51 Best breakup songs that hit you hard

From Miley Cyrus’s latest bold breakup anthem Flowers to Adele’s hard-hitting heartbreak track Send My Love, scroll on for the perfect curation of the best breakup songs ever created.

Updated on Mar 17, 2023  |  12:42 PM IST |  736.1K
The best breakup songs ever
The best breakup songs ever

To all the broken hearts out there, we are here to remind you, everything will be okay and in order to help you move on, we have curated the ultimate playlist of the top breakup songs ever created. Right from the best hits from Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande to classics by Alanis Morissette, we have carefully hand-selected songs that not only have meaningful lyrics that touch a wounded heart but also are musical masterpieces. In fact, whether you are looking for painstakingly sad songs about breaking up or songs that help you forget your ex, the enlisted playlist of the best breakup songs is all that you need. Trust us, we have been there, in fact, that’s how we have taken into account all the stages of grieving and enlisted songs for days when you’re teary, enraged, and also when ready to hate your ex. So what are you waiting for? Scroll on for the perfect list of the 51 best breakup songs to soothe your sappy soul. 

 

1. Taylor Swift - We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together


  • Writer: Taylor Swift, Max Martin, Shellback
  • Producer: Max Martin, Shellback, Taylor Swift
  • Release date: August 13, 2012

One of the best breakup songs ever created, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, was rumored to be written after Taylor Swift’s real breakup. The contagious song was released in 2012 but remains an iconic breakup song even today. In an interview with Billboard in 2012, Taylor shared, “He made some comment about how he heard how I was gonna get back together with my ex. And after he left I was talking to Max [Martin] and Shellback [the song’s co-writers and producers] and was like, ‘We are never ever getting back together!’ she said at the time. “And after that happened I just grabbed my guitar.”)

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2. Joji - Glimpse Of Us


  • Writer: Alexis Kesselman, Castle, Connor McDonough, Riley McDonough
  • Producer: Connor McDonough
  • Release date: 10 June 2022

Another song that anyone with a broken heart will definitely appreciate is this dreamy track called, Glimpse Of Us. The iconic Instagram trending breakup song is definitely an emotional rollercoaster that you are going to fall in love with. 

 

3. Miley Cyrus’s Flowers


  • Writer: Miley Cyrus, Gregory Aldae, Hein, Michael Pollack
  • Producer: Kid Harpoon, Tyler Johnson
  • Release date: January 12, 2023

Miley Cyrus just dropped the biggest breakup anthem of 2023 so far. The musical masterpiece is rumored to be Miley’s tribute to ex-husband Liam Hemsworth as it was released on his birthday. When you are on the lookout for a not-so-sad breakup song, this is it.

 

4. Adele - Someone Like You


  • Writer: Adele Adkins, Dan Wilson
  • Producer: Adele Adkins, Dan Wilson
  • Release date: 24 January 2011

Someone Like You is the most grown-up breakup song ever. Yes, it’s a heartbreak song but it's neither sore nor snarky. In 2011, Adele gave us a breakup anthem that’s not only a musical delight but also about taking the high road. 

 

5. Conan Gray - Maniac


  • Writer: Conan Gray, Dan Nigro
  • Producer: Dan Nigro
  • Release date: October 24, 2019

Maniac is a peppy breakup song that describes a bitter relationship while trash-talking about your ex. In fact, apart from being a breakup song, that song can definitely serve as a fun party song. 

 

6. Harry Nilsson - Without You

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  • Writer: Pete Ham, Tom Evans
  • Producer: Richard Perry
  • Release date: 11 October 1971

Written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans, this song legit has the power to make you feel like you’re in a 90s movie’s heartbreak scene. 

 

7. Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next


  • Writer: Ariana Grande, Victoria Monét, Tayla Parx, Njomza Vitia, Tommy Brown, Michael Foster, Charles Anderson
  • Producer: Tommy Brown, Michael Foster, Charles Anderson
  • Release date: November 3, 2018

The best breakup song ever created. Thank U, Next was rumored to be released right after Ariana Grande’s famous breakup with Pete Davidson. The song literally says, Thank you next, it’s a breakup song that inspires you to move on with the best of pop music. 

 

8. Bruno Mars - When I Was Your Man


  • Writer: Bruno Mars, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Andrew Wyatt
  • Producer: The Smeezingtons
  • Release date: January 15, 2013

A breakup track that also serves as an apology for all the women out there, who should have been treated like a queen. In fact, the song is also a reminder for all the ignorant men out there to wake up before it’s too late. 

 

9. Olivia Rodrigo - Drivers License


  • Writer: Olivia Rodrigo, Dan Nigro
  • Producer: Dan Nigro
  • Release date: January 8, 2021

Go on, listen to this breakup song that’s a musical masterpiece. The song was a hit on TikTok and Instagram and even managed to stay on top of the Hot 100 list for around eight weeks in 2021.

 

10. Justin Bieber - Love Yourself

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  • Writer: Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin, Ed Sheeran
  • Producer: Benny Blanco
  • Release date: November 9, 2015

Released in the year 2015, Love Yourself is undoubtedly the softest breakup song ever created. The song is simple and catchy and legit asks the ex to love themselves. 

 

11. Shawn Mendes - Stitches


  • Writer: Danny Parker, Teddy Geiger
  • Producer: Daylight, Teddy Geiger, Danny Parker
  • Release date: May 5, 2015

When it comes to sad breakup songs for the millennials, no one can do it better than Shawn Mendes. Listen to Stitches if you are trying to cope with a breakup, the song is created to mend a broken heart. 

 

12. Passenger - Let Her Go


  • Writer: Michael Rosenberg
  • Producer: Mike Rosenberg, Chris Vallejo
  • Release date: July 24, 2012

There are songs, and then there are good songs you’d sell your soul to listen to for the first time, Let Her Go, is that song. Listen to Passenger’s Let Her Go for a sweet, easy-to-sing-along bittersweet breakup song. 
 

13. Ed Sheeran - Happier


  • Writer: Ryan Tedder, Ed Sheeran, Benny Blanco
  • Producer: Benny Blanco
  • Release date: 27 April 2018

Ed Sheeran has the voice that’s meant to soothe a broken heart. Happier is one of the best break up songs with the most relatable lyrics ever.  

 

14. Coldplay - Fix You 


  • Writer: Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman, Will Champion
  • Producer: Ken Nelson, Coldplay
  • Release date: 15 August 2005

Fix You is one of the most satisfying sad songs ever created. When the song says “When you try your best, but you don’t succeed / When you get what you want, but not what you need / When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep / Stuck in reverse… When you love someone but it goes to waste / Could it be worse?” you get hooked as a listener. 

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15. Dua Lipa - New Rules


  • Writer: Caroline Ailin, Emily Warren, Ian Kirkpatrick
  • Producer: Ian Kirkpatrick
  • Release date: 7 July 2017

The song legit gives breakup rules in the iconic voice of Dua Lipa. As the song goes, “One, don’t pick up the phone / he’s only calling 'cause he’s drunk and alone,” the song reminds you of all the reasons why you shouldn't go back to your toxic ex. 

 

16. Giveon - Heartbreak Anniversary


  • Writer: Giveon Evans, Sevn Thomas, Maneesh Bidaye, Varren Wade
  • Producer: Maneesh, Sevn Thomas
  • Release date: February 21, 2020

The song was the biggest hit on Instagram and Tiktok. In fact, it had a dance routine that even celebs couldn't resist not performing. Listen to the song once, and we promise you’d be hooked. 

 

17. Kanye West - Love Lockdown


  • Writer: Kanye West, Jeffrey "Jeff" Bhasker, Jenny-Bea Englishman, Malik Jones, LaNeah Menzies
  • Producer: Kanye West
  • Release date: September 18, 2008

Kanye’s Love Lockdown is a magnet for anyone with a broken heart. The song depicts the state of a shattered heart with the best of music and lyrics.

 

18. OneRepublic - Apologize 


  • Writer: Ryan Tedder
  • Producer: Greg Wells, Ryan Tedder, Timbaland
  • Release date: September 17, 2007 (single), April 2, 2007 (album)

Released in 2007, Apologize is a song that seriously manages to stick to your head as soon as you listen to it. Listen to One Republic’s catchy single right now. 

 

19. Selena Gomez - Lose You to Love Me


  • Writer: Selena Gomez, Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Mattias Larsson, Robin Fredriksson
  • Producer: Mattman & Robin
  • Release date: October 23, 2019

Released in 2019, Selena Gomez’s Lose You To Love Me is another breakup song that’s simply stunning. 

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20. Lizzo - Truth Hurts


  • Writer: Melissa Jefferson, Eric Frederic, Jesse Saint John, Steven Cheung, Amina Bogle-Barriteau
  • Producer: Ricky Reed, Tele
  • Release date: September 19, 2017 (original), March 22, 2019 (Re-released)

Lizzo’s Truth Hurts only proves breakup songs don’t need to be sad and boring. The sassy breakup song clearly paints a picture of a breakup and its aftermath in the modern generation of flings, and situationships.

 

21. Ashe - Moral of the Story


  • Writer: Ashlyn Willson, Casey Smith, Noah Conrad
  • Producer: Noah Conrad, Finneas O'Connell
  • Release date: February 14, 2019

Released in 2019, Ashe’s Moral of the Story starts with the most soothing piano piece ever. With the beautiful calming voice and lesson-giving lyrics, the song would be a dream come true on huge speakers in a dark room. 

 

22. Adele - Send My Love (To Your New Lover) 


  • Writer: Adele Adkins, Max Martin, Shellback
  • Producer: Max Martin, Shellback
  • Release date: 16 May 2016

The list of break up songs will always be incomplete without Adele’s classic breakup song called "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)". 

 

23. Dua Lipa - Don't Start Now


  • Writer: Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin, Emily Warren, Ian Kirkpatrick
  • Producer: Ian Kirkpatrick
  • Release date: 1 November 2019

Dua Lipa proves she is a queen of sassy breakup songs with another hit song called "Don't Start Now." The song was released in 2019 and is one of the most fun breakup songs ever. 

 

24. Tove Lo - Habits (Stay High)


  • Writer: Tove Nilsson, Ludvig Söderberg, Jakob Jerlström
  • Producer: The Struts
  • Release date: 15 March 2013

With vibrant beats and trippy lyrics, the song literally makes you imagine neon lights in a dark room. Trust us, the song is so much more than just another breakup song. 

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25. Miley Cyrus - Wrecking Ball


  • Writer: Maureen McDonald, Stephan Moccio, Sacha Skarbek, David KimLukasz Gottwald, Cirkut
  • Producer: Dr. Luke, Cirkut
  • Release date: August 25, 2013

Back in 2013, Miley Cyrus gave her fans an emotional breakup song titled Wrecking Ball. The song is one of the best songs by the singer. 

 

26. King Princess - Talia


  • Label: Columbia Records, Zelig Records
  • Release date: April 13, 2018

Another breakup song that we highly recommend if you are going through a heartbreak is King Princess’ Talia” 

 

27. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart


  • Writer: Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Bernard Sumner
  • Producer: Martin Hannett, Joy Division
  • Release date: June 1980

Love Will Tear Us Apart is one of those sad songs that will make you feel glad you got the chance to actually listen to it. The song was dropped three months post the singer's suicide in 1980. 

 

28. Beyoncé - Irreplaceable


  • Writer: Shaffer "Ne-Yo" Smith, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Espen Lind, Amund Bjorklund, Beyoncé Knowles
  • Producer: Stargate, Beyoncé Knowles, Ne-Yo
  • Release date: October 23, 2006

Another iconic breakup song that we highly recommend listening to is Beyonce’s Irreplaceable. 

 

29. Harry Styles - Falling


Add this standout breakup track by Harry Styles to your sad song playlist is Falling.    

  • Writer: Harry Styles, Thomas Hull
  • Producer: Kid Harpoon
  • Release date: 7 March 2020

 

30. Frank Ocean - Ivy

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  • Writer: Christopher Breaux, Malay Ho
  • Producer: Frank Ocean, Om'Mas Keith, Rostam Batmanglij
  • Release date: August 20, 2016

Ivy by Frank Ocean is another outstanding breakup song that you must listen to. The lyrics of the song describe how messed up it is if you meet the right person but at the wrong time. 

 

31. Phoebe Bridgers - Motion Sickness


  • Writer: Phoebe Bridgers, Marshall Vore
  • Producer: Tony Berg, Ethan Gruska
  • Release date: July 18, 2017

The song is definitely an emotional roller coaster and the perfect pick for an epic breakup playlist. 

 

32. Billie Eilish - Happier Than Ever


  • Writer: Billie Eilish O'Connell, Finneas O'Connell
  • Producer: Finneas
  • Release date: July 30, 2021

Happier Than Ever is another breakup track that’s the perfect combination of screaming rock and a soft ballad. 

 

33. The Supremes - You Keep Me Hangin' On


  • Writer: Holland–Dozier–Holland
  • Producer: Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier
  • Release date: October 12, 1966

Released in 1966, You Keep Me Hangin’ On is a song filled with passion, sadness, and surprise. 

34. The Weeknd - Call Out My Name 


  • Writer: Abel Tesfaye, Adam Feeney, Nicolas Jaar
  • Producer: Frank Dukes
  • Release date: April 10, 2018

Another romantic breakup song you will definitely love is The Weeknd's Call Out My Name. The song is just the right blend of romance and despair. 

35. Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River


  • Writer: Justin Timberlake, Timothy Mosley, Scott Storch
  • Producer: Timbaland, Scott Storch
  • Release date: November 25, 2002

Featuring the best of Justin Tiberlake’s voice, the song was released with the end of Justin Britney's relationship and was an absolute hit. 

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36. Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone


  • Writer: Max Martin, Lukasz Gottwald
  • Producer: Max Martin, Dr. Luke
  • Release date: November 16, 2004

Your breakup playlist is incomplete without Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone. The song has definitely been an anthem for breakups around the world since 2004. 

 

37. Katy Perry - The One That Got Away


  • Writer: Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, Max Martin
  • Producer: Dr. Luke, Max Martin
  • Release date: September 30, 2011

With Katy Perry's iconic voice and lyrics by Katy Perry, Lukasz Gottwald, and Max Martin, The One That Got Away has one of the biggest singles that was Number 3 on the Hot 100 list.

 

38. Usher - Burn


  • Writer: Jermaine Dupri, Bryan-Michael Cox, Usher
  • Producer: Jermaine Dupri, Bryan Michael Cox
  • Release date: March 1, 2004

With this song titled Burn, Usher proves, he sure knows how to toy with a broken heart. The slow jam is definitely one of the best breakup songs of all time. 

 

39. Elvis Presley - Always On My Mind


  • Writer: Wayne Carson, Mark James, Johnny Christopher
  • Producer: Steve Alaimo
  • Release date: 1973

True to its name, Elvis Presley’s Always On My Mind will always be on your mind once you listen to it. The hit song certainly proves old is gold. 

 

40. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive


  • Writer: Freddie Perren, Dino Fekaris
  • Producer: Freddie Perren, Dino Fekaris
  • Release date: October 23, 1978

The classic breakup song called I Will Survive, will certainly prove to be your reason to survive on your sad days. 

 

41. Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart


  • Writer: Diane Warren
  • Producer: David Foster
  • Release date: October 7, 1996

The fire track by Toni Braxton called Un-Break my heart is certainly a timeless track that just fits into a breakup playlist.  

 

42. The 1975 - Somebody Else


  • Writer: George Daniel, Matthew Healy, Adam Hann, Ross MacDonald
  • Producer: Mike Crossey, George Daniel, Matthew Healy
  • Release date: 15 February 2016

While the song is called Somebody Else, believe us when we tell you, it’s simply made for you. 

 

43. Adele -  Rolling in the Deep


  • Writer: Adele Adkins, Paul Epworth
  • Producer: Paul Epworth
  • Release date: 29 November 2010

Adele’s Rolling in the Deep is all the conversation your broken heart needs right now. Go on and listen to the epic track now.

 

44. Dolly Parton - I Will Always Love You


  • Writer: Dolly Parton
  • Producer: Bob Ferguson
  • Release date: March 11, 1974

I Will Always Love You is a song written and sung by Dolly Parton. Trust us when we tell you the song never fails to hit the spot. 

 

45. The Beatles - Yesterday


  • Writer: Lennon–McCartney
  • Producer: George Martin
  • Release date: 6 August 1965 (UK Help! album), 13 September 1965 (US single)

Listen to the pure perfection by The Beatles to give you the finest heartbreak tale in mere minutes. 

 

46. Whitney Houston -  I Have Nothing


  • Writer: David Foster, Linda Thompson
  • Producer: David Foster
  • Release date: February 20, 1993

In addition to being one of Houston’s most stunning vocal performances, “I Have Nothing” is the epitome of continuing to fight for something long after it’s already over.

 

47. Lorde - Supercut


Another breakup song that you would love to listen to on a loop is Lorde’s Supercut. The song is one of the best heartbreak songs ever. 

  • Writer: Ella Yelich-O'Connor, Jack Antonoff
  • Producer: Lorde, Antonoff, Joel Little
  • Release date: 2017

 

48. Robyn - Dancing On My Own


  • Writer: Robyn, Patrik Berger
  • Producer: Patrik Berger
  • Release date: 20 April 2010

With just the right beats and lyrics that pierce your soul, Dancing On My Own is another masterfully created breakup song that is still a fire track in dance clubs. 

 

49. Taylor Swift - All Too Well (10 Minute Version)


  • Writer: Robyn, Patrik Berger
  • Producer: Patrik Berger
  • Release date: 20 April 2010

All Too Well’s 10-minute version paints a picture of a crash-and-burn relationship that’s definitely worth a listen. 

 

50. Lewis Capaldi - Someone You Loved


  • Writer: Lewis Capaldi, Samuel Romans, Thomas Barnes, Peter Kelleher, Benjamin Kohn
  • Producer: TMS
  • Release date: 8 November 2018

With Lewis Capald’s gut-wrenchingly painful voice, this is one of the best tracks for anyone with an ill-fated love life.

 

51. Enrique Iglesias - Somebody's Me


  • Writer: Enrique Iglesias, John Shanks, Kara DioGuardi
  • Producer: John Shanks
  • Release date: 7 August 2007

The song is a lyrical masterpiece and honestly, there’s just something about Enrique Iglesias’s gloomy vocals that manage to unlock a fresh layer of heartache.

 

The history of the music industry squeals that there’s something about the heartbreak that has led to the creation of the most beautiful musical compositions ever. There is a chance, that is the reason why heartbreaking breakup songs are one of the most preferred genres of music. Yes, breakups are painful but believe it or not, your tender heart can transform every good, sad song into a heartbreakingly beautiful musical piece. All you need is a good playlist of the best breakup songs that hit just the right chord. 

If you think about it, the right lyrics, the right music, and the right notes hitting at the right time are what make movies and shows a complete emotional drama-filled roller coaster ride. In fact, there is something about music that not only makes you feel more in the moment but works to enhance your emotions. But, there is something about sad songs that make them even more beautiful. Here’s to hoping you loved the carefully curated list of sad breakup songs specially hand-picked for anyone who’s going through a heartbreak. 

ALSO READ:  35 Best rain songs to soak your sentimental soul in 2023

FAQs

Which are the best breakup songs?
Here is a list of breakup songs you will definitely love, Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Joji’s Glimpse Of Us, Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, Adele’s Someone Like You, Conan Gray’s Maniac, Harry Nilsson’s Without You, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, Bruno Mars’s When I Was Your Man, Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License, and Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.

What are the best breakup songs ever?
The top 10 breakup songs are, Taylor Swift’s We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, Joji’s Glimpse Of Us, Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, Adele’s Someone Like You, Conan Gray’s Maniac, Harry Nilsson’s Without You, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, Bruno Mars’s When I Was Your Man, Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License, and Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.

What are the best love songs about breaking up?
The best songs about breaking up are, Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, Adele’s Someone Like You, Conan Gray’s Maniac, Harry Nilsson’s Without You, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, Bruno Mars’s When I Was Your Man, Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License, and Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.

Which are some great breakup songs?
Here are some great breakup songs, Dua Lipa’s Don't Start Now, Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself, Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, Adele’s Someone Like You, Conan Gray’s Maniac, Harry Nilsson’s Without You, Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, Bruno Mars’s When I Was Your Man and Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License.

Which are the most depressing breakup songs?
Olivia Rodrigo’s Drivers License and Joji’s Glimpse of us are two of the most depressing breakup songs.

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‘A postgraduate in Mass Communication, Ayushi enjoys writing about fashion, skincare, and lifestyle. She's been writing professionally

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