45 Best Songs About Moving On & Letting Go

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Written By Will Fenton

Founder of MidderMusic. From numerous bands to stints working in music shops, read more about me on the 'Here's My Story' page!

More often than not, moving on and letting go is the best way to find closure and happiness.

Heartbreaks are not only from breakups as they could also result from the death of a loved one or a friend leaving your life.

It doesn’t matter what caused the heartbreak, but all that matters is that you can move on.

These songs about moving on are exactly what you need to kickstart the process.

Table of Contents

1. “I Will Survive” By Gloria Gaynor

“Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive.”

This is the 21st Century, but songs like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” released in the late 70s, are still making waves.

The title captures the song’s theme in its entirety, as all that matters after a breakup or losing a loved one is “Surviving.”

The song was produced and written by Freddie Perren and Dino Ferrakis.

2. “Since U Been Gone” By Kelly Clarkson

With “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson went from being an American idol winner to a two-time Grammy award winner.

The song chronicles the story of a breakup from a one-sided toxic and moving on despite what she might have felt.

It was produced and written by Max Martin; ‎Lukasz Gottwald‎, and it is one that so many people can relate to and evoke emotions. 

3. “Ex Factor” By Lauryn Hill

“Ex Factor” by Lauryn Hill is one of the most sampled songs in music history and was even sampled in Drake’s “Nice For What.”

This song is a single off Lauryn Hill’s Grammy award-winning album, “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill.”

In this song, Lauryn uses her low and raspy voice to express her difficulty in moving on from a nonchalant partner despite her feelings.

4. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” By Taylor Swift

In this dramatic song from Taylor Swift, she sings passionately but casually about never getting back together with her former lover.

Instead of focusing on the sadness of breakups, Taylor sings about the strength required to move on and let go.

“We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is Taylor’s first song to gain traction and landed her on the Billboard Hot 100.

5. “Someone Like You” By Adele 

If there is one thing Adele is good at, it is being able to put her feelings into words effortlessly, and she did so with her hit song, “Someone Like You.”

This song profoundly delves into how it feels to move on from your lover while convincing yourself that you will find love again.

It is a captivating ballad in its totality, and we do not recommend it unless you are ready to cry yourself to sleep.

6. “Better In Time” By Leona Lewis

“Better In Time” by Leona Lewis is a song that can help you put things in perspective after a breakup.

In listening to this song, you will remember who you were before the relationship and gradually let go of the hurt.

It is one of the best RnB/pop songs about letting go, released in the 2000s. 

This song earned Leona Lewis her first Brits Award nomination in the “Best British Single” category.

7. “Better By Myself” By Hey Violet 

“I’m better by myself when there’s no you in my life.”

In “Better By Myself,” Hey Violet fuses a bit of disco funk and indie-pop with her whimsical sing-song voice.

In This Song, Hey Violet details how her lover wronged her and why she needs to move on from the relationship. 

It was Recorded by Rena Lovelis and produced by Daniel Nigro in 2019.

8. “Let Me Go” By Hailee Steinfeld

The first thing you think of when you listen to this song is to bob your head and sway your waist.

“Let Me Go” is a song about a relationship that had a rocky start and how most relationships don’t last because people went into them for all the wrong reasons.

The song was recorded and produced by Hailee Steinfeld and co-produced by Alesso in 2019.

9. “So Yesterday” By Hilary Duff

Hillary Duff delivers a whimsical ballad about breakups in her 2011 hit song “So Yesterday.”

This song is about a breakup that resulted from both lovers losing interest in each other.

These types of breakups are called “mutual breakups,” and they are hardly ever sad; It is no wonder that the song’s beat is groovy.

It is the perfect song for your playlist after leaving a tiresome relationship.

10. “Irreplaceable” By Beyonce 

The lyrics of this song are so empowering, and it is perfect for anyone going through a breakup that seems insurmountable.

In “Irreplaceable”, Beyonce brags about how she can move on from her ex with another man in a minute because he is not irreplaceable.

The lyrics of this song will empower your bravado in unimaginable, and you will keep chanting “to the left, to the left” for days.

11. “I Will Always Love You” By Dolly Parton

Whitney Houston recorded the more popular version of this song, but there is something about Dolly Parton’s voice that makes you want to listen to her.

“I will Always Love You” is a classic song about moving and letting go despite how you feel about the person.

If you find yourself in such a situation and are looking for a song about letting go of someone you love, this is the perfect song.

12. “Song For The Dumped” By Ben Folds Five

If you need a rock love song about moving on and letting go, “Song For The Dumped” by Ben Fold Five is the song for you.

In this whimsical breakup song, the singer rants about a girl who just broke up with him by asking her to return his money and black shirt.

This song will make you laugh and uplift your mood despite the sadness you feel from your breakup.

13. “You Learn” By Alanis Morissette

Sometimes after a breakup, you don’t need a sad song like Adele’s “Someone Like You,” all you need are words of wisdom about moving on sung by Alanis Morissette.

In “You Learn,” you will learn that everything that happens to you happens for a reason, primarily to teach you a lesson.

14. “It Ain’t Me” By Kygo ft. Selena Gomez

Kygo and Selena Gomez teamed up to deliver a beautiful song about moving on in “It Ain’t Me.” 

The lyrics of this song remind you that you are not your ex’s responsibility after the breakup.

So, if your ex comes back knocking at the sight of any minor inconvenience, it is not your responsibility to render help!

This song might have been released in 2017, but it would definitely continue to receive airplay in years to come.

15. “Shout Out To My Ex” By Little Mix

Little Mix is one of the most popular girl groups in the United States. 

So, it is no wonder that they were able to deliver a masterpiece like “Shout Out to my Ex.”

This song reminds you never to romanticize any past relationship, no matter how good it was, so that you can move on faster.

16. “Better” By Regina Spektor

In “Better”, Regina Skeptor uses her soft angelic voice to remind you that friendships are built to outlast romantic relationships.

The song also stresses the importance of good friends in helping you move on from breakups.

Try blasting this song from your speaker whenever you remember your lost loves, and you will feel comforted.

17. “Shut Up And Let Me Go” By The Ting Tings

The groovy vibes of “Shut Up And Let Me Go” by The Tings Tings are all you need to get out of bed and stop crying about your ex.

As the title reads, your ex needs to shut up and let you go, and it takes great determination to take such a stance.

18. “Stronger” By Britney Spears

Take it from Britney Spears in her smash hit, “Stronger” loneliness cannot kill you, so let go of that relationship.

Britney blessed the world with this track to remind you that no matter how you felt about the breakup, you are stronger than the experience.

It was recorded and produced in the early 2000s but is a famous post-breakup anthem to this day.

19. “Too Good” By Drake ft. Rihanna

After the success of “Work” by Drake and Rihanna, the duo reentered the studio to record “Too Good,” and it was as expected—perfect!

“Too Good” is about letting go of a relationship because they have been taken for granted for too long.

Hopefully, if you are in such a relationship, you will recognize your worth and move on.

20. “Bye Bye Bye” By N’Sync  

“Bye Bye Bye” by N’Sync is one of the most popular songs about moving on that was recorded in the early 2000s.

The lyrics of this song are a perfect way to move on from your ex without grieving about what could have been and what was.

The song appeals to the brokenhearted in the way the boys chant, “I don’t wanna be a fool for you.”

21. “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” By Bob Dylan

“Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right” by Bob Dylan is a folksy poetic ballad about leaving a lover and moving on with your life without the associated guilt.

The sweet combination of Dylan’s raspy melodious voice, the guitar, and the flutes make this the perfect song to remind you of moving on.

22. “Terrence Loves You” By Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey might be known for singing about abusive love with her captivating and highly expressive voice.

However, she veered off course with “Terrence Loves You”, where she talks about finding strength after a breakup from a secret relationship.

You can draw strength from the jazzy tunes as you listen; even though it might be slow and sleek, Lana speaks directly to the soul.

23. “20 Something” By SZA 

In “20 Something”, SZA sings about a sudden breakup in her 20s and the difficulty in moving on and letting go.

This song might include only SZA’s powerful voice and a string guitar, but the message holds, and you would feel everything.

In listening to this song, you will understand that breakups are complex, and it’s okay to take your time recovering.

24. “IDGAF” By Dua Lipa

Everything you need to know about this song is in the title. 

“IDGAF” lyrically talks about moving on from a relationship without a care in the world about her partner’s feelings.

Immediately after Dua Lipa released this song, it became a particular favorite for everyone because of its powerful message.

Listen to this song on a blast from your speakers on a Saturday morning, and you will feel empowered like never before.

25. “Ain’t Thinkin Bout You” By KREAM, Eden Prince

It is one of the most popular techno-house bangers that lyrically detail moving on from a toxic relationship without thinking about them.

It was written by two Norwegian brothers and producer partners who go by KREAM in 2019 but recorded by both KREAM and Eden Prince.

26. “Bad Religion” By Frank Ocean

If you ever experienced unrequited love, you would understand how Frank Ocean felt when he recorded “Bad Religion.”

A part of the chorus reads, “I can never make him love me,” and he calls unrequited love a bad religion over a slow melancholic organ progression.

27. “Let It Be” By The Beatles

“Let It Be” is one of the few songs Paul McCartney recorded with the Beatles in 1969.

This song is about having faith that things will get better despite what you might have gone through in the past.

Paul combines his melodious voice with drums and piano in this beautifully written and recorded classic ballad.

28. “I Bet On Losing Dogs” By Mitski 

If you are fond of Mitski, you would know that her sound revels in Melancholy, as you would find in “I Bet On Losing Dogs.”

This song is about constantly letting go of relationships and friendships that aren’t good for you. 

The song combined a busy synth line with upbeat guitar and was written and recorded by Mitski.

29. “Best Days Of Your Life” By Kellie Pickler

Taylor Swift co-wrote this song, but Kellie Picker did an excellent job in recording the song with so much musical gusto.

“Best Days Of My Life” lyrically talks about moving forward after breakups even though you have fond memories of the relationship.

30. “I’d Have To Think About It” By Leith Ross

Have you ever been scared of breakups because you think there is no other person for you?

“I’d Have To Think About It” by Leith Ross is a song that reassures you that there will always be someone out there for you.

Finding them might take a little while, but you will eventually. 

This song was recorded and written by Leith Ross in 2021.

31. “When The Party’s Over” By Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish might be young, but it seems like she already experienced the travails of mutual breakups from a relationship that wasn’t good for both parties.

In “When The Party’s Over,” Billie urges her ex to allow her to let him go because he’s reluctant to leave the relationship.

Billie Eilish beautifully performed this song at the 2020 Grammy Awards alongside her brother, Finneas, who wrote the song.

32. “Skinny Lover” By Bon Iver

Bon Iver is known for using acoustic guitars and his deep falsetto voice, as shown in this indie-themed song titled “Skinny Lover.”

This song is about a relationship that was always destined to fail and how letting go might be difficult despite the situation.

33. “100 Letters” By Halsey 

“100 Letters” by Halsey is a contemporary pop ballad that chronicles what she passed through in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship.

In this song, Halsey empowers victims of physical and emotional abuse in relationships and encourages them to move on.

“100 Letters” was recorded by Halsey in 2016 and 2017.

34. “A Little Bit Stronger” By Sara Evans

“A little Bit Stronger” by Sara Evans is the perfect song for moving on from a lover that left you without notice.

Sara Evans passionately describes how it felt when someone she loved left her and how she will eventually get over it.

35. “ICU” By Phoebe Bridgers

“ICU” by Phoebe Bridgers is a detailed ballad that recounts when Bridger broke up with the drummer in her band.

“ICU” is an intended pun for “I see you,” which alludes to the pain and anxiety she felt after the breakup and the uncertainty of the relationship.

36. “Love Yourself” By Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber’s “Love yourself” video is one of the few songs with over 1 billion views on YouTube.

This song is like a heartfelt letter detailing Justin’s relationship with a narcissistic ex-lover that made him feel less of himself.

The song encourages people to move on from relationships that take more than it gives to their mental and physical health. 

Ed Sheeran co-wrote the song with Justin Bieber.

37. “Everybody Lost Somebody” By Bleachers

The lyrics of “Everybody Lost Somebody” by the Bleachers were inspired by the passing of singer Jack Antonoff’s sister in high school.

This song is emotional, and it is a song about finding comfort after going through loss, be it from relationships or the death of a loved one.

38. “Survivor” By Destiny Child

Like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” the girl band Destiny Child sings about surviving a breakup in “Survivor.”

The lyrics of the song reads, “I’m the survivor. I’m gonna make it. I will survive.” 

The girls’ vocals did poetic justice to the vibes of this song in remarkable ways.

It is the perfect song for your post-breakup playlist; the lyrics will empower you and help you move on.

39. “Lonely Together” By Avicii ft. Rita Ora

The lyrics of “Lonely Together” by Avicii and Rita Ora will have you examine your broken relationship.

The song is for anyone finding it difficult to leave a broken relationship even though they know it isn’t good for them. 

It was produced by Avicii but recorded by Rita Ora.

40. “See You Again” By Carrie Underwood

“See You Again” by Carrie Underwood is a fantastic pop song about hope, acceptance, and moving on.

Carrie expresses certainty that she has hope of seeing a dead loved one or ex again because the way things ended didn’t augur nicely with her.

So, while it is vital to move on, it is not wrong to pine for things that might be in the future.

41. “Everybody Hurts” By R.E.M

R.E.M is an 80s college rock band that became a pop and up-tempo band in the 90s.

In their hit single “Everybody Hurts,” the band sings about how everybody hurts in the world and how nobody is truly alone.

This is the perfect track to listen to when you are down and find it difficult to let go.

42. “Don’t Look Back In Anger” By Oasis 

This song evokes nostalgic feelings with the delicious combination of progressive chords and melodious voices.

In listening to this song, you finally find the courage to look into your past and let go of whatever might have hurt you in the past.

43. “The First Cut Is The Deepest” By Cat Stevens and P.P. Arnold

“The First Cut Is The Deepest” is one of the best classic songs about moving on.

After Cat Stevens and P.P Arnold recorded the original in 1967, Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow covered the song in 1976 and 2003, respectively.

This rock love song is for anyone looking to move on from their first love that hurt them since it is often the hardest.

44. “How To Save A Life” By The Fray

“How To Save A Live” by the Fray rock band is a piano ballad about the personal experience of the lead singer of The Fray.

The song is deeply passionate and expresses finding closure after losing someone so close to you.

It was recorded in 2005 in Indiana.

45. “New Rules” By Dua Lipa

With Dua Lipa having two songs on this list, it is okay to think she might be an aficionado for writing empowering songs about moving on.

In “New Rules,” Dua Lipa sings about moving on from a relationship and setting boundaries with an ex that doesn’t want to move on.

This song earned Dua Lipa the number spot on the UK Billboard Charts in 2017 as the first female artist to do so in two years.

Songs About Moving on – Final Thoughts

Love is one of the few things that make living worthwhile, but it comes with its pitfalls, such as breakups and death.

It is never easy moving on from breakups or the death of a loved one, but it is pretty important as it helps us to confront reality and live.

At the end of every loss, always try to look on the bright side by listening to the songs in this article about moving on and letting go.

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