The Perfect Breakup Playlist For Girls Who Love To Stew In Their Sadness


Because feelin’ is healin.’ No matter what you’re going through.

I’ve always been magnetically drawn toward all things blue, even when I’m “happy.” I’m a whore for feelings. I’m a wallowing wench. A sadist for sadness. 

One of my biggest goals in life is to open up a sadness themed bar. Instead of having gogo dancers I would hire depression dancers; big-eyed girls with lots of smudged black eyeliner, dressed in vintage baby doll dresses and distressed dr. martin boots (the universal sad girl uniform). Instead of flipping their hair whilst seductively shimmying across a bar, my girls would stare into the sorrowful distance whilst swaying listlessly to the likes of Lana Del Rey and Billy Holiday.

Sadness Queen.
Sadness Queen Via Pinterest.

Sylvia Plath poetry would be hand scrawled across the walls in black ink and the cocktails would be named after all the fabulous types of sadness that exist in this gorgeously forlorn world: The “Heartbreak & Hennesy.” The “Lost Girl Lemon Drop.” The “I FEEL SO OLD Fashioned.” The “I Hate Manhattan.” The “My Prozac’s Not Working Paloma.” The “I’ve Descended Into Madness Martini.” The “Meltdown Margarita.” And of course, “What Am I Doing With My Life” on the rocks.

One might accuse me of “glamorizing sadness” and truthfully, I likely am. But, personally I think sadness could use a bit of a PR makeover. Let’s put some lipstick on her and stop trying to shame her into silence and hiding. I mean, we’re all so fucking afraid to feel sad that we avoid it like it’s the plague! And sadness (I happen to know her well) she doesn’t like being ignored. So when we let sadness fester inside of our bodies, she metastasizes into dreadful things, like acute anxiety, self-medicating, numbing out, addiction, toxic relationships, the works!

What if instead of fearing the sadness we dared to embrace her? What if instead of distracting ourselves with soul-sucking reality TV shows, we allowed ourselves to really ~indulge~ in the melancholy?

There is a very specific beauty that lives inside of our sadness. She isn’t mainstream beautiful like hopefulness or cheerfulness, but I’ve always preferred an exotic, rare beauty anyway. If sadness were a girl she would look like one of those girls that makes you feel things; Rooney Mara, Zendaya, Angelina Jolie. 

While America doesn’t always celebrate the nuanced, complex beauty of sadness, and instead worships the local cheerleader with the crest-white strips smile and the pin-straight hair, a lot of cultures around the world embrace sadness. Portugal is famous for always leaving a saved seat at the dinner table for sadness. In fact, there is a word in Portuguese that I absolutely love: saudade. Suadade means “joyful sadness.” According to BBC travel writer, Eric Weiner Saudade is “a longing, an ache for a person or place or experience that once brought great pleasure. It is akin to nostalgia but, unlike nostalgia, one can feel saudade for something that’s never happened, and likely never will.”

One of the best times to really experience suadade is when you’re in the throes of a breakup.  When your heart is broken you have such deep accessibility to this vast array feelings, some of which you likely forgot about. Nothing shakes your world like a breakup. I mean — you’ve been plucked right out of the safety of your partnered routine and you’re likely starting to realize how much you’ve slept-walk through your life!

I say take advantage of that shit! Heartbreak is a fleeting breath of time, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. But oh, it’s such a powerful time to just let yourself cry about everything. Not just your lost lover. The lovers of your past. Your mother (Afterall: If not one thing it’s your mother). The dreams you’ve given up on! That bitch who bullied you for having hairy arms in the fifth grade!

Heartbreak is like opening up pandora’s box and finding all these unresolved feelings and past traumas inside. And it’s good to have a healthy cry over all of it! It’s how you heal. It reminds you of who you are underneath all that fucking numbing armor, you know?

And what is the best way to indulge in the darkness? Music, babe. Which is why, your favorite resident sad girl (moi) has compiled the perfect playlist for those in the throes of a breakup, or for you bad bitches who just want to feel.

Because feelin’ is healin.’ No matter what the hell you’re going through.

(Also I’ll be sure you are all the first to know when I open up my sadness bar.)

1. “Untouchable Face” by Ani Difranco

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

I don’t look forward to seeing you again
You’ll look like a photograph of yourself
Taken from far, far away
And I won’t know what to do
And I won’t know what to say
Except fuck you
And your untouchable face
And fuck you
For existing in the first place

2. “The Story” by Brandi Carlile 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

So many stories of where I’ve been
And how I got to where I am
But these stories don’t mean anything
When you’ve got no one to tell them to

3. “Soil, Soil” by Tegan and Sara

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

All you need to say to me is, “Call.”
And I’ll be curled on the floor hiding out from it all
And I won’t take any other call

4. “Stay” by Rhianna

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can’t live without you

5. “You Are Not A Robot” By Marina And The Diamonds 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

You’ve been hanging with the unloved kids
Who you never really liked and you never trusted
But you are so magnetic, you pick up all the pins

6. “Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” by Stars

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

This scar is a fleck on my porcelain skin
Tried to reach deep but you couldn’t get in
Now you’re outside me, you see all the beauty
Repent all your sin

7. “Metal Heart” by Cat Power

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

Sew your fortunes on a string
And hold them up to light
Blue smoke will take
A very violent flight
And you will be changed and everything
And you will be
In a very sad, sad zoo

8. “Sad Gold Ring” by Nina Simone

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:
When nighttime comes a callin’ on me
I know why I will never be free
I can’t stop these teardrops of mine
I’m gonna love him till the end of time
Plain gold ring has but one thing to say
I’ll remember till my dying day
In my heart it will never be spring
Long as he wears a plain gold ring

9. “Sometime Around Midnight” by The Airborne Toxic Event

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

The room’s suddenly spinning
She walks up and asks how you are
So you can smell her perfume
You can see her lying naked in your arms

And so there’s a change in your emotions
And all these memories come rushing
Like feral waves to your mind
Of the curl of your bodies like two perfect circles entwined
And you feel hopeless and homeless
And lost in the haze of the wine

10. “We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” by Soko 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

I don’t want to judge what’s in your heart
But if you’re not ready for love
How can you be ready for life?
How can you be ready for life?

11. “New York” by St. Vincent

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

I have lost a hero
I have lost a friend
But for you, darling
I’d do it all again

12. “Is There Somewhere” by Halsey

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

I’m trying not to let it show, that I don’t want to let this go
Is there somewhere you can meet me?
Cause I clutched your arms like stairway railings
And you clutched my brain and eased my ailing

13. “Simple Together” by Alanis Morisette

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

You’ve been my golden best friend
Now with post-demise at hand
Can’t go to you for consolation
Cause we’re off limits during this transition

This grief overwhelms me
It burns in my stomach
And I can’t stop bumping into things

14. “The Stranger” by Melissa Ferrick 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

So come on and test me
Go on and try it
Because I know that I fit perfectly inside you
And to deny this love would be to deny your heart
And you’re going be the one who breaks it
Baby if you choose to walk

15. “Lonely” by The Tontons

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

Cuz I’m afraid I love you way too much
And I’m ashamed of everything

16. “Marrow” by Ani Difranco

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

’cause I got tossed out the window of love’s el camino
And I shattered into a shower of sparks on the curb
You were smoking me
Weren’t you?
Between your yellow fingers
You just inhaled and exhaled without saying a word

17. “The Greatest” by Lana Del Rey 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

Oh, and I’m wasted
Don’t leave, I just need a wake-up call
I’m facing the greatest
The greatest loss of them all
The culture is lit and I had a ball
I guess that I’m burned out after all

18. “Drew Barrymore” by SZA

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

I get so lonely, I forget what I’m worth
We get so lonely, we pretend that this works
I’m so ashamed of myself think I need therapy-y-y-y
I’m sorry I’m not more attractive
I’m sorry I’m not more ladylike
I’m sorry I don’t shave my legs at night
I’m sorry I’m not your baby mama

19. “She’s Not Me” by Jenny Lewis 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

All those times we were making love
I never thought we’d be breakin’ up
Bet you tell her I’m crazy
It goes on and on and on and on
It goes on and on and on and on
But she’s not me
She’s easy
Remember the night I destroyed it all
When I told you I cheated
And you punched through the drywall
I took you for granted
When you were all that I needed

20. “Where Does The Good Go” Tegan and Sara

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t find me attractive
Look me in the heart and tell me you won’t go
Look me in the eye and promise no love is like our love
Look me in the heart and unbreak broken, it won’t happen

21. “Slow And Steady” by Of Monsters and Men 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

The lights go out; I am all alone
All the trees outside are buried in the snow
I spend my night dancing with my own shadow
And it holds me and it never lets me go
I move slow and steady
But I feel like a waterfall

22. “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” by Death Cab for Cutie 

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

On the back of a motorbike with your arms outstretched trying to take flight, leaving everything behind
But even at our swiftest speed we couldn’t break from the concrete
In the city where we still reside
And I have learned that even landlocked lovers yearn
For the sea like navy men
Cause now we say goodnight from our own separate sides
Like brothers on a hotel bed

23. “After The Breakup” by Andrea Gibson

Verse to tattoo across your bleeding heart:

I was startled by the beauty of what could be made without me.

That’s it kittens. Relish in this. And here is a link to the whole playlist if you want to cry alongside me!


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