Sophia Elias
September 21, 2014 10:25 am

So, it didn’t work out. That’s okay; I know it feels like you’re in a state of perpetual misery, but you’ll get through it. Everyone does. You’ve probably confided in a few trusted friends and family members, or maybe you’ve gone on some sort of creative rampage. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably resolved to only have animal loves from now on.

No matter what you’re doing to get through this difficult time, music has proven to be a trusted remedy for the breakup blues. Let’s be honest: it gets a little annoying hearing another person tell you some variation of “it gets better.” As true as that may be, it’s frustrating to hear it in your current state of mind. I say, if Alanis Morissette is the only person who understands you right now, crank up “You Oughta Know” and wallow in it all you want.

Having said that, we’ve got you covered for just about every stage of a breakup. I thought it would be nice to include a few lesser-known songs for the sake of discovery (we all know “Don’t Speak“, “Survivor” and “Someone Like You” are staples of this genre). So let’s get to exploring, shall we? Here are 10 of the best breakup songs to help you get through it.

1. Lapalux feat. Kerry Leatham – “Without You”

We’ve all heard the aggravating words, “breaking up is hard to do,” but it sounds so much better coming from Lapalux and Kerry Leatham. The tune is solemn, groovy and sure to churn your heart into butter.

And your words are engraved in me
So long as guilt resides here
Carved into walls in writing
With our broken hearts imprinted beside it
I didn’t want you to leave me
I didn’t want to leave you.

2. Daughter – “Youth”

This song speaks to all the messy, contradictory feelings that surface after a breakup. The resentment, the longing, the deadened outlook you have on love and all the people who are still capable of it (scoundrels!). But really, “Youth” is a moving tune, sure to take you down a road of rich emotion.

Shadows settle on the place, that you left
Our minds are troubled by the emptiness
Destroy the middle, it’s a waste of time
From the perfect start to the finish line

3. Bat For Lashes – “The Haunted Man”

In spite of all your efforts to “just forget about it,” it’s not happening. At all. If anything, rejecting all of those painful feelings has made “getting over it” worse, not better. I know, it may not sound supremely positive, but why lie? Sometimes you need to digest the nastier feelings to want to change your palette.

I couldn’t sleep last night
Cause I tried to forget you
In the suffocated air
I resolved to let you go
Twisted all our dreams
‘Til you became the nightmare
Close it off inside
Or else the hurt is gonna rise

4. Joy Division – “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

It’s easy to let the words of this ’80s classic wash over you, but once you read the lyrics, you quickly see that this song delivers a very dark sentiment. Growing apart can be a harsh realization, and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” speaks to those feelings rather eloquently.

When routine bites hard
And ambitions are low
And resentment rides high
But emotions won’t grow
And we’re changing our ways
Taking different roads
Then love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

5. Everything But The Girl – “Missing”

Yes, it’s a groovy dance beat fit for Night At The Roxbury, but have you listened to these heartbreaking lyrics? The song tells a story of a love she lost, who moved away years ago. In spite of this, she still revisits their old address and imagines things the way they used to be. I suppose this was the 1994 version of Facebook stalking, except more romantic (it certainly required more effort). Dance beat aside, this song is utterly heartbreaking.

I step off the train
I’m walking down your street again
And past your door
But you don’t live there anymore
It’s years since you’ve been there
Now you’ve disappeared somewhere
Like outer space
You’ve found some better place
And I miss you
Like the deserts miss the rain

6. Snow Patrol – “You Could Be Happy”

Is it the repetitive vocal pattern? The child-like tinkering sounds in the background? Why is it so easy to cry to? Maybe it’s the fact that it’s is about having to let go, despite how much you love the person. You’re moving on with your lives without each other because it’s what’s best for you.

Is it too late to remind you how we were
But not our last days of silence, screaming, blur
Most of what I remember makes me sure
I should have stopped you from walking out the door
You could be happy, I hope you are
You made me happier than I’d been by far

7. Banks – “Goddess”

When the post-breakup dust has finally settled, it’s probably time for some heavy housekeeping . . . and by housekeeping, I mean purging yourself of the situation entirely. If you haven’t realized how powerful you are yet, rest assured, Banks will let you know in all her soulful goodness.

Feeling above this, she came around
Cause she’s a goddess, finally saw this
And now you’re back, trying to claim her
Cause she’s gone and now without her
You’re all alone, cause she’s a goddess
You shoulda saw this

8. Julie London – “Cry Me A River”

You’re at the stage where you’ve wasted your last tissue box. You’re ready to refresh you mind and willing to focus on the positivity in your life. But of course, the “other” is feeling the effects of your absence, and now hopes to dance right back into your life. Whoa, Nelly! Hit the pause button and listen to Julie London!

You drove me, nearly drove me out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember, I remember all that you said
Told me love was too plebeian
Told me you were through with me and
Now you say you love me
Well, just to prove you do
Come on and cry me a river, cry me a river
I cried a river over you

9. Smashing Pumpkins – “Perfect”

We’re all familiar with this heart vs. head battle. As much as you may want to rectify this relationship, it’s just not right . . . at least in this lifetime. Ugh, why must you make our hearts sink this way, Billy Corgan?

I know we’re just like old friends
We just can’t pretend
That lovers make amends
We are reasons so unreal
We can’t help but feel that something has been lost
But please you know you’re just like me
Next time I promise we’ll be
Perfect strangers down the line
Lovers out of time
Memories unwind

10. Orae – “Protect The Prophecy”

This dreamy tune speaks to a “so we meet again” type of situation. Even though there’s still love between the two of you, the time that has passed has created a mountain of questions, and some understandable resentment.

When I’d returned a lot had changed
I asked how long have I been away
You’ve been gone a year or two
I hope your search was worth my pain

Please, feel free to throw a few of your own breakup songs into the mix!

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