Skip to main content

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.

What Do You Listen to After a Breakup?

Plus the actual playlists we've listened to...
What Do You Listen to After a Breakup?_Promo

When it comes to breakups, you're usually in one of two camps: The type of person who drowns their sorrows in sad songs and feels the breakup, or the person who drowns out the feelings with 'boy/girl, bye' songs. In our office, we're squarely divided down the middle, so we decided to bring our in-office debate to the blog, with Emily and Leslie representing each side (and a playlist of our favorite breakup songs!): 

What Do You Listen to After a Breakup?_1

I'm a big believer in leaning into whatever you're feeling. If you're having a great day out with friends, roll the windows down, blast your favorite upbeat music and relish in that moment. But for those times when you're hurting, particularly after a break-up, allow yourself the room to grieve the relationship with songs that make you feel all the feels. Curl up in the fetal position and turn on the Ray LaMontagne, Mazzy Star, Amos Lee, Missy Higgins, Cowboy Junkies, Ben Harper, and Bon Iver—while you're at it, you might as well also listen to you and your ex's "song" (I realize that one borders on masochistic). By embracing the range of emotions that go along with losing someone you loved, you're then able to gain complete closure, instead of attempting to behave like a normal person when you're heartbroken. The more straightforward and literal the words are ("the truth is, I miss you" and "the colors seem to fade when you're gone"), the better. After my last big breakup, I'd even go as far as typing out lyrics that really spoke to me, which sounds a little nuts, but it was comforting to know that I wasn't the only one experiencing such loss. It was only then that I slowly began to realize just how much better off I was without him and started playing cheerful, you'll-find-the-right-person music (and coincidentally met G shortly thereafter). 

What Do You Listen to After a Breakup?_2

Yes, breakups are about recovering from the pain of missing someone, but they're also about figuring out who you are without them. When my college boyfriend and I broke up after three years of fraternity formals, holidays with each other's families, and too many dorm room sleepovers on a twin bed, I initially missed him, but was surprised to realize that I'd adapted to fit his personality so much during our relationship that the scarier thing was: I barely remembered who I was before him. The night we broke up, my girlfriends dragged me to a Kate Nash concert (thank god for girlfriends), and between Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give-level sobs, I managed to enjoy myself, mostly because Nash is, in my opinion, the queen of breakup songs. The tears continued for weeks, but those self-affirming, booty bumping songs gave me permission to move on—and enjoy myself in the process! I blasted Lake Street Dive and Avril Lavigne, dabbled in Elvis, and sang wholeheartedly to "I Will Survive," both the Cake and Gloria versions. But most of all, I swore by the magical abilities of Tina Parol's "Who's Got Your Money Now?" and still send the link to girlfriends in need. "Everyone knows / How much I adored you / That's that / And I ain't look'n back / Move'n on / In my brand-new Cadillac." Byeee! 👋 Here's the link to the actual breakup playlist I listened to on repeat (with a few recent additions). Luckily haven't needed it for a while, but I still jam to it occasionally because the songs are too good not to! 

Breakup Song Slack-01
What Do You Listen to After a Breakup?_3

Emily: "Colors" by Amos Lee, "The Drugs Don't Work" by Ben Harper, and "One Moment More" by Mindy Smith 
Geoffrey: "Drown" by the Smashing Pumpkins
Leslie: "Who's Got Your Money" by Tina Parol
Hannah: "The Cure" by Lady Gaga
Kelly: "The Background" by Third Eye Blind and "Stars" by Grace Potter & The Nocturnals (this is the playlist she listens to!)
Caroline: "Picture to Burn" by Taylor Swift
Ann: "Someone Like You" by Adele 
Raven: "A Dream of You and Me" by Future Islands 
Lisa: "Faithfully" by Journey

Products purchased through this post may earn us a commission.