THE BEST SONGS FOR EVERY STAGE OF YOUR BREAKUP
Everyone goes through a breakup at some point in their life, and everyone deals with it in different ways. Some will quickly find a rebound, take up new hobbies, isolate their friends and family, or say fuck it and start drinking nightly. Everyone has a crutch. Fortunately for me— and hopefully for you— music has always been a lifesaver. Everyone should have their top breakup songs that they listen to when they’re feeling lonely and want to indulge their sadness or feel empowered. We’ve made finding those songs easy for you by filtering the best indie music.
With that being said, researchers have been studying the link between music and pain relief for decades. In one 2006 study, researchers Mitchell and Macdonald experimented with the effects of preferred and relaxing music on pain perception. Tolerance time, pain intensity, and perceived control over the pain were measured in each condition. While listening to their own preferred music, male and female participants tolerated the painful stimulus significantly longer. Along with that, both male and female participants reported feeling significantly more control when listening to their preferred music. So, it’s scientifically proven that music can help ease the pain.
In 1969, Swiss psychiatrist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross came up with the Kübler-Ross model, also known as the five stages of grief. The model was based off her work with terminally-ill patients and was published in her book On Death And Dying. While the theory was inspired by her patients, the model also applies to those who are going through trauma, such as the loss of a job, a divorce, a breakup, drug addiction, and even small losses such as watching your favorite sports team get destroyed.
Knowing all that, we here at We Are: The Guard put together a playlist of the best songs by our favorite indie artists for every stage of your breakup. Check it out below!
STAGE ONE: DENIAL
I NEVER LIKED YOUR FRIENDS BY THE FEDERAL EMPIRE
There’s always that breakup where you know that it might have worked out if your partner wasn’t under the influence of bad advice from their shitty friends. Maybe the breakup happened out of the blue, maybe you knew it was bound to happen…either way something changed, and in the denial phase you just can’t wrap your mind around how it all changed. The Federal Empire sings exactly what you wish you always said: “I never liked your friends.”
WHAT SHOULD I DO BY JAYMES YOUNG
Jaymes Young sums up how you’ll probably be feeling during the first stage of grief in the chorus of this catchy alternative pop song singing “It can’t be true. If I wake up and you’re gone, what should I do?”
STAGE TWO: ANGER
I MISS THE OLD U BY BLACKBEAR
In stage two of the five stages of grief, you’re going to feel resentful, frustrated, and 100% angry. How could they do that to you? blackbear’s “i miss the old u” is the perfect song for blowing off some of that steam. I feel like this song is the musical equivalent of saying “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.” Somehow, it packs even more of a punch.
ALL ABOUT YOU BY OH WONDER
You’re probably starting to think about all the things that were wrong in your relationship and with your partner. But it’s totally okay to be feeling bitter right now. This song is so chill, as a breeze of “no fucks given” goes by. Call em’ out.
STAGE THREE: BARGAINING
SAVED BY KHALID
This is probably one of the shittiest stages of the breakup. In the previous stage, you were feeling okay on your own. You weren’t sad, just angry. Now you’re missing your partner incredibly, and you feel as if you’d do anything to get them back. Maybe you thought this person could be your soulmate. Even when you’re acting strong, you’re still hoping they’ll call. Khalid’s lyrics “I keep your number safe cause I hope one day you’ll have the sense to call me” are so simple and honest. Everyone can relate.
HAD TO FEEL SOMETHING BY COSIMA
With the bargaining stages comes all the things that may make you temporarily feel better, but they also make you feel worse in the long run— stalking on social media, sending a risky text, or playing all those nostalgic songs. You just “have to feel something”, even if it doesn’t last.
STAGE FOUR: DEPRESSION
SO LONELY BY JORJA SMITH
In the last stage you were feeling a bit desperate, but now that you’ve realized they aren’t come back, the depression sinks in. The loneliness has never felt more real. Jorja Smith’s beautifully simplistic piano chords paired with her soulful vocals are the perfect sounds to listen to when you’re just needing that sad song.
LOVE YOU MORE (ACOUSTIC) BY FYFE
I’m not even going through a breakup, and this song is hitting me in the feels. Even though you know it’s not the best idea to listen to depressing music when you’re already feeling low, there’s something that just feels so good about it. When you’re missing your partner, it’s in that moment that you couldn’t love them more.
STAGE FIVE: ACCEPTANCE
NEW RULES BY DUA LIPA
Finally! The stage you never thought you would see. Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean you’re over how you feel, but you accept the way you feel and the situation. You accept you can’t change things, and so you start living your life again. Dua Lipa’s pop single “New Rules” is the perfect song for staying strong and setting boundaries for what you deserve. One, don’t pick up the phone…
KEEPING YOUR HEAD UP BY BIRDY
Acceptance doesn’t mean you don’t have bad days. There still might be times where you see something that reminds you of your ex and makes you feel like you’ve been “set back,” but you just need to keep your head up. One day you’ll have the healthy relationship you deserve.
If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re going through something and could use some introspective breakup songs (or maybe you just want new tunes to listen to. That also works.), but now’s the time to surround yourself with good people and good music. You got this!
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