11 Songs Every Secret Softie Should Listen To, Because Despite That Tough Gal Exterior, You’re A Marshmallow

While I highly value things like kindness, understanding and a basic level of human decency, I'll admit that I also value my "tough girl" exterior. I know that I can come off as harsh and uncompromising at times, but that's just because I've got things to accomplish and I'm not about to put up with any nonsense. Also, I probably have some not-so-secret issues with being perceived as weak or too soft, because it leaves me open to being taken advantage of, and I'm not here for it. But enough psychotherapy — beneath it all, I'm actually a big old sentimental softie, probably even more so than those who are openly emotional, and there's nothing I love more than listening to a ridiculously emotional song and just feeling. Know what I mean?

Of course, art has always been a safe space for the overly emotional among us, secretly or otherwise. It's great because music can be an experience you enjoy with others or on your own — though if you're planning to really zone out on a wave of sentimentality, you'll probably want to roll solo when listening to the playlist below. Your mileage may vary in terms of how much these songs get to you, but I have all kinds of feels whenever I listen to them, and if you're secretly sentimental like me, you will, too.

Paramore, "The Only Exception"

Fueled By Ramen on YouTube

Paramore aren't necessarily known for their low-tempo ballads, so when they do them, they tend to pack a punch. Haley Williams' voice is just so sweet and adorable and the song itself is just so precious and oh man, it's so good. But don't tell anyone I said that.

Whiskeytown, "Sit And Listen To The Rain"

Didgeridoo on YouTube

I don't think Whiskeytown meant to be a depressing band, but they sorta were (in the best possible way). "Sit And Listen To The Rain" is so melancholy and contemplative and basically perfect if you're having an emo day, which I often am.

Jessie Ware, "Say You Love Me"

JessieWareVEVO on YouTube

Everything Jessie Ware does is basically sentimental paradise, and I mean that as the highest praise. "Say You Love Me" has become her new "Wildest Moments" and is a crowd favorite, as well as one of the songs that makes my heart go all pitter-patter to an embarrassing degree.

Amy Winehouse, "Love Is A Losing Game"

Chris O'Gorman on YouTube

No one quite got love in the way Amy Winehouse did, and I desperately miss her voice in music. At least we can listen back to her old albums and feel her intense passion for life and love in those songs, even though there's also a lot of sadness over her being gone too soon.

Pink, "Please Don't Love Me"

PinkVEVO on YouTube

I've always been a big fan of Pink's, particularly because she's a lot like me: a total badass tough girl on the outside, but a sentimental freak on the inside. "Please Don't Leave Me" is one of the rare moments she let that sappy side come out, and it's brilliant.

Katy B, "Crying For No Reason"

KATYBVEVO on YouTube

The title alone is enough to get you, but this song is just so good. I remember distinctly listening to it on the subway years ago and just being overcome with emotions I couldn't even pinpoint. It still happens to me every time I listen to it now.

The Streets, "On The Edge Of A Cliff"

thebeats on YouTube

I can't believe Mike Skinner called it quits with The Streets, because they were my LIFE. "On The Edge Of A Cliff" is about as emo as they come and it chokes me up every single time, because the message is so true but it's something you never really think about and ugh, I'm gonna cry.

Lissie, "When I'm Alone"

LissieVEVO on YouTube

I've loved Lissie for years — she was a random YouTube discovery that I was glad to have made, and I've even interviewed her a few times since. All of her music is chock full of raw emotion, but something about "When I'm Alone", and particularly this performance of it, will always be my favorite .

Sia, "Big Girls Cry"

SiaVEVO on YouTube

Another brilliant one. Sia is arguably the best working songwriter in the pop game right now. She just gets it in the best possible way and "Big Girls Cry" is a perfect illustration of that fact. I love Sia so much.

Robyn, "Hang With Me"

pammy83 on YouTube

Robyn might be known for her dance music, but she can also slow it down and open her heart in ballad form and I basically live for everything she does, but these moments, like on "Hang With Me" just destroy me (in a good way, obviously).

Lianne La Havas, "Tease Me"

Austin Casey on YouTube

Lianne La Havas has the most beautifully soulful, delicate voice and it's displayed so perfectly on "Tease Me" and my whole heart wells up with feeling every time I listen to it, so hopefully you'll feel the same.

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