break-up playlist

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He wasn’t good enough for you! You’re better off without him! and other platitudes go out to Matilda in California, who writes:

My boyfriend and I just decided (somewhat mutually) that we needed to stop seeing each other, since I’ve just started a Master’s program, and he wants to move to New Zealand for an indeterminate amount of time. I still care about him very much, so this has been a little bit rough for me.

At night, when I’m not finishing a paper or making dinner, I have taken to spending my time watching sad movies about people who have broken up with each other, listening to sad songs, and weeping uncontrollably into a pillow.

So, answer me this: What has helped you during a breakup, and can you recommend any songs that I should add to my “End of Times” playlist?

Readers, get yourselves to the comments and compile the epitome of break-up playlists. NB Matilda, avoid listening to songs you might need in future years, because once you’ve recovered from the break-up, it can be unpleasant to return to the music that sustained you through the difficult times.





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9 Responses to “break-up playlist”

  1. Tom Glendinning Says:

    Two ends of this spectrum for you:
    ‘Bye Bye Love’ by the Everly Brothers (Although I really like the Simon and Garfunkle version).
    and
    Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’.
    Don’t expect to be able to come back to them for a few years, I couldn’t properly listen to a whole car CD collection for 2 years after a breakup followed immediately by a drive…

  2. John Says:

  3. Bill Heywood Says:


    “Don’t Let Me Down Gently” by the Wonderstuff. It’s good because it’s not the least maudlin, upbeat even for a break-up song. I like the message, if you have to leave me, don’t bother trying to soften the blow.

  4. Paul Says:

    For break-ups you won’t go far wrong with The Blue Nile – in particular, “From a Late Night Train” on the album Hats is perfect.

  5. Greg Says:

    So What by The Anti-Nowhere League

    Or more of a proper response to the question the last two albums by Brand New. Specifically The Devil and god Are Raging inside Me and Daisy.

  6. Paul Young Says:

    Having been through a couple of pretty acrimonious break ups In my time (who knew dating crazy, slightly damaged women was a bad idea) I have found great solace in the song Doll Parts by Hole. This is mostly for the cheerful line “and someday you will ache like I ache” screamed over and over by Courtney Love. Use sparingly though as excess exposure can cause bitterness.

  7. catherinehirst Says:

    It depends on what kind of breakup music you’re looking for.

    If you want sad bastard, crying big huge snotty tears music, “Must I Paint You A Picture” by Billy Bragg will definitely do it. Also, “Waiting For That Day” by George Michael.

    However, if you want “fuck him, I’m fucking LIVING THROUGH THIS, so let me get up off my arse and have a shower” music, then “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson, and (I’m not proud of it, but whatever) “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child are both good.

  8. jacatero Says:

    Noah and the Whale’s second album, The First Days of Spring, is a sort-of concept album based on the singer’s recent break-up with his long term girlfriend. A must listen.

  9. Joe Says:

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