"It's like taking a nap on that little rug when you were in kindergarten."

15 Heart-Breaking Breakup Songs for Your Achy Breaking Heart.

The lump in your throat made it hard for you to swallow, and your skin started getting clammy. What was it you heard?

“This couldn’t be happening,” you thought.

Breaking up??? Oh no you di’nt!

It. Was. Over.

Your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife – now EX-boyfriend, EX-girlfriend, EX-husband, or EX-wife was breaking up with you – ending your relationship.

Does it matter if you’re 13, 39, or any other age? The pain, anger, and hurt are unfathomable. Walls are crumbling all around you.

Huge puddles of tears are left in your wake from the grieving.

And short of running your EX-loved ones over with your car (you wouldn’t want to dent your vehicle, right?), you must turn to something more passive and, well, safe; a medium that allows the proper amount of wallowing and self-pity befitting your situation.

And what is it that one uses to console one’s self? Music.

After seeing Taylor Swift’s latest video – We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – it brought to mind songs about breaking up. Certain songs give us the opportunity to let out a myriad of conflicting emotions.

You continue to stare at those “sweet” pictures of you with him, or her … all the while, you catch glimpses of the shiny, sharp objects in your hands.

Looking longingly at the love/lust you shared in one moment, and then thinking about shredding every physical remnant of  memory in the next instant.

All you’re missing is a backdrop that puts you in a dark, depressed, melancholy state, like big, heavy draperies in a too-fussy room.

And that’s where I come in:
I tasked my crack research team to come up with a few great songs to spin if you ever need that down-in-the-dumps, post breakup song. Clicking on each song title will bring up a youtube video that will bring you hauntingly right back to those buried emotions from the past, or help you get through your present situation.

Breaking up has always been hard to do.
Consider this free therapy. You’re welcome:

1. “Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake, 2004

2. “Don’t Speak” – No Doubt, 1996

3. “Since U Been Gone” – Kelly Clarkson, 2004

4. “Don’t You Want Me?” – Human League, 1981

5. “I Want You” – Elvis Costello, 1986

6. “Tainted Love” – Soft Cell, 1981

7. “Angie” – Rolling Stones, 1973

8. “Always On My Mind” – Willie Nelson, 1982

9. “Nothing Compares 2 U” – Sinead O’Connor, 1990

10. “I Know It’s Over” – The Smiths, 1986

11. “Without You” – Harry Nilsson, 1971

12. “So What” – Pink,  2008

Pink, So What, Breaking up song

13. “Irreplaceable” – Beyonce, 2006

14. “Love Stinks” – J. Geils Band,  1980

15. “Song Cry” – Jay-Z, 2002


What were, or are, your “favorite” breakup songs?

Brave enough to share a funny or interesting breakup story?


  1. How could you forget the “Breakup Song” by the Greg Kihn band? Actually, I had for at least 20 years, and can’t believe it poppped into my head after reading this…

  2. I’ve long thought that P!ink’s So What is her generation’s answer to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive.. If there isn’t a mashup of the two, there should be. You heard it here.

  3. Tainted Love and Always On My Mind—the last used to be so hard for me to listen to (eons ago) when I was engaged and 3 months before the wedding we called it off. Never thought I’d get over that one, but here I am 30 years after and happily married! The songs served a purpose–I always felt like I was starring in an MTV video back in the 80’s when I’d cry over stuff like that! Young and melodramatic!! Thank God those days are long gone!

    • Congrats on surviving that breakup. That’s a tough one – 3 months before the wedding. Probably all planned, booked, and some things paid for, even?

      But you have come out on the other side, that’s the important part. I too, am glad to be past the melodrama. Then we had, or have, to watch our kids suffer through it, right? :)

  4. Here’s my weeper.


    Oh Bradley. Why oh why did you dump me for that skanky girl? Was it because she promised to give you a BJ? Yeah. It was. I get it. And 25 later, you still suck. 😉

    • Oh boy, that was a blast from the past! I LOVED Toto.

      And I’m so sorry that Bradley didn’t remain faithful to you, though I’m sure you’re glad things turned out the way they did. Who wants to be stuck with an aging rocker, right? :)

  5. oh, yeah, I used to listen to “Love Stinks” over and over again. Oh, to be a 13 year old girl with a broken heart–so traumatic!

    I have to admit I really like “Cry Me a River” (shhh…don’t tell anyone…)

    • Love Stinks was a classic then, and now.

      Don’t feel bad about Cry Me a River, MLB loves JT as well. I guess you can’t take the 13 year old girl out of you all. I suppose you like When Harry Met Sally, also?

  6. “You Were Mine” by the Dixie Chicks. Gets me. Every. Time. :(

    …and I don’t even LIKE the Dixie Chicks.

    And my friend, did you just ask for a funny or interesting breakup story?!?! You may or may not know this, but my marriage ended with a brick. A LITERAL brick…


    You asked… 😉

    • Oh please, WBFF – I had you in mind when I was writing parts of this. I almost linked to your site, but thought I should check with you first. Glad you left the link.

      I had never heard that Dixie Chicks song. Boy is that a heart breaking song. That would have easily made this list. Thanks for the share, my friend.

      So glad that you came through the better with Brett. I wish nothing but the best for you and your family.

  7. For my first boyfriend, “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.” We broke up and got back together at least 10 times when I was 13. :)

  8. I have a really good breakup story…but I must protect the innocent. Besides, right now I’m so worried about your research team…if they’re all on crack, you really need to get them to rehab!!

    Hey, I mentioned you in my blog yesterday. Ya ought-a go see!

  9. Now I love the empowering ones like So what and Taylor Swift’s new one, but I’m pretty sure way back when I probably wallowed to songs like Nothing compares 2 u. Ugh. Thankfully I’ve blocked it out. :)

    • Hey, what’s wrong with blocking or repressing those bad, or sad, moments in our lives? I know, we’re supposed to talk it out. Maybe that’s just psychologists pumping up business, right?

      I’m with you on the empowering ones. So much better for the psyche than the downers. Nothing Compares 2 U was one of the most gut-wrenching of all the breakup songs. Great if you want to do some serious wallowing.

  10. I have no break-up song. I know, it’s crazy. I didn’t really date much, and when I did I was the break-up-er so the music was more celebratory than melancholy, you know? That said, my roommate from back in the day played Superman’s Dead (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CBBtorFg2I) on repeat for two days when the “love of her life” dumped her. Two DAYS!!! Seriously. I’m not sure Don’t Speak would necessarily have been better to listen to. On repeat. For two days. At the time, however, I would have been willing to experiment.

    • I had not seen that video. The combination of dark music and that video are disturbing. :)

      Listening to that for two days?? Better take away the knives and paper clips, bad things could happen. I think many other songs for two days would be a lot better. 😉

  11. After we broke up, a former boyfriend gave me Willie’s album (which I already had, the twit). “You were always on my mind,” a beautiful song that always reminds me of how lucky I am to have not married the twit.

  12. Judy Berman says:

    Another poster, Andra Wilkins, has already mentioned my first breakup song memory. Neil Sedaka recorded it in 1962 and again in 1975 – vastly different versions from what I read. I suspect the link I’m leaving is for the 1962 version.

    • The most classic breakup song, ever, in my mind. Pretty much says it all. Doesn’t have all the angst that more current songs do, but it tells it like it is. Love the black and white.

  13. Ha ha, great choices! Kelly Clarkson is always a good one!

  14. You’ve made some excellent choices! What I want to know is who decided the ranking? Love Pink, Human League, Soft Cell, Kelly Clarkson, and No Doubt. OMG – I loved my J. Geils Band album and my dad gave it away to the salvation army when I wasn’t home. That was a sad, sad day. :(

  15. You missed one — “Different Drum” by Linda Ronstadt. Hands down, the BEST “getting-over-a-breakup” song ever! Who wants to wallow in sadness when there are other fishes in the sea?!! (If you’re the “dumper” instead of the “dumpee,” of course!)

    • Oh goodness, Debbie, you’re so right! The Stone Poneys. You know Michael Nesmith of the Monkees wrote that? Linda was such a stunning beauty, too. Ah, the good ol’ days, eh?

  16. Don’t Speak was a breakup song? I had no idea!

    The one that I used to get over my break up was ‘What Goes Around Comes Back Around’ – by Justin Timberlake. Really helped!

    I don’t destroy things from the relationship though, for instance I still have the pictures I took with my ex. I don’t see the point of destroying them that’s all! It happened for a reason. Life Goes On.

  17. …i will feel the power but you won’t…
    I Can’t Make You Love Me
    classic bonnie raitt and now, adele
    goes right down to the truth of it all.
    thanks, mj. <3

  18. Mj, how could you forget “Show me the meaning of being a lonely” by BackStreetBoys. It’s the only song, which I can sing without committing a single error in terms of lyrics. :)

  19. Well it appears I am a little older than most of you other bloggers…. my favorite breakup song is “The End of the World” Never could decide if I loved the Skeeter Davis version or Herman’s Hermits. I cried myself to sleep over that one a few times!

    • Thanks for stopping in, Life in the 50’s!

      I really liked Herman’s Hermits. Yes, it was in my childhood, but radio was all we had, so I remember most of the great 60’s and 70’s songs.

  20. Really not sure why Air Supply did not make the cut, or at least get an honorable mention. Seriously, their entire ALBUM would play over and over after a break-up.

    I’m all out of love…I’m so lost without you


    • Angelia, I can’t say this too loud, or I might be outed as a sissy, but I have always been a huge fan of Air Supply. You are so right – they should have been on my list. Both of those songs were great and ones that I remember very well! I had their albums back in the day.

  21. Song for a Winter’s Night–Gordon Lightfoot.
    Not a breakup, but a necessary parting of ways.

  22. Your list is tearing up my heart even though I am not going through any kind of breakup now)) My favorite breakup song is “Soledad” from Westlife.
    “Oh, why did you leave me, Sooledaaad” (singing)


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