Love Songs

Songs About Heartbreak

Most people like to hear happy songs that make them feel good. But there are many touching songs about heartbreak. In this post, we’ll explore some of the greatest songs about heartbreak that make us feel interesting emotions, and sometimes even bring on a feeling of catharsis.

One Of The Best Heartbreak Songs Of All Time – Black by Pearl Jam

This is one of the greatest songs of the 1990s and arguable of all time. It’s a sad song about break up. This song features an incredible vocal performance full of suffering and raw emotion.

The lyrics of this song are also poetic. The best lyrics of this song is “In somebody else’s sky..oh why? Oh why can’t it be mine?” – This is raw!

Mellow And Poetic Heartbreak Song – What Was It For by Alex Genadinik

This is a mellow song that uses metaphor of two lovers floating down a gentle stream that came to be out of the girl’s whisper which is like a gentle stream which carried the male protagonist into her dream.

The nautical metaphor extends further as this poetic ballad progresses with one of the lovers being left on a lonely shore while the other sailing away without much vision of where. All the can see if her own stubbornness. If you want a change, and want some happier love songs, I curate a page with the greatest loves songs. Give that a try.

Heartbreak Song About Suicide: Runaway Train by Soul Asylum

This song features a great vocal performance that is immediately cathartic. The listener quickly gets into the song and begins feeling many feelings – even before fully understanding the lyrics.

What Makes A Good Heartbreak Song

To truly tear at the listener’s heart strings you need a few things:

  1. Great vocal performance that’s sincere and truly conveys the rawness of the emotion.
  2. Great song lyrics with poetry and imagery that conjure up emotional imagery in people’s imagination.
  3. Great musical composition and a catchy melody.

If you are interested in exploring songs with a variety of these components, I have a few blog posts you might enjoy. Here is my post with a collection of sad love songs, and here is a blog post with a collection of songs that are specifically about breakup. In these posts, you may see that I am partial to Leonard Cohen. He is my favorite English-language musician. So here is one of Leonard Cohen’s heartbreak songs that isn’t in the lists I just linked to.

Heartbreak From Loss In War – The Partisan by Leonard Cohen

This song is a celebration of bravery of people who stand up for what they believe in – in the case of this song it’s the partisans of World War 2 who fought despite being outmanned and outgunned, and often untrained.

This song is also somber, mentioning all the people who died, and how pervasive death was.

The rhythm of this song create a feeling of urgency and maybe a hint of being in a march or on a search. It’s as though we are next to the partisan, constantly running, hiding, and surviving to fighting another day.

Heartbreak Song About Dying In A War: Who By Fire by Leonard Cohen

It’s a powerful song celebrating the bravery of soldiers who don’t know how they will die. Some will die by fire, and some will die from other causes. It’s an incredibly emotional song.

I love this song so much that I made my own cover of Leonard Cohen’s Who By Fire:

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