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The Top Ten Breakup Songs of All Time

Updated on August 7, 2012

When it comes to relationships we all know that sometimes they just don’t work out. There are many reasons that people break up, some good and some bad. Over the years we have been fortunate enough to have great artists put into music exactly what we are feeling at the time of our breakup. Whether you have been with someone for two years or two weeks, “Breaking up is Hard to Do,” just like the song first recorded by Neil Sedaka states.

The greatest thing about music is that it is the universal language. There is a song out there somewhere that helps describe what you are currently going through. While there are hundreds and thousands of break up songs out there, here is a list of my top ten break up songs of all time.

10. “Grenade” by Bruno Mars

In this song, Bruno Mars offers details about a woman that just can’t seem to reciprocate his feelings in a relationship. Bruno Mars does a great job of making you feel the pain of this relationship. The song was released in 2010 and was a number one song for the artist.

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9.”You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette was barely out of her teenage years when she wrote this scathing break up song. The song details a relationship and perhaps outlines more details than we “oughta know.” This is a song that can help you through any break up as you can feel the anger in her voice and relate to it.

8. “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

The first version of this song was written and recorded by Dolly Parton. However, it is Whitney Houston’s version that sent it to the top of the charts. The song is powerful and speaks of star crossed lovers. We all have that someone that we will always love, even if the relationship doesn’t quite work out the way we had planned.

7. “F*ck You” by Cee Lo Green

Let’s face it; we have all been angry over a break up and we have all felt like uttering these words. Cee Lo Green does the perfect job of displaying that anger of a break up in a fun way. He lets loose in this song, telling the woman, you know what if I am not good enough for you, so what, it is your loss. This is a great song when you are feeling low about your break up. Just remember it is their loss, not yours.

6. “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon

Perhaps one of the wittiest break up songs ever written, the lyrics play out like a short film, with a refrain that is cleverly rhymed. Even thirty years after the song was written, it is still fascinating, fun, and remains one of the best break up songs of all times.

5. “Someone Like You” by Adele

No one can quite sing about a break up like Adele. She has a powerful voice that makes you feel her pain throughout your soul. During the chorus of the song she laments that she will find someone like you and that she wishes nothing but the best for you too. These words can hit home once you realize that you are really better off without your former partner.

4. “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

When you are in a bad relationship, few things in life feel better than getting out. This is especially true if your partner was somewhat controlling or you just felt like you couldn’t be yourself in the relationship. Kelly Clarkson does a great job of describing these feelings in this upbeat and catchy tune.

3. “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt

Some of the best songs about break ups come from a personal experience. The song “Don’t Speak” is presumed to be written about the seven year relationship between the lead singer Gwen Stefani and the bassist of the band, Tony Kanal. The song was written by Stefani and her brother Eric. The song pleads “I don’t want to really know what you’re thinking,” which hits home with anyone that has been in a relationship that is going nowhere, but they are having trouble admitting it.

2. “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele

When it comes down to it, Adele has taken the number one spot for writing great break up songs. While the poor girl has obviously had her heart broken, we all benefit from the great songs that she was able to write about her experience. “Rolling in the Deep” offers a powerful vocal and great raw emotion that few can deliver as well as Adele.

1. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor

be somewhere on the list. This song has withstood the test of time and is the ultimate upbeat song to give you that lift you need after any break up. This song is basically telling your ex that no matter what you are going to go on without them, the ultimate F* U.

There are so many more great break up songs out there that it is hard to write a list of just ten. I would love to hear what you think about this list and what songs you think should be included in a list of the top ten break up songs of all time.


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    • wolfee profile image

      wolfee 5 years ago

      Thanks, I fixed the issue of 3 and 4.

      I will always love you is a great song, but I don't know if I could listen to it on repeat for that long :)

    • OneYearLater profile image

      OneYearLater 5 years ago

      Numbers 3 and 4 are mixed up. My friend is partial to I Will Always Love You. We listened to it on repeat for a good two hours

    • soundtrack junkie profile image

      soundtrack junkie 5 years ago from New Hampshire

      my favorite is 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover :)