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23 Of The Most Heart-Shattering Breakup Songs From 2015


1. Adele, "Hello"

XL Recordings

Be honest, this song has made you cry at least a thousand tiiiiiiiimes. All hail Adele, queen of heartbreak. Long may she reign.

Real AF lyric: "I must have called a thousand times / To tell you I'm sorry for everything that I've done / But when I call you never seem to be home"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

2. Jazmine Sullivan, "Forever Don't Last"

Shane McCauley / RCA Records

Like "Hello," Jazmine Sullivan's "Forever Don't Last" is a tearjerker ballad sung by a powerhouse vocalist. Unlike "Hello," "Forever Don't Last" doesn't try to whisk the listener away to a world of heightened emotions and melodrama. It trusts that warm, intimate, human-scale drama is enough.

Real AF lyric: "And I tried to believe that we could make it / But trying don't work, so I just have to face that forever / Doesn't last too long these days"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

3. Demi Lovato, "Stone Cold"

Hollywood Records / Island Records

"Stone Cold" is, hands down, the saddest song ever written about fiddling with your phone to avoid an uncomfortable situation. Demi Lovato takes a common, not particularly high-stakes situation — faking a text to avoid interacting with your ex — and imbues it with real seriousness and desperation.

Real AF lyric: "Give me the truth, me and my heart / We'll make it through / If happy is her, I'm happy for you"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

4. Troye Sivan, "Lost Boy"

EMI Australia

Troye Sivan’s “Lost Boy” is a glittery, synth-pop anthem for kids who are "too young to give in to forever," but still feel bad about the way they ended things.

Real AF lyric: "Yeah we knew from the beginning / That this wasn't never ending / Shouldn't stay too long / 'Cause we're both too young / To give in to forever"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

5. Halsey, "Colors"


“Colors” is a love song up until it isn’t. Halsey’s voice is full of affection up until it’s not. It’s a big, sparkly pop song about being swept away by a charismatic lover only to then be pushed aside.

Real AF lyric: "You were red, and you liked me because I was blue / But you touched me, and suddenly I was a lilac sky / Then you decided purple just wasn't for you"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

6. 5 Seconds of Summer, "Castaway"

Tom van Schelven / EMI Australia

In 2015, nobody cornered the “exquisite pain of being young” market quite like 5 Seconds of Summer. On “Castaway,” the boys nail the shiny, too bright feeling of adolescent relationships that happen fast and end faster.

Real AF lyric: "All your screaming whispers, slip right through my fingers / But these memories linger on / Eyes closed, all I see is good times disappearing / And I'm trying to hold on"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

7. Death Cab for Cutie, "Black Sun"

We Are The Rhoads / Atlantic Records

Death Cab for Cutie’s bleak, airless “Black Sun” is a divorce song, which is to say it’s a breakup song for adults who’ve been through some shit.

Real AF lyric: "There is whiskey in the water / And there is death upon the vine / And there is grace within forgiveness / But it's so hard for me to find"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

8. Lianne La Havas, "Wonderful"

John-Paul Pietrus / Warner Bros Records

On “Wonderful,” Lianne La Havas is the ex we all want and hope we’re capable of being: mature, level-headed, big-hearted. In a gentle, hushed voice, on a gentle, hushed track, the singer reminisces about the good times without any bitterness.

Real AF lyric: "From here there's nothing but horizon / Near dawn, I'm searching for the sunrise / Remember when you put the stars into my eyes"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭

9. Jewel, "Here When Gone"

Sugar Hill Records / Concord Music Group

There isn’t anything flashy or innovative about Jewel’s “Here When Gone.” It’s just a somber folk song about what it’s like to feel the presence of your ex in their absence. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Real AF lyric: "I am a woman haunted by hands even though I'm alone / Traces of palm across my skin / An invisible map of where you've been"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

10. Cam, "Burning House"

Ninelle Efremova / RCA Records

Cam’s delicate, dreamlike “Burning House” will resonate with anyone haunted by memories of their ex.

Real AF lyric: "Wish that we could go back in time / I'd be the one you thought you'd find / Love isn't all that it seems / I did you wrong"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

11. Shawn Mendes, "Stitches"

Island Records

Poor Shawn Mendes. Even adorable teen heartthrobs aren’t safe from heartbreak. Fortunately for the rest us, adorable teen heartthrobs can channel those feelings of heartbreak into catchy, radio-ready hits like “Stitches.”

Real AF lyric: "I thought that I'd been hurt before / But no one's ever left me quite this sore / Your words cut deeper than a knife"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭

12. Selena Gomez, "Same Old Love"


The most startling thing about Selena Gomez’s “Same Old Love” is how legitimately bored she sounds. Girlfriend is over it. She’s moving on with some snazzy handclaps and a songwriting assist from Charli XCX. Sorry, Biebs.

Real AF lyric: "I'm not spending any time, wasting tonight on you / I know, I've heard it all / So don't you try and change your mind / 'Cause I won't be changing too, you know"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭

13. Gwen Stefani, "Used to Love You"


After a couple of wacky singles that failed to launch, Gwen Stefani returned to form this year with "Used to Love You," a wailing power ballad about her divorce.

Real AF lyric: "I don't know why I cry / But I think it's 'cause I remembered for the first time / Since I hated you / That I used to love you"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

14. MNEK, "More Than a Miracle"

Digital Teddy / Virgin EMI

MNEK’s “More Than a Miracle” doesn’t sound sad — it sounds like house night at a really fun club, honestly — but the lyrics are brutal: “It's gonna take more than a miracle," the 21-year-old singer informs his no-good ex toward the end of the song. "I said I'm gonna need more, gonna need more than that / Yeah, I'm gonna need more, gonna need more than that."

Real AF lyric: "That shattered glass broken on the floor / Is like my hand linking into yours / To get us back to where we were before / It's gonna take more than a miracle"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

15. Shamir, "Call It Off"

XL Recordings

Toward the end of Shamir’s bubbly breakup anthem, “Call It Off,” the singer--rapper offers up some sage relationship advice: “Just can’t make a thot a wife / No more basic, ratchet guys / Listen up, I’m saving you / From all the hell that you’ll go through.” Amen to that.

Real AF lyric: "I've been trying to find a reason to keep us together / Try to make up my bed of lies and call the night my shelter"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭

16. Hilary Duff, "Stay in Love"

RCA Records

Hilary Duff questions the wisdom of "sticking it out" on the neon-hued "Stay in Love." If being with the person you love is making you miserable, but you're feeling gun-shy about ending things — this song is for you.

Real AF lyric: "All is said and done, all the fights are fought / Trapped each other and waiting to get caught / Two birds sitting in the air is all we got / Baby, I love you / But we need to break up"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭

17. Marina and the Diamonds, "Blue"

Charlotte Rutherford / Atlantic Records

Marina and the Diamonds’ bouncy, disco-inflected “Blue” is an anthem for anyone who’s ever hooked up with an ex to stave off loneliness.

Real AF lyric: "No, I don't love you / No, I don't care / I just wanna be held when I'm scared / And all I want is one night with you"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭

18. Kacy Hill, "Arm's Length"

Getting Out Of Our Dreams / Def Jam

“Arm’s Length” is an ethereal-but-over-it kiss-off from Kanye West’s dancer turned protégé Kacy Hill. Perfect for broken hearts that need some resolve.

Real AF lyric: "I don't want half of your love / Empty words you've said / Bare unraveled thread / You know it's never enough"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

19. Kehlani, "Tore Up"

Arturo Torres / Atlantic Records

On “Tore Up,” Kehlani’s ennui-filled voice floats through some murky Jahaan Sweet production as she lists all the semi-destructive things she's doing to get over her ex. Sad, but vibey, it’s the year’s best “too sad to function” song. Put it on when all you can handle is your feelings in a dark room.

Real AF lyric: "I ain't supposed to tell you I still love you / But I just gotta tell you I been hurting / And I can't keep these problems to myself"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

20. Dawes, "Things Happen"

Dan Martensen / Big Hassle

Is there anything sadder than acknowledging the reality that sometimes things — bad things — just happen? That you can try your best, love your hardest, and sometimes that’s not enough? That’s the crux of folk-rockers Dawes’ heartbreakingly deadpan “Things Happen.”

Real AF lyric: "I could go on talking or I could stop / Wring out each memory 'til I get every drop / Sift through the details of the others involved / The true crime would be thinking it's just one person's fault"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

21. Ashley Monroe, "The Blade"

Warner Bros Records

If there was a better metaphor for heartbreak than the one at the center of Ashley Monroe’s “The Blade” this year, I didn’t hear it.

Real AF lyric: "For you, it's over; for me, it's not / I kept trying and you just stopped / Now I know how you can sound so brave / 'Cause you caught it by the handle, baby / And I caught it by the blade"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

22. Chris Stapleton, "Nobody to Blame"

Becky Fluke / Sacks & Co

Chris Stapleton’s “Nobody to Blame” is a sad, straightforward country song about how a relationship’s ugly end has transformed the singer’s life into a sad, straightforward country song. It's a little meta, it's a little old school, but mostly it's very good.

Real AF lyric: "I know right where I went wrong / I know just what got her gone / Turned my life into this country song / And I got nobody to blame but me"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭 😭

23. Miley Cyrus, "I Get So Scared"

Tyrone Lebon / RCA Records

Squished between formless songs about sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll on her free album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz, "I Get So Scared" is Miley Cyrus at her feels-too-much-best. “I get so scared / Thinkin' I'll never get over you,” the singer admits over reverb-soaked guitars. “I'll always be making a compromise / No matter what I do, ooh / And maybe I'll never get over you.”

Real AF lyric: "And I get so scared / Thinkin' I'll never get over you / Everything I've imagined / And none of our plans coming true"

Crying emojis (out of 10): 😭 😭 😭 😭

Listen to the Most Gut-Wrenching Breakup Songs From 2015 playlist on Spotify.