20 Best Breakup Songs For When Your Heart Has Been Broken

Music can soothe a broken heart. Both upbeat and sad tunes have their place in the period following a breakup, and below is a list of the best of both worlds. Hopefully, these songs help to heal your broken heart and let you move on with your life! It might take a while before you feel back to your old self, but these might help you get there.

  1. “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi Lewis Capaldi has a knack for capturing all the feels. This song will make you cry, but sometimes, that’s just what you need after a breakup—to cry about the past so you can move on to the future.
  2. “Smile” by Tamia. If you need a good cry, Tamia’s “Smile” will have you balling like a baby. It really doesn’t get any sadder than, “Sometimes I sit at home and wonder how it’d be if he had loved me … truly loved me.”
  3. “Stay” by Rihanna In this song, Rihanna summarizes how most of us feel when our hearts have been broken. It doesn’t matter how much someone hurts you—when you love them, you crave them. You can’t help wanting them to stay, even when they’re bad for you.
  4. “Goodbye, My Lover” by James Blunt Remember this mid-2000s track? It was even sad back then, before we knew what being heartbroken felt like. Listen to it in context, when you’re actually saying goodbye to a lover, and you’ll be howling tears.
  5. “Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake You’re going to cry anyway after a breakup, so you might as well have Justin Timberlake talk you through it. The sass in this song also helps if you need to release built-up anger towards your ex.
  6. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor Still in love with your ex? Absolutely destroyed by the breakup? Sinéad O’Connor gets it. This is about the tragedy of realizing that you don’t want to be with anyone else (spoiler alert: that feeling will go away with time and there are totally other fish in the sea).
  7. “Yesterday” by The Beatles The Beatles are the highest-selling band of all time for a reason. This song is so simple and yet perfectly expresses how much you can long for the past, even if it wasn’t very long ago. ‘Yesterday’ is ideal for when you just want to cry about how much you wish things had never changed between you and your ex.
  8. “Amnesia” by 5 Seconds of Summer When your heart is broken, you’ll understand this song on another level. Waking up with amnesia would be terrible, but at least it would save you from the pain of your breakup.
  9. “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perri “Who do you think you are? Runnin’ ‘round leaving scars. Collecting your jar of hearts. Tearing love apart. You’re going to catch a cold from the ice inside your soul.” Yep, we all know someone who fits this description. Shouting these lyrics out loud really does help!
  10. “Say Something” by A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera This 2010 track is the type of song to play softly while you curl up in bed and sob your heart out. It’s the song you listen to when you finally know that the relationship is over for good and it’s time to give up on them.
  11. “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé Once you’ve cried enough over your breakup, it’s time to put on some tunes that lift your mood. Who better to call in than the queen of confidence, Beyoncé? When you’re ready to stop missing your ex, start thinking about how truly replaceable they actually are.
  12. “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift This Taylor Swift classic will help to improve your mood in the weeks following a breakup. And it’s a great song to play if your ex tries to come crawling back.
  13. “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande Not only does this song have an addictive melody, but the lyrics are also super powerful. Your heart may be broken, but at least you learned something. And now it’s time for the next one.
  14. “Fighter” by Christina Aguilera Nobody can remind you of how strong you really are quite like early-2000s Xtina. Singing this song out loud, in the mirror, will definitely help you to shake off feeling like a vulnerable nervous wreck after a breakup.
  15. “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber Take the high road with Justin Bieber. Rather than sending your ex negative energy, wish them well (with just a touch of pettiness) and send them on their way.
  16. “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye You might still have feelings for your ex. But at a certain point, if you’re going to move on, you’ll have to fake it ‘til you make it and act like you’re over them. This Gotye track is a great start. You don’t care about them anymore; they’re just somebody you used to know.
  17. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood If you feel the need to take revenge on your ex, Carrie Underwood gets it. You’d be best advised to rock it out to this song in the safety of your bedroom rather than actually digging your key into the side of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive.
  18. “Part of Me” by Katy Perry After the tears have fallen, crank some Katy Perry. This song is all about standing strong in the face of adversity, or in the face of a broken heart.
  19. “Take a Bow” by Rihanna Finding out your ex was lying or cheating is never fun. But at least you get to blast this song and mean it after. The finality of the lyrics might also help you to mentally detach from the idea of your ex.
  20. “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo While Bey’s the queen of confidence, Lizzo is the empress of self-love. A whole Lizzo album would do anybody good after a breakup. In particular, this song gives you all the vibes you need to shampoo press and get him out of your hair.
Vanessa Locampo is an Aussie writer who’s equally obsessed with YA fiction and pasta. Her time is divided between writing all the things, reading all the things, listening to Queen, and bopping her cat on the nose. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and has written for sites including Hotsprings.co and Discovering Montana, and currently works as an editor at Glam. You can keep up with her on Instagram @vanessaellewrites.