A Bittersweet Breakup Playlist
A personal blog on the creation of a playlist
Break-ups are awful. They’re full of immense pain and hurt for both parties involved. You might think it’s easier for one person, but it just looks like it because they’ve had more time to mentally and emotionally prepare for this moment. And it’s okay to not be okay, just like it’s okay for you ‘not being okay’ to be your new okay for a while. I’m told that it gets better, and whilst I’m still waiting for it to get better, I have my positive pants on that things will get better. But I’m also giving myself as much time as I need to heal. I’m not going to lie to you, I thought it would be quicker; but I’ve learnt over this past month that it’s a long and enduring process and I think I’ve finally embraced that. I don’t know if I’m allowed to plug my previous articles on here, but I wrote a very intimate blog post two weeks ago called ‘Grief’, if you would like to get more an insight into my thought processes and my experiences with grief .
My friends have recommended a plethora of songs and artists for me to listen to who supposedly write about heartbreak. However, I found that most break up songs were full of anger, hatred, negativity and blame. I found that most of the break-up songs on numerous Spotify playlists contained the lyric ‘I never want to see you again’. Now, I couldn’t/can’t relate to most of these things. Although my break up had hit me like a truck, I don’t feel any of those emotions mentioned above towards my partner. Yes, his decision has caused me and is causing me a crazy amount of hurt, but I don’t resent him nor do I think that there is a malicious bone in his body. Consequently, most of the break up playlists already existing on Spotify didn’t work for me.
So, I decided to create my own and share it with you, because maybe, just maybe, it might work for you too. I’ve also written a brief paragraph under each suggestion, explaining why I chose that song. Not all songs are happy and cheerful, most are bittersweet. Some are full of hurt, some are full of longing, some are full of loss but all of them have hope in them. And I think that’s all you can do after a break-up, is hope that you’ll be okay and hope that over time, you will move on, let go and allow yourself to be ‘you’ once again. Here is my Bittersweet Break Up Playlist:
1. Long Live by Taylor Swift
Although this song is often referred to as a graduation song, for me Long Live is a metaphor for all of the happy and joyous memories that my partner and I had together. These include moments when we felt invincible, how the world seemed to vanish when we were together and it represents how much love we felt for one another. This song for me celebrates all the times we held each other’s hand (through the good and the bad), how we always supported one another and the feeling I felt whenever he was near.
But if, God forbid, fate should step in
And force us into a goodbye
If you have children some day
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name
Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine
Long live the walls we crashed through
I had the time of my life, with you’
The song also discusses about the fear of forgetting things and the fear of your former partner forgetting things, which is still one of my fears. My former partner has told me on countless occasions that this won’t happen and that I needn’t worry, but the thought always replays on my mind. I don’t want memories to disappear and I don’t want our relationship to be swept under a rug. Because I had the best time of my life and I hope he did too.
2. Beautiful Birds by Passenger feat. Birdy.
If I had to choose one song that speaks to (and of) my previous relationship, it would be this song. The song tells a story of two lovers and their vibrant and colourful love, through which there were compromises. A couple tried to adjust their lifestyles, dreams and needs to suite each other. However, it didn’t work out and it led to them parting ways, but still being there for each other in a different form. The lyrics are bittersweet, beautifully poetic and a powerful form of storytelling which for me, captures my first big love.
Do you remember when we were two beautiful birds?
We would light up the sky, when we'd fly
You were orange and red like the sun when it sets
I was green as an apple's eye
You said you loved all the songs that I'd sing
But nothing like you'd ever heard
And I said I loved you with all of my heart
When we were two beautiful birds
3. Jealous by Labyrinth
Jealous is a song is about the pain and the struggle in accepting what you can and can’t do with your partner anymore. For example, you can no longer reach for you partners hand at a café anymore, you can no longer expect your partner to keep turning up at your door and that you can’t use the same vocabulary you did before. It’s about seeing your former partner standing close and chatting to another girl/or boy and accepting that that’s how the way the things are now, even though your bawling your eyes out.
4. To Build A Home by the Cinematic Orchestra
When I was younger, I did a dance routine to this song. And it’s stayed with me since. Like Beautiful Birds, it tells the story of two lovers who created and dreamt of a life together; who believed in ‘forever’. But then something happened, the foundations started to crack, and there was nothing left. And the life that they dreamed of together, forever, disappeared. It is bittersweet and hauntingly beautiful and reminds you to live in the moment, cherish your memories and that things will pass.
Out in the garden where we planted the seeds
There is a tree as old as me
Branches were sewn by the color of green
Ground had arose and passed its knees
By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
Held on as tightly as you held onto me
5. You Found Me by Kelly Clarkson
This song is a bit more optimistic than those that I’ve listed so far. For me, this song is about a girl who, although is comfortable with herself, has a lot of flaws and things about her that she doesn’t like, as we all do. A boy falls in love with her for who she really is and helps her love those parts of herself that she didn’t like. It’s about two people who see each other as they truly are and don’t pretend to be someone they’re not, a sentiment which was mirrored in my previous relationship.
6. Bad Habit by Ben Platt
Bad Habit is another song about longing for a love that you lost, even though your brain is telling you that should be moving on and that you need to stop loving and missing them. But the brain and the heart doesn’t always work in conjunction which each other. When you’ve relied on someone’s love for so long/had someone love you endlessly for so long, it’s hard to yearn for them when you feel like you’re in the dark.
You make me feel like I'm floatin' off the ground
Above this little town, you do
Look at me smile with tears in my eyes
I love the way you lie, I do
Hate to say that I'm lonely
Hate to say that I miss you
Hate to say that it's dark in here
But it's true
7. Enchanted by Taylor Swift
I definitely felt enchanted by my former partner. Every moment, every touch, every embrace we had felt magical and I always felt like the luckiest girl alive. On our first date and every date after it, I felt like the girl in this song. Whenever I listen to this song, I’m reminded of what that feeling felt like and smile at the beautiful memories.
8. Say Goodbye to Your Mother by Vera Blue
This song is from the perspective of the person who did the breaking and is now dealing with the repercussions, which include doubt, numbness and hurt. I really like this song as, as the title suggests, it discusses this notion of how a break up doesn’t only mean that you break up with one person, but their family and sometimes, your social circles. Sometimes that pain is equally as powerful. For me, the following lines are quite powerful and mirror what I’m currently feeling on a day to day basis:
Now the only thing I can do is wait
Wait until I don't feel
Wait until I don't feel this way
I feel everything
And I feel nothing
9. Haunted by Taylor Swift
During the week of my break up, everywhere I turned, I saw my partner. I would see him in the bed bedside him, I’d hear his footsteps up and down the stairs and I’d see him beside me whenever I brushed my teeth. I would sit out on the veranda and wait for his car to pull up. I would watch the corridor and wait for him down it. And when I wasn’t waiting, then the memories of him would show up. I only moved into my current house about three months before we started dating and I’ve spent most of my time in this house with him, so it’s been quite an adjustment for my body and mind. It’s been a month and he still pops up in places, which hurts my heart but it also makes me smile.
10. The Last Day on Earth by Kate Miller-Heidke
This song is raw and beautifully honest. The narrator’s is so lost in denial about losing someone she loved that she aspires for it be in the end of the world, just so that she could get to chance to see him/her again. The entire song is full of grief and the pain of moving on and accepting that that person is no longer their lover, which is an awful feeling.
In my head I repeat our conversations,
Over and over 'til they feel like hallucinations,
You know me, I love to lose my mind.
And every time anybody speaks your name
I still feel the same, I ache, I ache, I ache inside.
It’s poetic and it’s real. And Kate Miller-Heidke sings it beautifully.
11. Yesterday by the Beatles
One minute someone can be helplessly and utterly in love with someone and suddenly they don’t love you anymore and you don’t know why. You’re left distressed, worried and confused, wondering how things went wrong and why you didn’t see it coming. Were their warning signs or were there not warning signs? However, the song is also full of hope and fondness for his past relationship and the love that was shared.
12. Faded by Alan Walker
This song and the lyrics of this song still resonate with me. A person that promised to love you forever and to always be there for you, but suddenly they’re not there anymore. You can’t help but feel lost; like a part of you is missing... that a part of you has faded away. The song eloquently and simply depicts the feeling of having your heart broken, the feeling of being incomplete, the feeling of not knowing how to move forward and the feeling of not knowing who you are anymore or who you will become.
13. Liability by Lorde
Blaming yourself is a stage of grieving. And when someone tells you that you’re overwhelming to be with, or that you were too close, ran too fast, had too many things happening... it’s easy to blame yourself. Even though you try not to blame yourself, it’s not easy to shrug off the words your former partner did or didn’t say as to why they broke up with you... especially when those words have been said to you before by someone else; whether they be a past lover or a close friend. This makes you think that you have something wrong with you and that you’re broken, even toxic.
The truth is I am a toy that people enjoy '
Til all of the tricks don't work anymore
And then they are bored of me
I know that it's exciting
Running through the night, but
Every perfect summer's
Eating me alive until you're gone
Better on my own
They say, "You're a little much for me
You're a liability
You're a little much for me
Moreover, the song talks about how a relationship is fun and exciting at the start, but once you start revealing your true self, your partner decides to leave. Whilst I disagree with that sentiment as it wasn’t the case for me, I do think sometimes growing together might mean growing apart. As you spend so much time together that you can forget what it felt like when you were alone. And I think that terrifies some people. It certainly terrifies me. No one is immune from heartbreak.
14. Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi
I’ve only recently discovered this song and I wish I’d discovered it sooner. It’s an opened ended letter to a former lover, who the narrator has invested all of their time, energy and every inch of their being into. The narrator is lamenting on their lost love and is struggling to deal with its aftershocks. It’s very raw, vulnerable and in turn, incredibly relatable. It still makes me cry every time I hear it.
Now the day bleeds
And you're not here
To get me through it all I let my guard down
And then you pulled the rug
I was getting kinda used to being someone you loved
More of songs on the playlist can be found on this link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3waq9A41AlQo8dM683u7p9?si=ZNL_PaPlQPu6lB1MjPLveg&fbclid=IwAR3AVYYV_jjzFX-2MrU6nvVA_dxUwCGOuv6jil0WpaAJRGB33fDjzma4PEY
I hope this has been helpful in some way, shape or form. You and I, we are stronger than we think we are. And it will get better :)