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Depressing Sad Songs Categorized by Type of Sadness

Updated on February 16, 2012

Depressing Sad Songs

For this lens I have taken many songs that I consider sad or depressing and organized them by the type of sad emotion I think they represent. For example angry/sad will have songs that are more rock and metal oriented, or perhaps have the singer screaming, whereas melancholy/sad may have slower songs with piano, and so on. Music is very subjective and is all up to interpretation so this may not be the same for everyone, but I have tried to separate sadness into 8 distinct categories. These are, melancholy, angry, love, angst, bittersweet, restlessness/anxiety, powerful and finally and most depressingly, despair/hopelessness.

Also there are some very famous and well known songs that I have not included simply because I do not care for them (eg, Leonard Cohen). No doubt they are depressing, but this is my lens so I have only included ones I like personally.

I am a melody person, rather than a lyrics person, so sometimes a song will not have a particularly sad theme, but will be included because the melody is quite sad. Likewise there are many songs with sad themes I do not include because the melody is not sad enough for me, and I am all about the melody.

Melancholy - Melancholy sad songs

Melancholy songs
Melancholy songs

This is the most generic of the categories, straight up sad songs that you can self pity to.

Counting Crows - Colorblind

Truman Show Soundtrack - Truman Sleeps

The Hours Soundtrack - Morning Passages

Portishead - Roads

Queens of the Stone Age - Mosquito Song

The Animals - House of the Rising Sun

The Doors - The End

Nina Simone - Strange Fruit

Snow Patrol - Set Fire to the Third Bar

Damien Rice - 9 Crimes

REM - Everybody Hurts

Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang

Leona Lewis - Stop Crying Your Heart Out

Sia - Breathe Me

Coldplay - The Scientist

Kate Nash - Nicest Thing

Madonna - Frozen

Melancholy Song Example

Angry - Sad songs with anger in them

angry songs
angry songs

Type O Negative - I Don't Wanna Be Me

Eminem ft. Dido - Stan

Chester Bennington - System

Silverchair - Ana's Song

Jack Off Jill - Angels Fuck Devils Kiss

Avril Lavigne - Forgotten

Korn - Alone I Break

Nine Inch Nails - Ruiner

Dr Dre - I Need a Doctor

Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Part II

Jedi Mind Tricks - On The Eve of War

Angry Sad Song Example

Love Sad - Sometimes love means sadness

sad love songs
sad love songs

Toni Braxton - Unbreak My Heart

Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River

System Of A Down - Roulette

Slipknot - Vermillion pt. 2

Dolly Parton - Jolene

Robyn - With Every Heartbeat (Live Lounge Version)

Mariah Carey - Without You

Cassius - Love You So

Lana Del Ray - Video Games

Eminem ft. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie

Sinead O Connor - Nothing Compares 2 You

Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack - Aeris Theme

The Source ft. Candi Station - You've Got The Love

Stacey Kent - Ces Petits Riens

Chris Isaak - Wicked Game

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Chrstina Perri - Jar Of Hearts

Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On

Beyonce - Halo

Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You

Love Sad Song Example

Angst - For when you just angst

Placebo - Every You And Every Me (plus virtually every other Placebo song)

Linkin Park - In The End

Hole - Northern Star

3 Doors Down - Be Like That

Papa Roach - Between Angels And Insects

Alanis - I Was Hoping

Pink - Family Portait

The Cranberries - Zombie

Garbage - Only Happy When It Rains

The Smiths - every single Smiths song recorded

Tori Amos - Siren

Lostprophets - Fake Sound Of Progress

Muse - Bliss

Angst Song Example

Sad Song Poll

Do you like sad songs?

See results

Bittersweet - Sad, but still kind of uplifting

bittersweet songs
bittersweet songs

Amelie Soundtrack - Comptine d'un autre été

The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

Aimee Mann - You Could Make A Killing

Alanis Morisette - Eight Easy Steps

Alanis Morisette - Mary Jane

Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

David Kittay - Theme From Ghost World

Adele - Hometown Glory

Frank Sinatra - It Was A Very Good Year

Tori Amos - Crucify

Devlin - Runaway

Thomas Newman - American Beauty

Brian Eno - An Ascent

The Eagles - Hotel California

Goo Goo Dolls - Iris

Evanescence - My Immortal

Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart

Green Day - Good Riddance / Time Of Your Life

Elton John - Candle In The Wind

Simon And Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence

The Beatles - Yesterday

Harry Chapin - Cat's In The Cradle

Britney - Every time

Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time

Lou Reed - Perfect Day

Jefferson Airplane - Somebody To Love

Bittersweet Song Example

Restlessness / Anxiety - Just drop everything and run

restless agitation songs
restless agitation songs

This was the hardest category to pin down, and I'm not sure everyone will get this one. If you know, then you'll know. This is music for people with tumultuous lives. (The image still has a watermark because they make you pay for 5 images when I only want one, so when they sell single images they can happily have my money).

Kylie Minogue - Confide In Me

Nine In Nails - Beside You In Time

Qt Quartet - Hold That Sucker Down

Amy Mcdonald - This Is The Life

Ayumi Hamasaki - Because Of You

Tatu - All The Things She Said

Nirvana - Verse Chorus Verse

Massive Attack - Angel

Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch

Queens of the Stone Age - Go With The Flow

Nirvana - You Know You're Right

Bjork - Bachelorette

DJ Tiesto - Adagio For Strings

Rolling Stones - Paint It Black

Visage - Fade To Grey

Rob D - Furious Angels

Florence And The Machine - No Light, No Light

Mc Solaar - La Belle Et La Bad Boy

Sophie Ellis Bextor - Heartbreak Make Me A Dancer

Soft Cell -Tainted Love

Kanye West - Runaway

Professor Green - Jungle

Moby - Extreme Ways

Escala - Palladio

The Hole Soundtrack - The Hole Main Theme

Restlessness / Anxiety Song Example

Powerful Sad - Sadness can bring the world down

powerful sad songs
powerful sad songs

This is a strange category, but the only one I could think of that is appropriate to these few songs. This is for when your sadness has power.

Clint Mansell - Requiem for a Tower

Rammstein - Amour

Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart

Marilyn Manson - Spade

Powerful Sad Song Example

Hopelessness / Despair - It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black

hopelessness despair songs
hopelessness despair songs

Here we are at the end, this is it, the most depressing, desperately sad songs, this one is for the sadness junkies.

Craig Armstrong And Elizabeth Fraser - This Love

Nine Inch Nails - Every Day Is Exactly The Same

Nine Inch Nails - Right Where It Belongs

Emiliana Torrini - Dead Things

Marilyn Manson - The Nobodies

Death In Vegas - Dirge

Nirvana - Something In The Way

Samuel Barber - Adagio For Strings

Johnny Cash - Hurt

Superchick - Courage

The Streets - Stay Positive

Gary Jules - Mad World

Radiohead - No Surprises

Radiohead - Everything In Its Right Place

Radiohead - Street Spirit (Fade Out)

Radiohead - Exit Music

Radiohead - How to Disappear Completely

The Antlers - Kettering

Sarah Mclachlan - Gloomy Sunday

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Underneath The Bridge

Emiliana Torrini - Gollum's Song

Camille - Pale Septembre

Requiem For A Dream - Lux Aeterna

Hopelessness / Despair Song Example

The Depressing Sad Song Guestbook - Well, did you cry?

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I didn't cry, but it's a great lens full of amazing music... in fact, Portishead's "Roads" is my favorite song of all time!!!!!! It still gives me goosebumps after all these years... but I have to say I love the live version from their Roseland, NYC show the best :D

    • arperinos profile image


      8 years ago

      great list ! excellent work, thank you for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago



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