Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and while many spent last Sunday romancing their special someones, others were left without the benefit/hassle of buying candy or flowers or arranging dinner reservations.
Now that the love in the air is clearing up, a few in the first group will suddenly find themselves in the second.
While breakups are a difficult ordeal, there is always a great soundtrack, no matter what your taste in music may be. For that, I’ve compiled a top five list of breakup songs for the newly-single among us.
1. “Someone Like You”- Adele
This 2011 smash hit from the British queen of the breakup song beautifully mixes a positive view of a breakup with a beautifully sad melody that gives the sense that she may not, in fact, find that titular “Someone.” Adele’s voice is phenomenal as always, with subtle voice cracks in the chorus that really drive the emotion home. Adele’s most recent hit, “Hello,” might be a more obvious choice for the number one spot on this list, but as amazing as that track may be, it still draws much of its overall feel from “Someone Like You.”
2. “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)”- Hank Williams
Those whose tastes in country music are more along the lines of Florida Georgia Line or Carrie Underwood may find the legend’s music a tad rough, but the roughness is part of the charm of early country music. Besides, what’s rougher than a breakup? Country has a long-standing tradition of heart-breaking ballads, and no other artist did it quite like Williams.
3. “What it Takes”- Aerosmith
The late 80s and early 90s saw the Boston band make a sudden resurgence in popularity, aided by hits like “Love in an Elevator.” What really kept the band in prominence was a series of ballads, such as “Amazing,” “Cryin’,” and one of my personal favorites, this hit from their 1989 album, Pump. Frontman Steven Tyler sings of the always-awkward event of running into an ex, who is now engaged, in this rhythm-and-blues-influenced power ballad.
4. “You Oughta Know”- Alanis Morissette
For the most part, the songs featured on this list have been more somber numbers, but not all relationships end on a sad note — many end on an angry one. Alanis’ explicit and relentless lyrics are made even more shocking knowing that they were written about her failed relationship with Dave Coulier, a.k.a. Joey Gladstone from Full House.
5. “White Horse”- Taylor Swift
We all knew a certain country-turned-pop artist would be making an appearance on this list, the only question was which of her many breakup songs would it be. While “Picture to Burn,” “Bad Blood,” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” are standouts, “White Horse” makes the list for showing Taylor retract the fairy-tale fantasy of her earlier lyrics; “I’m not a princess. This ain’t a fairy tale” indeed. “White Horse” has an earnestness and symbolizes Swift’s former teenage image growing up and facing reality.
BONUS SONG: “Just a Friend”- Biz Markie
Hey, breakups are tough. Why not lighten the mood with this classic? It’s hard not to crack a smile and/or sing along when Biz begins to sing the chorus.