Charlotte Hannah
April 18, 2013

Your Breakup Mixtape: 10 Songs to Help You Get Over It

Photo credit:

So, you’ve just experienced a breakup. Bummer. It doesn’t really matter whether you were the dumper or the dumpee – your situation sucks regardless. Luckily for you, musicians have been writing songs about the dissolution of their own relationships, like, forever. There’s a wealth of tunes out there to form the soundtrack to your breakup.

So, I made you a mixtape to help you get over it. Listen to these songs, in this order, and you’ll be feeling right as rain in no time.

Side A: Wallow in misery

Every respectable breakup needs to be followed by at least a few days of wearing nothing but the same ratty pair of pajamas, crying at dish soap commercials and ardently refusing to accept the fact that things will ever get better. Embracing this phase of the breakup process may seem counterproductive, but trust me: it’ll actually help you get over it faster.

Get your “Woe is me, I’ll never find love again” phase out of your system now so it doesn’t suddenly start on its own, months from now, while you’re standing in line in a Starbucks and the guy in front of you orders a caramel macchiato which was his favorite drink and you lose it in front of a store full of hipsters who peer over their iMacs looking somehow both vaguely concerned and disaffected and you know they’re all staring at you but you don’t even care because you just miss him so much.

Because that would be really embarrassing.

Feel free to listen to this side of your mixtape while remembering exactly when and where you and your ex-flame met to really complete the experience.

Hurt – NIN

What have I become? /
My sweetest friend /
Everyone I know /
Goes away in the end

This song is about wishing you could go back and do things differently – what better sentiment to accompany some post-breakup wallowing? Johnny Cash’s cover of the song is possibly even sadder than Trent Reznor’s original. You can listen to that one instead, if you think you can handle it.

Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division

And we’re changing our ways /
Taking different roads /
Love, love will tear us apart again /
Love, love will tear us apart again

This is classic heartbreak stuff, right here.

Broken Heart – Spiritualized

And I’m crying all the time /
I have to keep it covered up with a smile /
And I’ll keep on moving on for a while /
Lord I have a broken heart

Just listen to those passionate strings! This song is melodramatic as heck, but that’s what you need right now. In fact, the album this song is from (which is called Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space) was written after a nasty breakup, so go ahead and check it out in its entirety if you’re not too busy eating Ben and Jerry’s with your hands because “Spoon” was his pet name for you.

I Know It’s Over – The Smiths

‘Cause tonight is just like any other night /
That’s why you’re on your own tonight /
With your triumphs and your charms /
While they’re in each other’s arms

Fact: nobody does misery like Morrissey. He might even do it a little too well.

I Don’t Want To Get Over You – Magnetic Fields

I could leave this agony behind /
Which is just what I’d do /
If I wanted to /
But I don’t want to get over you

Beneath this song’s upbeat melody lurks lyrics about not wanting to move on from a broken relationship. Don’t forget, though: it may take some time, but you will get over him. As soon as you’re done sending him inane, embarrassing texts with the hope that he’ll realize he’s made a mistake.

Side B: Picking up and moving on

Now that you’ve bathed in your own despair for the appropriate amount of time, it’s time to dust yourself off, pick yourself up and move on with your life. Whether this means getting angry about how he never appreciated you, awesomely kicking him (or your memories of him) to the curb, or just peacefully accepting that the relationship is over, there’s a song for that.

While you listen to this side of your breakup mixtape, be sure to imagine a future in which you’re a tough chick who wears cool clothes and plays the ukelele and takes crap from no one — and who also inexplicably has a pet dragon because hey, why not?

Woke Up New – The Mountain Goats

The first time I made coffee for just myself, I made too much of it /
But I drank it all just cause you hate it when I let things go to waste /
And I wandered through the house like a little boy lost in the mall /
And an astronaut could’ve seen the hunger in my eyes from space

This is the first song on this side of the tape because although it’s still a little sad, it ends on a positive note.

There’s No Home for You Here – The White Stripes

There’s no home for you here girl, go away /
There’s no home for you here /
I’m only waiting for the proper time to tell you /
That it’s impossible to get along with you

Step One: Grab hairbrush.
Step Two: Jump on bed.
Step Three: Dance around, singing this song into your hairbrush and air guitaring as necessary.
Step Four: Repeat until you’re over him.

Shadowboxer – Fiona Apple

But, oh, it’s so evil, my love /
The way you’ve no reverence to my concern /
So I’ll be sure to stay wary of you, love /
To save the pain of once my flame and twice my burn

Oh, Fiona. There’s nothing like an angry, soulful woman with a piano and an incredible talent for songwriting to help you come out the other side of a breakup feeling super powerful.

Good Day – The Dresden Dolls

I picked up the pieces of my broken ego /
I have finally made my peace as far as you and me go /
But I’d love to have you up to see the place /
I’d like to do more than survive; I’d like to rub it in your face

Speaking of angry, soulful women with pianos — this is my jam. If there ever was a perfect “being awesome after a breakup” anthem, this is it.

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

Did you think I’d crumble /
Did you think I’d lay down and die /
Oh no, not I /
I will survive

Cheesy? Yes. But there’s a reason this has been women’s breakup anthem (and karaoke pick) of choice for decades. Cake’s updated version of this classic track is also worth a listen.