipulated you into thinking you're just not good enough for them because of your flaws. In my opinion, this song could be from either point of view.
19. "Last Kiss" - Taylor Swift
Like I said earlier, I could put about a hundred amazing Taylor Swift songs on this list, but "Last Kiss" is so, so gut-wrenching that I had to include it. Some may hate me for this, but I find this song to be even sadder than "All Too Well." The lyrics brilliantly detail the feelings of looking back through the happy times in a relationship, only to have those memories make you feel sad because they are over. This song is the lonely, lost feeling you have after a relationship suddenly ends and you don't know what you are supposed to do with yourself without that person.
20. "ghostin" - Arianna Grande
When I first heard this song, I had chills, mainly because the backstory is so heartbreaking. Most of us know by now that this song is about Grande's past love with Mac Miller who passed away in 2018, which makes this song incredibly haunting and chilling. If you ever want a good cry because you miss someone, this is your song. Grande sings about struggling to be in her current relationship while grieving over the loss of someone she deeply cared about in the past. I think this song is beautiful, but man is it so incredibly sad.
If you're going through a heartbreak of your own, I hope that you find these songs relatable and that they help you process your emotions. Just know that it will get better and that you will find someone better out there eventually! Everyone with a broken heart heals eventually, it just takes time.
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