Want to help ease the pain of a recent breakup? Are Beyonce and Taylor Swift’s most empowering songs not helping out a whole lot? No fear – heal that broken heart and let it all out with an emotionally charged playlist of the best breakup songs that will definitely get those eye ducts filling up. Sometimes, crying just makes it all seem a bit better.
Warning: Kleenex may be required. Proceed at your own risk.
1. Adele – Make You Feel My Love
Key heartbreak lyric: There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do to make you feel my love.
Adele’s cover of this stunning Billy Joel (or Bob Dylan, depending on who you like better) song always pulls at the heartstrings. This poignant song is a powerful message to anyone who has felt an immense amount of love for another person and is just trying to soak up some of the pain for them.
2. Kodaline – All I Want
Key heartbreak lyric: But if you loved me, why did you leave me?
This stunning song by Kodaline is a wonderful tribute to a recently departed love. The lyrics hint at the confusion by a lover’s departure and results in a heart-breaking question that if there was so much love, why did it have to end?
3. Coldplay – Fix You
Key heartbreak lyric: When the tears come streaming down your face when you lose something you can’t replace.
Who can honestly say they have not cried to this song?! If you’ve never shed a tear to this emotionally packed rollercoaster of pure love, then you do not have a soul.
4. The Airborne Toxic Event – Sometime Around Midnight
Key heartbreak lyric: She walks up and asks how you are…and you feel hopeless and homeless and lost in the haze of the wine.
Seeing your ex and getting hopelessly drunk to numb the pain? We’ve all been there. This slow burner gradually builds to an epic climax that will have your imagination running through the streets as you try to escape the person that you once loved, in a haze of broken dreams and promises. All the feels.
5. Sinéad O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
Key heartbreak lyric: I could put my arms around every boy I see, but they’d only remind me of you.
Want to see what a broken heart looks like? Watch Sinéad O’ Conner’s single tear fall in her music video for this incredible song. It is the epitome of heartbreak and loss and is a sure-fire way to get your own tears flowing.
6. Roy Orbison – Crying
Key heartbreak lyric: You wished me well but you couldn’t tell that I’d been crying over you.
An old classic, this Roy Orbison ballad tells of a story of seeing an old love once again and the false smile painted to hide an internal flood of tears. If you’re feeling lonely, this is the perfect song to have a pity party too.
7. Calum Scott – Dancing On My Own
Key heartbreak lyric: I’m giving it my all but I’m not the guy you’re taking home.
A familiar situation I’m sure a lot of us have experienced; seeing an old love dance with a new partner. Urgh. Calum Scott’s beautiful cover never fails to give us a lump in our throat as he reflects upon dancing, and then leaving, alone.
8. Sam Smith – Stay With Me
Key heartbreak lyric: Won’t you stay with me cos you’re all I need.
Sam Smith’s distinguishable voice is perfect for this tragic tune that is about one’s yearning for the company of a one night stand. It’s the type of break up song that is a perfect sing-along for any situation where no one is listening – in your bedroom, in your car, in the shower, outside your ex’s window…take your pick!
9. Adele – Someone like You
Key heartbreak lyric: I heard that your dreams came true, guess she gave you things I didn’t give to you.
It wouldn’t be a breakup list without Adele making more than one appearance. This mournful tune of blessings to the one that you never quite got over is guaranteed to have you howling into your box of tissues.
10. Bon Iver – I Can’t Make You Love Me
Key heartbreak lyric: ‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t, you can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.
Scientists once confirmed that Bon Iver’s cover of this 1991 Bonnie Raitt song is one of the most emotionally driven love songs known to man. And although this fact is completely made up, we’re pretty sure it’s true.
11. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
Key heartbreak lyric: And we’re changing our ways, taking different roads…love, love will tear us apart again.
Ian Curtis was the King of depressing lyrics and this one takes the crown for the one that will probably make you cry the most. Words of a tragic relationship that is coming to an end will probably make you never want to fall in love again.
12. Katy Perry – The One That Got Away
Key heartbreak lyric: Talk about our future like we had a clue, never planned that one day I’d be losing you.
Katy Perry’s usual bouncy, bubblegum music takes a sad turn with this classic breakup song. We would suggest you watch the music video, just so you can have a cry but also use the opportunity to marvel over Diego Luna’s beautiful face. #noregrets
13. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
Key heartbreak lyric: I will alwaaaaays love youuuuuuuuuuu.
It wouldn’t be a heartbreak list without this romantic classic. Can anyone honestly say they’ve never screamed the high notes to this song after a long night of drinking wine? All hail Queen Whitney!
14. Harry Nilsson – Without You
Key heartbreak lyric: I can’t live if living is without you.
Another classic, this song has been covered by a variety of different artists but this Harry Nilsson version strikes the biggest chord. We promise we would never leave you, Harry.
Key heartbreak lyric: Don’t waste your time on me; you’re already the voice inside in my head.
It’s okay, emos of the past. Blink 182 is here to dry your heartbroken tears. Tom Delonge’s familiar warbling is a great way to remind you of the days when being miserable was fashionable.
Got any more breakup songs that have helped you cry through it? Or a tune that you just simply love putting on when you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps? Let us know in the comments below!