Earlier this year I got my heartbroken for the first time. I don’t mean the angst and tears that come from breaking up with your significant other— the death of any relationship is hard. I had broken up and been broken up with by other men before, but this was different. This time I got dumped. I don’t mean getting dumped in a casual he doesn’t text you back kind of way. I mean getting dumped so hard it hits you in the face. Getting dumped so hard it causes the kind of pain that turns you into a sobbing train wreck that believes Taylor Swift is talking about her. The kind of pain that comes from realizing maybe you were actually— at least a little bit— in love. The kind of pain that makes you feel a physical pain in your chest when you hear their name. The kind of pain that makes you feel like you will never be ok again.
In the last few months, I’ve had to learn how to deal with the strange, intense and crushing feelings that come with genuine heartbreak. One thing that has really helped me is this playlist. Losing yourself in music when you are too broken to feel anything else can be a very powerful, healing thing.
1. The song that makes you cry
Sometimes a good deep cry can be very healing. This song in particular spoke to me in the first few weeks after my breakup. I found myself missing the small things about him the most—the touch of his hand, his art that I never really liked, watching Netflix together, etc. This song expresses the emotion of that heartbreaking realization that you will never have that same sort of intimacy with that person ever again.
Too much to ask- Arctic Monkeys
2. The song that makes you think of them
This can really be any song you associate with them. I remember buying this album because he recommended it, and listening to it in his arms one night not long after we started seeing each other casually. DELETE THIS. It is not healthy to listen to this. All it does is remind you of what you lost, and makes you build up a nostalgic picture in your head of what your relationship was. And it will make you cry in public when it comes on your ipod randomly.
Ends of the Earth – Lord Huron
3. The song for when you claim you’re over them but you’re really not
This is the song you play on repeat because you think it makes you stronger. You think you are finally letting go of them. You are finally starting to get that they don’t want you anymore, and maybe you can deal with that. Trust me, if this is the song you are playing on repeat you are not quite ready to deal yet, but acknowledging that they are not the one for you no matter how much you want them is a good first step.
You’re not the one – Sky Ferriera
4. The song for when you’re “over them” but would still trade your left arm to be with them one more time
I remember hearing this song for the first time right after telling a friend that I was totally over it and realizing that maybe I wasn’t. This song made me realize that maybe it wasn’t even him as a person that I missed, but our relationship as a concept. I missed the comfort, the intimacy, and as much as I tried to let go I still wanted to be held one last time. Reveling in the emotion and angst was important for me in to get on the path to healing.
Blue- Marina and the Diamonds
5. The song for when they want to be friends and it’s too hard
I remember my ex showing up at my door around 3 months after dumping me, taking back everything he had said and promising that he wouldn’t’ t leave me again. That lasted for about 8 hours. The next day he decided we would be better off as friends, and for the next two agonizing weeks I tried to interact with him while feeling like I was constantly being kicked in the face. These weeks made me realize that I was not the reason for what he did. It really wasn’t about me, it was about him and his own issues. It took away the rosiness of nostalgia and hindsight, and made me see that I deserved to be treated better than he treated me. I knew I had to let go, even though it was painful, because hanging onto him was going to destroy me.
About you – San Cisco
6. The song for when you can’t stop thinking about them months later on
The Wombats have been my favorite band since I was fifteen. Their new album— Glitterbug—came out two months after I had been dumped and it was honestly a savior. This song in particular was great because it helped me recognize I was angry. That I didn’t just miss my ex, but that I was also furious at him for the way he had treated me. I was furious at myself for not being able to get over him. The inability to get someone out of your head is like a literal war, and this song is the battle cry.
Headspace- The Wombats
7. The song for when you are ready to start moving on
Hear me out, this sounds like a very angry obsessed with your ex kind of song. And it is. But listening to it on repeat meant that I had finally gotten to the place where I didn’t blame myself for what happened anymore. The places were I could think of him without it destroying me. The place where I realized that I could really accept that it wasn’t my fault. That even though I still thought of him, it didn’t mean I was weak. It meant I was human, and in someway it was good because I finally could see him for who he really was.
Think of you – MSMR
8. The song for when you really can move on…
I heard this song for the first time on the bus the other day and started to laugh. When you’re heartbroken it feels like you will never be able to connect with anyone ever again. That you aren’t good enough , pretty enough, smart enough, or just enough to be worthy of anyone’s attention or love. It takes a long time for those feelings to go away, and I’m still struggling with them. But there is relief; it really does get to a place where it’s manageable. Over time you get to a place where you can hear this song, and think that maybe there is someone else for you out there. Love with any stranger, the stranger the better is possible. You can forgive yourself for falling for them, for getting heartbroken, and you can move on. There is hope.
Someone New- Hozier