Arts & Entertainment

The 50 Best Breakup Songs of All Time

Sing-or rage-along to these 50 songs. They're not guaranteed to cure your broken heart, but they can soothe it.
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Feeling heartsick? We've all been there—and we've got the Spotify playlist to prove it. Here is a collection of some of the best breakup songs ever written. You've got your sad ballads, your angry anthems, your woeful melodies. There's one for every mood, so go ahead: feel some feelings.

The Walkmen - "The Rat"

Best Lyric: "You've got a nerve to be asking a favor / You've got a nerve to be calling my number."

Adele - "Rolling in the Deep"

Best Lyric: "The scars of your love remind me of us / They keep me thinking that we almost had it all."

Rod Stewart - "Maggie May"

Best Lyric: "You lured me away from home, just to save you from being alone / You stole my soul and that's a pain I can do without."

Beyoncé - "Irreplaceable"

Best Lyric: "I'll have another you by tomorrow / So don't you ever for a second / Get to thinking you're irreplaceable."

Bob Dylan - "Idiot Wind"

Best Lyric: "It was gravity which pulled us down / And destiny which broke us apart / You tamed the lion in my cage / But it just wasn't enough to change my heart."

Whitney Houston - "I Will Always Love You"

Best Lyric: "If I should stay / I would only be in your way / So I'll go but I know / I'll think of you every step of the way."

Magnolia Electric Co. - "Hard to Love a Man"

Best Lyric: "While you was waiting for me not to call / I sent my love, I sent my love."

The Magnetic Fields - "I Thought You Were My Boyfriend"

Best Lyric: "I just hope you're happy / Stringing me along / While you're stringing / I'm here singing / This, my saddest song."

Peter, Bjorn & John - "Up Against the Wall"

Best Lyric: "Maybe we could make this work / But I just had to leave before it's getting worse / I don't know what you came here for / It's almost that I wish we hadn't met at all."

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Sinead O'Connor - "Nothing Compares 2 U"

Best Lyric: "I could put my arms around every boy I see / But they'd only remind me of you."

Bright Eyes - "The Calendar Hung Itself"

Best Lyric: "Does he walk around all day at school with his feet inside your shoes? / Looking down every few steps to pretend he walks with you."

Marianne Faithfull - "Why'd Ya Do It?"

Best Lyric: "Why'd ya do it, she screamed, after all we've said / Every time I see your dick I see her cunt in my bed"

Alanis Morisette - "You Oughta Know"

Best Lyric: "It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced / Are you thinking of me when you fuck her?"

Amy Winehouse - "Back to Black"

Best Lyric: "We only said goodbye with words / I died a hundred times / You go back to her / And I go back to black."

Marvin Gaye - "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"

Best Lyric: "I know a man ain't supposed to cry / But these tears I can't hold inside / Losin' you would end my life you see / 'Cause you mean that much to me."

Roxette - "It Must Have Been Love"

Best Lyric: "Make-believing we're together / That I'm sheltered by your heart / But in and outside I've turned to water / Like a teardrop in your palm."

Toni Braxton - "Un-break My Heart"

Best Lyric: "Don't leave me in all this pain / Don't leave me out in the rain / Bring back the nights when I held you beside me."

Taylor Swift - "All Too Well"

Best Lyric: "Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much / And maybe this thing was a masterpiece 'til you tore it all up."

Roy Orbison - "Crying"

Best Lyric: "I thought that I was over you but it's true, so true / I love you even more than I did before, but darling what can I do?

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John Mayer - "Dreaming With a Broken Heart"

Best Lyric: "When you're dreaming with a broken heart / The giving up is the hardest part."

American Music Club - "I've Been a Mess"

Best Lyric: "Your beauty is just a slap in the face that's gonna bring me back to life / Back to another sky that's blue."

Fiona Apple - "Get Gone"

Best Lyric: "How many times do I have to say / To get away, get gone? / Flip your shit past another lass's humble dwelling."

Joan Baez - "Diamonds and Rust"

Best Lyric: "Now you're telling me / You're not nostalgic / Then give me another word for it / You who are so good with words / And at keeping things vague."

The Rolling Stones - "Angie"

Best Lyric: "With no lovin' in our souls / And no money in our coats / You can't say we're satisfied."

Dionne Warwick - "One Less Bell to Answer"

Best Lyric: "I only know that / Since he left my life's so empty / Though I try to forget, it just can't be done / Each time the doorbell rings I still run."

Fleetwood Mac - "Silver Springs"

Best Lyric: "I'll follow you down 'til the sound of my voice will haunt you / You'll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you."

Frank Ocean - "Seigfried"

Best Lyric: "I'd rather live outside / I'd rather chip my pride than lose my mind out here."

Bon Iver - "Skinny Love"

Best Lyric: "And in the morning I'll be with you / But it will be a different kind / And I'll be holding all the tickets / And you'll be owning all the fines."

Cyndi Lauper - "When You Were Mine"

Best Lyric: "When you were mine / You were all I ever wanted to do / Now I spend my time / Following him whenever he's with you."

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Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone"

Best Lyric: "How come I've never heard you say / I just want to be with you? / Guess you never felt that way."

Dua Lipa - "IDGAF"

Best Lyric: "You say you're sorry / But it's too late now / So save it, get gone, shut up / 'Cause if you think I care about you now / Well, boy, I don't give a fuck."

New Order - "Age of Consent"

Best Lyric: "Won't you please let me go / These words lie inside they hurt me so / And I'm not the kind that likes to tell you."

Jeff Buckley - "Last Goodbye"

Best Lyric: "This is our last embrace / Must I dream and always see your face? / Why can't we overcome this wall? / Baby, maybe its just because you didn't know you at all."

Bill Withers - "Ain't No Sunshine"

Best Lyric: "Ain't no sunshine when she's gone / And this house just ain't no home / Anytime she goes away."

Grizzly Bear - "Knife"

Best Lyric: "I want you to know / When I look in your eyes / With every blow / Comes another lie."

Jose Gonzalez - "Heartbeats"

Best Lyric: "Ten days of perfect tunes / The colors red and blue / We had a promise made / We were in love."

Solange - "Losing You"

Best Lyric: "There's nothing more I know you're taking it away from me / I gave you everything and now there's nothing left of me."


David Guetta feat. Usher - "Without You"

Best Lyric: "I won't soar, I won't climb / If you're not here, I'm paralyzed without you."

Sheryl Crow - "My Favorite Mistake"

Best Lyric: "Now here comes your secret lover / She'd be unlike any other / Until your guilt goes up in flames."

The Jackson 5 - "I Want You Back"

Best Lyric: "Trying to live without your love is one long sleepless night / Let me show you, girl, that I know wrong from right."

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Kanye West - "Heartless"

Best Lyric: "In the night, I hear 'em talk / The coldest story ever told / Somewhere far along this road, he lost his soul to a woman so heartless."

Carly Rae Jepsen - "Your Type"

Best Lyric: "But I still love you / I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I love you / I didn't mean to say what I said / I miss you, I mean it, I tried not to feel it / But I can't get you out of my head."

Johnny Thunders - "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory"

Best Lyric: "Feel so cold and all alone / 'Cause, baby, you're not at home / And when I'm home / Big deal, I'm still alone."

Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

Best Lyric: "Why is the bedroom so cold / Turned away on your side? / Is my timing that flawed / Our respect run so dry?"

Ben Folds Five - "Song for the Dumped"

Best Lyric: "So you wanted to take a break / Slow it down some and have some space / Well fuck you. too."

Robyn with Kleerup - "With Every Heartbeat"

Best Lyric: "We could keep trying / But things will never change / So I don't look back / Still I'm dying with every step I take / But I don't look back."

PJ Harvey - "Rid of Me"

Best Lyric: "Yeah, you're not rid of me / I'll make you lick my injuries / I'm gonna twist your head off, see."

Mirah - "Gold Rush"

Best Lyric: "I never meant to put you down / But this disaster that came through the town / Swole up the sea and tunnels drowned / My boats broke free and battered you 'round."

Sharon Van Etten - "Serpents"

Best Lyric: "You enjoy sucking on dreams / So I will fall asleep with someone other than you"

The Clash - "Train in Vain"

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Best Lyric: "You must explain why this must be / Did you lie when you spoke to me."

This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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