Top 10 songs to listen to after a breakup

Nothing hurts more than the heart-wrenching pain of a nasty breakup, especially when you’re the one getting dumped. This list of songs goes out to all the dumpees out there who will be going solo the next few months and want to shed a cathartic tear or two. So grab the box of chocolates leftover from Valentine’s Day, get comfortable under the covers, and be prepared to cry your eyes out.


Elizabeth Harmison

Here’s a playlist for anyone who has a broken heart and needs to listen to the best tear-jerker songs as they wallow in self pity. Nothing is more cathartic than confronting ones emotions and having a good cry to get over their significant other.

  1. “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” – John Mayer

John Mayer is an expert when it comes to writing wistful love songs, and “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” is no exception. The layering of his vocals with various instruments creates a unique sound and depth that convey Mayer’s emotions of heartbreak. The song ends beautifully with the repetition of the lines, “Don’t you think we oughta know by now? Don’t you think we shoulda learned somehow?” as the music slowly fades out.  

  1. “Halo” – Ane Brun feat. Linnea Olsson

This cover of Beyoncé’s chart-topper is slightly slowed down and has a different tone compared to the pop-electric feel of the original. It features two violins, one being plucked and one being played traditionally. Brun’s high and clear vocals are also perfectly harmonized with Olsson’s slightly lower vocals. This is a great rendition of the original and sounds more raw, consequently creating a more emotive song.

  1. “Jar of Hearts” – Christina Perri

As the song begins, Christina Perri’s unprocessed voice is backed up by a few notes played on the piano. This then evolves into a flowy piano accompaniment, which emphasizes the disdain that is apparent in Perri’s voice towards a past lover. These hard feelings are especially shown when she sings the lines, “You’re gonna catch a cold from the ice inside your soul.” The bridge is extremely powerful and will leave you belting out the lyrics with tears streaming down your cheeks.

  1. “Someone Like You” – Adele

Like many of the other songs on this list, “Someone Like You” has a piano accompaniment, but this particular piano arrangement surpasses the others with its complexity and ability to highlight Adele’s vocals perfectly. Adele hits the high notes in this song with ease and puts just enough emotion into her voice to convey sorrow to the listener, especially in the bridge when she harmonizes on another track with herself. 

  1. “To Build A Home” – The Cinematic Orchestra feat. Patrick Watson

Another running theme in sad love songs appears to be soft, almost whispered vocals. This is perfectly exemplified in “To Build A Home” and adds to the emotion of the song. As the song progresses, the volume and tempo of Patrick Watson’s vocals, along with the piano accompaniment, change at times of varying passion. This crescendo and decrescendo makes the emotions of the listener swell and creates a perfect song to softly cry to.

  1. “My Eyes” – The Lumineers

The echoing tones of the vocals in “My Eyes” create a hollow and haunting sound and gives the listener chills, especially when lead singer Wesley Schultz sings the line, “It’s all or nothing to you.” The minimal instrumentation used in the background also adds to this hollow sound, which creates a certain feeling of loneliness in the listener.

  1. “Breathe Me” – Sia

Sia’s slurred, whispered words progress throughout the song in a way that is similar to the vocals in “To Build A Home.” However, this song does a slightly better job at expressing the lovelorn feelings of the artist, due to the fact that Sia puts more emotion and feeling behind her lyrics. The use of a xylophone also creates an interesting layer to the instrumental.   

  1. “Cherry Wine (Live)” – Hozier

Hozier’s gruff but delicate voice is perfect for this song, which pairs nicely with the soft guitar playing that fluctuates in tempo. The song deals with abuse and illustrates the complex feelings that a victim might have towards the abuser. The fact that this song was recorded live just adds to the raw emotion in his voice and makes the listener feel a little bit of the pain that Hozier does.

  1. “Almost Lover” – A Fine Frenzy

Nothing stings more than a relationship that ended before it could even start, especially when there is deceit involved. This song perfectly captures that emotions of regret and despair with soft vocals and repetitive piano riffs. All these factors culminate into a passionate bridge that most people can relate their own experiences to. This song will make you think about all the failed relationships in your past and bring up all the painful memories that you tried so hard to suppress.

  1. “All By Myself” – Celine Dion

This hit by Canadian singer Celine Dion, the queen of all love ballads, puts all other depressing songs to shame and never fails to bring out the ugly cries in even the most stoic of people. Between the electric piano beat, Dion’s soulful lyrics, and her ability to reach the highest notes, this is the perfect song to listen to while eating an entire box of chocolates by yourself. If you weren’t already an emotional wreck, it is guaranteed that after listening to one chorus of this song you will be a sobbing mess.

Elizabeth Harmison is a News Editor for The Patriot and