4 Types of Break-up Songs and What You Can Learn From Them

I have not touched on the subject of romantic love much at all so far. Naturally, the best way to start that discussion is by talking about break-ups. I have had several short-lived relationships and even though there was not always a lot of time invested in them I still felt the effects when they ended. I’ll take you through 4 Kinds of break-up songs (with one sub-type)

1. Sad Breakups

I felt the disappointment, disillusionment, self-doubt, mourning, longing, and yes, sometimes even self-loathing.  I would turn on my music and listen to sad songs about love lost. Anything with piano and a sad soft voice was preferable.  For awhile, a dark time indeed, my go-to break-up song was 9 Crimes by Damien Rice.

Keeping in mind that I wasn’t cheating, and if I was cheated on it was usually because I was in a short relationship and the rules weren’t really defined yet. I just loved the self-loathing and sadness. I wanted to eat it for breakfast, I wanted to take a bath in it, I wanted all I could find that was melancholy and hopeless. The problem was that I was perpetuating the sadness and hopelessness. I was prolonging those negative feelings instead of dealing with them, and making myself feel worse!  

2.Angry Breakups

Of course, there were always the relationships that ended in explosive and all- consuming anger and for those breakups, I had other go-to songs like Kelis’ Caught Out There which sh says at the beginning is “for all those women who have been lied to by their men” but personally my favourite part is the chorus: the repetition of “I hate you so much right now!” It is therapeutic yelling that with some music in the background, kind of makes you feel like you’re not as crazy.

 Angry Breakup with Possessive Features

A sub-category of Angry Breakup is the Angry Breakup with Possessive or Jealous Features. Among the most toxic kinds of reactions, jealousy is a sure way to poison yourself and alienate everyone around you. Nothing has ever made me feel as sick or as crazy as the feeling of possessiveness. Unfortunately, jealousy tends to hurt us more than anyone and it turns us against our fellow ladies. For this kind of breakup, there is Beyoncé’s Ring the Alarm. A perfect example of how isolating and unstable it is to be possessive.

 3.Relief! Breakups

You know when you feel like you are just too exhausted with someone and they are clearly not right for you? and when it finally ends for good, that feeling of relief? You feel like you could not have survived another second of their smothering, manipulating or controlling behaviour. Yet they don’t seem a have a problem with it and it is their persistence that has kept it going on-and-on until you’re a puddle of frustration and confusion, lying on your floor, begging for something or someone to release you. The Relief! breakup is the one where you are DONE. DONE. DONE. For those breakups, there is Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. I felt so much relief in hearing myself repeat “we are never getting back together”, it feels like freedom!

 I am now over thirty, and yes, I still have relationships that don’t work out. But the difference is that I have a new category of breakup songs:  

 4.Empowering Breakups

This has less to do with the other person and more to do with how I treat myself.   The theme song of the empowered break up has to be Sia’s Elastic Heart. Why this song? The lyrics are about being truly honest with yourself, with asking questions and keeping with your inner strength, and not giving in to feeling defeated.


And that’s all for now….

I chose pop songs for this list, but I ould easily adapt it to most genres of music. I am sure I also have a Metal, Rock, Indie, Folk and Rap/Hip-Hop lists specific enough to fill out these categories, but I would like to hear from you!


What songs do you play when you are going through a break-up?  

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