So you guys, I went through a break-up a couple months ago. It wasn’t a big deal; he’s a cool guy, it didn’t end for any dramatic reason, and we had only dated for a few months. But no matter the circumstances, break-ups suck, right? They’re a full body experience of every emotion known to woman, and the only way out of the pain is straight through it: time, merlot by the case and “Sex and the City” marathons. Ick.
I usually get through having my heart stomped on by blasting music 24/7, so I thought I’d share my top 10 breakup songs. These are slanted towards songs of the empowering, “I can do it!” variety, because that’s what I like, but if you’re more into the weepy stuff, go directly to Mariah Carey’s version of “Without You” and press repeat without stopping.
I also stuck with more modern songs, because as much as I love Elvis, “Heartbreak Hotel” doesn’t get me as motivated on the treadmill as Beyonce. Bookmark this page for your next heartbreak.
10. “Cry Me a River,” Justin Timberlake. This 2002 song (featuring a then-relatively unknown Timbaland) is infamous for rumors that it was about JT kicking a cheating Britney to the curb. You can’t deny that the blonde in the video (whose house gets a breaking-and-entering from Justin) looks a lot like Brit Brit. Speaking of which, how cool would it be if Britney and Justin got back together now? Anyone?
9. “Feeling Good,” Muse. Muse’s cover of the Nina Simone classic gives the ballad a raucous rock edge. “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life, and I’m feeling good”? Indeed.
8. “Walk Away,” Kelly Clarkson. Kelly is awesome for those girl-empowerment anthems, but “Walk Away,” her sayonara to an emotionally unavailable boyfriend, has to be her finest for realizing that that break-up was the best thing to ever happen to you. When she sings, “I want a man by my side, not a boy who runs and hides,” you’ll be nodding in agreement and ready to not give that loser any more of your precious time.
7. “So What,” Pink. Pink’s divorce anthem actually features on-again/off-again flame Corey Hart in the video. Cojones, indeed. But this song’s fist-pumping hook and power-chorus of “So what/I’m still a rock star/I got my rock moves/and I don’t need you” will satisfy all of your needs for boy catharsis. Now go smash something.
6. “Fighter,” Christina Aguilera. The ultimate kiss-off to a cheating boyfriend, “Fighter” finds Christina thanking him for making her a stronger, tougher person. Her “I’ve had enough” in the bridge is enough to make any girl feel like she can kick some serious ass. The Goth-tinged video is pretty cool, too.
5. “Keep Me Hangin’ On,” The Supremes. Motown does heartache best, and this is the perfect song for that deadweight boyfriend who kept stringing you along.
4. “Before He Cheats,” Carrie Underwood. Don’t eff with Carrie, boys. This country-pop crossover narrates the story of a girlfriend getting revenge on her cheating BF by taking a baseball bat to his precious, pampered car. Her hilarious descriptions of the dude putting on cheap cologne will have you laughing and remind you that sometimes, guys are just not good enough to warrant wasting your tears on.
3. “Survivor,” Destiny’s Child. Remember when Beyonce was in a band? You could basically play any Destiny’s Child song to get that “girl power” spirit pumping through your veins, but “Survivor” helps you see that the classiest form of revenge is ignoring him and working even harder on your own successful life.
2. “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette. I was rocking out to this song in 1995 before I even understood what “going down on someone in a theater” truly entailed. Did you know Alanis supposedly wrote this about her breakup with “Full House” actor Dave Coulier? Hey, at least your ex never shared billing with the Olsen twins.
1. “I Will Survive,” Cake. If you ever see a girl attempt to do karaoke to this song and burst into tears halfway through, I’d place money on the fact that she just got dumped. While the Gloria Gaynor version has buoyed decades of broken hearts at the disco, I prefer the Cake version for 3 reasons: 1. The shift from a female to a male narrator is interesting; 2. That rockin’ horn solo; 3. The extremely well-placed addition of an F-bomb. Just listen.
The Raconteurs, “Top Yourself”
Grinderman, “I Don’t Need You to Set Me Free”
Eels, “Little Bird”
Nine Inch Nails, “Hurt”
Britney Spears, “Stronger”
Stars, “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”
What songs do you listen to when you’re going through a breakup, Lovelies? Do you prefer sad songs or angry songs?