I don’t know about you, but some songs come on the radio catapulting me to the most painful moments in life. One of the most difficult things to survive is a breakup, especially if you weren’t the one who wanted it. Breakup songs can be both cathartic and inspirational, but there are times when they don’t do much but keep you stuck.
There is a time to wallow in your grief and pain, and a time to move on and pick up the pieces. The problem is if all you can do is sit and reminisce constantly, you need to turn off the music and get out more.
Breakup songs broken down by timing
These are the greatest breakup songs according to when you should listen to them, and when it is time to let the music die.
Get the “cry” out
These are the top 10 breakup songs that you want to listen to immediately to get the “cry” out.
#1 Nothing Compares to You – Sinead O’Brien. Nothing compares to you is an oldie but still a goodie. Everyone can relate to feeling like you just lost the best thing that you will ever have. When you first break up, you think about all the things you loved about someone and that you won’t have anymore.
“Nothing Compares to You” is about losing the one love of your life. After listening to this a couple of times, certainly, the tears will all dry up.
#2 Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd. Like someone taking a knife and driving it straight through your heart. When you hear those words, “I want to break up,” it literally takes your breath away. You go through stages of denial, thinking they will come back and that they still love you, all the way to the feeling of numbness.
This song is the song to listen to when you feel so bottomed out you can’t see the top. Maybe not truly a “breakup” song, when you break up “Comfortably Numb” has a whole new meaning.
#3 Let Her Cry – Hootie And The Blowfish. If you had a tumultuous relationship where you constantly tried to change someone as you watched them fall, but simply couldn’t save them from themselves, this is an excellent song. “Let Her Cry” is all about realizing you can’t change someone who doesn’t want to be changed. The perfect song if you had to let go because you had no other choice.
#4 Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths. When someone breaks up with you, and you aren’t ready, you would do almost anything not to feel that hollow sensation. There is a pleading that likely goes on either with them or you with your maker. This song is about just for once getting what you want, and that is not to break up for good.
#5 She’s Gone – Hall & Oates. If you have broken up many times, and they have always come back, but this time is different, only Hall & Oates can tell you how it is. Not many in the new generation remember this one, but it is a classic song to get it through your thick skull that she *or he* is gone, really gone “oh-ah.”
#6 Stay – Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko. How many times did you have to beg for the person you love not to leave? This is an excellent song for someone who gave it their all, but there was just no way to make it work.
“Stay” is all about pleading with another person to just stay and work things out. When you first break up, you believe there will be another chance to get it right. This song may help put a band aid on your heart to get you through.
#7 How to Save A Life – The Fray. Two people meeting in a library trying to communicate with each other while they both make excuses and know immediately that it isn’t going to work. It is the perfect breakup song for someone who feels like they did everything they possibly could to no avail.
If you want to hear a song to make you feel less culpable, this is the one. Save your own life by listening to the lyrics and giving yourself a break.
#8 Why Am I The One – Fun. If you have packed your bags about a thousand times on the road to breakup, this is the song for you. The guy singing it questions why if he is the one who believes in love, he is the one always packing up his stuff.
Probably thinking if he packed, his mate would take him seriously. Finally, he comes to the realization that he was trying to really get the courage to leave all along.
#9 I Alone – Live. If you feel as if the person truly never understood how much you loved them and that you would do anything in the world for them, this is the love song for you. Listen closely to the lyrics, you can’t convince someone you love them if they don’t feel it, nor can you make someone love you.
#10 She Will Be Loved – Maroon Five. If you think your broken heart won’t ever mend, this Maroon Five song is very cathartic. All about finding someone when you are damaged goods, it is a great song to replay over and over. Not only will it make you cry it out, it helps to get you to the next stage of breakup songs.
The recovery phase
These are the top ten breakup songs you listen to once the shock has worn off, the tears have been shed, and you are ready to move on.
#1 I’m A Survivor – Beyonce. There is a reason why we all love Beyonce. It is because she doesn’t take shit from anyone. A song about how she is going to not only survive, but thrive, “I’m A Survivor” gets you ramped up and ready to get back out there.
#2 I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor. There is a reason this song remains the feel-good song of every late hour event; it is all about how you can survive without someone. As soon as the sting of a broken heart wears off, there is the time where you just want to be angry, not in an “I want to hurt you way,” but as in “I can do better” way.
You may not hear many guys singing the words out loud, but every girl in the room who has ever been dumped will be singing it loud and singing it proud.
#3 Someone Like You – Adele. There are a million fish in the sea *technically billions*. The reality is that there will be someone else to come along who you are better suited for. Use the words of this song to remind yourself that next time you are going to find someone with the things you did like about your ex, but without the things you didn’t.
#4 Heartless – Kanye West. If they were heartless at the end, this is one of those perfect breakup songs to remember all the things they did. Sometimes to get past a breakup, you have to listen to those songs that remind you of what a total jerk your ex was.
#5 Gives You Hell – The All-American Rejects. If you know you were the best thing that your ex ever had, “Gives you Hell” is the best breakup song ever. Imagine the next time you see them how well-adjusted and happy you will be.
If you gave it your all and did everything for them, you also know they will be the same miserable f*ck they always were. Take solace in your own happiness and don’t worry about theirs anymore.
#6 Problem – Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea. One less problem is what you have, recognize it, think about all the time and energy you wasted and move on. Need not say anymore.
#7 Landed – Ben Folds. If being with your ex made you feel like you were going crazy, “I’ve Landed” is an excellent song to bring you back down to earth. All about a guy who finally saw the light, if you are just beginning to see it, this song helps you keep your courage and continue to heal without guilt or sadness.
#8 When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars. For the person who only wanted a little of time from their ex and who knows that when they stop to see what they have lost, they will be sad, this is the song to move on from a breakup. We all make stupid mistakes in relationships that we regret.
Whether your ex finds regret or not, you know what happened and how you felt, so don’t let your judgment get all clouded.
#9 Time for Me to Fly – REO Speedwagon. “Time for Me to fly” is one of those perfect breakup songs about realizing you did more to try to make the person you were with happy than they ever did for you. If you want to rehash about what went wrong and take some of the guilt off of your plate, this is it.
The song is all about how all you did was try to make them laugh and all they did was make you cry. If that sounds familiar, then turn it up and jam out!
#10 Love Yourself – Justin Bieber. Your family didn’t like them; they didn’t treat you right, and you were used until you couldn’t take it anymore. If your momma didn’t like them, this is the perfect song to get past your breakup. “Love yourself” is for the person recovering from a breakup where your ex was so selfish they couldn’t see anything past how awesome they were.