My breakup playlist.

Ah…breakups. I’ve been through (probably) way too many, that sometimes it seems like a calculated move to get over it: get rid of his stuff + delete his digital history + see new hot guy = movin’ on!

But I know it’s not quite that easy. One thing that helps me get through the gloomy days are great songs that explain how I feel, or just give me something to dance to in my car.

Here’s my breakup playlist:

1. “Baggage Claim” by Miranda Lambert

Ah, Miranda Lambert, a spitfire voice for women everywhere—it was difficult to choose between this song and “Gunpowder & Lead” or even “Mama’s Broken Heart.”

“If it ain’t obvious what has set me off today,
Behind every woman scorned is a man who made her that way
Go on and take your little business trip with that sweet little habit
That you can’t kick
You better call your momma when you get to town
Cause I ain’t gonna be hangin’ around.”

—Miranda Lambert, Baggage Claim

2. “Clarity” by John Mayer 

I know, I know, I just can’t stop blogging about John Mayer. But Clarity is one of my all-time favorite songs; I love that moment of clarity you get after a breakup and this song describes it perfectly.

“But this morning, there’s a calm I can’t explain. The rock candy’s melted, only diamonds now remain.”

—John Mayer, Clarity 

3. “Goodbye to You” by Michelle Branch 

I know this one is kinda cheesy, but I got this CD just before I got my driver’s license, and I recall many an evening driving down country roads, with this blaring in my little blue car.

“I’ve been searching deep down in my soul
Words that I’m hearing are starting to get old
It feels like I’m starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend
And I said,
Goodbye to you
Goodbye to everything I thought I knew.”

—Michelle Branch, Goodbye to You 

4. “If U C Jordan” by Something Corporate 

Okay, so this song has about NOTHING to do with breakups, but it’s such a fun song to sing, especially when you’re pissed off, and that happens plenty of times when you’re getting over an ex.

This is what former Something Corporate vocalist Andrew McMahon said about the meaning of the song:

And this was [a song about] some childish shit that happened after my high school graduation. It pretty much boiled down to a fight over a girl, and me not being a dude that rocks the machismo thing, I spent a summer sort of hearing about how I was going to get my ass kicked. It just tells the story. I was never a fighter, and that was never my thing, and so when this almost came to blows in a parking lot, I sort of pleaded no contest and was like, “Go ahead and hit me.” And didn’t get hit, needless to say. But it was really just a disturbing experience for me because it seemed so silly. So instead of fighting with my fists, I fought with my words.

And it ruined—not ruined, but it really became the staple of my summer, was this guy is hunting for me, [people would say,] “He’s looking for you and he’s going to beat your ass,” and he’s approaching all my friends and saying stuff, and here I am, just chilling, trying to get my summer underway, and everywhere I go, I’m having people be like, “You’re going to get your ass kicked?” And it’s like, “For what?” And we were the big men rolling around, we just graduated, everyone’s getting ready to go off to [college], and you’re at parties and seeing all your friends, and I’m being told not to go to this place or that place. And meanwhile, I’m this 120-pound kid going, “Who wants to fight me?” You could pin just about anybody against me and they’re going to win, unless I fly into a rage and then…

“Fuck you Jordan, fuck you Jordan, 
You make me sick, you make me sick
High school’s over, high school’s over
I don’t care if you dye your hair, 
You’ll always be a little redhead bitch.”

—If U C Jordan, by Something Corporate 

5. “Matchbox” by Jonny Lang

I couldn’t find a good video to do this song justice; but it’s such a good song! And it doesn’t hurt that Mr. Lang is quite a stud.

“Now when things get harder and rough on you
You don’t try to get me back, baby
‘Cause baby I’m through 
I’ve got my clothes and a matchbox
I’m gonna forget about you.”

—Matchbox, Jonny Lang

6. “Shake it Off” by Mariah Carey

This is a fun, hip-hop song that makes me feel empowered when I sing along with it. Plus, I love doing my own little “Shake It Off” dance.

“You wasn’t worth my time
So I’m leaving you behind
‘Cause I need a real love in my life

Save this recording because
I’m never coming back home
Baby I’m gone
Don’t cha know

I gotta shake you off
‘Cause the loving ain’t the same
And you keep on playing games
Like you know I’m here to stay.”

—Shake it Off, Mariah Carey

7. “Settlin'” by Sugarland 

This tune isn’t so much about breakups, as it is about starting fresh, getting back out there, and doing it with power!

“With some good red wine and my brand new shoes
Gonna dance a blue streak around my living room
Take a chance on love and try how it feels
With my heart wide open now you know I will
Find what it means to be the girl
Who changed her mind and changed her world

I ain’t settling for just getting by
I’ve had enough so so for the rest of my life
Tired of shooting too low, so raise the bar high
Just enough ain’t enough this time
I ain’t settling for anything less than everything.”

—Settlin’, Sugarland

7. “Tears Dry on Their Own” by Amy Winehouse 

Ok, let’s face it, the ENTIRE “Back to Black” album is a must-have after a breakup. But this song is one of my favorites.

“I don’t understand,
Why do I stress A man,
When there’s so many bigger things at hand,
We could a never had it all,
We had to hit a wall,
So this is inevitable withdrawal,
Even if I stop wanting you,
A Perspective pushes true,
I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon.”

—Tears Dry on Their Own, Amy Winehouse

8. “Ugly Girl” By Fleming & John

Unfortunately, they didn’t make a video for this song, but it’s absolutely hilarious.

“You’re leaving me for an ugly girl

Does she talk about politics
And all the stuff that used to make me sick
Does she smoke cigars and stay up late, oh, she’s so great

Does she tell you what you want to hear
And I bet that she can grow a beard
I’d feel better thinking you were queer, it’s not fair

I can’t compare to an ugly girl
To an ugly girl.”

—Ugly Girl, Fleming & John 

9. “Undo It” by Carrie Underwood 

This is a really fun song to sing, no matter what the situation is, and it’s a really good song to put you in the “moving on” mode.

“You stole my happy, you made me cry
Took the lonely, and took me for a ride
And I wanna undo it

You had my heart, now I want it back
I’m starting to see everything you lack
Boy you blew it, you put me through it
I wanna undo it.”

—Undo It, Carrie Underwood 

10. “In Repair” by John Mayer

I know, I know…again with the John Mayer! But this song seriously just sings my soul after going through a breakup—I hope you can relate!

“Stood on the corner for a while
To wait for the wind to blow down on me
Hoping it takes with it my old ways
And brings some brand new luck upon me
Oh it’s taking so long I could be wrong, I could be ready
Oh but if I take my heart’s advice
I should assume it’s still unsteady
I am in repair, I am in repair.”

—In Repair, John Mayer 

I know there’s a ton of great songs out there to jam to when you’re getting over a breakup, so what are some of your favorites?


  1. Charlotte | livingwellonthecheap

    Eight years since my last breakup and I STILL find myself reliving the memories when a good breakup song comes on. Michelle Branch 4 life!!! One of my favorites is Gives You Hell by the All American Rejects, and of course we can never forget about Alanis–You Oughta Know is a classic.

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