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.

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."

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."

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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?

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."

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."

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"

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

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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