Reflecting on why breakup songs are the best — even if you didn’t have a recent breakup
Music has gotten me through nearly every part of my life. While I listen to many genres, “breakup songs” is the category I gravitate to the most. This was hard to accept because I am happily married with a baby, so why in the world is breakup music what I listen to the most? The answer ended up being that these songs span different emotions that I feel, despite not being breakup-related. These songs are filled with so much rawness that no matter what, they lend themselves to a fantastic sing-along. So in my private time, with a sound bar, I let the tunes fill my mind and my room.
Anger is an emotion I wish I could avoid. When I use music to help, song choice is crucial. I don’t want anything slow and melodic, I want the neighbours to know I am pissed. My current choice is “abcdefu” by GAYLE. I came across this song when scrolling through TikTok. Instantly, I needed to listen to it in full. When I did, specifically the angrier version, it was instant love. I ended up playing it five times on repeat in one sitting.
This song has now become my anger anthem. Whenever I am pissed, be it because I am thinking about my awful ex, or because my essay sucks, this is my go-to track. Why? Because I get to say “abcde fuck you” so many times, and throw up my middle finger and sing it with all my heart. I feel so much better after singing this. If I am mad at the world in general, the closing line of the song helps too. “Everybody, but your dog, you can all fuck off” is just perfect and saying that as a final release makes me feel good again.
Whenever I play this song in front of my husband, he will jokingly say “Wow, I didn’t think you hated me that much.” To which I laugh, and then explain that this song is my anger anthem. Honestly still not sure he really understands, but at least he knows I am not thinking about him when this song plays.
Breakup songs can even fuel up my happiness. It might sound odd to most, but to me, it works. Sometimes the music just has an upbeat feeling and it makes me smile. Sometimes, I feel a little smug when I smile at a breakup song, but I run with it, because I feel good.
Adele’s “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” is the perfect example. The song opens with “This was all you, none of it me.” Right away, I am put in the mindset that I am on top of the world. She also sings “I’m giving you up, I’ve forgiven it all, you set me free.” The word “free” in her lyrics is what solidifies the happiness I feel listening to the song. When I am happy, I feel free from all the negative things going on and this song just gets me to feel thrilled that I am in a position where I can send the negativity elsewhere. Also, the music video of Adele simply looking stunning in that dress and singing against a plain background makes me want to reenact the video in my room. She looks so empowered and watching her makes me happy because I love seeing an empowered woman owning her badass nature.
I never thought that breakup music would be my go-to when feeling emotions not related to breakups. Also, I haven’t had a breakup in four years, so it is still odd for me. That being said, I have decided to embrace my unusual choice and let this music guide my life.
So, if ever you are trying to deal with varied emotions, just find the best breakup song that fits your mood and you will feel great!
Graphic by James Fay