The Many Sides of a Broken Heart

I’ve always loved music, and since I was young I have obsessively enjoyed arranging the perfect music mixes - tapes, CDs, and now Spotify playlists! These playlists have been thoughtfully curated to explore particular themes of a broken heart. The brokenness, the anger, and the acceptance.

These collections will speak to anyone who has ever loved and lost.

PHASE 1/3: SHATTERED (deeply sad love songs)

SHATTERED explores feelings of sadness, remorse, fear, hopelessness, bargaining, etc.

This collection is designed for you to wallow in your feelings of romantic heartbreak. These songs can help you feel less alone, put words to your grief, or the tears to flow.


PHASE 2/3: SCORNED (fiery heartbreak songs)

SCORNED explores feelings of anger, rage, resentment, bitterness, scorn, etc.

This collection explores the fiery emotions that come with romantic grief. It's natural to feel anger/resentment/contempt/rage as a part of the recovery process. Feeling it all is healing. Only then can the acceptance phase can begin.


PHASE 3/3: RISE (songs of letting go & moving on)

Image of a woman with her arms open, with a sense of freedom. Wind is blowing in her hair.

Rise explores feelings of acceptance, resilience, empowerment, and joy.

These are songs of freedom. This collection speaks to the many gifts of heartbreak - empowerment, resilience and finding better love. Only when a breakup is fully integrated, can we find acceptance and truly let go and to move on in a healthy way.



These playlists have been designed to go deep in each one of the three phases of a breakup. Given how dramatic and difficult the emotions of a breakup can be, I felt it was important to separate each into its own theme.

Interestingly, there were SO many sad breakup songs! In fact, I found almost twice as many as the angry ones. I think this goes to show how we are driven to express ourselves in times of sadness


What makes this collection different from all the other breakup playlists out there is that they are specifically grouped into the 3 phases of a breakup. Although some playlists out there have some good songs, the biggest flaw I’ve noticed is how all over the place they are. You can go from a really sad song (think “Nothing Compares 2 U”) to an angry, fiery song (ex. “Cry Me a River”) song, to an empowering song and then back again. Hearing a certain song at the wrong time can actually set you back instead of helping you move forward. This kind of emotional rollercoaster can actually make you feel worse!


Much has been written on the healing powers of music. Here are some of the ways music can help us accelerate the healing of a broken heart:

  • Feel it all and go deep. After a breakup, especially in the early stages, it’s essential to feel a variety of feelings associated with grief to fully process the experience of a broken heart. Yet, sometimes it can be hard to let ourselves feel big, difficult feelings such as deep sadness or rage. Some people report feeling numb to these emotions and others say they’re scared of letting go. Music can be used to help us tap into these emotions and go deeper, in a safe way.

  • You are not alone. It’s so natural to feel like our heartbreak is the biggest heartbreak ever, but as we listen to all the stories shared in these songs, we begin to understand that what we are going through is a shared experience and we are not alone. Just about everyone has experienced a broken heart.

  • Access hope. I often hear people say that they just want to know that things are going to be ok after a big breakup. Listening to songs of resilience and empowerment can give us the hope we need to believe we can not only overcome this painful experience, but be better for it.


You can use these playlists in a variety of ways, but here are a few suggestions

  • Create your own playlist - Find a few in each playlist that really speak to them and they create their own personalized playlist. Whether you feel you need a good cry, or you need to scream into your pillow, or you need to pick yourself up, you’ll have songs that can support you.

  • Get unstuck - If you feel stuck in wither sadness or anger, try listening to the opposite playlist. For example, if you can’t stop wallowing try listening to SCORNED to tap into some fiery feelings. Or if you can’t get get out of your anger, explore SHATTERED to connect with your sadness that may be repressed. RISE can be good at any stage to remind you that things will be okay in time. That said, we cannot bypass the emotional experience of a broken heart and skip difficult feelings. I know, I’ve tried!


LOVE IS … (songs about healthy, fulfilling love)

Photo of a couple with a woman’s arms around a man’s neck. Her fingers are laced together.

I’ve even added a bonus playlist called “Love is …” that is all about healthy, fulfilling love. I often recommend my clients listen to this playlist when they are ready, and feel the need to be reminded of what real, healthy love is. Most often, my clients are coming out of relationships that were not healthy or fulfilling. The contrast of this playlist to their own experience reminds them that there is something better out there for them. A better love to strive for.


THE WINTER BLUES (sad Christmas songs)

Photo of a woman in a red coat standing alone surrounded by trees and snow. A feeling of aloneness.

Having a blue Christmas? If you find yourself feeling broken hearted this holiday season, this playlist was designed just for you. It's a mix of traditional breakup holiday songs, some obscure/indie tracks, and mellow renditions of holiday classics to match your mood. It’s my hope that these tracks will also help you feel less alone.


*** For more support, I suggest you read my blog on my Surviving Worst Christmas Ever