Music is a great way to help you temporarily escape whatever difficult situation you’re in. Personally, I love to listen to music after a breakup. Music is extremely accessible and liberating. It’s nice to remember that our favorite artists go through the same things we do, and they have their own ways of expressing their feelings through their work.
These are some of my favorite emotional songs that hit especially different after a breakup.
Somebody Else – The 1975
You hate to admit it, but seeing your ex move on makes you feel a bit odd. It’s a weird sensation. You want to be happy for them and wish them the best, yet you can’t help but think “I’m so alone. You’re the reason why.”
“Somebody Else” has been in my breakup playlist ever since it came out. I remember how validated I felt, listening to it for the first time.
“I don’t want your body, but I hate to think about you with somebody else/Our love has gone cold, you’re intertwining your soul with somebody else.”
Of course, you want to move on, but seeing your ex enjoy their life with somebody else is weird. You pick out similarities, and you find yourself looking into their relationship.
You notice that they look at the other person the same way they used to look at you. You realize that they’re happy.
You can’t help but miss them.
The 1975 puts these feelings into words. Missing your ex is common and valid.
Listening to this song after a breakup is particularly fitting because there are times when you really feel like you’re over somebody, but remember those intimate moments with them. It hurts to think about that person sharing intimate moments with somebody else.
All I Do Is Cry – Kim Petras
Kim Petras manages to create one of the most cathartic breakup songs ever. “All I Do Is Cry” features lyrics that are painfully honest. They express what we’re too embarrassed to admit after a breakup.
She pours her emotions out by saying that she wishes she could forget about her ex. They broke her heart, and she doesn’t understand what she did wrong.
“Wish I could forget you, like I never met you/Said you want a break, then you broke my heart/You left me with nothing/I feel like I’m drowning/You just let me down and I don’t know why”
Kim is putting it all out there. She’s expressing her purest and most vulnerable thoughts through her music. Emotions are not meant to be bottled up. Cry to this song. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It feels great.
“All I Do Is Cry” reminds us all that we’re human, and we’re allowed to feel sad about losing something we valued. It’s okay to admit that you feel sad about your breakup — it’s natural to think about your past relationships and become emotional over them.
Garden – Dua Lipa
This song serves as a very prominent inclusion in my own breakup playlist. Dua Lipa describes a previous relationship she had, where she could feel when things were going south. “Garden” alludes to the Garden of Eden, the paradise created by God in the Book of Genesis.
“Used to think that this love was heaven sent/How did we get lost? Can’t get back again”
This is also in reference to how Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, were shunned from the Garden of Eden.
“Are we leaving this Garden of Eden?”
In other words, Lipa’s relationship was comparable to a paradise and having it end it felt like she was leaving the Garden of Eden.
This song serves as a good breakup song because people tend to remember the highlights of their past relationships, and it causes them to miss their ex. Lipa manages to remind her listeners that past relationships are meant to be left in the past. Her music and her entire repertoire include so many other great breakup songs.
Watching My Phone – King Princess
On “Watching My Phone”, King Princess expresses her frustration towards wanting someone who doesn’t want her back in an incredibly vulnerable way. They address this person indirectly.
“I apologize for holding you so tight you couldn’t breathe and thinking you’d be fine”
Forming a bond with someone and thinking that you’d actually have a chance to be in a relationship with them, only to find out that they don’t feel the same way is devastating. You think about this person all the time. You expect them to message you back.
“And I’m alone/ Watching my phone/ Thinking ’bout you, baby”
King Princess also explores common themes in today’s society — we tend to watch our phones when waiting for a text back from someone. We become very anxious and just keep checking our phones until that person responds. King Princess wants this person to reciprocate the attention they’re giving them so badly that they’re willing to keep checking their phone until it lights up from the other person’s text. We’ve all been there.
Don’t wait for them to message you back.
All I Wanted – Paramore
“All I Wanted” by Paramore delves into an individual who is looking back at a fling they had — one that dissolved before it became serious.
“I could follow you to the beginning, just to relive the start/And maybe then we’ll remember to slow down at all of our favorite parts”
We can’t help but think, “Maybe if things happened this way…”
We’ve definitely all had a crush who didn’t like us back. We tend to imagine scenarios where we become closer to someone, when in reality they aren’t in the same headspace as you. Sometimes we get feelings for someone who just doesn’t want the same thing you do — and that’s okay. We just need to express our frustrations with situations we’re put in, and occasionally put ourselves in.
The majority of the song consists solely of the lyrics “All I wanted was you”. Every time the lyric is repeated, the guitar in the background becomes intense and moody. It mirrors the feelings we have when something we were hoping to happen doesn’t end up happening.
The buildup to the end of the song leaves the listener choked up and wanting to return to a relationship that sadly never began.