Love is something we all crave in our lives, but it is a complex emotion that can also bring some sadness. In those moments of sadness, turning to music to get in your feelings or let out a good cry is a therapeutic experience we all deserve. Thanks to multiple artists through the years, we are blessed with a treasure trove of countless sad love songs.
This is why to help you capture the pain and anguish of a broken heart, I’ve put together 46 seriously heart-wrenching songs to let you cry it out.
1. “All I Want” – Kodaline
This Kodaline song is an indie ballad about the all too common feeling of longing and pain we often feel after a bad breakup. The song’s lyrics express the singer’s strong desire to find someone to comfort him even while in despair about his lost lover.
The somber melody of this song made it very popular after it was used as a soundtrack for the movie, The Fault In Our Stars and it is sure to keep you reminiscing about an ex.
2. “Stay” – Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko
Rihanna’s popular song about two people who are drawn to each other against all the odds may be what you need to let out any hope you may have about a relationship that has ended. The singer implores her loved one to stay with her as she explains how hard it is to live without them.
3. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division
If you’re in a painful relationship where you and your partner seem to be heading in different directions away from each other, this Joy Division song will tug at your heartstrings.
The singer leads with the idea that a love where both partners have created a wall between each other will ultimately tear them apart. It is a painful but true reminder that I’ve had ringing in my ears several times.
4. “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
Upon the release of this Whitney Houston classic, it became one of the best-selling singles of all time. While listening to the singer’s powerful voice as she relays a message about moving on and letting go after a relationship ends, you’ll see why the song has been popular since its release.
5. “I’d Rather Go Blind” – Etta James
Knowing your ex is moving on with someone else when you’re still in love with them is a pain like no other, and most times, it can be hard to even hear about their new relationship.
Etta James knows how badly we all hurt in situations like that and captures the rawness of that pain in this song about a woman who laments about her lover being with someone else and feels she’d rather go blind than watch him with this new woman.
6. “Someone Like You” – Adele
With her powerful voice and ability to deliver emotional ballads that make us want to curl up in a ball and cry, Adele could certainly be called the queen of sad breakup songs. Someone Like you is one such song, and the singer uses it to express her sadness at finding out an ex has moved on without her.
Even though she is in despair, she consoles herself with the promise to find someone like her lover. If you’re trying to move on from a breakup, this song should definitely feature on your sad songs playlist.
7. “Making Believe You’re Here” – Nat King Cole
Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship that is bringing you pain or reminiscing over an ex, Nat King Cole’s slow melody in this song will have you feeling sad over the absence of your loved one.
It certainly had me missing an ex several times in the past. The singer expresses his desire and longing for his lover to be with him even though she is miles away.
8. “Me Love” – Sean Kingston
The upbeat melody of this Sean Kingston song may trick you into thinking it is not sad, but its melancholy lyrics, where the singer laments about a lover who leaves him to go somewhere else, are surely heart-wrenching. The feel-good vibe of this song may just be what you need to lift your spirits when you’re heartbroken.
9. “Turning Tables” – Adele
Adele’s song about taking the bold step to end a relationship with someone who has hurt you in so many ways is a beautiful piece that has given you the courage to end a toxic relationship in the past I’m sure it will provide you with the same encouragement when you’re down about a breakup.
The lyrics are an empowering reminder that sometimes it is best to let go of someone instead of letting them continuously hurt you.
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10. “The Scientist” – Coldplay
If you’re feeling a little regret over how things ended with an ex who you’ve gone back to one too many times, this song is just what you need to express your pain and maybe have a good cry.
It is a heartfelt song about a couple in an on-and-off relationship, and the lyrics perfectly capture the emotional rollercoaster of such situations.
11. I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston
Hearing Whitney Houston let out the powerful lyrics “ I have nothing if I don’t have you” in this song will make you crumble in tears. The song about a woman who expresses deep sorrow over a recent breakup will have you seriously emotional about your lost love.
12. I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt
Unrequited love is undoubtedly the worse kind of pain a person can experience, and there’s no better song to bring out that feeling of longing than this Bonnie Riatt ballad.
The moving lyrics express the sadness of a one-sided relationship, with the singer coming to the conclusion that you can’t make someone feel what they don’t want to feel and how it is best to let go in such situations.
13. I’ll Never Love Again – Lady Gaga
Never will a song make you want to grab a few tissues and cry your heart out as this lady gaga ballad. The piece explains the complex emotions that come with trying to love again after a breakup, and the fear of feeling like you’ll never find love again come through perfectly with every line.
14. Goodbye My Lover – James Blunt
In this emotional song, James Blunt shows us how painful it can be to let go of your love for an ex. The singer reminisces on his lover’s influence on his life while lamenting the pain he goes through as he says goodbye now that things have ended.
15. The One That Got Away – Katy Perry
Find yourself thinking about an ex who you wish you could go back to? Katy Perry knows the feeling. She sings about the desire to be reunited with a lost lover and dreams of another life where they could have been together.
Although the song has a youthful tone that implies the singer is talking about a lover from when she was much younger, the longing feeling expressed in the lyrics can be relatable to any generation.
16. Without You – Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s powerful vocals keep this song perfectly emotional and heartbreaking. The singer gives a glimpse into her state of despair as she watches her lover leave.
It is a heartfelt song about the struggle of being in a long-distance relationship, but its message can be relatable to any breakup.
17. Stay With Me – Sam Smith
Sam Smith expresses the desire we all have to not be alone in this heart-wrenching ballad where he pleads for a partner from a one-night stand to stay with him.
The singer admits that he knows the person is not in love with him but still insists on him staying. An all too common feeling from nights where you’d do anything to not be alone.
18. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted – Jimmy Ruffin
Sadness and confusion are usually the two main emotions that plague a person after a heartbreak. To capture this restless feeling of confusion, Jimmy Ruffin takes you through an emotional rollercoaster in this soulful piece about the aching and hopelessness in the heart of someone whose lover has left them brokenhearted.
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19. I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan
Sometimes the best way to avoid being entirely overtaken by sadness after a breakup is to look back on the memories you made during the relationship instead of dwelling on the pain.
This is what Sarah Mclachlan advises in this song, where she reflects on cherished memories with a past lover.
20. Unbreak My Heart – Toni Braxton
If you’re still hung up on an ex, you will love Toni Braxton’s message in this song. The lyrics express the singer’s pain and despair after a breakup, giving her the space to implore her lover to make things right by returning to her life.
With lyrics like “ Un-break my heart, say you’ll love me again, undo this hurt you’ve caused.” The song will surely have you contemplating giving your ex a call.
21. Last Christmas – Wham!
No one wants to be alone during the holidays, and sometimes in a bid to avoid being lonely on a holiday like Christmas, we often make the mistake of rushing into a relationship with someone around that time of the year.
This iconic breakup song turned Christmas classic flawlessly expresses how such relationships often don’t last. However, the singer remains hopeful that they will find someone special to give their heart to in the coming Christmas.
22. It Must Have Been Love – Roxette
Roxette’s popular song became an instant chart-topping hit when it was released, probably because of its relatable lyrics and emotional delivery.
The lyrics of the songs take you through an emotional journey from start to finish as the singer shares her pain and loneliness at the realization that a loving relationship has now ended.
23. Alone – Heart
Alone is about the longing and anxiety the singer feels while she is head over heels in love with a guy. She stays uncertain through the poignant emotional lyrics, wondering when and how she can get the man in question alone.
24. Lose You To Love Me – Selena Gomez
Some breakups are essential for your growth and self-development, no matter how painful they go. Selena Gomez relays that sorrowful message in this song, where she pours her heart out and explains how a destructive relationship affected her.
It is an encouraging song about acceptance and self-reflection, which can help you move on from heartbreak. I’ll be the first to admit I always find myself straining to hold back tears when I listen to this song
25. Space Cowboy – Kasey Musgraves
Kasey Musgraves will give you the encouragement needed to end things with a partner unwilling to commit to a serious relationship with this country number.
Although sad, the song is also empowering as it details the singer’s acceptance of the fact that her loved one wants to leave, so she willingly gives him the space he needs.
26. Love Of My Life – Queen
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury keeps listeners enthralled with the passionate delivery of this beautiful song. The song details a man’s despair after being abandoned by his true love.
Amidst the gentle piano, the singer begs for the love of his life to return to him and it’ll make you wish you could reach out to your own love.
27. Against All Odds – Phil Collins
The emotional lyrics of this song will leave you shaken and sad about a past relationship with its powerful expression of the hollowness the singer feels in the absence of a lover he let walk away from him.
The song also encourages you to stand firm in your conviction about love as it ends with the promise that he will wait for this lost love to return, even if it is against all the odds.
28. When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars
Regret is an all too familiar feeling many of us experience when we reflect on a relationship and notice all our mistakes.
This sad yet beautiful song takes you through a similar type of regret the singer feels as he contemplates everything he did wrong while in a relationship with a lover who is now with someone else.
29. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
Through the powerful lyrics of this song, Foreigner expresses a common anguish many people feel about the struggle to form a deep connection of love with someone else.
If you’re finding it hard to find true love and looking for a song that captures the pain of searching without ever finding it, this song will give you all the chills.
30. How Am I Supposed To Live Without You – Michael Bolton
Singing from the perspective of a broken-hearted man, Michela Bolton relays how impossible it seems to go on with life after the person he loves is swept away by another man. It is a sorrowful tale of a man who waited too late to tell a friend he was in love with her.
31. To Build A Home – Patrick Watson
Everything about this moving song will tug at your heartstrings and have you looking back on a future you could have had with a lover.
From the melancholy sound of the orchestra to the singer’s soft fading voice, this heartbreak song will surely leave you with a few tears streaming down your face.
32. Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler
Toxic love in a relationship is a situation no one wants to be stuck in, but this Bonny Tyler song expresses the constant aching it brings to the heart. The dark lyrics are about the singer’s internal battle with a love that is unhealthy but also difficult to let go of.
33. Nothing Breaks Like A Heart – Miley Cyrus ft. Mark Ronson
Miley Cyrus uses a mix of different metaphors to express the pain of heartbreak in this song about the end of a toxic relationship. It is a nearly poetic song with an important message about coping even while your heart breaks.
34. Need You Now – Lady Antebellum
For nights when you find yourself thinking about an ex after having a few drinks, resist the urge to call them and simply indulge in the deeply emotional lyrics of this song. It is a stunning piece about longing and hurting after a relationship is over.
35. Love Hurts – Nazareth
Realizing that love always comes with a little bit of pain may be a soothing idea to contemplate while you’re hurting. Nazareth put all that pain into perfect musical description with this song about the scars love leaves you with.
36. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
Ever wondered if there was a place you could disappear to after a breakup to avoid all the pain? Well, Heartbreak Hotel speaks to a metaphorical place where the broken-hearted reside.
Still, through the sad lyrics, the king of rock n roll express loneliness and misery many people can relate to after they have been abandoned or jilted by a loved one.
37. Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato is a powerhouse when it comes to vocal delivery, and she shares a glimpse of that talent in this beautiful song about being vulnerable after coming out of a trying relationship. The song’s high-hitting notes and passionate lyrics make it a perfect sad love song.
38. Let Her Go – The Passengers
The singer in this song seems set on letting a lover go if that’s what she wants. The strings and chords of this song, along with the beautiful lyrics, will guide you to a place of acceptance about a relationship that has run its course.
39. Elastic Heart – Sia
A song about finding love after heartbreak might be what you need to soothe the aching in your heart, which Sia embodies with this piece. The singer boldly declares that her heart can heal and move on even if the current relationship has caused her pain.
40. Last Kiss – Taylor Swift
This is a very heartbreaking farewell to a love who got away, and its heartfelt lyrics and straightforward melody make the song really connect with the listener. If you’re going through a difficult breakup, this is the song to help you acknowledge that things are over without dwelling on the pain.
41. A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
Christina Perri’s beautiful song about waiting for love shot to fame when it was used on the soundtrack for the final Twilight movies. However, no matter how old you are or if you’ve never watched twilight, the song’s lyrics resonate with anyone who has ever had to anxiously wait for love.
42. The Winner Takes It All – ABBA
Between the sad tone of the lyrics and the soft strings of the guitar, this song encourages you to accept the pain of feeling played by a lover. The singer lets her lover know she was a fool for trusting him and accepts her fate as the loser now that he’s moved on to the next woman.
43. Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis
Love is no doubt sometimes painful and hard. This song is perfect for anyone who has gone through a painful relationship but is still firm in their decision to love their partner.
The lyrics show the singer’s firm decision to continue loving a man who may be hurting her despite the pain he causes her heart. Listen to the song and relish in the powerful emotions it brings out of you but i can say from experience that you should definitely try to avoid a bleeding love situation.
44. Say Something – A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera
The combined vocals of Christina Aguilera’s powerful voice and A Great Big World’s soft voice make this song have a huge emotional impact. As the singers offer a desperate plea to their loved ones to say something while they struggle with their relationship, you’ll want to indulge your feelings about struggles with love.
45. Death By A Thousand Cuts – Taylor Swift
In this slightly upbeat song, Taylor Swift compares the end of a relationship to a slow death as she explores the effects of a bad relationship on every part of her being.
It’s a slightly more angsty expression of pain after a heartbreak, but the message of letting go is ever-present and it makes a song choice for anyone trying to move on after a breakup
46. Heartbreak Anniversary – Giveon
As Giveon goes through the memories of his failed relationship and breakup, you’ll feel wrapped up in the emotional delivery and poetry of the lyrics of the song.
Whether you’re still hurting from a fresh breakup or ready to move on and heal, this song gets your heart aching with longing and sorrow but it’ll also soothe your heart.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Good Song About Lost Love?
Omg great song choices that focus on lost love include Nothing Compares 2 U By Sinead O’Connor, Back To You By Selena Gomez, and I Miss You By Adele.
What Is The Saddest Song About Love?
It may be hard to determine the saddest song about love, but there are certainly some great contenders out there. They include hits like Someone Like You By Adele, Nothing Compares 2 U By Sinead O’Connor, and I Have Nothing By Whitney Houston.
What Is The Best Breakup Song?
Some of the best breakup songs include classics such as I’d Rather Go Blind By Etta James and I Will Always Love You By Whitney Houston. Pop breakup songs like Thank You Next By Ariana Grande, Hello By Adele, Wrecking Ball By Miley Cyrus, and Irreplaceable By Beyonce are also smash hits that will get you through a breakup.