Elena Sheppard
July 20, 2015 2:20 pm

We are pretty broken up about the news that Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert are no more. They were an iconic country duo whose union was the stuff of country music legend. But on Monday, sadly, they announced they are getting a divorce. While we totally support them doing whatever feels right, we’re mourning the loss of love by playing Lambert’s “Mama’s Broken Heart” and “Over You” over and over again in our minds and in our headphones.

That’s the thing about country music: It’s so blissfully, beautifully, heart-burstingly on point. Particularly, those songs of the heartbreak variety. It’s what we want to listen to when heartache strikes, even when the heartache is not our own. The best country songs tell a story that you can feel from your fingers to your toes, and the very best country songs tell a story with emotions so relatable you swear songwriters were pilfering through your diary.

While I personally turn to country music whether times are good, bad, happy, or sad, it is in those heart-crushing times that it comforts me the most. It’s those times when love doesn’t feel fair, or even fun, that country music feels just right. Just hearing a little down-home twang makes me feel that much better — whether the lyrics are coming from an old-time favorite like Patsy Cline or a new staple like Cam or, yeah, our girl Miranda.

With all that in mind, the following 16 songs have gotten me through the worst of times (and they sound pretty sweet during the best of times, too). They are all sung by ladies (because ladies are the best) and they hit on all different types of heart hurt — from cheating, to unrequited yearning, to the sadness of a hand unheld.

(Side note, Taylor Swift would totally be on here . . . “Back to December” fills me with grief . . . but her admirable Spotify move keeps her from our playlist. So yeah, play “Back to December” on your own time.)

Without further delay, here are the tunes to cry your eyes out too whether you’re thinking about Blake and Miranda or your own love lost. We promise, sometimes a good cry and a great story in song makes all the hurt feel so much better.

(Don’t worry, you’ll find the full playlist at the end.)

Song: “Upside of Being Down,” Catherine Britt
Lyric that hits me hard: 
“I’ve got twice the closet space/ That I can fill up with new shoes/ And I can paint the bedroom pretty pink/ With lacy curtains if I choose/ And I won’t have to deal with fishing gear/ Muddy boots layin’ round/ And that’s the upside of bein’ down.”

Song: “I Will Always Love You,” Dolly Parton
Lyric that hits me hard: “If I should stay/ Well, I would only be in your way/ And so I’ll go, but yet I know/ That I’ll think of you each step of my way.”

Song: “Burning House,” Cam
Lyric that hits me hard: “See you at a party and you look the same/ I could take you back/ But people don’t ever change/ Wish that we could go back in time/ I’d be the one you thought you’d find.”

Song: “I Fall to Pieces,” Patsy Cline
Lyric that hits me hard: “You want me to act like we’ve never kissed/ You want me to forget/ Pretend we’ve never met/And I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I haven’t yet/ You walk by and I fall to pieces.”

Song: “Mama’s Broken Heart,” Miranda Lambert
Lyric that hits me hard: “I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors/ I screamed his name ‘til the neighbors called the cops.”

Song: “Somebody Somewhere,” Loretta Lynn
Lyric that hits me hard: “Then I tuned in a DJ/ Who played every sad song he owned/ Lord, I need someone so, but everyone I know/ is away, bein’ needed at home.”

Song: “You Were Mine,” Dixie Chicks
Lyric that hits me hard: “I can’t find a reason to let go/ even though you’ve found a new love/
and she’s what your dreams are made of.”

Song: “Have Mercy,” The Judds
Lyric that hits me hard: “I see you driving by just like a phantom jet/ With your arm around some little brunette.”

Song: “Don’t Talk About Him Tina,” Pistol Annies
Lyric that hits me hard: “Tina, I swear you’re better than just waitin’ around on some rodeo man.”

Song: “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” Tammy Wynette
Lyric that hits me hard: “Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E; becomes final today/ Me and little J-O-E will be goin’ away/ I love you both and this will be pure H-E double L for me.”

Song: “It Ain’t Pretty,” Lady Antebellum
Lyric that hits me hard: “It ain’t pretty when a heart breaks.”

Song: “Emmylou,” First Aid Kit
Lyric that hits me hard: “But I’m holding back, that’s the strength that I lack/ Every morning keeps returning at my window/ And it brings me to you and I won’t just pass through/ But I’m not asking for a storm.”

Song: “Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood
Lyric that hits me hard:
“I might’ve saved a little trouble for the next girl/ ‘Cause the next time that he cheats…/ Oh, you know it won’t be on me!”

Song: “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” Crystal Gayle
Lyric that hits me hard: “I’ll be fine when you’re gone/ I’ll just cry all night long/ Say it isn’t true/ And don’t it make my brown eyes blue.”

Song: “Trail of Broken Hearts,” K.D. Lang
Lyric that hits me hard:
“We’ve been passing through/ Leaving just a part/ Down the trail of broken hearts.”

Song: “A Little Bit Stronger,” Sara Evans
Lyric that hits me hard: “I’m done hoping that we could work it out/ I’m done with how it feels, spinnin’ my wheels/ Lettin’ you drag my heart around.”

Related reading:

Why you should give country music a chance

Those empowering ladies of country music we can’t get enough of

[Images via Amazon, RCA Nashville]

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