The 20 Best Breakup Songs

by Sara on October 8, 2009

in Features

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Breaking up might be hard to do, but that doesn’t mean you have to go through it without listening to some great music. This list of songs can help you through any phase of your break up, whether it be the beginning “sad” phase, the “anger” phase, or even the “denial” phase. So put away that box of his stuff and take down that old picture of her, and prepare to join the company of the 20 artists who have been seated on the same “break up” boat that you just bought a ticket for!

20. AZ Yet: Hard to Say I’m Sorry

As we all know in break-ups, sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard it is to say you’re sorry. This break-up song represents a classic case of denial. Sometimes, even though we know it’s over, it is just too hard to say goodbye!

19. Kelly Clarkson: Since U Been Gone

Kelly Clarkson’s smash, Since U Been Gone, reminds you that even though a break-up might not be your idea, sometimes it’s the best thing for you. Don’t feel sorry for yourself, find yourself. Don’t conform to any relationship…It’s not worth it in the end! Go out there and ‘get what you want’.

18. Fergie: Big Girls Don’t Cry

Oh, Fergie Ferg. Big girls do cry, and we all know it, but we appreciate you keeping up the pretenses. Fergie represents a side of break ups that are rarely showcased. The side that doesn’t involve anger and bitterness. Written from the perspective of a girl calling of a relationship in order to figure herself out, Big Girl’s Don’t Cry is probably one of the easiest songs on this list for people to relate to. Sometimes you can’t exactly pinpoint the problem, but you know something has to change!

17. Leonna Lewis: Bleeding Love

Nothing screams “toxic relationship” quite like Leonna Lewis’ hit, Bleeding Love. Every once in a while, that lover comes along that just takes everything out of you, and instead of listening to your friends and telling him/her to hit the road, you just keep going back for more! If you’re in the mood to sympathize and remind yourself of what not to do in a bad relationship, put on “Bleeding Love” pour yourself a glass of wine.

16. Destiny’s Child: Survivor

If you ever wanted a song to tell your ex just how much better you’re doing without him in your life, then Survivor by Destiny’s Child might be just the jam for you. Cutting to the chase, the very first line of the song says, “Now that you are out of my life, I’m so much better”, and then goes on to talk about how much richer, wiser, stronger and happier. Nothing says F U like telling your ex that you were the one obvious problem in your life!

15. Miranda Lambert: Gunpowder & Lead

With her fabulous “stick it to him” anthem, Miranda Lambert wants you to remember that you MUST stand you for yourself. Inspired from growing up listening to stories of Domestic Abuse, Gunpowder & Lead is about an abused woman who takes matters into her own hands. Even if you can’t take the lyrics to heart you can always sit back and envision it!

14. The Ting Tings: Shut Up and Let Me Go

Relationships can be tough and it always seems like someone is changing for the other person. Breaking up certainly isn’t the easiest thing to do, and The Ting Ting’s got it right when they sang, “Shut up and let me go, This hurts, but I can’t show”. This pop song hits on those last few moments before a relationship implodes, leaving with the inevitable, “Shut Up and Let Me Go”.

13. Pink: So What

Nobody does a break up quite like Pink. But her latest album, Funhouse, which was based entirely off of her tumultuous relationship with her ex-husband/current boyfriend Carey Hart. Pink is one tough girl, but parts of the song show off her sensitive side, proving that even tough girls need a ton of lovin’.

12. Rascal Flatts: What Hurts the Most

These country boys touch on a few break-up subjects that most of us are all too familiar with. Nothing is worse then seeing all of your old friends, knowing that you could have tried harder, and just getting up everyday! In “What Hurts the Most”, Rascal Flatts beautifully orchestrate the pain and heartache of a break up, before the feeling of anger sets in!

11. Miley Cyrus & Nick Jonas: Before the Storm

Everybody always remembers what it was like before things all went downhill. When teenage ex-lovers Miley Cyrus and Nick Jonas teamed up to record “Before the Storm”, no one expected such an adult song about the heartbreak you experience when ending a relationship. They sum up the break up pains best when they sing “I’m flooded with all this pain, knowing I’ll never hold you like I did before the storm”.

10. Carrie Underwood: Before He Cheats

Haven’t you ever had the urge to take a baseball bat to your ex’s car? Carrie Underwood can show you how. Before He Cheats, shows you how to unleash your anger on a cheating ex and maybe give him a little warning before he moves onto his next victim. Carrie is hard to sing along with but when you are in the car by yourself, crank it up and belt it out with her!

9. Jay-Z: 99 Problems

Jay Z might not really disclose the details of the break up in this song, but he lets you know one thing loud and clear. That bitch isn’t his problem anymore. For years fans have speculated the crimes this ex must have comitted in order to be compared to getting racially profiled or chased by the paparazzi, but no one has quite figured it out. If you just got out of a really bad relationship, feel free to put on your Yankees hat and dance around like a fool while rocking out to this video.

8. Jordin Sparks: Battlefield

Sometimes dancing around your room and singing into your hairbrush is a completely appropriate reaction to breaking up. And no song can better assist you in that endeavor than Jordin Sparks, “Battlefield”. Between her brilliant lyrics and her amazing voice, you’ll feel comforted and understood, and hopefully you’ll get out some frustration in the process!

7. Rihanna: Take a Bow
You can only hear “I’m Sorry, I love You, It won’t happen again” so many times before you have the urge to throw clothes out onto the lawn. In this break up tune, Rihanna tells it like it is. There is nothing like telling your ex they’re ugly when they cry. Score for Rihanna.

6. Kanye West: Heartless

Does ‘Heartless’ even need an explanation? Kanye’s smash hit just reminds you of the feelings you have right after a break-up. When none of it makes any sense and all you can ask yourself is, how could you possibly rip my heart out? This hit also is one that you know ALL the words to!

5. Alanis Morisette: You Oughta Know

With her “man-hating” ways Alanis Morisette’s Jagged Little Pill album rocked the music industry. You Oughta Know was a powerful single that helped you yell at the top of your lungs that no matter what mess you are left with, you can take sometime and question why a relationship ended…but at the end of the day occasionally you just aren’t the one to blame.

4. Justin Timberlake: Cry Me a River

You may remember Cry Me a River more for the video of Justin entering a “mock Britney Spears” house but the song is a a great “screw you” anthem! No matter what you do or how much you beg, if your significant other has had enough, there’s not a more hurtful message than “Cry me a river.”

3. All American Rejects: Gives You Hell

With the ULTIMATE screw you song, the All American Rejects reminded us of the concept that seeing an ex is ONE of the worst things that can happen. There aren’t many feelings worse that dealing with an ex and Gives You Hell can give you a soundtrack for those uncomfortable encounters.

2. Taylor Swift: Picture to Burn

Just throw all those pictures in a pile and light them on fire! Taylor Swift says don’t worry, he’s just another picture to burn! Taylor’s anthem just reminds you that the best is yet to come and he’s just not worth the time or energy. With a “good girl” version of how to break-up, Taylor inspires you to just imagine how miserable you can make it – by just in your mind.

1. Beyonce: Irreplaceable

Everything YOU own in a box to the left….Beyonce shows you how to pack up the junk belonging to your ex as well as taking back everything that belongs to you. Girls, don’t let him walk away with anything that you have earned. He can find another Sugar Mamma! Beyonce, as always, takes the more sensible, non-violent approach to a break-up – we know she’s to classy for drama.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Linaha October 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm

I love “Barriers” by David Archuleta as a break up song. Have you heard that one? It is fabulous! Gives me a catch in my throat every time I hear it.

cassy November 18, 2009 at 11:24 pm

i think forever and always by taylor swift is a good one. (:

Dee December 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm

I think Plain White T’s “Hate” should have made this list…. and get rid of Rihanna’s take a bow

D F December 6, 2009 at 6:28 pm

Jeff Buckley seems to be missing from the list… hard to believe. 20 best pop break-ups maybe but NOT the best break up songs for sure.

FearedDevil December 6, 2009 at 6:29 pm

3 words… Pretty Hate Machine.

Laura January 23, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Bob Dylan is also missing. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” is the best breakup song ever.

Destiny January 30, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Just broke up with my man he was being a asshole.

angelgirl February 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm

i think crash and burn should be on there

Gybbie February 4, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I just broke up with my ass whole boyfriend. He cheated and had been the whole time.
Huh. I think “I hate everything about you” by Three Days Grace should be on here. :-(

lisa February 5, 2010 at 6:59 pm

got cheated and beaten… guyz suck… this song is definitely a good one for that…. Gunpowder & Lead – Miranda Lambert
And also
Love is Blind by Eve

D Money February 21, 2010 at 1:08 am

This list is straight garbage. Full of trash modern pop music. The total lack of the cure, which is the best depression band ever, makes me want to rage close my browser.

LARRY March 16, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Hey, assholes, you do realize that people have been making music (and specifically breakup songs” for about 5 decades before any song on your list?
What are you, 12 years old?

lovehurtsss March 23, 2010 at 1:45 pm

LOVE THESE! great pickssss. Guys stink :( But then again i guess girls sometimes do to.

Golly Gee April 10, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Mya ft Silkk the Shocker, “Moving On” needs to be top 5. 99 problems is a joke on this list. Nothing to do with breaking up.

Ivy Nguyen April 25, 2010 at 1:56 am

I think u forgot the ” potential break up song ” by Aly AJ . I listened this song when i broke up with my boyfriend :(

kandis May 28, 2010 at 12:43 pm

“bleeding love” is the best song for a break up and aly & aj “potential beakup”song

Rebecka June 28, 2010 at 1:20 am

Good lord D Money, you sound so EMO.

Kristen July 2, 2010 at 12:02 pm

This list is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe it works for people who are currently 12 years old, but not for anyone born before 1985. *rolls eyes*

Amanda July 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

What about evanescence…. Going under ultimate number

Cheryl July 15, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Avril Lavigne – Happy ending.. Who the hell prepared this list?

A$ema August 2, 2010 at 9:17 am

taylor Swift is Beeest !
and west dont bad : – p

luisa August 5, 2010 at 10:47 am

how about “bust your window” by jazmine sullivan

rose September 15, 2010 at 1:36 am

I found a great dating site (W/W/W–Rich Flirts —COM)
The best dating club for seeking interracial singles, sexy beauties and even hot celebs..
go to have a try. You may find your love or friendship there…

Lexi October 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm

HAHA! love all of the songs

Dammy February 15, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Hey D money u suck.Nice list kip it up

Jade March 9, 2011 at 7:36 am

Ugh, what a godawful list, and even if this list MUST conform to nonsensical teenybopper trash, couldn’t you at least give a nod to Evanescence for “Call Me When You’re Sober”. Hell even Kelly Clarkson’s “Never Again” (far better, angrier and more realistic) than Since You’ve Been Gone.

I’m not even going touch on the complete omission of The Smiths, The Cure, Sneaker Pimps or hell, Linkin Park -_-. For shame!

John April 11, 2011 at 3:31 am

From all these songs I really like only one -taylor Swift.

Kingpin September 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I think the most glaring omission is “Go Your Own Way” by Fleetwood Mac. Easily one of the greatest breakup songs of all time.

buddy January 25, 2012 at 2:30 am

Don’t laugh at this! Just do it
Start thinking something you really really want cause this is
astounding the person that sent this to me said their wish came true 10
mins after they read the mail so I thought what the heck
You have just been visited by DrSuess’s Cat in the Hat. He will grant
one wish
Make your wish when the count down is over
Send this to 10 videos within the hour you read this.
If you do, your wish will come true

Chiqerea Bestondui June 26, 2012 at 1:55 am

Taylor Swift is the best for breakups! (: Haha

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