Plenty of people have gone through the bitter throes of heartbreak, failed “situationships” and separations. We lock ourselves in our bedrooms with stacks of tissue boxes and empty ice cream cartons on the floor, watching an abundance of romance movies that might make us feel worse. It’s an oddly universal, familiar sensation — and going through it in solitude doesn’t make anyone feel any better. In hopes of lifting your isolations, I’ve compiled this playlist of a diverse set of breakup songs to get you through these especially tough times.
“The Last Time” by Taylor Swift
As the queen of breakup songs, Taylor Swift’s “The Last Time” perfectly grasps the desperation and pain behind asking someone to make you a priority when they’ve shown otherwise. It pokes at your chest, leaving lumps in the throats of anyone who’s experienced this all too familiar kind of hurt.
“Silver Springs” by Fleetwood Mac
This song is the “you will never forget me” anthem. Stevie Nicks’ exasperation is prominent in her vocals, encompassing the frustration and pain of being hurt by someone you love — and not letting them forget it. Stevie’s lyrics have you feeling empowered in your heartbreak.
“sucks to see you doing better” by Valley
As the polar opposite of “Silver Springs,” Valley encapsulates the bitter feeling of seeing or imagining that your ex is doing better without you. It’s the song you play at 3 a.m. when you’re in the hole of self-pity — which is normal when you’re going through the stages of a breakup.
“enough for you” by Olivia Rodrigo
If Taylor Swift is the queen of breakup songs, Olivia Rodrigo is the princess. Her entire Sour album could be on this playlist, but “enough for you” is special in that it completely grasps the sense of feeling as if you weren’t enough to satisfy the person you were with. It’s a genuine feeling after a separation, and hearing your experience through another’s words really helps validate those emotions.
“Memories” by Conan Gray
Conan Gray knows how to genuinely express the frustration that comes with what they call “situationships.” This song goes over the on-again-off-again cycle one may go through when entangled with another person and knowing nothing good could ever come out of it. It’s the perfect song to listen to about a specific experience that many people go through.
“All I Wanted” by Paramore
Everyone knows this song and Hayley Williams’ mesmerizing note in that third chorus. “All I Wanted” is the absolute best song to play when you need to let out all those negative emotions —anger, pain, sadness, loneliness — after a breakup. It’s what you listen to when you want to scream out the lyrics along with Hayley. It manages to hold every emotion one feels from a separation. It speaks on missing someone, being angry at someone for leaving, still loving them, feeling alone and much more. It’s the ultimate breakup song.
Music has a way of making people feel less alone. Hearing people sing about what you’re going through makes the experience feel less isolated and lonely. No one should go through a breakup alone, and I hope these few sets of songs and my words can help alleviate some of the solitude — and remember, it always gets better.