Ah, the summer time. Time for summer lovin’, right? Well, not always. The flip side of the coin, which seems to be avoided, is that the summer season also sees an influx of breakups. According to a Business Insider article analyzing breakups based on Facebook data, summer is prime breakup season. In order to get over that summer crash as we move into fall, here’s a list of breakup songs to get you on the mend.
Pop songs you’re sick of, but still resonate whenever they play:
Pay Phone – Maroon 5 (April 2012)
Perfect for the melancholy and ruefully bitter. With lines like “You can’t expect me to be fine. I don’t expect you to care,” “even the sun sets in paradise,” and “one more fucking love song I’ll be sick” this is the ultimate breakup song of 2012.
Blow Me (One Last Kiss) – Pink (July 2012)
As always, Pink manages to capture both the gut-wrenching emotion along with the accompanying desire to say “piss off”. She’s the only singer I know that can make the lines “eyes on fire. eyes on fire. and they burn from all the tears” plus “I will laugh. I’ll get drunk. I’ll take somebody home.” both make sense in the same song.
Wide Awake – Katy Perry (May 2012)
Ah, of course, when you wake up from that blissful happiness from your teenage-dreamlike relationship, you’re just left wide awake…and feeling like an idiot.
Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye (January 2012)
Yeah, Yeah. I know. How many times can radio play a song before it becomes illegal? But we all know that feeling of the weird transition with someone going from intimate intensity to suddenly barely more than a stranger. Besides, you know you sing along when you hear it.
Someone Like You – Adele (January 2011)
As with the aforementioned song, radio has killed the delightful reverb within the verse. Still, it holds enough staying power to last for years to come. Let’s face it, we all know what it feels like when the ex moves on before you do.
Gonna Get Over You – Sara Bareilles (September 2011)
With a finger-snappin’, bass-pluckin’, piano playin’ that resembles something straight out of the 50′s, you can’t help but start to feel a little better. This song elevates your own spirit, in a way that admits you’re still in love with your ex, but recognizes you will make it on your own and eventually you’ll be OK with it all. Still, the lyrics say it all, “I’ll be alright, just not tonight.”
Older or Obscure (maybe both?)
Fuck was I – Jenny Owen Youngs (April 2007)
This is one of my favorites because it’s applicable in nearly any breakup situation. There are two people in a breakup, after all, and sometimes you need to look in the mirror to appropriately direct the blame. This allows you to beat yourself up without being too harsh. Besides, the imagery of “Love plows through me like a dozer…and there’s always a big mess left over” combined with “what the fuck was I thinking” really sums it all up rather nicely.
You Won’t Let Me – Rachael Yamagata (October 2011)
Well, this is a break-up playlist. What is a break-up playlist without some song that says something like, “Goddamnit, don’t leave me!”? This is that song. This is that “I’d do anything, yes, I’d do anything, if you’d only let me” song. Sigh.
That’s What You Get – Paramore (March 2008)
Regardless of what the song is “really about,” it’s still the perfect anthem to chide yourself over letting your heart win over logic. Bonus points for any song that incorporates “riot.”
Shit Song – Kate Nash (January 2008)
So maybe it’s her British accent (I always fall for accents – what American doesn’t??), but this song wasn’t officially released as a single. Still, telling your ex that s/he is “full of shit” is so appealing that I couldn’t leave it off. Also, the thought of offering to split a bottle of wine, then snatching it back just to say “Actually I think I might just have the bottle to myself” appeals to my more sinister boozy side.
Untouchable Face – Ani DiFranco (May 1996)
This is, after all, a lesbian website. If I didn’t include at least one of the songs on the mysterious ‘official lesbian list’…well, I’m pretty sure the gay police would hunt me down and take away my dyke card. Rainbow flags aside, what other song literally shouts “fuck you” at your ex (yes, I know about that OTHER song, but this is so much better).
Disagree with this list? Post the songs you think are perfect for a breakup in the comments.
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A transplant from the snow and mountains of Upstate NY (why, yes, there IS an entire state above NYC!), Tina moved to Chicago in 2005. Since then, she’s taken full advantage of Chicago’s sports scene, participating in rugby, volleyball, and hockey – just to name a few. Her first love, however, is soccer. She's proud to have participated in both the 2006 and 2010 Gay Games as well as the 2009 Out Games. In addition to sports, Tina enjoys traveling (she tries to cross the atlantic at least once a year). Tina is a ‘Jackie of all trades’, so prepare for the unexpected!