Breaking up is oh so hard to do. Everyone deals with breakups differently: Some may wallow in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, others dive right back into the dating pool, and many take solace in the perfect breakup song or album to get back on their feet.
If the latter is your preferred way of dealing with your heartbreak, we’ve put together a list of our favorite breakup albums below. If you’ve been dumped recently, plug in your pods and listen away.
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Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago
Lead singer Justin Vernon’s striking lyrics take you right to the heart of a break-up. Written following a breakup of his own, it’s a great album to dig into, wallow a bit and begin the process of moving on.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
It’s safe to say that Fleetwood Mac truly understands what you’re going through. This album was written in the midst of bandmates Christine and John McVie’s divorce, the end of Mick Fleetwood’s marriage, and Stevie Nicks’ and Lindsey Buckingham’s breakup. The album exams love in all forms, good and bad.
Joni Mitchell – Blue
You might remember the scene from “Love Actually” featuring Emma Thompson, listening to Joni Mitchell’s “River” as she’s devastated by her husband’s betrayal. Mitchell’s raw album is allegedly about her breakup with Graham Nash and her personal experience with heartbreak certainly shines through.
The Chicks – Gaslighter
The Chicks’ newest album since 2006, Gaslighter features numerous songs supposedly about lead singer Natalie Maines’ 2019 divorce. A mix of girl power anthems and more melancholy tunes, it covers every aspect of a breakup.
The Cure – Disintegration
The Cure isn’t exactly known for its upbeat tunes, so if you’re in the midst of a particularly tough breakup, feel free to cue this up and let yourself be miserable for a bit. It’s sometimes exactly what you need to do to feel better.
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
This album is perhaps best known for hits like “Rehab,” but it also includes a number of songs about Winehouse’s troubled on-again, off-again relationship with Blake Fielder-Civil. If you’re in the middle of a breakup you’ll relate to her emotional songs like “Love is a Losing Game.”
Kanye West – 808s and Heartbreak
This album was written after a painful breakup and Kanye’s emotional lyrics reflect his soul-searching state. The most notable breakup song on the album is arguably “Love Lockdown” which exemplifies the raw elements of Kanye’s music.
Carole King – Tapestry
King wrote this album after her divorce from Gerry Goffin. After separating from her husband and songwriting partner, she moved from New York to Laurel Canyon to pen this heart-wrenching album which features backup singing from Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.
Adele – 21
Adele wrote and recorded this album immediately following a breakup and the rawness of a relationship ending shows in every lyric. You now have permission to ugly cry while listening to “Someone Like You” as many times as you need.
Marvin Gaye – Here, My Dear
Gaye’s album is the epitome of a divorce album — in fact, he agreed to give half of the royalties from the album to his ex-wife. The album gives an intimate look into Gaye’s mindset during that time, including songs like “You Can Leave, but It’s Going to Cost You.”
No matter what the circumstances, breakups are never easy. Everyone has permission to spend some time being sad and/or heartbroken over their lost love. We hope these albums will help you get through the heartbreak as quickly as possible.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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