Breaking up is never easy.
Even if you are the party that has cut the ties, there is a lot of grief and loss wrapped up in the ending of a relationship. When the separation is caused by things like mistreatment or infidelity, the healing period is even more difficult.
While everyone’s healing process is different, studies have shown that using music to help work through your emotions is an incredibly powerful tool!
That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive list of the best breakup songs. Whether you need a song you can shout to or a song that reminds you of your worth, we’ve got something you’ll love.
The Ultimate Guide to Breaking Up:
If you need a little more than music to get you through your breakup, consider checking out our in-depth guide to breaking up. There, you will find the advice and resources you need to complete (or begin) your healing journey.
Best Breakup Songs For When You Need a Good Cry
Sometimes you just need to let it out! These 6 songs are perfect for getting the waterworks started.
Someone Like You by Adele [Spotify Link]
Adele just might be the queen of breakup songs. Her 2011 hit, Someone Like You, still holds up as one of the most moving breakup songs of all time. With lines like, “Regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made. Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste,” you know you are going to feel everything.
What Hurts The Most by Rascal Flatts [Spotify Link]
Country artists have a way of touching right through to the heart. What Hurts The Most exemplifies this by exploring the complex emotions you feel as a relationship is dying right in front of your eyes.
My Immortal by Evanescence [Spotify Link]
Amy Lee of Evanescence has a unique, nearly operatic voice on this track, which creates a haunting piece of music. The melancholy sound almost feels symbolic of the weeping that comes with extreme grief.
Stone Cold by Demi Lovato [Spotify Link]
When you end a relationship with someone, the love doesn’t instantly go away. You’ll find yourself rooting for them even when it brings you pain. Stone Cold by Demi Lovato beautifully displays this concept with lyrics like;
“I’ll take the pain
Give me the truth, me and my heart
We’ll make it through
If happy is her, I’m happy for you”
I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt [Spotify Link]
I Can’t Make You Love Me may be one of the saddest breakup songs of all time. Nobody so perfectly expresses the despair of unrequited love as Bonnie Raitt.
Dancing on My Own by Calum Scott [Spotify Link]
Though Dancing on My Own was originally sung by Robyn, the Calum Scott version has a certain tangible sadness to it that anyone can relate to.
Best Breakup Songs for When You Need to Scream it Out
Happier Than Ever by Billie Eilish [Spotify Link]
Billie Eilish’s 2021 hit sneaks up on you. It starts with an ethereal tone and soon shifts in intensity. Similar to how anger can creep up on you after a breakup.
All I Wanted Was You by Paramore [Spotify Link]
A look into the loneliness and depression that can linger after a breakup, All I Wanted Was You is a great song to sing to get out your frustrations. The frustrated screaming/singing of Hayley Williams at the song’s climax is related to anyone whose been in a bad relationship.
You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette [Spotify Link]
When it comes to angry breakup songs there may be none more popular than this Alanis Morissette classic. Based on a real breakup of her own, You Oughta Know takes us through all sides of anger, even if they aren’t the healthiest.
If You Wanted a Song Written About You All You Had to Do is Ask by Mayday Parade [Spotify Link]
For the emo kids out there, here’s a classic breakup song by Mayday Parade. The song takes a look at the anger and questions that pop up after a breakup like, “Do they even care that they hurt me?”
WTF Do I Know by Miley Cyrus [Spotify Link]
Miley Cyrus is a master of expression, and WTF Do I Know is no exception. This song is filled with explicit lyrics, but they perfectly express what many of us are thinking after a bad breakup.
Snuff by Slipknot [Spotify Link]
If you aren’t a metalhead, don’t be scared by this Slipknot song! One of the softest songs in their arsenal, Snuff is a look at unrequited love and frustration with being led on.
Best Breakup Songs About Cheaters
I’m Not the Only One by Sam Smith [Spotify Link]
Looking through Sam Smith’s catalog of songs, you may wonder who hurt them. They have so many beautiful pieces about heartbreak, betrayal, and loneliness. When it comes to dealing with emotions after cheating, I’m Not the Only One is one of the best songs to enjoy.
If I Were a Boy by Beyoncé [Spotify Link]
You knew Queen Bey would make an appearance on this list sooner or later. This 2008 smash hit discusses the double standards in modern relationships along with the pain that comes with the betrayal of cheating.
I Hope by Gabby Barrett (feat. Charlie Puth) [Spotify Link]
One of the newer songs on our lists, I Hope is a song by Gabby Barrett that was later released as a duet with Charlie Puth. The song takes a dive into the thirst for revenge that we sometimes feel after being cheated on.
Somebody Else by The 1975 [Spotify Link]
Sometimes being cheated on doesn’t leave us angry, it leaves us broken. This song by The 1975 is a great example of the different emotions that can take hold of us when our partners break our trust.
Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake [Spotify Link]
The song written about the iconic breakup between Britney and Justin, Cry Me a River will always be a go-to cheating song. Sung in a tone that drips with annoyance, Justin Timberlake perfectly expresses how it feels to find out your partner is stepping out.
I’m Not The Only One by Sam Smith [Spotify Link]
Yes, Sam Smith is back again! We could have put almost any of their songs on this list, but we’ve managed to keep it to just two. I’m Not The Only One is another piece that takes a look at the emotion of discovering your partner may be unfaithful, but unlike Cry Me a River, the tone is one of pure sadness.
Best Breakup Songs That Make You Feel Hopeful
Truth Hurts by Lizzo [Spotify Link]
If you want a song that reminds you that you are still a catch and don’t need your ex, listen to Lizzo’s Truth Hurts. This song is as sassy as it is catchy!
Bulletproof by La Roux [Spotify Link]
Have your past breakups helped you learn to avoid future heartbreaks? That’s the kind of survivor attitude expressed in La Roux’s song Bulletproof!
Stronger by Britney Spears [Spotify Link]
Sometimes breaking up with a bad partner is the best thing we can do for ourselves. If you are better off without your ex, Stronger is a song that will speak right to your heart.
IDGAF by Dua Lipa [Spotify Link]
We’ve all had that ex that wants to come crawling back when our lives are in a better place. Don’t fall for it! Just give IDGAF by Dua Lipa a listen and remember you are better off without them!
Break Free by Ariana Grande, Zedd [Spotify Link]
Break Free is an anthem for those who see relationships ending as a sign that things are going to get better.
Stronger by Christina Aguilera [Spotify Link]
Stronger is another song by a boss chick who doesn’t let a bad relationship break her down. If you are looking for a true anthem for your healing, this is the song you need.
Best Songs For When You’re Prepping for a Break-Up
Gravity by Sara Bareilles [Spotify Link]
Gravity is a poignant song that perfectly describes the sad feeling of resolve you get before breaking up with your partner.
Grenade by Bruno Mars [Spotify Link]
Does your partner take advantage of your love and kindness? This classic Bruno Mars hit is a great song to help you decide you are worth much more.
This is Me Trying by Taylor Swift [Spotify Link]
Sometimes we are stuck in a place of trying to fix things and realizing the relationship is over. That love purgatory is described well in Taylor Swift’s This is Me Trying.
I Don’t Love You by My Chemical Romance [Spotify Link]
I Don’t Love You is an appropriately named song that covers the unique grief that comes with realizing you don’t love your partner anymore.
Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You by Julia Jacklin [Spotify Link]
Sometimes we think we truly love someone until we learn who they are on a deeper level. This Julia Jacklin song discusses how hard it is to move forward in a relationship when you realize you don’t actually love your partner.
Out of Love by Alessia Cara [Spotify Link]
Sometimes you can see a breakup coming from a mile away. If you know your partner is preparing to leave you may be wondering the same thing as Alessia Cara – “When did you fall out of love with me?”