Not in the mood for all the residual Valentine’s Day cheerfulness? Monday’s holiday urged us to express our feelings for those in our lives, but sometimes we just need to reflect on our emotions. While upbeat and happy tunes often bring listeners joy, breakup songs tend to be emotionally engaging. “Breakup songs can provide a kind of reverse empathy as you feel for another person going through what you are experiencing. This feeling can help you recognize your own feelings,” says Paul Thagard, PhD.
Each of us celebrated Valentine’s Day differently. If you’re still in a melancholy mood, check out some (or all) of these anthems below. As Ethan noted in this week’s Cat in the Stax, “Crying is a uniquely human experience. Tears are what separate us from the rest of the animal kingdom, which makes crying all the more necessary. A good cry can help us learn things about ourselves that we never could have known otherwise.”
Don’t hit the repeat button on these ballads of the brokenhearted too frequently—save them for when you need to shed a few tears.
- “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin
- “If I Could Write” by Sam Phillips
- “I Forgot to Be Your Lover” by William Bell
- “Someone Like You” by Adele
- “Let It Go” by James Bay
- “It’s Too Late” by Carole King
- “Tuesday Heartbreak” by Stevie Wonder
- “White Flag” by Dido
- “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James
- “Unbreak My Heart” by Toni Braxton
- “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton
- “Back to December” by Taylor Swift
- “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” by Cher
- “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye
- “When The Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish
- “Purple Rain” by Prince
- “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers
- “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)” by Cinderella
- “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by Al Green
- “With or Without You” by U2
- “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus
- “The Dumbing Down of Love” by Frou Frou
- “Dancing with a Stranger” by Sam Smith and Normani
- “The Winner Takes it All” by ABBA
- “The Man That Got Away” by Judy Garland
- “Misunderstanding” by Genesis
References: Why Do People Like Breakup Songs? | Psychology Today. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2022, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/hot-thought/202009/why-do-people-breakup-songs
Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.
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