The Ultimate Break Up Playlist.

I was inspired to share my “Relationship Rewind” Playlist from Spotify because of a gentleman who came up with a particularly awesome idea: he created a playlist for a very famous character: Scarlett O’Hara.

I reblogged his post (and now I’ve linked to it as well…I was really impressed with this idea), and it got me to thinking: what makes a good Break-Up playlist?

I happen to have one. When things imploded with the Boy last year, I started compiling a list of songs that were equally love and hate, get-together and break-up songs. As it evolved, I had over 80 songs on there, but listening to it was more schizophrenic than empowering, so I’ve separated the love songs out of it and shared it here:

But it still balances uplifting and bawl-your-eyes-out songs. Is that what you really need for a Break-Up Playlist?

It’s what works for me… I never listen to it in any particular order, so I haven’t really organized it. I suppose, if I was really good at this sort of thing, I would put it in order from saddest to most uplifting.

There’s a bit of Jenny Lewis, both as a solo act and as the lead singer of Rilo Kiley. Actually, most of her songs remind me of my experiences with the Boy… Particularly “Portions for Foxes.” This one section speaks volumes:

And the talking leads to touching

And the touching leads to sex

And then there is no mystery left.

It’s a rather upbeat little song that suggests the ethereal nature of dating in today’s world, I think. You meet someone, they intrigue you with their conversation, and then once things get physical, it’s all over. We move on to the next thing, post-haste. At the first sign of doubt we go onto something thinner, brighter, prettier. We don’t want to work at making a good thing last. And apparently there’s a Rock Band version of the song! Who knew?

Some of the other songs I’ve included are a little more heart-breaking, like Kate Nash’s “Nicest Thing.” I remember when things were really getting bad for me, I posted the video to this song and nearly 20 people called me to make sure I was ok. The melody and the wishful nature of the words definitely suggests that the narrator is potentially suicidal.

Since then, I’ve found a slightly less suicidal song with a similar theme: wishful thinking. This version, though, has a stronger narrator. Here our jilted lover is ready and willing to walk away, hoping that the object of her affection will remember how wonderful things were when things were new and fresh. I’ve so been there… Then again, Yuna has some very uplifting songs, and she’s beautiful. While this one, “Mountains,” is about trying to get over unrequited love, and specifically about leaving, I shared one not so long ago that was about overcoming the loss and learning to be strong.

Another one that speaks of empowerment is “That’s Alright,” by Laura Mvula. I think I got this one from The Royals Soundtrack (Yes that’s another one of my guilty little pleasure shows). It’s about overcoming racism, I think, but still involves a relationship. And I love that part of the chorus asks “Who made you the center of the universe?” Just awesome!

And then, of course, there’s my favorite break up song! It, like the last few I’ve mentioned, suggests an empowerment out of the break up. The world isn’t over just because we broke up, instead the narrator is FREE! The video that I always share is from someone’s school project (obviously), but it still makes me smile.

But I may have to change it to Jenny Lewis’ more recent one. Remember, Jenny Lewis is the lead singer of Rilo Kiley, so this song is going to be equally as quirky, and I recognize some of the actors in the video as people from that show Portlandia… So the quirk abounds! This song, “She’s Not Me,” deals with the afterwards. Basically, the girl messed up, but she can tell that the new girl might just not be such a good choice…

There are more; the playlist has nearly 30 songs (now that I took the purely happy love songs out), and I add to it as I find stuff that I find appropriate, but it’s a quirky playlist that suggests (mostly) that it’s not the end of the world because the relationship is over. I particularly like it because, other than a handful of older songs, none of them are particularly mainstream.

Spotify is pretty good about introducing me to new, non-mainstream music, which is awesome!

If you have anything you think I should add, please leave suggestions in the comments below. Please note, I probably won’t add anything too mainstream. I get so tired of Taylor Swift, even though her stuff is awesome. Sometimes, I just need something that I can sing to, and not anyone else.

And, for the record, I’m not in some horrible funk about any particular relationship (or lack thereof). I just liked the Scarlett O’Hara playlist of break-up songs, and thought I’d share the list that kept me going (or helped me get going again) after a bad break-up.


About Elizabeth

First and foremost I am a teacher. What I teach is a blend of grammatical art, literary love, and a smidge of spiritual awareness. My blog tries to combine the best of all three over a cup of tea.

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