What are some songs to get over a broken heart?
August 5, 2011 9:10 PM   Subscribe

To get over a broken heart (me all in, she in 65%), I'm compiling a song list on Spotify. So far, I've got "In Too Deep" by Genesis and "Some Other Time," by Bill Evans and Tony Bennett. Now I'm stuck. It seems that falling-in-love songs were more accessible to my mind than falling-out-of-love songs. Any suggestions would be greatly if not sorely appreciated. If they help anyone out there, all the better. Thanks.
posted by holdenjordahl to Human Relations (53 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Amy Winehouse has a lot of great ones. In fact, pretty much all of Back to Black is appropriate. Had it on heavy rotation last breakup.

Good luck.
posted by the young rope-rider at 9:13 PM on August 5, 2011

Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (and a very cute Nouvelle Vague cover of same)
posted by bewilderbeast at 9:14 PM on August 5, 2011

I Can't Make You Love Me
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:15 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Don't Think Twice It's Alright -- Bob Dylan
posted by salvia at 9:19 PM on August 5, 2011

Ben Harper - Ground on Down
posted by mannequito at 9:19 PM on August 5, 2011

Hayden - Damn This Feeling.
posted by superlibby at 9:28 PM on August 5, 2011

"Soul and Fire" by Sebadoh

"When I lose control
I need a kind and gentle friend
But I think our love
is coming to an end"
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:35 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

I hate to say this, but when it is that bad, you need Elvis and Burt to explain it to you. (as in, the only time that record sounds great instead of uber cheesy is during a break up!)
posted by jbenben at 9:43 PM on August 5, 2011

Sarah Harmer's "You Were Here" album. "Don't Get Your Back Up" particularly.

Ani Difranco's "You Had Time"
posted by backwards guitar at 9:50 PM on August 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

One Time, King Crimson.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:50 PM on August 5, 2011

I've got lots for breakup grief, but it seems like you want more hopeful, moving on type stuff?

Suddenly, Everything Has Changed

You should also definitely listen to this episode of This American Life.
posted by quiet coyote at 9:54 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seen Enough by Dryer
posted by katyggls at 9:59 PM on August 5, 2011

black by pearl jam
posted by bitdamaged at 10:03 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sorry to break it to you, but Leonard Cohen said that you never get over a broken heart.

He'd know. And it's a liberating insight, in its way.


posted by Capt. Renault at 10:09 PM on August 5, 2011

The Cars - I'm Not The One
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart (the best one in my opinion)
Whitesnake - Here I Go Again
Soft Cell - Tainted Love

It's hard to think of breakup songs that aren't angry or pining away for the ex. It didn't seem like that was what you were looking for, correct?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:19 PM on August 5, 2011

hello marydellamorte.
no rancor, no missing; just something to mollify the numbness.
posted by holdenjordahl at 10:23 PM on August 5, 2011

Hmmm. Maybe Cake's versions of Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps or I Will Survive?

It's in Japanese, but Ashita ga aru sa (there's always tomorrow) by Ulfuls, though it's about life, not love specifically. Also Fight the Blues by Utada Hikaru. (Or the Beat Crusaders' fantastic cover of I Can See Clearly Now.) I realize none of these will help you with Spotify. :p

Go Places, by the New Pornographers.

Stay Positive, The Hold Steady.

Janelle Monae's cover of Smile.

P. S. "Sunshine After the Rain," Berri (look, you didn't SAY that you didn't like terrible cheesy perky dance pop).
posted by wintersweet at 10:43 PM on August 5, 2011

Neko Case's "We've Never Met"
posted by gov_moonbeam at 10:50 PM on August 5, 2011

Speechwriters LLC - CHBB (It's an acronym for Classic Heart Breaking Bitches, but is surprisingly hopeful)
posted by cali59 at 11:02 PM on August 5, 2011

"I'm walking behind you"
Eddie Fisher or better yet Frank Sinatra.
posted by pianomover at 11:05 PM on August 5, 2011

Beatles - Hide Your Love Away

I'm Sorry I Love You - Magnetic Fields

Love is Like a Bottle of Gin - Magnetic Fields
posted by mollymayhem at 11:05 PM on August 5, 2011

Stars: Your ex-lover is dead.

Magnetic Fields: If you don't cry
posted by Gilbert at 11:09 PM on August 5, 2011

Hmm, Esther Phillips' "I Can Stand a Little Rain" might fit.
posted by Lorin at 11:11 PM on August 5, 2011

Carole King - It's Too Late
Chet Baker - Just Friends
Joni Mitchell - A Case of You
Aretha Franklin - Today I Sing the Blues
posted by Paris Elk at 11:21 PM on August 5, 2011

Walk On By by Bacharach and David: Dionne Warwick and lots of others.
posted by Logophiliac at 11:27 PM on August 5, 2011

Amy Winehouse: Tears Dry on Their Own.
posted by Gilbert at 11:29 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fly - Moxy Fruvous
posted by inturnaround at 11:52 PM on August 5, 2011

Regina Spektor - Fidelity
Bon Iver- Skinny Love
Belle and Sebastian - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying
Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
Wilco - Jesus, Etc
The Mountain Goats - Sometimes I Still Feel the Bruise
The Mountain Goats - No Children
The Rural Alberta Advantage - Don't Haunt This Place
Joan Jett - I Hate Myself For Loving You
Tegan and Sara - Call It Off
Mumford and Sons - Little Lion Man
Beulah - Popular Mechanics For Lovers
Beulah - Don't Forget To Breathe
The Thermals - Never Listen To Me

Good luck, I hope you feel better soon.
posted by millions of peaches at 11:54 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Mountain Goats - Woke Up New gets its own separate line.

Tegan and Sara - Call It Off
Rachael Yamagata - Reason Why
Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
Fiona Apple - Love Ridden
Azure Ray - November
Zee Avi - Is This The End
Mumford & Sons - Winter Winds
Tina Dico - Back Where We Started

Can't find an online stream, but St. Lola in the Fields - Waking Up with You also works and is available on Spotify.
posted by Cue the Strings at 11:54 PM on August 5, 2011

I think Sinatra must have done a bunch. I can think of The Summer Wind and One For My Baby.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:57 PM on August 5, 2011

Also, there are quite a few good AskMe threads if you do a search for: breakup songs
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:02 AM on August 6, 2011

Well after you go through the phase of listening to breakup/sad type of songs, which can be long or short depending on you, I recommend some vocal trance.

I found myself getting caught up in the breakup type songs and it only made me sadder. Not sure why I attached myself to that.

Don't like trance music? Its ok, you will if you listen long enough. At least that's what I found - he he. Every genre from pop, rock to hip hop and country to music in other languages you'll find gems. Music is part of being human so why restrict yourself?

That being said, here is gem from trance which is a breakup song with an upbeat tempo:
Armin van Buuren Feat Jennifer Rene - Fine Without You
posted by simpleton at 12:22 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

If I Didn't Have You by Tim Minchin (I'd have somebody else)
posted by NoiselessPenguin at 1:08 AM on August 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

It Happened in Monterey - Frank Sinatra
The night we called it a day - Diana Krall
posted by alchemist at 2:13 AM on August 6, 2011

Elvis Costello - Never fall in love again
Les Miserables - I Dreamed A Dream
The Beatles - Yesterday
Guns N' Roses - Since I Don't Have You
Simon and Garfunkel - Bye Bye Love
R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts
R.E.M. - Final Straw
Saggitarius - My World Fell Down

Seconding wintersweet on Cake, they're awesome and great for getting you unexpectedly feeling a bit more cheerful. There's also Walk On By, by the same.
posted by fearnothing at 2:22 AM on August 6, 2011

Spiritualized - Broken Heart
posted by WalkingAround at 5:08 AM on August 6, 2011

Riva - Cafe del Mar Vol 7
Busted, Broken, Forgotten - Art of Fighting
I Gave You All - Mumford & Sons
Dreaming With A Broken Heart - John Mayer
Love is a Losing Game - Amy Winehouse
Don't Think Of Me - Dido
Love Hurts - Heart
Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley
Spending My Time - Roxette
A Winter's Tale - David Essex
Roads - Portishead
Another Bloody Love Song - Joy & Lara
I've Tried Everything - Eurythmics
The Dumbing Down of Love - Frou Frou
Untouchable Face - Ani di Franco
Blue - Joni Mitchell
Of This Goodbye - Costeau
Hope There's Someone - Antony & The Johnsons
Novocaine for the Soul - Eels
Foolish Games - Jewel
Breakable - Ingrid Michaelson
Can't Cry These Tears - Garbage

...and almost everything by Adele
posted by misscait at 5:31 AM on August 6, 2011

Cowboy Junkies - Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday Morning
Patty Griffin - Let Him Fly
The Quiet Times - Dido
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:52 AM on August 6, 2011

The break-up song on This American Life's "Break-Up" episode is worth a listen, too.
posted by mark7570 at 6:50 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you need to get away from stuff that runs more sad and toward things that run more righteously pissed off: I Love Myself Today - Bif Naked
posted by gracedissolved at 7:26 AM on August 6, 2011

Better in Time - Leona Lewis
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:41 AM on August 6, 2011

No Doubt - Don't Speak
posted by Bonzai at 8:44 AM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yet another Magnetic Fields suggestion: Not For All My Little Words
posted by bakerina at 12:12 PM on August 6, 2011

An outlier: "Angry All the Time" by Bruce Robison
posted by jbickers at 2:36 PM on August 6, 2011

I see Jewel's Foolish Games has already been mentioned - your "a broken heart (me all in, she in 65%)" made me think of it straight away:

"Excuse me -
I think I've mistaken you for somebody else:
Somebody who gave a damn -
Somebody more like myself..."

Others that might work for you depending on what you're looking for are:
Make It Last by Embrace
I Don't Love You by My Chemical Romance (good if you want to really shout along to something)
Losing a Friend by Nylon (for when you're feeling a little better and can think about the situation with a kind of wistful nostalgia)
Is Nothing Sacred by Meat Loaf (actually you might like the better-known but less heartbreaking Not a Dry Eye in the House too...)
posted by raspberry-ripple at 5:24 PM on August 6, 2011

The album "Late for the Sky" by Jackson Browne is more or less all about broken hearts and sadness, especially "Fountain of Sorrow". I'd recommend that album in its entirety, although the version of Fountain of Sorrow on Browne's Solo Acoustic album is cleaner and better, in my opinion.

Sample lyrics from "Fountain of Sorrow":

Now the things that I remember seem so distant and so small
Though it hasn’t really been that long a time
What I was seeing wasn’t what was happening at all
Although for a while our paths did seem to climb
But when you see through love’s illusions, there lies the danger
And your perfect lover looks like a perfect fool
So you go running off in search of a perfect stranger
While the loneliness seems to spring from your life like a fountain from a pool
posted by grokfest at 5:27 PM on August 6, 2011

The album "Late for the Sky" by Jackson Browne is more or less all about broken hearts and sadness,

David Lindley's guitar solo in the title track is one of the most monumentally sad and beautiful things ever recorded. And yeah, that song in particular describes an ambivalent/fade-out breakup perfectly.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:50 PM on August 6, 2011

Dave Alvin - Bus Station (spotify http link)
posted by Guy Smiley at 7:25 PM on August 6, 2011

On a slightly more optimistic note, Susan Werner - Much at All (again, spotify link)
posted by Guy Smiley at 7:38 PM on August 6, 2011

"King of Wishful Thinking," Go West
"The Sign," Ace of Base (also "Don't Turn Around")
"Out of Reach," by Gabrielle (?)
"White Flag," Dido
"Missing You," John Waite
"But Not For Me," Harry Connick Jr (also "Don't Get Around Much Any More")
"No Good For Me," The Corrs
"Goodbye To You," Michelle Branch
"Musta Been Love," Roxette
"Something Already Gone," Carlene Carter
"The Trouble With Love Is," Kelly Clarkson
"Torn," Natalie Imbruglia
"If This Is It," Huey Lewis
"Don't Let Him Steal Your Heart Away," Phil Collins
"Letter Read," Rachael Yamagata
"Fire and Rain," James Taylor
"If You're Not The One," Daniel Bedingfield
"Smile," Lily Allen
"What Did I Ever See In Him," from Bye Bye Birdie
"There's A Fine, Fine Line" from Avenue Q
"Way Behind Me," The Primitives
"Breakin' Up," Rilo Kiley
"Shut Up And Let Me Go," The Ting Tings

Hm, that's my entire breakup playlist right there.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:08 PM on August 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough - Patty Smyth / Don Henley
Bad Timing - Blue Rodeo
posted by emeiji at 6:46 PM on August 7, 2011

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