The future of music

70 Best Sad Love Songs for a Broken Heart

December 11, 2023
sad love songs

I’ve carefully selected the best sad love songs for a broken heart, each track resonating with the pain and poignancy of lost love.

This article offers a musical solace for those moments when your heart is aching and you seek comfort in songs that understand.

Table of Contents

Top sad love songs for a broken heart

  • “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt
  • “Linger” by The Cranberries
  • “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell
  • “Beloved Wife” by Natalie Merchant
  • “Sandcastles” by Beyonce
  • “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
  • “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye
  • “Someone Like You” by Adele
  • “Visions Of Gideon” by Sufjan Stevens
  • “No More I Love You’s” by Annie Lenox

1. “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt

The truth is, some of the most beautiful songs ever written are sad romantic songs.

And Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” is a good example.

Even the song’s title is immensely said… as well as the lyrics.

But they are true – you can’t make someone’s heart feel something it won’t.

2. “Linger” by The Cranberries 

At first, this song might sound hopeful and almost cheerful.

But when you start paying attention to the lyrics, you realize it’s a sad love song. 

And a pretty powerful one too.

I swore, I swore I would be true

And honey so did you

So why were you holding her hand?

3. “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell

Well, they say that when you’re happy, you listen to the melody, and when you’re sad, you listen to the lyrics.

When it comes to Joni Mitchell and her music, you should do both.

Her signature song “Both Sides Now” is arguably one of the saddest love songs of all time.

And if you remember that scene with Emma Thompson from “Love Actually”, it gets even worse.

4. “Beloved Wife” by Natalie Merchant 

Many would agree that Natalie Merchant’s “Beloved Wife” is one of the most emotional love songs.

Well, perhaps it’s the combination of heartfelt lyrics, piano playing, and melancholic melodies…

5. “Sandcastles” by Beyonce 

“Sandcastles” is taken from Beyonce’s studio album “Lemonade” released in 2016.

The whole album is full of powerful, energy-packed songs about love and infidelity, but “Sandcastles” is different.

It’s a soft, melancholic ballad, and definitely one of the saddest love songs on the album.

6. “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver

When we think about sad indie love songs, Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” is one of the first tunes that comes to mind. 

His mesmerizing vocals, tender guitar, and powerful lyrics… 

We could listen to this song forever and never get tired of it. 

7. “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye 

Another indie track that could be described as a sadness love song is “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye and Kimbra.

The song was a big hit when it came out in 2011.

And it still sounds fresh and powerful.

8. “Someone Like You” by Adele

Without a doubt, Adele’s “Someone Like You” is one of the most popular sad love songs of the past decade. 

The singer’s biggest hit was inspired by a broken relationship.

And in essence, it’s about coming to terms with it.

9. “Visions Of Gideon” by Sufjan Stevens 

If you need a good, cathartic cry, we suggest listening to “Visions Of Gideon” by Sufjan Stevens.

The song was featured in “Call Me By Your Name”, so it also reminds us of tearful Timothee Chalamet thinking about his love. 

10. “No More I Love You’s” by Annie Lenox

Released in 1995, “No More I Love You’s” by Annie Lenox is one of the romantic classics.

It’s a captivating, moving song ideal for anyone in need of a sad, soothing melody.

11. “Un-break My Heart” by Toni Braxton 

If you’re a fan of classics, you’ll also like our next suggestion, “Un-break My Heart” by Toni Braxton.

With this heartbreaking love song, Braxton topped several of Billboard’s charts and won two Grammy Awards.

12. “You Will Never Know” by Imany

It breaks my heart ’cause I know you’re the one for me

Don’t you feel sad there never was a story, obviously.

Heartfelt lyrics, melancholic atmosphere, and Imany’s distinctive voice…

“You Will Never Know” is all you need from a sad love song.

13. “Stay” by Rihanna and Mikky Ekko 

It’s true – depressing love songs can indeed help you heal.

And Rihanna’s “Stay” is one of the songs that feels like healing.

It’s slow-paced, soft, raw, melancholic… and in a way, very liberating.

14. “Last Kiss” by Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is the queen of heartbreak music.

And her track “Last Kiss” is her ultimate breakup song.

But it’s not too dramatic or intense – in fact, it’s very gentle and mellow, but it’s definitely sad enough to be on this list.

15. “Run To You” by Lea Michele 

Lea Michele’s 2017 ballad “Run To You” is another sentimental breakup song.

Lyrically, the song is about lonely nights, unspoken words, and finding your way toward someone you love.

16. “Without You” by Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is known for making depressing love songs.

And although it’s lyrically a sad love song, her track “Without You” has a glimpse of hope.

Either way, if you need some melancholic music to let your mind wander, Lana Del Rey is always a good choice.

17. “Heartbeats” by Jose Gonzalez

“Heartbeats” by Jose Gonzalez is quite melancholic but also very calming.

In fact, most songs by Jose Gonzalez will probably calm you down the moment you hear them.

18. “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” by Frank Sinatra

If you’re looking for a classy sad love song, look no further.

All you need is Frank Sinatra’s soothing voice and this smooth, heartbreaking romantic tune. 

19. “Your Song” by Elton John

Another song that will make your sadness feel almost classy is “Your Song” by Elton John.

This timeless tune is also proof that some of the most beautiful love songs were written in the 1970s.

20. “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers 

And another proof is “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers.

Released in 1971, “Ain’t No Sunshine” is one of the best love songs of all time.

In short, it’s a timeless classic.

21. “Frozen” by Madonna

“Frozen” by Madonna is a captivating, hypnotic love song that will make you take a look at your life from a different perspective.

Listening to his type of music can be quite cathartic. 

22. “I Used To Love Him” by Lauryn Hill

Lauryn Hill wrote many soulful but cool sad love songs.

And “I Used To Love Him” is one of them.

Lyrically, the song is about passion, regrets, and independence.

23. “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn

And if you’re looking for something more lively, this one’s for you.

“Call Your Girlfriend” will make you cry and dance around the house at the same time.

24. “Losing You” by Solange

And Solange’s “Losing You” will probably have the same effect on you.

It’s a groovy, soulful tune, but it’s also a bit melancholic.

However, it’s the story behind the song that makes it quite sad – it’s about the end of a relationship.

25. “I’ll Never Love Again” by Lady Gaga

We all first got to know Lady Gaga as an eccentric artist making danceable pop hits. 

But on many occasions, she showed us that she can write sweeping ballads.

And her track “I’ll Never Love Again” is one of her most emotional love songs.

26. “Space Cowboy” by Kacey Musgraves

“Space Cowboy” is a typical song about young love that will make you think about your life and reminisce.

It’s also an ideal melancholic tune for rainy afternoons.

27. “Let Her Go” by Passenger 

In 2012, English singer and songwriter known by his stage name Passenger surprised us with this simple yet unique and memorable song.

“Let Her Go” is both sad and hopeful. 

And it’s incredibly soothing.

28. “The One That Got Away” by Katy Perry 

“The One That Got Away” feels very nostalgic. 

And it’s undeniably one of Katy Perry’s best sad love songs.

It’s taken from her iconic pop album “Teenage Dream” released in 2010.

29. “Unusual You” by Britney Spears 

“Unusual You” is one of Britney Spears’ hidden gems.

The song is catchy and energetic but also kind of dark.

It’s a good break-up song for crying your heart out.

30. “You Could Be Happy” by Snow Patrol

Snow Patrol’s “You Could Be Happy” is a heartbreaking indie tune released in 2006.

It’s about loneliness, sadness, and letting go.

It’s one of those songs that can overwhelm you, but in a good way.

31. “Fix You” by Coldplay

Speaking of songs that can overwhelm you…

Nothing is good for crying quite as Coldplay’s “Fix You.”

It’s a deeply moving song that doesn’t get old no matter how many times you listen to it.

32. “when the party’s over” by Billie Eilish 

Billie Eilish released many fantastic songs over the past few years, but nothing hits you like “when the party’s over.” 

It’s the second single from Billie Eilish’s debut studio album released in 2018.

And it’s a raw piano-driven ballad about the end of a relationship.

33. “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap

Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” will take you to a different place.

It’s a captivating tune with unusual lyrics ideal for listening to during gloomy heartbroken days. 

34. “Crying” by Roy Orbison

If you’re looking for sad relationship songs, Roy Orbison’s “Crying” is a classic.

And crying your heart out is okay – moreover, crying will make you feel better afterward.

And Roy Orbison will keep you company meanwhile.

35. “Two Birds” by Regina Spektor 

“Two Birds” is all about Regina Spektor’s soothing voice and sweet, emotional atmosphere.

And when you look at the lyrics, you’ll realize it’s also about the tragedy of love.

Two birds of a feather

Say that they’re always gonna stay together

But one’s never going to let go of that wire…

36. “Nicest Thing” by Kate Nash 

When thinking about depressing love songs and heartbreaking lyrics, “Nicest Thing” by Kate Nash immediately comes to mind. 

So it’s a bit surprising that this tune isn’t on other sad love playlists too. 

Nevertheless, we believe it deserves a spot on this list.

37. “Punisher” by Phoebe Bridgers 

Phoebe Bridgers released this dreamy love song in 2020.

Her soothing voice and heartfelt lyrics are all you need to make gloomy, lonely days more bearable.

38. “St. Patrick’s Day” by John Mayer

John Mayer’s “St. Patrick’s Day” is about being alone during holidays.

If your relationship ended right before that special time of the year, then that’s true.

Either way, listening to relatable, soothing music can make things a whole lot easier.

39. “Dancing On My Own” by Callum Scott 

Another sad love song that can comfort you during holidays is “Dancing On My Own” by Callum Scott.

The song was originally written and recorded by Robyn, but Callum turned it into a true sad love ballad. 

The song can feel especially sad if your ex already found someone else. 

40. “Another Love” by Tom Odell 

Tom Odell’s debut single and signature song “Another Love” should also be on your heartbreak playlist.

Piano playing, poetic lyrics, Tom’s soothing voice, and that powerful build-up…

It’s undoubtedly one of the most emotionally intense sad love songs on this list.

41. “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac released “Landslide” in 1975.

In one of the interviews, Stevie Nicks said that the song was about her romance with Buckingham and their career struggles.

42. “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus 

There is something in Miley’s voice that reminds us of Stevie Nicks so we remembered this 2013 hit.

It’s a pure breakup song inspired by Miley’s personal experiences.

43. “To Build A Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra 

In short, The Cinematic Orchestra’s “To Build A Home” is magical.

From the singer’s voice to sorrowful melodies and versatile instruments.

Everything just blends together perfectly.

44. “Lonely” by Justin Bieber and Benny Blanco

“Lonely” nicely captures the feeling of loneliness you get after being in a long-term relationship.

But it’s mostly a matter of being used to something.

You just need some time to establish a new routine.

Until then, don’t avoid these feelings; and remember that they will pass.

45. “Pale Blue Eyes” by The Velvet Underground 

If you broke up with someone who has blue eyes, this one’s for you.

“Pale Blue Eyes” is just so beautifully simple.

And that’s probably part of the reason why it’s timeless.

46. “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” by Bob Dylan  

Let’s continue in a similar mood.

Bob Dylan’s wonderful folk track “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” was released in 1963.

It’s a type of music that will make you feel better afterward.

47. “Silver Lining” by Rilo Kiley

“Silver Lining” is a gentle tune that will lift your spirits up.

It’s sweet and uplifting, but it also has a touch of sadness.

After all, it’s about the end of a relationship. 

But endings are sometimes necessary, and they don’t have to be devastating or sad.

48. “I Feel It All” by Feist

One of the best things you can do after a breakup is to feel it all.

Feist’s unforgettable 2007 tune talks about feeling it all – whether it’s the end or the beginning of a relationship.

49. “Winter” by Tori Amos

Let Tori Amos pull you into her world of “Winter.” 

Although the song talks about her relationship with her father, it could be applicable to any kind of love.

50. “Into My Arms” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 

“Into My Arms” is one of the most beautiful love songs ever written, so it would be wrong not to include it in our list.

It’s just hauntingly beautiful, both the melody and the lyrics. 

Nick Cave is simply a master of beautiful sad songs

51. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

Another timeless classic we want to mention is “Hurt” by Johnny Cash.

In fact, this is Johnny Cash’s version of a Nine Inch Nails song.

But it became iconic.

52. “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston

This song will also take you on a trip down memory lane.

And Whitney Houston will always be remembered for making music full of sentiment and thoughts about romantic love.

53. “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor

When it comes to memorable soulful music, nothing compares to Sinéad O’Connor.

And her signature song “Nothing Compares 2 U” has been played on radio stations for more than 20 years now.

This remarkable classic was actually written by Prince, and he allegedly wrote it after breaking up with his girlfriend. 

54. “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars 

And when it comes to modern sad love songs, Bruno Mars is one of the most popular names.

Of course, he is also known for making funky party hits, but his “When I Was Your Man” is proof that he can also write heartbreaking ballads.

55. “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” by Alicia Keys 

Alicia Keys released this soulful breakup song on her fourth studio album, “Element of Freedom”, in 2004.

This is also a nice reminder of her earlier music.

56. “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt

Released in 1995, “Don’t Speak” definitely made a huge impact on Gwen Stefani’s career.

And probably on many sad hearts around the world.

The song is based on Gwen’s breakup with bassist Tony Kanal.

57. “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo

“Traitor” is a power ballad released on Olivia Rodrigo’s 2021 studio album “Sour.”

Essentially, it’s about young love and infidelity.

58. “Be Alright” by Dean Lewis

“Be Alright” was released in 2018 as the lead single from Lewis’ debut studio album.

Just like Olivia Rodrigo, Dean Lewis sings about betrayal, infidelity, and walking away from someone.

But it also has a glimpse of hope and reassures you that everything will be just fine.

59. “Never Be Like You” by Flume and Kai

Flume has the power to make immersive songs with a special vibe.

And “Never Be Like You” is one of the examples.

It’s also a good after-breakup song.

60. “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLachlan 

Not all relationships end in a bad way.

Sometimes you simply decide what’s best for you and keep the good memories alive. 

In fact, that’s how it should always be if you had a sincere relationship full of love and respect. 

61. “Never Let Me Go” by Florence + The Machine 

 “Never Let Me Go” is a moving song about love and devotion.

But the lyrics can be interpreted in many different ways – so it depends on you and your current situation. 

62. “Use Somebody” by Kings Of Leon

The theme of “Use Somebody” is basically loneliness.

But Kings of Leon’s signature song could also be seen as an emotional love song.

Either way, it’s full of energy and yearning, and perhaps it will be your remedy.

63. “Hard Feelings/Loveless” by Lorde

And perhaps “Hard Feelings/Loveless” will be your healing song. 

It’s not a love song full of sorrow and depression, but a rather hopeful tune that will remind you of what’s really important. 

64. “Self Care” by Mac Miller 

If you’re looking for sad hip-hop songs, you should add Mac Miller’s “Self Care” to your playlist.

It’s actually not a typical sad song, but there’s something gloomy about it.

And it conveys an important message: take care of yourself.

65. “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” by Aretha Franklin 

Nothing will soothe your soul quite like Aretha Franklin.

Make yourself a cup of tea, sit back, and listen to this mesmerizing tune.

That is exactly the type of self-care we mentioned a moment ago.

66. “Love Is A Losing Game” by Amy Winehouse

The title of this song says it all. 

But don’t let that discourage you, especially if you’re single. 

It’s a game worth playing, and you will eventually find someone worthy of your love.

Until then, enjoy your solitude and Amy Winehouse’s soulful music.

67. “When You’re Gone” by Avril Lavigne

If you listened to Avril Lavigne in high school, then you certainly remember this heartbreaking track.

Back then, there was nothing that little Avril Lavigne music couldn’t fix. 

68. “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls 

And the same is true for Goo Goo Dolls.

“Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls is a beautiful throwback but also a deeply moving tune to listen to when you’re feeling hopeless.

69. “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran 

Would this list be complete without Ed Sheeran?

He is known for making love-themed songs, but one of his most sentimental songs comes from his early work.

“The A Team” is a song that’s both immensely sad and lovely.

70. “Jar Of Hearts” by Christina Perri 

In “Jar Of Hearts”, Christina Perri is addressing her past lover.

And it seems like this tear-jerker song is a good way to conclude our list of the best sad love songs. 

Sad Love Songs – Final Thoughts

If you’re sad or heartbroken, listening to relatable songs can be very soothing.

And the stories in these songs can show you that you’re not alone.

Therefore, our sad love song playlist will be here for you anytime you need a little comfort! 

Similar Playlists:

Best Love Songs of All Time

Best 80s Love Songs

Best 90s Love Songs

Best Rock Love Songs

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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