35 Best Songs About Dealing with Grief and Loss

Get the Free Bundle: 47 Productivity and Life Planner Worksheets

There might be affiliate links on this page, which means we get a small commission of anything you buy. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please do your own research before making any online purchase.

Share this:

In times of loss, words often fail to capture our painful experience. However, music can transcend this limitation.

Throughout history, songs have been used as a means of expressing the complex emotions brought about by grief. In this article, we’re sharing a collection of songs about grief to reflect on our experience of loss.

Each track provides a different perspective on how people grieve, their views of life in the absence of a loved one, and how they find healing after a loss.

We offer this collection as a means of solace. May it connect you with others who have experienced grief and found hope and comfort through music.

1. Dancing in the Sky, Dani and Lizzy

‘Cause here on Earth it feels like everything good is missing since you left. And here on Earth everything's different. There's an emptiness.

This song was written as a tribute to one of Lizzy’s friends. It is about the pain and emptiness felt when you lose a friend.

2. Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton

Would you know my name if I saw you in heaven? Would you be the same if I saw you in heaven?

This song is a lament for the tragedy that befell Eric Clapton’s young son, who passed away when he was only four years old.

In it, Eric Clapton expresses his grief at not being able to be with his son again. He wonders if the bond he shared with him will remain the same when it’s time to meet again in heaven.

3. There You’ll Be, Faith Hill

In my dreams, I'll always see you soar above the sky. In my heart, there'll always be a place for you for all my life. I'll keep a part of you with me. And everywhere I am, there you'll be…

This song is about a promise to a departed loved one that their memory will be treasured. It also serves as a reminder for the living to keep their loved one’s memory close to their hearts.

4. Last Kiss, Pearl Jam

Oh, where oh where can my baby be? The Lord took her away from me. She's gone to heaven, so I got to be good so I can see my baby when I leave this world.

This song is a cover of Frank Wilson and The Cavaliers’ song with the same title.

In it, a man grieves for his beloved. He recalls the fateful night when a date ended in a fatal car accident where his loved one passed away.

The guy has lived with that painful memory of witnessing his loved one pass. All he can do now is wait for the time when they’ll be together again.

5. Against All Odds, Phil Collins

So take a look at me now. There's just an empty space. And there's nothing left here to remind me. Just the memory of your face.

In this song, a grieving guy mourns for a loved one, deeply feeling their absence from his life.

Although he has memories of the times they spent together, these aren’t enough to overcome his sorrow.

6. Fire and Rain, James Taylor

I've seen fire and I've seen rain. I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end. I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. But I always thought that I'd see you again.

Regret comes when someone we love is taken away so suddenly and we don’t get the chance to say our proper goodbye.

In this song, the narrator expresses his sadness at the suddenness of his friend’s passing.

7. Your Long Journey, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss

Oh, my darling, my darling, my heart breaks as you take your long journey.

Grief comes as lovers bid farewell to each other. One of them is dying and the other is faced with the reality that they’ll be alone when their loved one finally goes.

8. King of Sorrow, Sade

The DJ's playin' the same song. I have so much to do. I have to carry on. I wonder if this grief will ever let me go. I feel like I am the King of Sorrow, yeah. The King of Sorrow.

This song is a bitter reminder that, even though you grieve, life goes on for the rest of the world.

There are still bills to pay and chores to attend to. You do what you can to survive, even though grief cripples you and you feel you can’t go on.

9. A Long December, Counting Crows

A long December and there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last. I can't remember the last thing that you said as you were leaving. Now the days go by so fast.

This song is about someone grieving for a friend who passed away one December day. Although time has passed, the sorrow from the loss continues.

10. When I Look to the Sky, Train

And as I float along this ocean, I can feel you like a notion that won't seem to let me go. ‘Cause when I look to the sky something tells me you're here with me and you make everything alright. And when I feel like I'm lost, something tells me you're here with me and I can always find my way when you are here.

One of the ways this song could be interpreted is that a person who has lost somebody close to them feels that their loved one is still with them.

They hold the memory close to their heart, providing solace in turbulent times.

11. Tracks of My Tears, Aretha Franklin

So take a good look at my face. You'll see that my smile seems out of place. And if you look closer, it's easy to trace the tracks of my tears.

In this song, a woman grieves over a broken relationship. She seems to have it all together, but upon closer inspection, traces of her grief are visible on her face.

12. Fix You, Coldplay

And the tears come streaming down your face. When you lose something you can't replace. When you love someone, but it goes to waste. Could it be worse?

The death of a loved one isn’t the only source of grief.

We suffer through many losses throughout our lives, and in each occasion we grieve. In this song, different kinds of loss are mentioned, each one bringing sadness.

13. Talking to the Moon, Bruno Mars

At night, when the stars light up my room, I sit by myself. Talking to the moon. Trying to get to you in hopes you're on the other side talking to me too. Or am I a fool who sits alone talking to the moon?

When we’re grieving, we often search for ways to connect with the one we’ve lost.

Sometimes, our actions may seem irrational to others. But like in this song, where the narrator talks to the moon to feel close to the person they love, it’s just a way to cope with grief.

14. In Loving Memory, Alter Bridge

I carry the things that remind me of you, in loving memory of the one that was so true. You were as kind as you could be. And even though you're gone, you still mean the world to me.

In this song, a person very close to the narrator has passed away. The narrator expresses his love and gratitude for this person.

He holds their memory close to his heart, thinking that no one compares to them.

15. Heaven Was Needing a Hero, Jo Dee Messina

I guess Heaven was needing a hero, somebody just like you. Brave enough to stand up for what you believe and follow it through. When I try to make it make sense in my mind, the only conclusion I come to Is that Heaven was needing a hero like you.

When a loved one passes away, we often look for a way to make sense of their absence from our lives. This is one of the ways we deal with grief.

In this song, the narrator believes that the reason their loved one passed away is because heaven needed them more. This makes it easier for the narrator to cope with the grief of losing a loved one.

16. Still Here, Natasha Bedingfield

You're still here with me all the time. You're still here. When I close my eyes, I still see you. I still feel you.

In this song, someone very close to the narrator is gone from her life. This person always saw the best in the narrator. Oftentimes, we grieve deeply for a lost loved one because of how much positive impact they made in our lives.

17. See the Sun, Dido

And you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day. Well I promise you you'll see the sun again. And you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness. And I promise you you'll see the sun again.

This song offers comfort and assurance, reminding us that, even though we’re grieving and the pain seems unbearable now, it does get better in time.

It’s telling us that we will eventually learn to live with the grief.

18. Gone Too Soon, Michael Jackson

Like a sunset dying with the rising of the moon. Gone too soon.

This song is about one’s grief over the departure of a person who left them too soon. When a young person is taken from us, we tend to think that they could still have done so much for the world.

19. One More Day, Diamond Rio

Last night I had a crazy dream. A wish was granted just for me. It could be for anything. I didn't ask for money or a mansion in Malibu. I simply wished for one more day with you.

In this song, a person shares a wonderful dream he had, where he got to spend one more day with someone he loves.

Grief can cause people to struggle with moving on and finding peace after a loved one has passed away. In this song, the dream the narrator had is probably a way his mind copes with his loss.

20. Wave Goodbye, Chris Cornell

Every hurtful thing you ever said is ringing in your ear when you miss somebody. And every thing of beauty that you see only brings a tear when you miss somebody. When you miss somebody, you tell yourself everything will be alright. Try to stand up strong and brave when all you want to do is lay down and die.

Grief can manifest as different emotions: anger, sadness, fear, regret, and guilt. Sometimes, these heavy emotions are also punctuated by moments of happiness as you recall joyful memories about a loved one who has passed away.

And all these emotions are valid expressions of grief.

This song is about the welling up of different emotions triggered by the loss and associated grief.

21. If Heaven (Wasn’t So Far Away), Rhett Atkins

If heaven wasn't so far away, I'd pack up the kids and go for the day. Introduce them to their grandpa, watch 'em laugh at the way he talks.

This song is about a grandson missing his departed grandfather. The bond of love they shared remained strong through the years.

Now that the grandson is a family man himself, he wishes that his kids had known his grandfather, who was a positive influence in his life.

This song is a reminder that, no matter how many years have passed since a loved one died, you’ll always miss them and wish you could share with them how you’ve been doing in life.

22. Chasing Shadows, Alex Warren

Oh, I'm running after something trying to catch your ghost. Holding onto pictures and the smell of your clothes. Feel you slippin' through my fingers. And I know I'll never reach you.

When people grieve, they sometimes long for anything familiar—such as a certain scent or a particular place—that they associate with a loved one who’s gone.

In this song, the narrator holds on to the memory of a departed loved one through pictures and the smell of their clothes.

23. How Can I Help You Say Goodbye?, Patty Loveless

And she said how can I help you to say goodbye? It's okay to hurt and it's okay to cry. Come, let me hold you and I will try. How can I help you to say goodbye?

One of the most devastating experiences people go through is the death of a parent. In this song, a mother helps her daughter cope with grief at different stages of her life.

From the daughter’s experience of saying goodbye to her first best friend to going through a divorce, the mother has always been there.

Now, as the mother lays on her deathbed, she hopes that she’s taught her daughter well in the art of goodbyes.

song about grief | grief | loss

24. Radios in Heaven, Plain White T’s

Well, do they have radios in heaven? I hope they do 'cause they're playing my song on the radio and I'm singing it to you.

In this song, the narrator has someone in his life who passed away before he could become a success.

Now that he’s famous, the narrator just wants to share his happiness with and show his love to this person. He wishes that there were radios in heaven so the loved one who passed away could at least hear the narrator’s song being played.

25. I Grieve, Peter Gabriel

I grieve for you. You leave me. So hard to move on. Still loving what's gone. They say life carries on, carries on and on and on and on.

Grief can be paralyzing. It can take years to recover.

In this song, a person expresses how he feels so alone and can’t muster the will to move on after a loved one’s passing.

26. Even in Death, Evanescence

I will stay forever here with you, my love. The softly spoken words you gave me, even in death our love goes on.

This song’s haunting melody underscores a hopeful message conveyed to those who are grieving. It reassures listeners that the love between two people endures beyond death.

27. Save a Place for Me, Matthew West

Don't be mad if I cry. It just hurts so bad sometimes. ‘Cause everyday it's sinking in and I have to say goodbye all over again.

When we recall the memory of a departed loved one, it can often bring us to tears. That’s totally normal!

This song encourages listeners to never lose hope that they’ll one day be reunited with the people they love. It emphasizes the idea that love endures even in death.

28. To Where You Are, Josh Groban

Fly me up to where you are beyond the distant star. I wish upon tonight to see you smile. If only for a while to know you're there. A breath away's not far to where you are.

Grief is a universal emotion. It is normal to want to be with someone who’s no longer physically present in your life. In this heartfelt song, the narrator expresses a longing to be reunited with a loved one who passed away.

29. You Said You’d Grow Old With Me, Michael Schulte

One last word, one last moment to ask you why you left me here behind. You said you'd grow old with me.

This song has an accusatory tone that belies the grief the narrator feels over the death of someone dear to him.

Anger, loneliness, and sadness mingle because the narrator feels the one who passed away broke a promise—that they would grow old with him.

30. Cold, Jeff Williams ft. Casey Lee Williams

Now it's cold without you here. It's like winter lasts all year. But your star's still in the sky so I won't say goodbye. I don't have to say goodbye.

In this song, a person grieves the loss of someone they considered their mentor, hero, and friend. They are still in a state of denial, which is one stage of grief. They haven’t yet accepted that their friend is gone.

31. Tell Me I Was Dreaming, Travis Tritt

Tell me I was dreamin', that you didn't leave me here to cry. You didn't say you don't love me anymore. It was just my imagination tellin' lies. Tell me that you didn't say goodbye.

Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross introduced the concept of the 5 Stages of Grief. The first stage is denial. In this song, we hear from a narrator who is in a state of denial about their loved one’s death.

He still has to go through anger, bargaining, and depression before he can accept the fact that his loved one is really gone.

32. Slipped Away, Avril Lavigne

The day you slipped away was the day I found it won't be the same.

This song was dedicated to Avril Lavigne’s grandfather. The singer was on tour when her grandfather passed away.

It’s about the suddenness of death, and about missing our loved ones who have passed away, realizing that life won’t be the same now that they’re gone.

33. The Hardest Part, Coldplay

And the hardest part was letting go, not taking part. You really broke my heart, oh. And I tried to sing, but I couldn't think of anything. And that was the hardest part, oh, oh.

Grief immobilizes us. This song describes the paralyzing pain that sinks in when we think of those loved ones who are no longer part of our lives.

34. Supermarket Flowers, Ed Sheeran

Oh, I'm in pieces, it's tearing me up, but I know a heart that's broke is a heart that's been loved.

The good memories we have of someone who passed away can sustain us through the grieving period.

In this song, a son does some clearing up after having buried his mother. He breaks down because of his grief.

Nevertheless, he thinks that he’ll be all right, since he knows how much his mother loved him.

35. Here Without You, 3 Doors Down

I'm here without you, baby, but you're still on my lonely mind. I think about you, baby, and I dream about you all the time. I'm here without you, baby, but you're still with me in my dreams. And tonight, it's only you and me.

This song is a reminder that grief doesn’t really ever go away. The memory of a loved one who is no longer part of your life can cause pain, especially in moments when you thought you’d finally be okay.

Final Thoughts on Songs About Grief

There you have it—a collection of songs about grief that express the all-too human experience of loss.

We hope that the songs featured here can provide comfort, a sense of connection to those who are also grieving, and a way to peace.

May you be healed of your sorrow and pain. May you find the strength to move forward, with the beautiful memories of your loved one to sustain you.

Finally, if you are looking for more collections of songs about specific topics, feel free to check out the following posts:

songs about grief | grief | loss
Share this: