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100 Greatest Heartbreak Songs and Breakup Songs

Updated on August 28, 2015
It's not easy after a breakup
It's not easy after a breakup | Source

A breakup is not easy to deal with. However, the only way to overcome bitter memories is to move on. You cannot shy away from the truth. The bag of memories always remains with you. We have to take the bitter memories in our stride and let time be the healer. For individuals that feel connected with music, songs are a vital part of our lives. After a breakup, individuals tend to stop listening to songs pertaining to heartache, breakups, heartbreak, and jilt. While it makes sense to take a break from songs that make you sad, the truth is sad songs and breakup songs also make you a strong person emotionally.

Don't walk away
Don't walk away | Source

Breakup songs help deal with the reality of our past in a lucid manner. Lyrics in songs that relate to our lives help us focus better. When we reflect upon a bitter episode as a song is playing, suppressed anger finds an outlet. When individuals go through a bitter breakup, anger and resentment builds up slowly. Anger and resentment does find a way out when you listen to breakup songs. When traumatic memories or sad memories come alive while listening to songs, you subconsciously drift away to your past, however, when you are done listening to a song that connects with your past, you emerge an emotionally stronger person. While heartbreak songs may make you feel down momentarily, in the long run they do help you deal will inner demons in a subjective manner.

The world of emotions
The world of emotions | Source

Heartbreak songs from different genres evoke memories at different stages in a relationship. Lyrics of breakup songs do trigger dark moments in life, but they also help look at life with a brand new perspective. Heartbreak songs may make you feel sad as you listen to them, however, when you are through with a session of sad songs, you encounter every aspect of life positively. Breakup songs intensely connect with listeners who have had painful memories in the past. Sometimes for the listener, it feels like the line in a song is speaking about what transpired in his/her life. Heartbreak songs appeal to listeners on a personal level because everybody encounters heartbreak in some form in various stages of life.

Mending a broken heart is not easy
Mending a broken heart is not easy | Source

Songs about heartbreak have been popular since the 40 and 50s in jazz circles and this trend of balladry has gained popularity in different genres over the years. While many teenagers globally love listening to breakup songs, these songs are also popular with older adults. Over the years, songs about heartbreak have become rather popular in genres such as, rock, pop, country and heavy metal. Many singers and songwriter encompass moments of life through lyrics of songs and that’s the reason why we feel a peculiar warmth and nostalgia when we sit down listening to sad songs. The little chapters in lyrics of breakup songs connect with what has taken place in our life.

Majority of women love listening to heartbreak songs on weekends. Is there some sort of a connection with breakup songs and weekends? While answers to this question may not be of relevance to many, it may well sum up the lives of many on weekends. Not everybody may like listening to sad songs, however, songs about heartbreak, heartache, jilt, breakups, and pain will always be the closest to what has or what will happen in our lives.

The list below is a showcase of heartbreak songs and breakup songs from various music genres.

100 Greatest Heartbreak Songs and Breakup Songs

  1. Yesterday- The Beatles
  2. Love Hurts- Nazareth (Rock)
  3. How Am I Supposed To Live Without You- Michael Bolton (Pop)
  4. Ain’t No Sunshine- Bill Withers (Soul/ R&B)
  5. Always On My Mind- Willie Nelson (Country)
  6. Crying In The Rain- The Everly Brothers (Pop)
  7. Unchained Melody- Righteous Brothers (Pop)
  8. The Blowers Daughter- Damian Rice (Folk/Indie Folk)
  9. Torn- Natalie Imbruglia (Pop)
  10. Still Got The Blues- Gary Moore (Blues Rock)
  11. Tears In Heaven (Eric Clapton)
  12. I Can’t Make You Love Me- Bonnie Raitt (Country)
  13. Don’t Speak- No Doubt (Pop)
  14. He Stopped Loving Her Today- George Gones (Country)
  15. How Do I Live- Leann Rimes (Pop/Country)
  16. What Hurts The Most -Rascal Flatts (Country)
  17. Halleujah- Jeff Buckley (Alternative Rock/Folk Rock/Soul-Blues)
  18. Forever Blue- Chris Isaak (Rock N Roll/ Rockabilly/Roots Rock/Country)
  19. Time After Time- Cyndi Lauper (Pop)
  20. I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry- Hank Williams (Country/Pop)
  21. River- Joni Mitchell
  22. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do- Neil Sedaka (Pop/Rock)
  23. Nothing Compares 2 You- Sinead O’ Connor (Pop)
  24. Your Cheatin’ Heart- Hank Williams (Country)
  25. Still Loving You- Scorpions
  26. It Must Have Been Love- Roxette (Pop)
  27. I Will Always Love You- Whitney Houston (Pop/R&B/Soul)
  28. Wicked Game- Chris Isaak (Rock N Roll/Rockabilly/Roots Rock/Country)
  29. Breakeven- The Script (Pop/Rock)
  30. Every Breath You Take- The Police
  31. Wasted Days And Wasted Nights- Freddy Fender (Country)
  32. I Will Remember You- Sarah McLachlan (Pop)
  33. Everybody Hurts- R.E.M. (Rock/Alternative Rock)
  34. November Rain- Guns N Roses (Rock)
  35. End Of The Road- Boyz 2 Men (R&B/Pop/Soul)
  36. Space Oddity- David Bowie (Pop)
  37. I Will Survive- Gloria Gaynor (R&B/Soul/Pop)
  38. Headed For A Heartbreak- Winger (Rock)
  39. Another Lonely Day- Ben Harper (Soul/R&B/Blues/Pop)
  40. Whiskey Lullaby- Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss (Country)
  41. Hold On- Sarah McLachlan (Pop)
  42. Please Forgive Me- Bryan Adams (Pop)
  43. No Distance Left To Run- Blur (Alternative Rock/ Britpop)
  44. Back To Black- Amy Winehouse (Soul/R&B/Pop/Rock)
  45. When You Were Mine- Prince (Pop)
  46. Rolling In The Deep- Adele (Pop)
  47. High And Dry- Radiohead (Alternative Rock/ Experimental)
  48. Unbreak My Heart- Toni Braxton (Pop)
  49. Cuts Like A Knife- Rockwell (Soul/R&B/Pop)
  50. Right Here Waiting For You- Richard Marx (Pop/Rock)
  51. Crying- Roy Orbison (Country/ Rock N Roll/Pop)
  52. Somebody I Used To Know- Gotye Featuring Kimbra (Pop/Indie)
  53. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart- Bee Gees (Pop)
  54. So Cruel- U2 (Rock/Pop)
  55. The Reason- Hoobastank (Rock)
  56. That’s Why (You Go Away) - Michael Learns To Rock (Pop)
  57. Goodbye- Air Supply (Pop)
  58. Where Did My Heart Go?- James Ingram (R&B/Pop)
  59. Owner of a Lonely Heart- Yes (Progressive Rock/Rock)
  60. 10,000 Promises- Backstreet Boys (Pop)
  61. Heartbreak Hotel- Elvis Presley (Rock N Roll/Country)
  62. It’s Too Late- Carole King (Folk Rock/Soft Rock)
  63. Bringin’ On The Heartbreak- Def Leppard (Rock/Had Rock)
  64. The Music Played- Matt Monro (Pop)
  65. Song for the Dumped- Ben Folds Five (Alternative Rock/Power Pop)
  66. Tell Her- Lonestar (Country/Pop)
  67. Angels- Robbie Williams (Pop)
  68. You’re So Vain- Carly Simon (Pop Rock/Folk)
  69. When You Come Back To Me Again- Garth Brooks
  70. Don’t Dream its Over- Crowded House (Pop)
  71. Alone Again- Dokken (Rock/Heavy Metal)
  72. Skinny Love- Bon Iver (Indie Rock/Folk/Indie Folk)
  73. Black- Pearl Jam (Alternative/Grunge)
  74. Dream On- Nazareth (Rock)
  75. I’m Sorry- Brenda Lee (Pop/Rock N Roll/Country/Gospel)
  76. I Fall To Pieces- Patsy Cline (Country/Country Pop/Honky Tonk)
  77. Sometime Love Just Ain’t Enough- Patty Smyth and Don Henley (Pop/ Rock)
  78. Rootless Tree- Damian Rice (Folk/Indie Folk)
  79. Before The Dawn- Judas Priest (Rock/Hard Rock/Heavy Metal)
  80. She Used To Be Mine- Brooks & Dunn (Country)
  81. The River- Bruce Springteen (Country/Pop)
  82. Since U Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson (Pop)
  83. What I Need To Do- Kenny Chesney (Country/Pop)
  84. Irreplaceable- Beyonce (Pop/R&B)
  85. Breaking My Heart- Michael Learns To Rock (Pop)
  86. Changes- Ozzy Osbourne- (Rock/Heavy Metal)
  87. Come Pick Me Up- Ryan Adams (Rock/ Alternative Country/Folk)
  88. I Want My Goodbye Back- Ty Herndon (Country)
  89. You Give Love A Bad Name- Bon Jovi (Rock)
  90. Need You Now- Lady Antebellum (Country)
  91. All Out Of Love- Air Supply (Pop)
  92. Careless Whisper- Wham (Pop)
  93. Should Have Never Let You Go- Neil Sedaka (Pop)
  94. Just Take My Heart- Mr. Big (Rock)
  95. All By Myself- Eric Carmen (Pop)
  96. It’s a Heartache- Bonnie Taylor (Country/Soft Rock)
  97. Things I Should Have Said- Clay Walker (Country)
  98. Rewind- Paolo Nutini (Pop/R&B/Soul)
  99. I’d Give Anything To Be Your Everything- Tracy Lawrence (Country)
  100. Total Eclipse of the Heart- Bonnie Taylor (Pop/Rock/Soft Rock)


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    • Ansel Pereira profile imageAUTHOR

      Ansel Pereira 

      4 years ago

      November Rain does bring back memories. Don Henley has a voice that connects instantaneously.

    • Motherbynature profile image

      Liv Carradine 

      4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      November Rain is definitely one of my favorites. I have 2 more that are not on the list: "Hear My Call" by Jill Scott (this one spoke my entire soul when I was going through divorce) and "The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley


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