The future of music

35 Best Songs About Pain, Suffering & Hurting

December 24, 2023
songs about pain

I’ve carefully curated a collection of the best songs about pain, suffering, and hurting, each capturing the deep emotions we often struggle to express.

This article explores powerful tracks that resonate with the universal experience of pain, offering a musical journey through heartache and healing.

Top songs about pain, suffering & hurting

  • “Everybody Hurts” by REM
  • “Someone Like You” by Adele
  • “Hurt” by Johnny Cash
  • ” Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley Ft. Alison Krauss
  • “Life After You” by Daughtry
  • ” Love Hurts” by Nazareth
  • “Hurt” by Christiana Aguilera
  • “Let’s Hurt Tonight” by OneRepublic
  • “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter
  • ” Hurts” by James Arthur

1. “Everybody Hurts” by REM

This song perfectly describes the saying ‘it rains everywhere”.

It is a song of hope, reprieve, and encouragement that no matter how hard things become, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. 

This song indicates that everybody goes through rough patches at some point in life; only those who are courageous and face what life brings get to the promised land.

2. “Someone Like You” by Adele

Sometimes in life, we go through rough patches of pain, sorrow, and broken love. 

Adele, in this song, narrates the experience of her broken love and how she might live to regret the separation between her and her estranged husband.

If you are entangled in a love affair in which the other side isn’t reciprocating the love, Adele’s “Someone Like You” is ideal to help get over the love entanglement.

3. “Hurt” by Johnny Cash

Events in life trigger some key happenings that shape how we act. 

“Hurt” was an extension and different outlook to the original Nine Inch Nails, which was released in 1995.

It was a song full of sorrow, lamentation, regret, and a reflection of what had happened in the past.

The song was a hit when it was released, but sadly, Cash lost his dear wife three months after the release before Cash died four months later.

4. ” Whiskey Lullaby” by Brad Paisley Ft. Alison Krauss

This song teaches that no matter how much a broken love hurts you, you should not indulge in acts that may truncate your life.

It was a story of a man whose unfaithful wife cheated upon him.

Instead of allowing reasons to prevail, the man finds solace in alcohol and eventually kills himself.

Upon hearing about her husband’s death, the woman resorts to alcohol and eventually ends up the same way as her husband.

5. “Life After You” by Daughtry

When you keep having issues with your partner, there are bound to be cracks in the relationship.

However, being patient in sorting things out is always better than walking away abruptly.

This song exemplifies the adage, “you don’t know the worth of something until you lose it.” 

It clearly distinguishes between living a lonely life and living a life full of affection

6. ” Love Hurts” by Nazareth

This song describes the harsh feeling of a man towards his partner. 

A barrage of insults is the order of the day in this relationship. 

The husband is a fellow who says things raw without minding the consequence.

Unfortunately, the relationship eventually met a brick wall after endless throwing of hurtful, anguish, and agonizing words.

7. “Hurt” by Christiana Aguilera

This is the true life story of Christiana Aguilera, who always blames her father for her life’s misdeeds. 

Unfortunately, before realizing the gravity of what she had done, reality had set in – her father had died.

She wished she could see her father again to reconcile, which isn’t possible anymore. 

Damned by this realization, she composed this song full of regret, lamentation, and hate. 

8. “Let’s Hurt Tonight” by OneRepublic

Have you ever been in a toxic relationship yet couldn’t pull out? This song describes this scenario perfectly. 

No love is lost between two partners who have become toxic towards each other.

Instead of calling it quits, something somewhere keeps pulling them back into the fragmented, polarized, and cracked relationship. 

Eventually, they realize they have to go their separate ways

9. “Bad Day” by Daniel Powter

Remember, when you are going through a rough patch, you tend to believe you are the only one facing challenges. 

Powter’s grandfather once told him, “there are better people who are worse off than you.” 

This indicates that you are not alone, no matter what you currently face.

People have battled far more challenging situations and come out victorious. 

In this song, you are advised to keep calm even in the most complicated circumstances.

10. ” Hurts” by James Arthur

Nothing hurts more than stumbling upon your ex-lovers who refuse to love you the way you love her. 

Although it seems both of you were in a relationship then, it feels like a one-sided affair.

To compound your woes, the ex-lover staring at you couldn’t recall ever meeting you; that’s hurt, right? 

This James Arthur song describes this situation perfectly.

11. “Feel No Pain” by Sade

What could be more devastating than having all family members relieved of their work? 

Aside from the economic implication, it would also cause emotional pain to the victims.

A person living up to his responsibility and becoming redundant due to job loss could feel left behind and become hostile to people. 

Hence, this song is a call to show compassion to those sacked from their job until they get another job.

12. “Her Diamonds” by Rob Thomas

It is always frustrating and emotionally draining when you see your loved one suffering from depression

This could be especially painful if you have no means to snap them out of that regrettable depression.

Rob used his personal experience of his wife, who suffered from a chronic disease and has gone into a full-moon depression. 

He wasn’t sure what to do to help her; hence he usually cried in anticipation of reprieve.

13. “This Too Shall Pass” by Ok Go

This is a perfect wake-up call to anyone suffering from ailment, depression, unemployment, or any form of problem that may warrant overthinking. 

It uses the phrase “This Too Shall Pass” to send a strong message that whatever you are passing through will become a thing of the past soon.

This song spreads positivity, belief, and encouragement. 

Listening to this song whenever you feel lost could be a perfect wake-up call for you.

14. “Life Ain’t Always Beautiful” by Gary Allan

In life, there are moments when we feel lost and become bitter about how life has treated us. 

However, one should not be embittered to the extent that one sees nothing good in life.

This song mirrored a bitter soul who has tasted the sweetness of love.

It encourages the broken hearts to open their hearts to love again, as nothing could kill faster than loneliness and boredom.

15. “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve

Life isn’t a bed of roses; some days, you feel the positive vibe, while others could bring the opposite. 

Bittersweet Symphony” is a perfect song to listen to whenever you are in one of those difficult situations.

16. “Physical Pain” by Joan Armatrading

These are lyrics about pain, emotional trauma, and regret. 

The relationship between the two friends started on a good note until lies started creeping in. 

Eventually, the relationship crashed due to unending lies.

The narrator looks back and regrets everything she had done to sever the relationship. 

She wishes to get her friend back and right the wrongs. 

Can they ever get back? 

17. “I Know It’s Over” by The Smith

Life is full of twists and turns. 

Some experience a wholesome love life that is an example to everybody. 

However, some are still waiting to find their true soulmate. 

This endless wait to be in love birthed this song.

The narrator was despairing and afraid that he could die without any love experience; hence, calling on his mother to save him from this impending embarrassment.

18. “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” by Culture Club

Toxic relationships breed resentment, hate, and contempt. 

It brings into disrepute the issue of trust, affection, and love. 

A relationship that triggers emotional pain and trauma is best discarded no matter how hurtful.

Nothing hurts the most than being entangled in a love life that doesn’t give you joy. 

This always brings the question, “Do you want to hurt me more”?

19. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” by Beyonce

Beyonce used a very nice rendition of smart music to describe what people face when trying to hurt others. 

She stated that hurting someone is to hurt yourself. 

You become embittered about their success, hence trying to bring them down.

She advocated that you shouldn’t affect others with what you will not like to be affected with. 

If it has ever crossed your mind to hurt someone, Beyonce’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself” could erase that thought from you.

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

This is a true reflection of a song about getting hurt by love. 

Here, Lady Gaga describes her experience of a love life that went awry and her inability to say a proper goodbye to her lover before his departure.

Gaga’s emotional attachment to her ex made her vow never to be in love with another man. 

It is a song full of sorrow, regret, and hurt.

21. “Let It Hurt” by Rascal Flatts

This song reflects the emotional pain we go through in life. 

It highlights how people suffered due to broken love, unemployment, and other emotional trauma.

It depicts a life full of anguish and agony, coupled with the fact that you have to wear a smiley face and act as if nothing is happening to be strong for your loved ones.

22. “Everybody Lost Somebody” by Bleacher

No matter what life throws at you, remember you are not alone in the dungeons of this world; many people are facing similar situations. 

In life, the sad occurrence of love, hate, pain, anguish, and hurt are made for every human being.

Do not feel overwhelmed by the turn of events, be calm when navigating the process. 

This pain could be the ladder that will propel you to everlasting success. 

23. “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child

The first line of this song exemplifies the belief that no matter what you are facing now, you’ll overcome it if you don’t quit. 

Destiny’s Child uses his musical artistry to lay credence to the importance of being a strong person.

He stated even if everyone in the world betrayed our trust, we could still go ahead to survive the onslaught.

24. “Better By Myself” by Hey Violet

This song describes the feeling of people who feel used and dumped by another set of people. 

Specifically, it depicts the feeling of people who share a love relationship that is a one-sided affair.

You love somebody, but the person doesn’t love you back or only loves you whenever he needs something from you. 

Isn’t it time to quit such a relationship? Your sanity matters.

25. “Give Me Novacaine” by Green Day

This song describes the tiring situation of a man who suffers from migraine. 

The migraine was severe to the extent of using different painkilling techniques to lessen the pain.

Treating an endless ailment could be devastating, especially if no end exists. 

26. “Pain” by Three Day Grace

Are you disillusioned with the happenings in your life?

This song describes the hopeless situation of someone going through enormous pain.

However, the narrator believes that pain is an important part of life and that everybody should have a taste of it. 

He claimed it is better to experience pain than not experience it at all. 

Whichever way, you’ll find this song as a reprieve.

27. “Hurts So Good” by John Cougar Mellencamp

This award-winning song creates an impression of pain that hurts so good, and one such pain is the pain of love. 

We see people’s hearts being broken, yet we remain relentless in the search for love. Isn’t that amazing?

Mellencamp describes the situation of a man in love with a sexually active woman. 

The man is less concerned about the duration of the love affair; all he wants is love, even if it hurts, just that she should make it hurt so good.

28. “First Cut Is The Deepest” by Sheryl Crow

According to Crow, your first experience of love will play a pivotal role in your understanding of love. 

If your first love treats you well, you will have fond memories and can positively describe love.

However, if your first love experience isn’t so good, this will affect you in your subsequent relationship. 

You will dread love and might even believe that love is not for you.

29. “Stay” by Rihanna Ft. Mikky Ekko

Are you finding it hard to move on after a failed relationship? 

Rihanna’s “Stay” is a very good song to listen to when in a difficult situation.

The pain of a lost love might warrant you crying, which isn’t bad, especially if you envisioned yourself in this song. 

At first, it is always hard, but picking yourself up after a failed relationship is better than being entangled with someone who doesn’t love you anymore.

30. “Stronger” by Britney Spears

If you keep agonizing about pain, you may end up not fulfilling your dream. 

However, if you stand strong in the face of despair, you get to overcome the pain.

It is always hard to move on after a lost relationship. 

No matter how hard it seems, you need to be yourself as you have many life challenges to contend with.

31. “There You’ll Be” by Faith Hill

Some relationships are meant to happen for a short while. 

That’s why it is important always to give a good impression of yourself to people when you meet them.

Faith admonished that we should cherish our relationship with others now that we are together. 

A moment of separation from them could trigger emotional pain. 

However, if we part ways on good terms, we will always be in each other’s hearts.

32. “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce

Another hit track by renowned singer Beyonce describes an ex-lover’s “you can’t do without me” attitude. 

A partner who loves you out of pity and treats you as he pleases may not be the best for you.

Trying to salvage a relationship where you feel underappreciated will only bring more hurt in the long run.

33. “Let It Be” by The Beatles

Life is in stages, and everything works out as destined. 

It is good to strive to get hold of something; however, if you try much without success, you might want to let it be.

When Paul McCartney was having a tough time with his brand, he dreamt about his mother, who assured him that if he could let it be, things would fall into place at the appropriate time. 

Learn to be patient and allow things to fall into place naturally.

34. “Pain In My Heart” by Otis Redding

This is a story of past relationships’ pain, trauma, and agony. 

It is always devastating when you put your all into a relationship, only to lose it eventually. 

This might further affect you in the next relationship as you might still be in love with the ex-lover even if they have moved on.

In the end, Otis gives a song of hope and encouragement to whoever is facing this problem to move on as they would be happy they did.

35. “My Immortal” by Evanescence

This song is a story of regret, broken love, and pain. 

It describes the hopeless situation of a woman still entangled in her past love. 

The entangled love makes it difficult for her to move on.

She remembered their memorable moments together and wished he could return. 

Only a miracle could heal this kind of wound, as the woman is deeply saddened.

Songs About Pain – Final Thoughts

In life, one will experience moments of joy, sweetness, and excitement. 

On the flip side, one will also experience moments of anguish, pain, and sorrow. 

The ability to navigate through different situations of life distinguishes the successful ones from the vulnerable. 

In this article, we’ve detailed the list of 35 songs that can serve as inspiration when you are neck-deep in pain. 

Listen to them and jolt yourself out of sorrow.

Similar Playlists:

Songs About Death

Best Sad Songs

Songs About Crying

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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