10 Songs You Should Listen to After a Breakup


Whether he cheated on you, broke it off for no reason, or gave you plenty of other reasons to call it quits, your ex has left you in the wake of a broken heart.

Music to the rescue! Make sure it’s not just any music. We’ve found 10 tunes guaranteed to turn your frown upside-down and make you forget about ol’ what’s-his-name.

Before He Cheats (Carrie Underwood)

Choice Lyrics:
“Dug my key into the side /
Of his pretty little souped up four-wheel drive /
Carved my name into his leather seats. /
I took a Louisville Slugger to both headlights, /
Slashed a hole in all four tires. /
Maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats.”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:

It’s a healthy alternative to actually doing all the stuff Ms. Underwood suggests.

Watch / Listen to “Before He Cheats”

Cry Me A River (Justin Timberlake)

Choice Lyrics:
“You told me you loved me /
Why did you leave me, all alone /
Now you tell me you need me /
When you call me, on the phone.”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat: 
If he ever comes crawling back, you’ll know exactly what to tell him — to a fresh, R&B beat.

Watch / Listen to “Cry Me a River”

Single Ladies (Beyoncé)

Choice Lyrics:
“Don’t be mad once you see that he want it /
If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it.”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:
Honestly, I have no idea why this song should go on the list. But, all the women I surveyed agreed upon its inclusion. Here’s what they had to say:

“It’s empowering, both in the message and the fact that it’s impossible not to dance when you hear it.”

“For better or worse, this song puts all the blame on him.”

“Matt, I told you to never call me again.” — ex-girlfriend

Watch / Listen to “Single Ladies”

Theme From “Beverly Hills, 90210

Choice Lyrics:
“Dah nah nah nah /
Duh nuh nuh nuh /

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:
For no other reason than the fact that it’s fun to hum along. Also, this song reminds you that rich, good-looking people in Beverly Hills have to deal with their share of drama, too.

Watch / Listen to “Theme From Beverly Hills, 90210”

No Scrubs (TLC)

Choice Lyrics:
“I don’t want no scrub /
A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me /
Hanging out the passenger side /
Of his best friend’s ride /
Trying to holler at me.”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:

This song is about guys trying to pick up women, and the way they’re portrayed as pathetic and stupid will pick you up, too.

Watch / Listen to “No Scrubs”

Everything About You (Ugly Kid Joe)

Choice Lyrics:
“I get sick when I’m around /
I can’t stand to be around /
I hate everything about you.”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:

The poppy-grunge beat will inspire air guitar and head-banging, while the lyrics will remind you what a jerk he was.

Watch / Listen to “Everything About You”

You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette)

Choice Lyrics:
“It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced /
Are you thinking of me when you f**k her?”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:

This jam is one of the all-time kick-ass feminist anthems, based on the concept of telling the ex-boyfriend to stuff it. It’s best listened to while ignoring the rumor that it’s about Joey Gladstone from “Full House” (who went on to have a less successful career as real person Dave Coulier.)

Watch / Listen to “You Oughta Know”

Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson) 

Choice Lyrics:
“Since you been gone /
I can breathe for the first time /
I’m so movin’ on /
Yeah, yeah! /
Thanks to you /
Now I get what I want /
Since you been gone.”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:
It’s a reminder that whatever doesn’t kill you will inevitably make you stronger. And that “American Idol” peaked with the first season.

Watch / Listen to “Since U Been Gone”

I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor)

Choice Lyrics:
“First I was afraid, I was petrified /
Kept thinking I could never live /
Without you by my side /
But I spent so many nights /
Thinking how you did me wrong /
I grew strong /
I learned how to carry on.”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:
When your pals take you out to cheer you up, you can guarantee that this time-tested tune will be on every single karaoke playlist. The better you know the words, the crazier you’ll get, and the more fun you’ll have.

Watch / Listen to “I Will Survive”

Just Dance (Lady Gaga)

Choice Lyrics
“Da-doo-doo-doo /
Just dance. Gunna be OK /
Duh-duh-duh-duh /
Dance. Dance. Dance. Ju-just dance”

Why You Should Play It on Repeat:

For an auto-tuned DayGlo Fame Monster, Lady Gaga knows her stuff. Sometimes it’s better to not think about how much you’re bummin’, and ju-just dance. Duh-duh-duh-duh.

Watch / Listen to “Just Dance”

All Images by Getty Images, except Ugly Kid Joe (Mercury Records)