11 Songs To Help You Get Over Your Ex

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He dumped you. She left you for someone else. Maybe it was even a mutual parting of ways. Regardless, you’re going to be hurting after a breakup. And music heals heartbreak, right? If you find yourself listening to the same playlist of sad songs on repeat after a breakup, why not switch it up? Here are twelve songs that have helped college students get over their exes.

1) “A Little Fall of Rain” —Les Miserables Cast

“It sounds really weird but when I was all sad after my breakup I played the song ‘A Little Fall of Rain’ from Les Mis. It’s a really sad song and in it the girl, Eponine, is in her last moments before she dies. I kinda thought of the part of me that loved this guy as Eponine, and during the song, letting it die.” –AJ Hochsztein, University of Florida, Freshman

2) “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”—Bob Dylan


“I spent two years in a relationship where I often felt slighted and unloved, and when I was dumped I found solace in ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ by Bob Dylan. I found the subtle sarcasm of the song to be really helpful, particularly the line ‘Goodbye’s too good a word, babe. So I’ll just say, fare thee well.’ Bob Dylan taught me to take the high road and to see the breakup as a blessing, and I’m so much better as a result.” –Malavika Praseed, University of Notre Dame, Sophomore

3) “Don’t”—Ed Sheeran

“The song that I’m currently using to help me get over a previous relationship is ‘Don’t’ by Ed Sheeran. . . . The confusion, worry and heartache didn’t seem so daunting anymore because I knew that I wasn’t the only one who had gone through the same situation, and realizing this allowed me to take the first steps to move forward with my life. While I’ve never regretted anything that happened, I also learned that every problem has its place in life and while, at the moment, you may feel like you’ve dug yourself into a hole that you can’t get out of, it’s never as daunting as it seems.” –Elysse Irizarry, Pratt Institute, Sophomore

4) “Motorcycle Drive By”—Third Eye Blind

“The whole song of ‘Motorcycle Drive By’ by Third Eye Blind helped me a lot, especially the part where they say ‘I hope you take a piece of me with you.’ It just made me realize that she was a great person and that I was lucky to be a part of her life.” –Brendon Gallagher, UNC Chapel Hill, Senior

5) “Dreaming of You”—The Coral

“‘Dreaming of You’ is a pretty great break-up song. It’s pretty neutral in terms of breakups. The singer does not insult his lover but instead thinks back on her and regrets how it ended. He is desperate and depressed.” –Aaron Chung, Florida State University, Junior

6) “Blank Space”—Taylor Swift

“It would have to be ‘Blank Space.’ I feel like exes or ex-lovers and I could really relate to Taylor’s passion in her song.” –Veronica Jordan, University of South Florida, Sophomore

7) “Go to Hell”—Go Radio

“The song that helped me to get over an ex was the acoustic version of ‘Go to Hell’ by Go Radio… The juxtaposition of the angry words with the calm music really resonates with me because that’s how I felt after the breakup… We were never a compatible pair, but I didn’t see that until I was looking from the outside, so I really understand the stanza, ‘And I feel it’s time that I have said/There are some things that I regret/Like never checking out the odds against this bet/’Cause I would bet my favorite things I ever owned/That you would leave and I’d be missing you like hell/But I won’t.’ … The song said everything that I wished I had been able to say to him before several months after the fact.”—Brandy Bonczek, Vanderbilt University, Sophomore

8) “You Oughta Know”—Alanis Morissette

“Normally, my musical tastes tend to fall in the indie rock area. However, when I go through a breakup, my tastes seem to shift to more of a pop area. My go to breakup song is ‘You Oughta Know’ by Alanis Morissette.” –Kelsey Martin, Jacksonville University, Junior

9) “Retrograde”—James Blake

“‘Retrograde’ by James Blake is my sad jam because instead of focusing on the other person like a lot of songs do, it focuses on the self and the agency/independence we have on our own to be as strong as we want to be.” –Caolinn Mejza, University of Southern California, Sophomore

10) “Skinny Love”—Bon Iver

“Bon Iver’s ‘Skinny Love’ always felt like the kind of breakup conversation that people want to have but never will. Both parties felt neglected, one to the point that he doesn’t even know what he meant to the other person (‘And now all your love is wasted/And then who the hell was I?/And I’m breaking at the britches/And at the end of all your lines’). This reminded me a lot of a breakup I went through early in college. We were the type to stay in and just watch a movie, and I was a little bored with the relationship. I really enjoyed spending time with her, but the relationship just didn’t have a whole lot of substance – it was ‘skinny love.’” –Isaac Cabe, University of Notre Dame, Senior

11) “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs”—Fall Out Boy

“I had a particularly pleasant break-up experience so I had ‘Thnks Fr Th Mmrs’ on repeat for weeks. Fall Out Boy is one of my favorite bands and the song is so loud and angry sounding that it matched my mood perfectly.” –Alexa Cardenas, Florida State University, Junior

And a bonus song from yours truly:

BONUS: “Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore”—Paramore

After a particularly bad breakup I felt empty. Alone. Rejected. All those good breakup feelings stemming from the fact that this person didn’t want to be with me anymore and there was nothing I could do to change that. Music really affects my mood so after I decided I’d had enough of being sad, moping around and playing depressing songs on the ukulele, I started playing happier ones. Paramore is amazing because they have a few short little songs that are upbeat but also incredibly biting. “I’m not bitter anymore/I’m syrupy sweet/I’ll rot your teeth down to their core/If I’m really happy.” How much more uplifting can you get? I’m allowed to be angry. I can have bad, bitter days. But my goal is to be at least a little tongue-in-cheek about everything.

A Floridian learning to survive in the tundra that is the Midwest. Sophomore English major at the University of Notre Dame. Goal in life is to be a cross between Jane Goodall and Walt Disney.

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