Music has such a powerful effect on memory. A song comes on and immediately you can be transported back to another time in your life and it is like it is happening all over again. It is therefore no surprise that music can often be our best friend when it comes to healing a broken heart.
I have relived my broken hearts from age 16 to 28 years all through song. I can’t remember much about the detail of the relationships or the breakups to tell you the truth, but I can assure you that if Cyndi Lauper’s ‘Time after Time’ plays, I am immediately transported back to my blue Subaru, parked on the University grounds as I clung to the steering wheel, singing my heart out, in the hope he would come back…. (well he didn’t and with the benefit of hindsight that was a good thing!)
I only realised last year that I was not the only one who had breakup songs (yes stupid I know!). A dear client of mine spoke to me about how she used Taylor Swift’s ballad- ‘We are never, ever getting back together’ to heal her broken heart. What a great song I thought, as she told me how she had sung it at the top of her lungs for almost a year to remind herself how good it was to move on!
The 2 types of ‘Break-up Songs’
I have come to conclude that there are 2 types of break up tracks- the first is the slow and emotive ballad that helps us to drown our sorrows- think ‘Bridget Jones Diaries’ as she screams out the words to ‘All by Myself’ while enjoying copious amounts of wine and chocolate.
And then there is the second type of song. This one is used when we are past drowning our sorrows and we are getting back on our feet- it needs to be more uplifting, inspiring and is probably a rock or power ballad! My favourite contender for this track is Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I will Survive’! Is there a better mix of disco and sequins to get you through?
So just in case you, a friend or even your teenage daughter need a track to get you through these two stages of heartbreak, here are a few suggestions-
Stage one- The ‘drown your sorrows’ stage
For the emotive, drown your sorrows stage I would strongly recommend almost any Adele track but particularly ‘Someone like you’. Now this one will be a hard one to sing and will surely bring on those tears but if this is what you are after, then this is the track for you. So grab that tissue box and let’s give it a go-
“Never mind, I’ll find someone like you I wish nothing but the best for you too Don’t forget me, I beg I’ll remember you said, Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead, Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead”
Ok, don’t dry your eyes just yet, there are still two to go. An oldie but a goodie has to be Boyz II Men’s ‘End of the Road’. Now I appreciate that unless you are 35 or above you may never have heard of this famed group, but I assure you some old school RnB is perfect to get you through. So join with me (and this is a good one for the blokes) as we chant-
“Although we’ve come, to the end of the road, Still I can’t let you go, It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you… (pause for dramatic effect here) Although we’ve come to the end of the road, Still I can’t let you go, It’s unnatural, you belong to me, I belong to you”
And for the teenagers out there don’t overlook Idina Menzel’s smash hit ‘Let It Go’- now I appreciate Disney may be a stretch for some of us and she was singing about the perils of having to be a Queen, but there is no doubt that a few repeats of this chorus-
“Let it go, let it go, Can’t hold it back anymore, Let it go, let it go, Turn away and slam the door”
should be enough to help any heartbroken 16 year old through.
Stage two- the ‘I’m better without you’ stage
At the end of the day, I don’t recommend staying in the wallowing stage for too long. There is much more fun to be had with our second type of break up track- the Uplifting Power Ballad. So here is where most of your votes fell and there were some great ones!
My favourite has to be Pat Benatar’s ‘Hit me with your best shot!’ So let’s go-
“Hit me with your best shot Why don’t you hit me With your best shot Hit me with your best shot Fire Away”
(and I hope you were singing that with a bit of a rock n roll hair flick at the end!)
And then perhaps if you are after more of a contemporary pop edge we can return to our Pop Princess, Taylor Swift and ‘Shake it Off’. Surely this has to be the modern day anthem for heartbreak! And the best bit, you can’t sing it while rising to your feet and ‘shaking’ which will get those endorphins moving and of course aiding in your ‘feel good’ mood! So don your best leotard (yes you too fellas!) and let’s go-
“Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off Heart-breakers gonna break, break, break, break, break And the fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake, fake Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake I shake it off, I shake it off”
Wow- I have to sit down after that one!
Heartbreak is terrible and it takes a long time to heal. But find yourself a song or two to chant your way through and don’t forget you will be able to ‘shake it off’, it will just take time.
And you if you have any other hits to heal a broken heart then send them my way!
If you are navigating the world of divorce you can order a copy of Clarissa’s book, ‘Splitsville- How to separate, stay out of Court and stay friends’ here.
Clarissa regularly holds Family Law Information Sessions in Brisbane and online. You can learn more and register for the next sessions to be held on Monday 21 March 2016 at 10.30am and 6pm here- Information Session
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Haha. So true. Two of my ‘feeling sorry for myself’ songs were ‘One’ and ‘With or without you’ by U2. When I was younger, Cher’s ‘Strong Enough’, blasting on repeat was a good motivator to move on, and a few years back when I split with my partner of 10 years, I kept singing one line of that Maroon 5 and Rhianna song (yes I realise the rest of the song didn’t mean this), “If I never see your face again, I don’t mind.” Seriously…could not stop subconsciously singing that line..even when I was around him, helping him move his stuff. Haha. 🙂
The Happy Family Lawyer says
Oh they are great song Karen! I have had so many great suggestions since this article I need to write a ‘Top 20’ list!
Bron Curnow says
Pop it up on Spotify when you put the list together!