Sammy Nickalls
Updated Apr 14, 2016 @ 12:44 pm
songs that remind us of our exes
Credit: Shutterstock

We’ve all had that one song that we couldn’t listen to for ages because it reminds us of a guy or girl who broke our heart. Or that song that makes you smile thinking about nice memories with your high school memories years after the breakup. Some music just touches us in our heart of hearts and we can’t help but connect it — better or for worse — to our exes.

In honor of National Ex Day, HelloGiggles is getting super personal: Here are some of the songs that remind us (either fondly or not-so-much) of our exes, memories, and heartbreak.

“The Ascent of Stan” by Ben Folds:

“Whenever my high school sweetheart would drive me to school, he’d blast this in his car every single morning. You know when you hear a song enough times that you wonder why you ever liked it in the first place? Yeah, I got sick of this song after the 20th time hearing it, and then I heard it about one million times after that. It’s been almost five years since we broke up, and only now can I listen to it without half-screaming ‘UGH, NOT THIS SONG AGAIN.'” Sammy Nickalls, staff writer

“Home” by Phillip Phillips:

“Once, I completely tortured myself in an on-and-off again affair with a close friend of mine. When we finally decided to GO FOR IT and be together ‘forever,’ he made me a slideshow of photos of us over the years to this song. Within a few months, he was with someone else and I was devastated (again). Whenever I hear this song now, a little rage bomb detonates in my heart for my past self. As much as I’d like to be positive about the entire experience, I let that small burst of hurt be a reminder never to allow anyone to treat me like that again.” – Christina Wolfgram, video producer

“Must’ve Done Something Right” by Relient K:

“The last time I actively assigned a song to a relationship was this one, because the music video was about soccer, and I was obsessed with a boy on my high school’s soccer team.” – Kate Lindsay, staff writer

“Please Bleed” by Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals:

“I graduated from high school 15 years ago but every time I hear this song, I ~still~ think about my high school boyfriend cheating on me. (He told me the hickeys on his neck were bruises from soccer and I believed him!) The song is just about wanting to know if the person who hurt you has any humanity inside. Very melodramatic.” – Jessica Wakeman, news editor

“Hoy No Quiero Verte Nunca Más” by Franny Glass:

“Despite the really happy tune, this song title literally means ‘Today, I never want to see you again.’ I’ve never had a *bad* break up in the sense that we’ve ended up hating each other, so the song perfectly captures my intense feelings of hurt with the matter-of-fact nature of our diverging paths.” – Quyen Nguyen-Le, editorial intern

“Good Woman” by Cat Power:

“This song reminds me of someone I was with, and we just weren’t right for each other. He treated me badly, but I cared about him anyway, and I didn’t like the way it felt.” –Rosemary Donahue, assistant editor

“Midnight City” by M83:

“This song sometimes reminds me of the first time I kissed my boyfriend in college, and all of the months we spent hanging out with our friends afterwards that year, but even though we had a messy breakup, it’s still a nice memory.” – Sammy Nickalls

“Whatever It Is” by Zak Brown Band:

“This song is happy but it makes me sad. When I hear it I’m immediately in a pick-up with my college boyfriend, driving cross country with this song blasting. Whenever the line, ‘every time I try to tell her how I feel it comes out ‘I love you’ played, he would turn to the passenger seat and look right at me. Still breaks my heart.” –Elena Sheppard, culture editor

“Boy with the Coin” by Iron and Wine:

“A very sweet boy once made me two CDs of his favorite music, but he didn’t write down any of the songs’ names or artists. For a solid year, I thought he and I were the only two humans that had ever heard this song. Still makes me contemplative and quietly happy.” –Christina Wolfgram

“Holocene” by Bon Iver:

“For some songs, like this one, I don’t realize they make me think of a relationship until they come on, and I’m transported back to this person’s freshman dorm room where we would lie on our backs and talk while music played. – Kate Lindsay

“Cold Shoulder” by Adele:

“This guy wasn’t an ex . . . because he had a girlfriend . . . who he told me he would break up with me for. (He didn’t. Surprise!) Every time I hear the lyric ‘Whenever you look at me I wish I was her,’ I go right back to being 24 and in lust with someone who led me on and then threw me under the bus. – Jessica Wakeman

“Go Ahead” by Rilo Kiley:

“This just a generally great break up song, and reminds me of when you’re looking for any reason to leave someone, or you’re pushing someone away and trying to find a reason to get them to leave you. It’s about making excuses for yourself and for each other, without looking at the actual issues.” – Rosemary Donahue

“Get Low” by Lil Jon:

“I fell in love for the first time to this song in eighth grade, wearing a polo and denim skirt because #fashion and #boys and #puberty.” –Christina Wolfgram

“Shrug” by Ani Di Franco:

“I will love Ani forever. Practically every song of hers is important to me, but ‘Shrug’ was the anthem for my Big Terrible Breakup In My Mid-20s. We lived together and he started flirting with another woman, then broke up with me over the phone and asked me to move out of our apartment. It was ~really~ shitty and he just washed his hands of me completely. There’s one lyric, ‘why does each apology sound more like a shrug’ that encapsulates that breakup perfectly.” –Jessica Wakeman

“Baby Blue” by Badfinger:

“The song that makes me think of my worst breakup is “Baby Blue” by Badfinger, because it symbolized SUCH an end of an era. Like, I had finally finished all of Breaking Bad and I had no idea what I was supposed to do with my life now. How could I even binge another show after BB?? Oh wait. . . this is about a dude? Yeah, I haven’t broken up with one of them in a while but like, the end of a TV binge is kinda like a breakup I guess. . . ?” –Rachel Paige, staff writer

What songs never fail to remind you of an ex? Let us know in the comments!