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Are you currently dealing with strong emotions, but don’t have an outlet?
Here’s a suggestion: Let music heal your soul. Listen to songs that inspire you to sing your heart out and make sure that it is music that can help you move forward in life.
In this article, we have gathered 25 songs about emotions that can help you deal with heartbreak and pain. The collection varies from love songs to fight songs and personal development songs.
Whatever you may be dealing with right now, there’s a song out there that can help you get through it.
Let’s check them out!
1. The Scientist,Coldplay
“It's such a shame for us to part. Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.”
“The Scientist” is a classic apologetic love song. Written collaboratively by all of the members of Coldplay, this song is about a man’s need for love and forgiveness. It has a piano ballad arrangement and is quite melancholy in general.
We suggest listening to this song if you want to let your emotions out. While the lyrics are substantial, the melody is just as powerful.
2. Landslide, Fleetwood Mac
via Fleetwood Mac
“Well, I've been afraid of changin' 'cause I've built my life around you. But time makes you bolder; even children get older.”
There are a lot of rumors about the true meaning of this song. Some say that Stevie Nicks wrote it for Lindsey Buckingham; others debate that it is about her father, and still others say that it is about her career. Whatever the reason, it is a classic song of emotion and introspection.
3. Hurt, Johnny Cash
via Johnny Cash
“What have I become? My sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away in the end.”
Nine Inch Nails is the original artist behind this emotional song. It is said that it was covered by Johnny Cash while he was suffering from an illness and his health was failing.
This song has many interpretations. Some say that it is a suicide note, while others disagree and say that it is a song of hope. Either way, we can all agree that it is quite soulful.
4. Everybody’s Changing,Keane
“I try to stay awake and remember my name, but everybody's changing, and I don't feel the same.”
In this song, Keane sympathizes with everyone who is struggling to find their purpose in life and place in the world.
This is a great song to listen to if you feel trapped between chasing your dreams and living a steady life.
5. I Know It’s Over, The Smiths
via The Smiths
“It's so easy to laugh; it's so easy to hate. It takes strength to be gentle and kind over, over, over, over.”
Like many other songs, this single from the English rock band he Smiths, leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Is it talking about a person whose love is about to get married to another? Or is it talking about a man who never got to experience love at all? Either way, it gives the listener a strong case of the feels.
6. The Boxer, Simon & Garfunkel
“In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade, and he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down.”
Paul Simon wrote this song at a time when he felt like he was being “unfairly criticized.” The lyrics of the song are quite autobiographical, which is what makes it so powerful.
The song talks about loneliness and poverty in a big, busy city. What choice do you have when you are surrounded by challenges? You fight.
7. No Name #1, Elliot Smith
via Kill Rock Stars
“Go home and live with your pain. Leave alone, 'cause you know you don't belong.”
Elliott Smith’s No Name series provides an incredible journey into emotion and feeling. No Name #1 is the one that started it all!
8. How to Disappear Completely, Radiohead
“In a little while, I'll be gone. The moment's already passed. Yeah, it's gone and I'm not here. This isn't happening.”
How to Disappear Completely is the fourth track on Radiohead’s Kid A album. Thom Yorke claims that it is “the most beautiful thing they ever did.” What do you think? Is it the band’s best song ever?
9. Re: Stacks, Bon Iver
via Bon Iver
“This is not the sound of a new man or crispy realization. It's the sound of the unlocking and the lift away. Your love will be safe with me.”
If you are a Bon Iver fan, you probably know that every song in the For Emma, Forever Ago album provides different emotions and feelings. Justine Vernon spent months in isolation to come up with this masterpiece.
Re: Stacks is one of the most heartfelt tracks on this record, as it is a song that communicates Vernon’s thirst for a new chance at life. “Emma” is not a person, per se. Instead, Vernon explains that she is “a feeling, a place—a new life.”
10. Marvin’s Room, Drake
“I was just calling 'cause they were just leaving; talk to me please don't have much to believe in.”
Have you ever experienced drunk calls? If so, you might find this song very relatable. An inebriated Drake calls his ex-girlfriend to rant about their breakup and her new guy.
While the storyline of the song sounds cliche, experts have praised the track for being powerful and emotional.
11. Boots of Spanish Leather, Bob Dylan
via Bob Dylan
“There's nothin' that I'm wishing to be ownin’. Just carry yourself back to me unspoiled; From across that lonesome ocean.”
This song has been described as a “restless, forlorn ballad for the ages and sages—a classic Dylan tale of two lovers, a crossroads, and the open sea.”
This is a good song to listen to if your lover has left and you are uncertain if they are coming back.
12. My Immortal, Evanescence
“These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real. There's just too much that time cannot erase.”
Who can sing My Immortal better than Amy Lee? Her powerful vocals give the song its power and emotion. If you are feeling a bit down due to the memories of a loved one, this song can console you and help get your emotions out.
13. The Call, Regina Spektor
via Regina Spektor
“Pick a star on the dark horizon and follow the light. You'll come back when it's over. No need to say goodbye.”
The Call was used in the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” It is a positive song full of hope, determination, and love. We suggest listening to it if you are about to say goodbye to a friend who is leaving. It is the perfect song to bring back good memories.
14. Fix You, Coldplay
“Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones. And I will try to fix you.”
Here’s another song from Coldplay! Fix You was dedicated to Chris Martin’s ex-wife Gwyneth Paltrow as a song to comfort her after the death of her father, Bruce Paltrow.
Martin considers this to be “probably the most important” song that Coldplay ever wrote. It is widely considered one of the best Coldplay songs, along with Yellow and Viva La Vida.
15. Somebody that I Used to Know, Gotye
via Gotye Music
“But you didn't have to cut me off. Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing.”
This song combines incredible lyrics, excellent vocals, and a catchy hook to create one of the most successful singles in the past few decades. It is probably already on your playlist, but if not, it’s definitely worth an add.
16. How to Save a Life, The Fray
via The Fray
“Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness. And I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life.”
How to Save a Life is the fourth best selling rock song in digital history. It became a phenomenal hit as soon as it released due to the strong lyrics and arrangement, and gained an even wider following after Isaac Slade, the band’s vocalist, revealed its meaning.
The song was written after Slade’s experience at a camp for troubled teenagers. It describes how adults struggle with how to comfort a depressed child.
17. The Message, Dr. Dre
via Dr. Dre
“The Lord must be accidentally pulling your file, cause I'm still paging you, 911, straight in denial.”
The Message is the last song from Dr. Dre’s comeback album in 2001. He dedicated it to his deceased brother, Tyree, so you can imagine how emotional it must have been for him to record it. We recommend this song if you are grieving the death of a loved one.
18. Casimir Pulaski Day, Sufjan Stevens
via Sufjan Stevens
“On the floor at the great divide, with my shirt tucked in and my shoes untied, I am crying in the bathroom.”
Casimir Pulaski Day is actually a holiday in Illinois. It celebrates the contributions of Casimir Pulaski, a revolutionary war cavalry officer, to the U.S. Military during the American Revolution.
It is also the name of a touching song by Sufjan Stevens that relates to his memories of a friend who struggled with bone cancer.
19. This Is Me, Keala Settle
via Atlantic Records
“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down, I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown 'em out. I am brave. I am bruised. I am who I'm meant to be; this is me.”
This Is Me is from the original soundtrack of the award-winning film “The Greatest Showman.” Since its release, it has become an anthem for those who dare to be different. It is a fight song that encourages self-love, despite our imperfections and insecurities.
20. Changes, 2pac
“We gotta make a change. It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes.”
Don’t you miss those days when what rap music spoke to social issues? This song by 2pac talks about racism, the war on drugs, poverty, and the ghetto lifestyle.
There is so much emotion in this song—anger, resentment, hope, love—and you can feel the call for change in how the system works. It is not just another rap song—it is a masterpiece that dives into the truth behind our society's prejudices and authorities.
21. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman
via Tracy Chapman
“You got a fast car, is it fast enough so we can fly away? We gotta make a decision. Leave tonight or live and die this way.”
Fast Car is a classic song by Tracy Chapman that tells the story of a working woman who wants to escape the cycle of poverty. She is set on pursuing her dreams, no matter what it takes. Is your car fast enough to fly away?
22. Somebody Else, The 1975
via The 1975
“And c'mon baby (I know), this ain't the last time that I'll see your face. And c'mon baby (I know), you said you'd find someone to take my place.”
If you have seen the music video for Somebody Else, you know that it is a work of art. Coupled with the band’s music excellence and Healy’s vocals, this is the perfect song if you are going through a painful breakup.
Somebody Else was written by Healy in the back of a cab. It deals with the themes of guilt and jealousy, but with a bit of a twist in the end.
23. Dancing on My Own, Calum Scott
via Calum Scott
“So far away, but still so near. The lights come on, and the music dies. But you don't see me standing here.”
This song has been covered numerous times, but there is something in Calum Scott’s rendition that makes it really heartbreaking.
There is just so much emotion in Scott’s version that it makes you want to cry whenever you hear it. Not to mention the way he got the Golden Buzzer from Simon on America’s Got Talent!
24. Stone Cold, Demi Lovato
via Demi Lovato
“Oh, I'm happy for you. Know that I am, even if I can't understand. If happy is her, I'm happy for you.”
Demi Lovato seeks to “open people’s hearts and rip their guts out” with this song. She meant for it to be so heartbreaking that it makes listeners cry.
Lovato co-wrote this with Laleh Pourkarim, with the intention of incorporating both pop and soul influences. Her vocals only added to the song’s power.
25. Dreaming of You, Selena
“And there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be, than here in my room, dreaming with you endlessly.”
What makes this beautiful love song even more emotional is the fact that it is one of Selena’s last songs before her tragic death in 1995.
Dreaming of You is a soulful love song and the perfect track to listen to while basking in the joy of being in love.
Dealing with strong emotions can be tough to handle, but music can serve as an emotional outlet.
Check out the songs we have shared above and allow yourself to heal. It takes time to become OK and happy again. Don’t rush it. Deal with your emotions and let music be your guide.