Top 10 Breakup Songs

Breakup songsIt happens to the best of us. A relationship comes to a natural or unnatural end, and you’re left single again. It seems your ex just doesn’t recognise what a wonderful person you are. Or perhaps they’re breaking up with you after you've run naked through the street in front of their house loudly proclaiming you're Loki, here for Ragnarök and demanding they sent Fenris out so you could “kick his stupid wolfey teeth in." That’s one we can all relate to, right?

Whatever the reasons for the breakup, music is an integral part of the process. Whether you’re feeling angry, bitter, resilient or resigned, breakup songs are in abundance and the right fit for you is somewhere out there.

Some might suggest the most sensible option is to listen to music that has nothing at all to do with breakup songs, romance or relationships, so as to distract yourself. While they arguably have a solid point, an article titled “Ten Songs that have Absolutely Nothing to Do with Breakups” is a bit vague, so we shall ignore them.

1// Hefner - I Love Only You

For those moments of plaintive despair just after the breakup, it doesn’t get more appropriate than this. An exquisite cry of anguish, breakup songs like "I Love Only You" by Hefner express perfectly what it feels like when the end of a relationship hurts so badly it’s like the end of all future relationships before they start.

2// Mary Prankster - Mercyfuck

Still despairing, but this time it’s not that you can’t love again. It’s that you won’t, because it keeps turning out like this. There’s defiance, but it’s a defiance that understands its own futility. When the only sensible option is to give up hope, this song embraces that and scorns the pity of others.

3// Ben Folds Five - Selfless, Cold and Composed

Fiery, angry breakups are one thing. But it can feel even worse when the other person has just fallen out of love with you, replacing whatever feelings they had with apathy. It’s not their fault. Nobody can help how they don’t feel. But it doesn’t make it any easier.

4// Frank Turner - Worse Things Happen At Sea

Force out a smile, put on a brave face and make it clear that you’re doing “fucking great”. It’s time to act like an adult over the breakup. While you’re churning up inside the whole time. If you need breakup songs to act as a release from that, this is one of the best. Just make sure not to listen to it when your ex knows about it.

5// The Wedding Present - Brassneck

Really, all ten songs on this list could be by The Wedding Present. A band almost exclusively based round David Gedge’s lack of luck in love, “Brassneck” is especially fitting when you know that the end of the relationship is at least as much your fault as theirs. It’s telling how the song starts with a defiant snarl about deciding that you no longer want the other person and finishes with The Gedge almost begging his ex not to cut off contact.

6// Town Bike - Bastard Heart

On the other hand, maybe it is in fact entirely their fault. This suitably sweary number makes that abundantly clear. There’s no false sentiment about both sides taking some of the blame here. The reason you’ve split up with your ex is because they decided to behave like a dick.

7// Therapy? - Misery

For a change of pace, perhaps you’re the dumper rather than the dumpee? There’s far fewer songs from that perspective, but this is the one for you if you’re feeling vicious. However, if you hope to stay on at least vaguely good terms with your ex, using lines like “you always left me wanting. Now I want you to leave” is ill-advised.

8// Reverend Horton Heat & Willie Nelson - Hello Walls

You could try lying to yourself as well as everyone else. If you can pull it off, self-delusion can be a remarkably effective maladaptive coping mechanism. For most of us though, it will end up as unconvincing as this. The walls may have ears, but they aren’t stupid.

9// Pet Shop Boys - Love is a Bourgeoisie Construct

The song that is probably closer to my own breakup technique than I should be admitting. A breakup is a perfect chance to play the tortured artiste. You didn’t break up because of your own failings. You broke up because you’re too unconventional and bohemian for this vulgar world. Best listened to with a bottle of absinthe in one hand and a copy of Das Kapital in the other.

10// Lush - Ciao!

No matter how it feels now, sooner or later you will be genuinely over your ex. Then the work of real importance starts. Making it abundantly clear that you’re doing better than they are and that it’s them, not you, who are losing out. With guest vocals from Jarvis Cocker, this is a great duet of one upmanship.


2 Responses to “Top 10 Breakup Songs”

  1. Sven 20/06/2015 at 6:32 pm #

    How do I vote?

    • Tiffany Daniels 21/06/2015 at 12:10 pm #

      There’s no vote Sven, just let us know what you think we should have included!

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