10 Best Break Up Songs

Unfortunately, most of us have experienced a breakup. Some breakups are minute, after a few short months, predictable, yet some are the opposite. Some change your life, affect your feelings forever, make you question everything around you. Regardless of which kind of breakup you may have experienced (or may experience in the future), music heals – or at least helps.  We start sad, and end empowered – just like a real breakup. Here is my line up of best break up songs….

1. “Someone Like You,” Adele

“Don’t forget me, I beg, I remember you said / Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.” Adele has a real way with love, heartbreak, and everything in between. Though her entire album “21” is full of incredible songs to help you cry through your breakup, “Someone Like You” holds as the most chilling and poignant.

2. “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Bonnie Raitt

“’Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t / You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.” Though the song has been covered countless times since Raitt released it, the original remains the most striking. (All versions are sad though, to be completely honest.) We have all experienced an unrequited love situation, and though those are very hard to overcome, there is something worse about one person falling out of love, and the other remaining in it. If you really need to cry, this song will do the trick.

3. “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston

“Oh, I do wish you joy / And I wish you happiness / But above all this / I wish you love.” Originally sung by Dolly Parton, Houston’s cover is the one we all know and love. This song comes into the phase of your breakup when you remember that it is okay to move on and wish one another joy, happiness, and love. (It takes some time to get there, though.)

4. “Crying,” Roy Orbison

“It’s hard to understand / But the touch of your hand / Can start me crying.” And it is inevitable that you will run into that person who broke your heart, and if they are kind and interested in your day, it might remind you how much you loved them in the first place, and it might leave you crying. And it is okay because you can turn on Roy Orbison and feel not-so-alone.

5. “Yesterday,” The Beatles

“Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say / I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.” There are periods in any breakup where you will want to rush back in time and fix whatever mistakes you think you made. Remind yourself that it was most likely not one specific behavior to cause your breakup, but rather a conglomeration of things. “Yesterday” will help.

6. “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” The Supremes

“Let me get over you / The way you’ve gotten over me, hey!” Now “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” comes into your life when you are ready to completely say goodbye to the person who broke your heart, but something keeps you, well, hanging on. The Supremes have a great way of making you feel sassy and important and strong.

7. “You’re So Vain,” Carly Simon

“You had me several years ago / When I was still quite naïve / Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair / And that you would never leave / But you gave away the things you loved / And one of them was me.” Speaking of feeling sassy, Simon’s mysterious song (who was so vain, after all?) will remind you that you are better off now than you were before. The song encompasses all the feelings anyone who has ever been dumped may feel.

8. “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson

“Since you’ve been gone / I can breathe for the first time / I’m so moving on / Yeah, yeah” Kelly Clarkson is known for her songs of empowerment – this girl has been through a lot of heartbreak. There are moments in your journey toward healing in which you will want to shout from the rooftops, reminding yourself that you are better off now. Put this song on for one of those moments.

9. “Hit the Road Jack,” Ray Charles

“Old woman, old woman, oh you treat me so mean / You’re the meanest old woman that I ever seen.” Even if you were not involved with anyone named “Jack,” the message in this song rings loud and clear. Don’t you come back no more.

10. “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor

“Well, now go! Walk out the door! / Just turn around now! / Cause you’re not welcome anymore.” Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” is undoubtedly one of the most iconic empowerment songs ever written. Though the song is heavily associated with the disco era and countless movies and television shows, it still works on the level you need it to. When you are feeling fully refreshed from your breakup, completely empowered, and absolutely ready to move on – what else is there to do besides remind yourself that you have survived? (And it’s great to dance to.)

Takeaway from my list of best break up songs

There are hundreds of songs that can help  you through a breakup, regardless of which particular emotion you are feeling in the moment. My list of best break up songs is a small sampling of solid songs to help you cry, laugh, and most importantly, cope. Let the music heal you!

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About the Author

Jessica Tholmer has a degree in English Literature. Jessica is a full-time writer for a small company, but she writes for multiple other forums. Jessica writes about love, life, and everything in between for HelloGiggles, though her work has been featured on Nerve, The Gaggle, The Conversation, and The Siren as well.

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