Break Ups. Ugh. Terrible. Painful. And just downright not fun. You can go from happy to break down in half a second at the sight of a memory or even another couple, regardless of how miserable the memory or the couple may be. Your self-esteem feels shot to crap. You feel powerless. And you just feel so rejected. Life just feels like it really sucks.
I have a friend who has recently found herself in a breakup situation, which has turned kind of nasty. It has actually become a divorce, and she has found herself in the new position of single mom. While I have never been divorced, I can say that my heart has been shattered a couple times. And as painful and alone as my friend may feel, it is quite possible that everyone has been in a breakup situation. And I’m not talking about the mopey, sad, eat ice cream while watching sad movies kind of breakup. I’m talking angry, vengeful breakup where you want to lose that 20 pounds you gained with him, get a new haircut, feel beautiful, stick up your middle finger and slowly and firmly tell him ‘Fuck you. You will not break me’. That’s my kind of music for my break up soundtrack! I’ve never been the kind of gal who stays down for too long and my music reflects that, particularly when I went through break ups. I love break up music that is loud, angry and screaming for blood! I fuel off that aggression and remind myself of how much better I am without that lying son of a bitch!
When I went through a pretty bad breakup (kind of—it was more a rejection on his part, and basically leaving me in the dust) my music was the one thing that got me through it. That, and alcohol. And a combination of both was pretty awesome. Nothing makes you feel better than tequila shots followed by an intense listening of Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails. BUT! We are not here to talk about booze. I am here to show you the healing power of music!
So, in the spirit of my friend who has found herself in a new life circumstance, here is my list of top 10 best breakup music to fight back.
1. “Rumor has it” — Adele “Bless your soul, you’ve got your head in the clouds, you made a fool out of you and, boy, she’s bringing you down. She made your heart melt, now you’re cold to the core, but rumour has it she ain’t got your love anymore.” –
Let’s start of with something strong! I heard this song not too long ago when I was in the car and I instantly liked it. It’s got a great heavy beat, and I think it would be a fantastic opener to a fabulous, fuck you break up playlist. It’s about a guy who cheats on his lady, and the singer ends up pitying the man as his ass gets dropped, too by the woman he leaves the singer for. Awesome. Ultimate revenge.
2. “Good Luck” – Basement Jaxx – “Good luck in your new bed. Enjoy your nightmares when you’re resting your head” —
Nothing says “Fuck off” like a tough workout and aggressive sweat. That is why this next song got me. The first time I heard it I was in a dance class, and as we danced the pure aggression from the music really got me. I wasn’t going through a break up, but something about this song just hits your core. You suddenly feel like a dancing ninja ready to kick from cheating ass. Or at least much stronger than before the song.
3. “The One” – Foo Fighters ‘You’re not ‘the one’, but you’re the only one who can make me feel like shit.”
Foo Fighters can write a great break up song. Nothing says “I am getting over this” like Dave Grohl screaming “Sometimes I feel I’m getting stuck between the handshake and the fuck” (That song is from “My Poor Brain” from Colour and the Shape). This song was part of the Orange County Soundtrack, and I gotta say, it’s pretty awesome. Its chorus basically tells the story: “You’re not ‘the one’ but you’re the only one who can make feel like this…shit.” Turn it up loud and flip off your middle finger to the douche that tried to hurt you.
4. “Breakin’ Up” – Rilo Kiley – “Are we breakin’ up? Oooh, it feels good to be free!”
This song is a great breakup song. It shows that to be out of a shitty relationship that taxes so much energy just feels good to be over. And you’re life isn’t over when the relationship is over. Plus, I love that line: ‘Ohh it feels good to be free!’ It’s also happy, bubbly and cute. Something you kinda need before you either cry your eyes out or murder the ex.
5. “Don’t Speak” – No Doubt – “Don’t speak. I know just what you’re saying so please stop explaining. Don’t tell me cause it hurts. Don’t speak. I know what you’re thinking, I don’t need your reasons. Don’t tell me cause it hurts”
This one isn’t so much about empowerment (and to be honest, it’s kinda one of those mopey songs I rallied against) than it is about being a classic. Who hasn’t gone through a break up and heard this song and lost it in your car? I know I sure as heck have! Perhaps it’s the ability to relate to the simple lyrics that articulate a painful end or maybe it’s the camaraderie of knowing that if someone can dump Gwen Stephani’s ass then we are probably all screwed, but whatever it is, this song is magnetic for breakups. Its mix of soft verses and harder and catchy chorus is what makes it so comforting. Or just Gwen’s midriff. That is comforting to look at, too.
6. “Glad to See You Go” – The Ramones – “Now I know the score, I don’t need you anymore. Don’t want you ‘cuz you’re a bore.”
While this songs seems about murder, maybe there isn’t something really evil about wanting to murder a terrible ex? Or at least figuratively.
7. “99 Problems” – Jay Z – “If you’re having girl problems I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one” –
Hear me out on this one. It’s a great chorus of empowerment. Still there? Okay! After you’ve been through a break up, you can quickly think of all the crap you HATED about them. All their selfish ticks. All their boring needs. Everything that drove you crazy about that person is suddenly ready to be exposed and vented. So what feels better than to hear a beat heavy rap praising being free of that ball and chain? That is a great feeling! Work it girl, and realize you aren’t that bad off! And in fact, you’re life is probably SIGNIFICANTLY better!
8. “Your Time is Gonna Come” – Led Zeppelin – “Lyin’, cheatin’, hurtin’: that’s all you seem to do…One of these days, and it won’t be long, you’ll look to me, but, baby, I’ll be gone.”
This song is a great break up song because then entire song is about a woman who cheats on a guy and leaves him. But, through all his pain, what gets him through is knowing that she is a bitch and so is karma. Plus the ominous organ beginning is awesome and very ‘Phantom of the Opera-esque’. Love it.
9. “Irreplaceable” –Beyoncé– “So since I’m not your everything, how about I’ll be nothing, nothing at all to you. Baby I won’t shed a tear for you, I won’t lose a wink of sleep ’cause the truth of the matter is replacing you is so easy…Don’t ever for a second get to thinking you’re irreplaceable.” –
This song is a great anthem of ‘oh hell no! I am beautiful and totally capable of being independent and without your ass”. I gotta say, Beyoncé is the queen of great empowerment songs. And it feels good to sing a song about what a jackass your ex was and how awesome you are. This song makes you want to put on a sexy see-through dress like Beyoncé and dance in front of a lit window, and totally forget that asshole who you suddenly realize was never good enough for you anyway. Oh, yeah, there it is. Work it!
10. “You Oughta Know” – Alanis Morrisette “And every time you speak her name does she know how you told me you’d hold me until you died, but you’re still alive…And are you thinking of me when you fuck her?”
Whoa. Alanis! When this song came out, it spoke to women everywhere who had been cheated on/dumped/screwed over by some dirt bag. The catch was, apparently, it is about Uncle Joey from Full House, aka Dave Coulier, which he has admitted probable truth to.
When this song came out in 1995, it was a huge hit and surprise that this young woman was singing so aggressively and passionately about such un-ladylike things. But every scorned woman who had been searching for an anthem, got it. And Alanis because the queen on anger for a couple years. And now this song is the ultimate breakup song for empowerment!