10 Heart-Mending Songs to Get You Through a Breakup
Paying back student loans, finding out your favorite show got canceled, realizing you're out of toilet paper after you already sat down to pee — there is no evil in the world that is worse than a broken heart. No matter what reason the relationship ended, breakups are always hard and they always hurt. There's no easy fix, and there's nothing worse than checking Facebook only to realize that your ex is apparently happier without you.
However, there are some things I like to call Breakup Benefits. When you've recently been dumped (or done the dumping), you can get away with all kinds of things you normally wouldn't be able to justify to yourself. Eat as much ice cream and fast food as you want. Irresponsibly spend your last paycheck on a bunch of really awesome clothes and shoes you don't actually need. Don't get out of bed all weekend if you don't want to. Take a day off of work, don't shower, and binge watch The Office on Netflix.
Another Breakup Benefit: Breakup songs are never quite as satisfying as they are when you're in the middle of one. And although nothing can truly heal your heartbreak but time, these songs will definitely help.
"Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
"Since U Been Gone" is the quintessential breakup song. It's physically impossible to end a relationship without playing this song at least once, preferably while driving with the windows down. "I can breathe for the first time!" Clarkson belts as you realize that you, too, can breathe for the first time.
"All Too Well" by Taylor Swift
Even on my happiest day, this song will bring me to tears. Swift has said that the lyrics, "you call me up again just to break me like a promise/ So casually cruel in the name of being honest" are her favorite that she's ever written, and not for no reason. This painfully honest song about remembering the good times of a relationship that ended poorly a little more vividly than you'd prefer applies to basically any situation. Scream those lyrics, and let the tears flow.
"Irreplaceable" by Beyonce
A classic. Anyone who's decided to leave you is obviously making the biggest mistake of his or her life, and Queen Bey created this anthem just for you. This song is most effective in healing your broken heart if you keep in mind that you can, in fact, have "another you in a minute, and in fact he'll be here in a minute." Everything you own in the box to the left, douchebag.
"Stronger" by Britney Spears
This is an old song, but it doesn't make it any less essential to any breakup playlist. As sad as you might be, the day will come when your loneliness ain't killing you no more, and damn it, you'll be stronger than yesterday to boot.
"We Are Never Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift
T.Swift makes this list twice, because she's the best at breakup songs (and, let's face it, any other kind of song, too). This song is perfect for the stage of your breakup recovery when you've realized that what's in the past should probably stay in the past. After all, anyone who's stupid enough to think they're better off without you should never re-enter your life. Like, ever.
"Someone Like You" by Adele
Caution: Only use this song when you're too upset to start healing, or it will make you so incurably sad that you'll have to begin the process all over again.
"Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake
Although this is a female dominated list, Justin Timberlake's words are too perfect to be ignored. This song is excellent for when you feel like you really gave the relationship your all, only for the other person to throw everything back in your face. And who needs that? You can take your awesome girlfriend skills somewhere they're appreciated. Cry me a river, buttmunch.
"Bye Bye Bye" by N'Sync
While we're on the subject of Justin Timberlake, a little boy band music isn't going to hurt. Your ex left, and as far as you're concerned, he should've gotten to steppin' a long time ago. Don't allow yourself to be a fool, or another player in your ex's game for two.
"Single Ladies" by Beyonce
Just as Swift made this list twice, so did Beyonce, because leaving this song off would be doing you a major disservice. You are now a single lady, which means it's time to enjoy this music masterpiece to the fullest extent. Shout it from the rooftops, girl. You're free!
"Part of Me" by Katy Perry
If Perry could divorce Russell Brand and walk away unscathed, certainly you can start your new life over, too — and this is the perfect song to motivate you to do it. Regardless of how hard the breakup was, it happened. It's over. And now it's time to move on and create a life that will make you happy, without having to include anyone else in your plans. And that can be an amazing thing.